Decatur Holiday Inn to Become “Courtyard by Marriott”

Decatur’s Linda Harris sends along this press release…

Noble acquires the former Holiday Inn Atlanta Decatur Hotel and Conference Center

184-room hotel to undergo a comprehensive redevelopment and be rebranded as a Courtyard by Marriott

ATLANTA, Ga.-May 24, 2011- Privately held Noble Investment Group (“Noble”), today announced the acquisition of the former Holiday Inn Decatur Hotel and Conference Center in the heart of downtown historic Decatur, Georgia. Located within close proximity to the 631-acre Emory University campus, Emory HealthCare, and the Center for Disease Control, the hotel boasts 184 rooms and suites as well as 15,000 square feet of meeting and event space in the adjoining Decatur Conference Center. Noble will immediately begin a comprehensive redevelopment plan and upon completion, will convert the property to the Courtyard by Marriott brand.

“We are excited to source this off-market opportunity in a high barrier to entry market with strong and diverse demand generators,” said Rodney Williams, Noble’s chief investment officer and a managing principal. ”Noble’s ability to physically enhance, reposition, and rebrand the asset, will enable us to maximize operating performance and add substantial value to this investment.”

“Decatur is an ideal example of a progressive live-work-play community with more than 200 distinct restaurants, boutique retail destinations and headquarter companies within walking distance of the new Courtyard by Marriott and Decatur Conference Center,” said Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd. “Being able to work with Noble to provide first class lodging and meeting space is an important part of the City’s long-term economic development strategy.”

Located in a vibrant, village-like square comprised of offices, restaurants, bars, and retail boutiques within historic downtown Decatur, one of Atlanta’s earliest settlements dating back to 1822, the expansive repositioning of the hotel to a Courtyard by Marriott will feature new guest rooms and suites complete with high-tech amenities as well as inviting spaces throughout the hotel to work, relax and recharge. In addition, physical and technological enhancements will be made to the Decatur Conference Center which provides more than 15,000 square feet of meeting and event space for corporate meetings as well as social occasions.

About Noble Investment Group

Founded in 1993, the Noble organization specializes in the lodging and hospitality real estate sector. Through its private equity real estate funds, Noble has invested more than $1.7 billion in hotels and resorts throughout the United States and the organization’s current discretionary private equity fund represents $310 million of equity commitments. An award winning operator, Noble currently manages more than 10,000 hotel and resort guest rooms throughout the United States, most of which are affiliated with Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, and Starwood. In addition, Noble operates convention and conference centers with more than one million square feet of meeting space, day and resort spas, upscale restaurants, and is a franchisee of Starbucks Coffee retail stores. For more information, please visit www.nobleinvestment.com

54 thoughts on “Decatur Holiday Inn to Become “Courtyard by Marriott””


  1. I’d heard this weeks ago but didn’t believe it. I still don’t. Weren’t words like “upscale” or “luxury” used to describe the new hotel concept? Courtyard is a step up (in some ways), yet it’s a more limited-service concept than the operation there already. Time to head to Decatur Screenprint to place the t-shirt order for “The City banned all parking on Montgomery Street and all I got was a Courtyard by Marriott.”

    1. I don’t think that facility was ever destined to be the cool, higher-end place we DMers often dream of, no matter what the circumstances. What it promises to be, however, is the ever-crucial “proof of market” validation we need. Assuming the Courtyard prospers, that’s when we’ll be best positioned to finally land a cool indie. Then all they’ll need to do is come up with a place to build that doesn’t offend anyone. 🙂

          1. If it’s easy to explain the joke I’m missing, please do because this sounds funny even though I don’t know from Birds from Hell and calamari kiddie plates.

            As for the topic, this sounds like a good first step although it still would have been kind of cool to see Holiday Inn keep it and turn it into one of their Indigo branded places. Love the one they put in Asheville.

            1. The calamari kiddie plates are a nod to Decatur’s Kesslers-in-training, toddlers who regularly nosh at Café Lilly and the Iberian Pig. (When I was a kid, my idea of nirvana was eating spaghetti and hot fudge cake at Shoney’s.)

