Midwest Living Review
This chain hotel on Madison's east side provides a convenient stay on the main highways, but definitely puts you outside the heart of this city famous for its distinctive spirit. The Courtyard is right on I-39/90/94 about 20 minutes northeast of downtown on Washington Avenue. You can actually see the capitol from the hotel. The location makes it quite handy for visiting the city without a lot of parking/traffic hassles, but if you want the city's personality, you'll obviously struggle to find it in a business hotel next to a major mall. This Courtyard is your typical modern business class hotel. We found the staff accommodating; they gladly put us straight into a room when we arrived an hour before check-in time. Everything is clean and up-to-date. The contemporary decor includes nice touches in the room, such as black-and-white still-life photos and a small spotlight on a floral arrangement you see upon entering the room. The lobby includes a roomy lounge-type area placed between a bar (tastefully done) and a fireplace topped by a flat-screen TV. Guests can use an indoor pool, shelves of magazines and books and several leather chairs and sofas in the lobby, and wireless Web without the hassle of calling the lobby for a password. Our one complaint is breakfast. Signs and the guest book include ambiguous statements like "Join us for breakfast." But they play it very coy about whether this is complimentary with your room. Spotting a cash register near the breakfast room made us suspicious, and we finally jumped online from our room to discover that they do charge you for breakfast (although it took some digging, even there). A hotel like this should match many of their competitors by providing free breakfast, and they should at least be upfront about what it costs.