Review : Courtyard Nanaimo | Marriott Bonvoy

Hotel Courtyard Nanaimo
Country Canada
City Vancouver
Room Type Standard room, two king-size beds, city view
Loyalty Program Status Titanium
Points Per Night 31000
Hotel brand Courtyard by Marriott

Courtyard Nanaimo
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To the point In March 2023, the first Marriott hotel, the Courtyard Nanaimo, officially opened in the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Discover my report on this hotel.

This new establishment offers an alternative on the island, since all the other the Marriott chain hotels are located in the city of Victoria.


An interesting feature of this hotel is that it is mostly owned by the Snuneymuxw First Nation. Thanks to this investment, the Snuneymuxw people can share their culture with visitors from all over the world, while supporting the economic growth of both the First Nations and the community as a whole.

The Courtyard Nanaimo is located on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, so its location is also of great historical significance.


Aunalee Boyd-Good, one of the artists whose work is on display in the hotel, said, “Our goal was to create an immersive and unique experience that celebrates Snuneymuxw culture and the unique history of the territory on which the hotel is located.”

The hotel has 172 rooms spread over nine floors.


Courtyard Nanaimo - Booking

Hotel details

Here is some information about the hotel:

Date of opening (or renovation) March 2023 Number of rooms 172 rooms
Restaurants Yes USB sockets in the room Yes
Accepts animals No Smart TV Yes
Mobile card Yes Shower/Bath 2 in 1 | Fixed shower (without shower hose) in the bath
Balcony No Accessible for people with reduced mobility Yes
Parking No – but municipal parking across the street Lounge No
Gym Yes Breakfast included No
Pools and Spas Swimming pool Room with kitchenette No

When I stayed at the Courtyard Nanaimo, the rate was 31,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, while the cash cost of the room was only 204 CAD per night.

So I opted to pay cash for the room during this two-night stay.


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Earning Marriott Bonvoy Points

The best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points for free stays at over 8,000 hotels worldwide is to have the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card (and/or the Marriott Bonvoy® Business American Express®* Card).

In addition to the exceptional welcome bonus of each of these two cards, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on all your purchases and 5 points per dollar at any of the Marriott establishments. On top of that, every year, you’ll receive a free hotel night certificate (worth 35,000 points) and 15 Elite Night Credits toward your Marriott Bonvoy status.

Courtyard Nanaimo - Location

I chose to stay at this hotel, in particular because of its location. On this seven-day father-son trip to the Vancouver area, we had little time to stay on Vancouver Island (two days).

We were looking for a quickly accessible location, offering both half-day excursions at sea for marine mammal watching and access to riverside parks to soak up this marine proximity.


The Courtyard Nanaimo is conveniently located in the coastal city of Nanaimo, close to the Harbourfront Walkway, the Marina and just minutes from the ferry terminal linking Nanaimo (Departure Bay) to Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay).

The ferry also allows guests to travel by foot, bike or car, making the hotel even more accessible. In my case, we had a rental car.

And those who prefer to fly into Nanaimo will appreciate that the hotel is just 14 kilometers from the Nanaimo airport.

Courtyard Nanaimo - Reception

The Courtyard brand is often characterized by a clean, functional style. Gone are the flashy designs, bright colors and massive chandeliers. Instead, there’s a sense of spaciousness with a focus on Snuneymuxw art prominently displayed.

True to the Marriott brand, next to the reception is the “market” area, a small “convenience store” accessible 24 hours a day, handy if you need a few basic items and snacks.

The waiting and rest area adjoining reception is bright and spacious.


Courtyard Nanaimo - Our room

The hotel has three types of rooms:

  • Standard room, king-size bed, city view;
  • Standard room, two king-size beds, city view ;
  • Standard room with king-size bed and sofa bed.

So, since all rooms are the same size and there are no suites, there’s no need to worry about requests for upgrades.

This is one of the advantages of mid-range hotels for those who have no status or only entry status. When it comes to room allocation, all Bonvoy statuses are treated equally!

