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“Nice, comfortable Courtyard”

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Courtyard Durham Near Duke University/Downtown
Ranked #33 of 71 Hotels in Durham
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We recently spent two nights at the Courtyard, very comfortable room, great friendly staff. Handy to Duke, downtown and the RTC. No surprises, but the Bistro Breakfast is rather expensive for what you get, an observation of the chain, not his particular Hotel.

Room Tip: I would request a room on the Courtyard (when the pool is closed). Less street noise.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank RedSoxNation1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tim R, Manager at Courtyard Durham Near Duke University/Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2014

Good Afternoon! Thank you for your review of the Courtyard Durham near Duke University. We are glad our location close to Duke University, downtown and RTP made your stay enjoyable. We appreciate the feedback and look forward to serving you again when you return to Durham.

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156 - 162 of 277 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2014

I stayed in this hotel about 2 years ago and was disappointed. However, I recently stayed here after recommendations to try it again came to me from some local work colleagues. I was pleasantly surprised and wanted to provide a review to encourage more to try it out.

The hotel is not the easiest to get into because of its kind of odd location. It's just off of I-85 (Exit 174-B Hillandale Rd), but you need to either go north on Hillandale and turn at the light and come back through the strip mall, or take the exit ramp onto I-85 and turn right into the hotel and work your way from the back to the front entrance. Once you do it the first time, it will make sense, trust me, but the first time is goofy to say the least.

The hotel interior is now upgraded to reflect the current Courtyard style, with the cafe approach (including Starbucks coffee) that they have taken as a corporate style.

The rooms I have been in recently (stayed 3 times in the last 2 months) have been upgraded and of good quality. I've heard that not all rooms are upgraded yet, but not sure of the ratio. I would recommend asking for an upgraded room when you reserve - or check in for sure!

I am still getting my head wrapped around the pay-for-breakfast routine that hotels are angling. Why can we stay at a Fairfield by Marriott and get a crappy (yet free) breakfast option? The higher we pay for a room usually gets us a pay-for-breakfast and sometimes even pay-for-internet too (at the Marriott Hotel for instance). Anyway, the breakfast options are an upgrade over the Fairfield Inn, but you do have to pay for them. The Starbucks coffee is good, and they have various pastries, parfaits, etc. that you can also order as well.

Internet access was free and decent speed. I had no issues any time I have been here.

The workout room is outdated, and frustratingly lacking water once (they have a water dispenser with the 5-gallon water jug). They have one recumbent bike, one elliptical, and two treadmills. They also have some dumbbells for light lifting stuff. Pretty small and limited for hotel like this though.

Oddly enough, my recommendation is lifted by one star because of the location. It's a handy spot off of I-85 (Exit 174-B Hillandale Rd), and is situated very close to 5 decent to good quality restaurants (Mexican, Spanish/tapas, Mediterranean, Italian, and Chinese takeout) within a 1-2 minute walk outside the hotel front entrance. This is extremely handy for me and my colleagues, particularly if you want to have a few drinks with dinner.

Overall, this is an excellent business hotel for the traveler working locally for a few days. If you need to be in Chapel Hill only, I wouldn't recommend it (about a 15-20 minute drive), but if you need to be in Durham - or have to drive around the Chapel Hill-Durham areas, I would suggest you give it a try.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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Thank ioj27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tim R, Manager at Courtyard Durham Near Duke University/Downtown, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2014

Dear ioj27,

Wow, thank you for that great detailed review! I'm glad our recent updates made a great impression on your stay at the Courtyard Durham near Duke University. We will definitely take your comments and even further improve to continually make your stay problem free at the Courtyard Durham. Over the next few months you will see even more great changes to our guestrooms. We look forward to showing them off very soon!