              I’m with you on the Birds from Hell Hotel. I don’t understand it either, but it struck me as funny anyway.

              1. Shoney’s spagettii and hot fudge sundae could not be beat (at least when I was 8 years old). Actually, sounds like it would be good “comfort food” right about now!

      1. yes, the road from Commerce behind the back of the Artisan to the Convention Center. It allowed parking on one side of the street until an ordinance passed recently.

        1. Guess banning parking makes some sense if that’s supposed to be two-way. A little odd that it’s still a City-controlled dead-end street. Seems to serve only as a driveway for the hotel and condos anyway. Wouldn’t think many would use it (and the HI driveway) as a way to get from Clairemont to Commerce or vice versa.

          1. And forgot that street also provides access to bank parking lot and parking garage attached to HI.

  2. Reading the full entry, I didn’t come away thinking that the new operation would be a “more limited-service concept that the operation there already.” YMMV.

  3. Well, I wouldn’t call Courtyard luxury and upscale but it WILL work out wonderfully for me. Courtyard caters to the middle-class, narrow, conventional, risk-averse tastes of my parents to the point that they almost always pick a Courtyard if they have that option travelling. “We always know what we’re going to get.–two double beds, a bathroom with fan, free breakfast buffet, outdoor pool…” Ha! I have the speech ready: “Given that we’re (Pick one: remodelling/dealing with discipline issues with Child X/having problems with A/C/feeling anti-social), we thought you’d prefer a room at the Courtyard where you’re always comfortable…..”

    (This is why I have to post anonymously!)

    1. “Courtyard caters to the middle-class, narrow, conventional, risk-averse tastes of my parents to the point that they almost always pick a Courtyard if they have that option travelling.”

      I thought libs were all about “protecting” the middle class, not denigrating them.

      “remodelling/dealing with discipline issues with Child X/having problems with A/C/feeling anti-social”

      [edited: no name-calling]

      1. Karrass is NOT: 1) a guy, or 2) a baby. Further, I read this as a sort of fond dig at some of her relatives, not as an indictment of the middle class across the board. I also read your response to her as overly personal, and uncalled for. Why are you trying to inject political philosophies into a thread where there’s no impetus?

        Man! What is UP with some of the righties on this blog lately?

        1. Isn’t it hilarious when Conservs go all politically correct?

          (I’m just recycling, now, in response to unsubstantiated and ridiculous faux outrage.)

      2. Wow, I’m glad I didn’t see the post before it was edited. So much for self-deprecating family humor! Could my father have actually found this blog and guessed it was me?!

            1. Ugh…hate that statement, but I have to admit it’s effective. It was always so much worse to hear that from my parents than “you’re grounded.”

  4. Just out of curiosity, why would Decaturites dream of the new project being a “luxury” hotel? Wouldn’t something more affordable bring a wider array of travelers (business and pleasure)?

    Take for example the popular wedding venue that is the Old Courthouse. Everyone I know who’s gotten married there did it to save a buck. Are those same people then going to pass on luxury costs to their out of town guests who might stay on Clairemont?

    1. We were not dreaming. We were told by the city economic development team and we believed them. Silly us!

  5. As a resident, I think something like Hotel Indigo would be more interesting, but I appreciate the comments about affordability. I will be glad to see that horrible Holiday Inn sign go..

  6. I think this will be a good improvement. The investment and upgrades will be appreciated. Most important will be an upgrade in the staffing. We did our weeding here and it was really difficult to work with the staff- while they were always pleasant, communication was sporadic and hard to get calls back, and some major balls were dropped. Marriott has pretty good customer service- I hope that carries through for this location.

    1. We tried to do a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn for the guests at our wedding and the staff wouldn’t give us any discount from what folks could get on their own and would hold us responsible for any rooms in the block not taken if we didn’t release them in time. We figured that was just one more thing we’d have to worry about without any benefit to our guests so we dropped it. Not to mention that a friend stayed at the Ritz Carlton downtown for roughly the same amount HI was going to charge thanks to their weekend specials! Ridiculous! Since the wedding was between downtown Decatur and downtown Atlanta, it wasn’t much of a difference in commute, but I was hoping our guests could discover the joys of Decatur while in town for the wedding. I say good riddance!