Two large, full-height windows bring plenty of light into the room.


We had a room with two queen-size beds. Once again, the focus is on functional, uncluttered design. And because the hotel is so new, the style is also very contemporary.

A Snuneymuxw-inspired mural in pastel shades at the head of the beds, a charcoal-pigmented rug and bed base, cream-colored walls and walnut furniture make up the room’s entire color palette.

The curves of the desk and sofa, and the oblique angle of the cupboard housing the fridge and microwave, are also a design effort.

A large closet and a two-drawer cabinet are the main storage spaces.

A desk, topped by a TV, and a chair on castors, act as a workspace if required.

The bathroom features a standard toilet, sink, mirror and tub/shower.

General impression of the room

This room is above all functional. With its contemporary signature, it’s just as suitable for a relaxing night in as it is for watching Netflix or working in peace and quiet.

Courtyard Nanaimo - Hotel services


The hotel does not offer parking, however a large indoor public paid parking lot, the Harbour Front Parkade, is located right next to the hotel (100 meters).



A special feature of the Courtyard Nanaimo is its on-site restaurant, The Bistro, open for both breakfast and dinner. As for breakfast, it’s very varied and comprehensive (see photos of the menu).

As a Bonvoy Titanium member, we had breakfast included (an option available from Bonvoy Platinum level and above), a saving of around $65 for two per lunch.


The restaurant boasts an attractive, mostly windowed surface area. Rather versatile in terms of space configurations, we find conventional tables, a large “bar”-style counter with several electrical outlets for plugging in appliances, semi-private banquettes with TV screens, as well as armchairs with side tables.

Whether you’re here on vacation, as a couple or family, or on business, this diversity of furnishings will be most welcome.


Swimming pool

The hotel has a rectangular indoor pool, where you can swim laps or just relax. The pool is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Adjacent to the pool is a whirlpool/jacuzzi.

Sports room

The hotel also has a fitness room. Equipment includes a treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical trainer and weight machines, as well as free weights, benches and weighted balls.

Here, too, we find beautiful fenestration and the presence of Snuneymuxw art.

Courtyard Nanaimo - Our overall impression of the hotel

The contemporary Courtyard Nanaimo pays tribute to the local heritage of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

This new hotel, recently added to the Marriott portfolio, offers a very interesting option for a short stay on Vancouver Island. It’s closer to the city of Vancouver than other Marriott hotels in Victoria, yet just a five-minute walk from Nanaimo’s charming marina.

In addition to the opportunities for excursions to admire the unique marine life of the west coast, Nanaimo offers a brief taste of the tranquility of these small coastal towns.

Courtyard Nanaimo - Around the hotel

We had deliberately chosen this town mainly because of its proximity to numerous departure points for excursions to see marine mammals.

We had booked a 4-hour zodiac excursion with Vancouver Island Whale Watch. This type of event falls into the “cruise” category (a sub-segment of the larger travel family) and is therefore eligible for reimbursement with points from several credit cards.

A five-minute walk from the hotel, the starting point for excursions is in the Marina. We enjoyed a magnificent day and saw humpback whales, a family of orcas, sea lions and several seabirds.


Other nearby points of interest include:

  • The Harbourfront Walkway is also very pleasant to stroll along;
  • The many restaurants / cafés where you can eat the dessert known as the Nanaimo bar. According to a 2006 survey published in the National Post, it’s Canada’s favourite dessert!
  • Nearby Westwood Lake offers a beautiful six-kilometre, level course for walkers and runners alike;
  • Pipers Lagoon Park, where we admired a magnificent sunset as we strolled through this tranquil seaside park. Some people come here to enjoy the beach or to go whale watching (in season).

Some will also visit the Old Country Market – Goats on the Roof, 45 minutes north of Nanaimo. The goats on the roof were a great marketing coup. We found the place a bit “kitschy” and wouldn’t recommend the detour, but that’s up to each individual.


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A specialist in the banking sector, Jean-Francois is also a great traveller and passionate about reward programmes.

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