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Reviewed December 29, 2013

I stayed here one night back in October. Had read all sorts of bad reviews so was nervous to stay here, but being it was Duke parents weekend most other places were sold out. Being solo, I made my son come in with me to check out the room. We were both pleasantly surprised that it was clean and updated. All the reviews said rooms were dirty and outdated. Obviously they are in the process of updating and I got a new room. New carpet, new bedding, modern decor....it was great! That said my sister in law also stayed here the same weekend and said her room was disgusting (I guess hers had not been updated)...I did not see her room. I also enjoyed the lobby area with the new cafe. I heard someone complaining that there was no free breakfast anymore since they updated to the cafe. I personally preferred paying for a decent coffee (they had Starbucks) and a simple croissant, to the free breakfasts many chains offer which I don't find appealing (powdered eggs...yuck). Overall I would stay there again if my regular hotel was sold out.

Room Tip: Ask for an updated room!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Arf42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

I'm guessing this hotel is still updating some rooms. We had a room on the 3rd floor and it just seemed a little dated still. The carpet was not the cleanest, but unlike other reviews saying socks got trashed it wasn't really all that bad. (I'd call it typical hotel traffic dirty, but still should be a little better for being a "Courtyard". The Bistro apparently closes early as we arrived about 9pm on a Saturday and it was closed or closing as we arrived. (to me that's early for a hotel food option)

Room specifics: The bathroom had paint peeling or missing from the ceiling. The floor showed signs of age with grungy grout lines. The towel racks jiggled.

Beds: Comfortable, but certainly appeared on the back end of life span.

HV/AC: worked, but noisy (slightly more than normal) and was hard to find a happy temperature for the room. Either too hot or too cold. Was in the 30s outside so did want the heat, but didn't want it 70° hot. Tried to go mid 60s, but couldn't keep it comfortable. Woke up in the middle of the night and just turned the unit off. Didn't get too uncomfortable after that though.

Had a King room with sofa bed. No extra pillows for the sofa bed so gave up a couple from the king. Wish there was at least one spare for the sofa bed. DIdn't want to bother the front desk for a pillow, but added that to my list to ask for when staying at another Courtyard and planning to use the pullout.

TV options were typical and acceptable. Room had ample lighting. There were enough power outlets to charge phones by the bed. Wish there were more on the desk to charge computers and tablets at the same time (thankfully I usually travel with a small power bar).

Would stay here again if the need was there, but might look at other stops along the I85 route for other options.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Travel_Around_Town
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Needed a rest point mid-way between Philadelphia and Atlanta - this hotel hit the spot. Room was clean and comfortable. Check-in and check-out went smoothly. Staff was friendly. Overall a good value for the money.
Workout room/gym was disappointing - old and pedestrian machines - nothing new!

Room Tip: Get a room as far from I-85 as possible!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CharlesA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2013

Enjoyed my stay here. Really nice Front Desk agents. Clean hotel. Loved the fire pit! Hotel is in great area of restaurants that seems local. Wasn't able to check them out, but they looked nice. Rooms were very clean. Market was stocked with lots of choices. Stayed on the 2nd floor by an elevator per my choice.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Lynn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013 via mobile

My husband has regular visits to Duke and we always stay here, to the tune of 30+ days! They are doing really well with staff, service and the Bistro is a life saver after a long day of appointments and procedures. They had some staff issues early on and they are updating rooms slowly. But after the large lobby renovation we gave it another try and are very happy. They even give a medical rate discount. The plaza across the street has been revamped and has some great restaurants. The Blue Olive is our favorite, a Mediterranean gem!

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank carobama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Courtyard Durham Near Duke University/Downtown

Address: 1815 Front St, Durham, NC 27705-2512
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > Durham
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 71 Hotels in Durham
Price Range: $112 - $264 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Courtyard Durham Near Duke University/Downtown 3*
Number of rooms: 146
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Also Known As:
Courtyard By Marriott Durham Duke University/Downtown Hotel Durham
Durham Marriott
Durham Courtyard
Courtyard Durham Duke University

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