by Chelle Koster Walton
The Courtyard, upgraded from a Holiday Inn in 2008, keeps in theme with Bradenton’s Spanish/Hernando de Soto theme via its archways and red barrel tile roof architecture and lushly vegetated fountains.
The ultra-modern lobby holds a Starbucks cafÃ© and a bistro, plus lots of inviting spaces to gather, work on computers, and play games.
It is the only place to stay along downtown Bradenton’s Riverwalk, a 1-5-mile paved pathway overlooking the Manatee River. It takes pedestrians and bikers along the property’s sand beach, plus a fishing pier, Family Fun Zone playground with interactive fountain, skate park, and other engaging spaces.
It is also close to downtown’s shopping, restaurants, history museum, and performing arts hall.
Our Editor Loves
- Close proximity to Riverwalk's play areas
- Roomy suites
- Sandy beach
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
All accommodations offer free Wi-Fi, plus a coffeemaker, flat-screen TV, and cable with premium movie channels. Worker bees will appreciate the large desk and ergonomic chair.
The hotel's 57 suites are located on all five floors of accommodations with balconies overlooking the pool. They contain either a king-sized or two queen-sized beds in a separate bedroom, plus a double sofa bed in the living area. They also have a small refrigerator.
Opt for a view of the river or the courtyard. Rooms with king beds come with a sofa bed. Otherwise, there are two queen beds in each room. The Riverview rooms have a very narrow balcony. Some standard rooms are adjoining.
I am so frustrated after booking a block of rooms for my daughter's upcoming wedding and no one has even checked in!
First, I'm not sure what the benefit of this was--the "discounted price" is actually MORE than the price that can be booked on line.
When I called to book a room for a family member -using the wedding booking name, the person answered saying she was from another hotel in another county and I had to clarify this multiple times during the call. I'm half afraid out-of-state guests are booked in the wrong hotel because they wouldn't recognize the difference over the phone. Plus--professional much?
Although they said they'd take care of every detail to make sure the guests had a good experience, when I called for help because guests called me concerned, there wasn't a hint of flexibility. The wedding time was moved up and now check-in is only 30 minutes before the wedding. Since guests want to check-in before the wedding (these people are all local so the hotel room is just for convenience) and the trolley to the venue leaves at the check-in time --this is an issue (forget about the welcome bag/experience we were hoping for). All they said was call the morning of--I can't really wait til the morning of the wedding to figure out their transport to the wedding. Well, they can leave their bags in their car and hop on the trolley and check in late at night when they return--yes, this is the experience I was going for.
I even asked if they could check-in and just check their bags --nope. No checking in until a room is ready and maybe if I called the hotel they'd find a place for their bags. What kind of a hotel doesn't check bags??? I am LIFETIME Gold and one year away from lifetime PLATINUM (although evidently brand loyalty isn't rewarded here). I've spent a few nights in Marriotts. I always check in 24 hours in advance of getting my room --so it can be done. Why couldn't at least this be done for their convenience. I do it all the time. And, really --they couldn't prioritize a small number of rooms to have them ready 1 hour ahead of time. Because they won't --I'm not sure what to do about transportation and it's a mess. I don't need this weeks before the wedding.
So--if you are considering booking a block here for wedding guests, I'd suggest you consider why you are doing this and if it's the right place. I can't tell you one benefit I've received and I'm about to call and see if I can find rooms at a more flexible hotel for the people who have to check in that day--which is both a hassle and an embarrassment.
The staff wasn’t very active but the room
Was nice I counted off because they balcony wasn’t a so called official
Balcony it was one that you could not sit out on . The room was clean . The hotel looks dated on the outside but good on the inside . It’s in a great location on the river walk . Lots of things to play with for kids in the walk area and ice cream
Lush vegetation surrounds the property's one six-sided pool, which is outdoors but heated. It ranges from 3 to 6 feet deep. There's also a whirlpool in the fenced pool area -- a perfect place for parents to relax while the kids cool down after an active day in Bradenton. Guests can enjoy the pool from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
A man-made sand beach lies between the hotel and the Riverwalk. Cool, curvy cement lounge chairs are surprisingly comfortable. Two sand, fenced volleyball courts lie adjacent to the sunning area. The facility is open to the public as part of Riverwalk amenities.
The hotel has only one dining venue that serves Starbucks coffee free all day and does breakfast, lunch, dinner, and beer and wine. Kids have their own menu with games to keep them busy while they wait for their food. Kids meals are $4.50 each and include such options as French toast or cereal with a banana for breakfast; turkey sandwich, cheese quesadilla, or Caesar salad for lunch or dinner. Milk or juice are included in the price, and lunch/dinner meals include a choice of one healthy side, such as vegetable sticks or yogurt. The regular menu too tends toward healthy with egg white frittata, flatbreads, salads, and sandwiches.
A number of downtown pizza places and restaurants deliver food.
The hotel's market sells frozen entrees (and has a microwave), ice cream, snacks, and pre-made sandwiches.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The hotel's fitness center is new with state-of-the-art theater cardio machines that overlook the courtyard through a walls of glass. There are treadmills, elliptical and biking machines, and free weights.
There's a $75 plus tax non-refundable fee for pets to stay; no weight limit.
All rooms have coffeemakers, hair dryers, iron and ironing boards, and in-room movies. Complimentary Starbucks coffee and weekday newspapers come with no resort fee. Besides laundry service, the hotel offers guest laundry facilities. A cool, interactive big screen in the lobby helps with all sorts of local information.
Check-in is 3 p.m. and check-out is noon.
The Art of Smart Timing
High season for the Bradenton area runs from Christmas through Easter. That's when rates are highest and rooms harder to come by. Summer brings a brisk family clientele as well, especially on weekends, but rates go down. The best rates can be found during the low seasons between Easter and summer vacation and after school starts and the holidays.
The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) is the closest airport to this Courtyard, but has limited airlines service. Tampa International Airport (TPA) is better served and lies about 50 minutes away near interstate access.
You can walk or ride a bike the 1-mile distance to downtown Bradenton along the Riverwalk. From downtown, you can catch Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) buses to the beaches on Anna Maria Island and other destinations around the county.
For Mom and Dad
Downtown Bradenton provides a number of options for cocktails or dinner away from the kids. Pier 22 is a popular restaurant with drinks and dining on the river.