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We are still super pleased with the new, clean presence of the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Wilmington. Normally we would not be caught dead in one of these properties, but compared to the zero showerheads of the Hilton just down the street, this place is paradise.

The main reason to even stay in Wilmington is disappearing, so who knows whether we’ll be doing this every year in the future. The Dixie Grill beckons as always. And the town is hopping these days. In fact, Wilmington is walkable and nice and going places. It is also middle of the Bell curve bending down to scoop up the Walmart class. That’s OK. This is America.

Food with the dogs at George on the Riverwalk was not only accommodating, but also delicious. The dogs (especially Mowgli) were a smash hit. So many people stopped by to say hi and pat the dogs.

Sadly, a visit to Circa 1922 where they used to have a superior bar program run by Josh Giles reveals a mere shadow of its old glory. Still a nice bar, but nothing interesting on the mixology front.

Anyway, back to cage 604 at the Courtyard. The hamster cage itself is new, but it is still a hamster cage!

Clean, fresh and a bit small

Lots of light overwhelms the camera

Though the shower has a glass door (huge props), the encasement is pre-fab plastic. Still, it is very clean and a nice shower all around.

Yep

Like the rest of the room, the bathroom is ingeniously designed to seem big even though it is very small and very rectangular. Kind of like a boat. Without the water, the head, the V-birth, the sails, … . OK, not much like a boat.

We’re here for the Stick anyway. Two weeks to read, play music, drink cocktails and forget about the orange orangutang caligula.

A low three showerheads and much to be thankful for at the Courtyard in Wilmington. Will we be back??

Usually NPS has to slum it when we come through Wilmington, NC on the way to the beach. We have had a number of seriously awful experiences at the Hilton. Read for yourself here and here and here (there’s more if you like snark).

So the bar is set exceptionally low, and we’re happy to say the the brand new Courtyard by Marriott is much better even though it is still a hamster cage experience.

A stylish elevator hallway to wait in

A stylish elevator hallway to wait in

We had a SNAFU getting into our room that involved waiting for the front desk and engineering to figure out why a deadbolt was thrown in the room we are supposed to have. Anyway, we ended up in 424.

Instruments on carts

Instruments on carts

Accent wall in the hamster cage

Accent wall in the hamster cage

NIcely appointed bathroom

NIcely appointed bathroom

The shower is a glass pod! Yays.

Glass shower.  We repeat, glass shower!

Glass shower. We repeat, glass shower!

But of course all is not sweetness and light here at NPS. We do have to say that the view sucks.

This is not a view of the river

This is not a view of the river

Blogging chair.  Don't spread out!

Blogging chair. Don’t spread out!

Anyway, good on the Marriott for bringing the town up to a low three showerheads! Way more than zero (the Hilton’s last rating). Looks like we’re going back to circa 1922 for dinner.

The best part about Circa 1922 other than the food is the barman Josh Giles, a reformed architect who has become a master barman. John specializes in growing ingredients in his garden and incorporating them into his drinks. The C4 is a great example:
1 oz cucumber shrub (cucumber, lovage, chervil, salad burnett, white wine vinagar, rice vinagar)
1.25 oz hendricks gin
.5 green chartreuse
splash of st. germaine
.75 oz soda

Both the shrub and the drink are out of this world. Josh rotates the menu regularly and features a cocktail with local produce (like the C4). World class.

And tomorrow, the Stick!!

Sophie at the stick

Sophie at the stick