  7. Does anyone have any idea of their schedule for construction? Or someone to contact? I tried the hotel a few weeks ago and they had no idea this was happening. I’m having a wedding in Sept and this is to be the preferred hotel….

  8. Just to clarify, the descriptive that has been used all along was “premium brand” so I’m not sure where the word “luxury” came from. We are meeting with the new management team in June and will have a firmer idea of the actual schedule. I know that they are working to plan around events already on their books. The tentative schedule we’ve been given says early October.

    1. Lyn, can you address the convention center question? That’s an important component, and don’t know if it’s not included in the Courtyard renovation ….

        1. This is a win-win too especially if the conference center is improved and has reasonable rates. Not only will I get to offer my parents the choice of staying there :), but maybe I can walk to more work conferences. In the past, I used to occasionally get to attend work conferences at the HI and it was so pleasant to walk there, walk home for lunch and back, walk home at the end of the day. But, in recent years, it seemed like the rates were too high for the quality offered and no one was scheduling conferences there anymore.

      1. While the Downtown Development Authority will still own the conference center, the deal includes the hotel owner managing the conference center on our behalf as has been done in the past. The project includes the renovation of the conference center by the new hotel owner as part of the entire facility upgrade.

  9. Honestly, I think this is a good move. Courtyards certainly don’t have the “hip factor” of some other brands, they have certainly freshened their image in the past couple of years. They are much more modern than they used to be, and overall are pretty comfortable.

  10. BTW…they are also huge “Business” destinations. I believe the recent win of the company moving to downtown Decatur had some sway here.

  11. I am a little sad, actually, about the change. I have been to several excellent professional seminars at the Decatur Holiday Inn and wonder if the company that hires the speakers will now move their business elsewhere. It was so nice to be able to walk! I do realize that there are not many in Decatur who are in my field, so this will be a very small impact to the community in general but it will be something that I will miss.

    Are any hotels really hip?

    1. The conference center will be upgraded as part of the project so I don’t know why the company you are referring to would choose to go elsewhere for the workshops. Decatur’s draw for small conferences and workshops is the fact that it’s close to downtown Atlanta and has MARTA access to the airport but also has a safe, walkable downtown district with a wide variety of restaurants and retail options.

  12. Any renovation will be an upgrade but I also looked online for the Marriott Courtyard Design Guidelines and they are at least a good step up. Glad to see a change.

  13. I was hoping the Sofitel group would open in that spot. Not in my budget, but I would stay there one night on principal.

  14. I’m surprised this is being met with so much negative reaction. I’ve stayed at the current hotel, and I’ve stayed at countless Courtyards, and I think this will be an improvement. Perhaps not as thrilling as the Thunderbird in Marfa, TX, but we’re not Marfa, we’re Decatur.

    1. “I’m surprised this is being met with so much negative reaction.”

      I think it’s less about the quality of Courtyard or a grasp of what type of hotel is likely to take root and contribute positively to the continued economic strengthening of downtown Decatur, and more about the “hipper than thou” crowd’s need to register comment.

    2. Road trip! Should we start in Marfa and end in Savannah, or the other way around? Hope there are additional Thunderbirds in between to stay true to the theme.

      Decatur’s new Courtyard: win-win-win all around. The reboot is most welcome and eagerly anticipated!

  15. Ditto to Parker Cross and Smalltowngal comments. This is Decatur, not Buckhead. Don’t you negative nabobs know that businesses and local governments do market research before making decisions? Marriott is a first-class company and I am grateful we will have it as a neighbor.

  16. I am probably the only person who is very sad. The HolidayInnDecaturConferenceCenter was home to my very second job in 1989. I had a flammable polyester uniform and everything.

  17. You want me to see if I can grab you an extra when they start cleaning stuff out for old times sake?

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