I recently observed a child, probably 5 or 6 years old, serving himself out of the bread, muffin, and pastry cabinet in the concierge lounge. I was somewhat surprised when he took out a piece of bread, smelled it, then put it back. He did this to several pieces of bread before choosing one. He then did the same thing to several muffins, even sticking his finger in the blueberry in one, before putting it back in the cabinet and choosing another one.
What would you do if you observed this child? I will share what I did after I read some of your comments. I tried posting this as a poll, but was unable to do so. Maybe a narrative comment is best anyway.
Whatever you did, I'm sure it was no different than you would have done for your own child and as good as anyone could have done on the spur of the moment.
I was thinking of maybe asking him if he had signed in before getting any food since we all have to sign in and then maybe asking him if he needed any help in using the tongs.
Anadyr's answer is probably better.
It's really hard to know what to do.
After he smelled it and put it back, I probably would have just laughed (maybe the kid has a very discerning palate). I imagine stuff like that happens all the time at buffet restaurants.
If I was really feeling like a pastry or muffin, I would pick one of the ones that he did not touch. If he touched them all, I guess it depends on how good those pastries looked--the JW Marriott San Francisco serves good croissants so I probably would have just grabbed it anyway.
I wouldn't have done anything in that situation other than throwing the blueberry muffin away, but I could understand why some would be upset and want the issue resolved. If a child or an adult did something very inappropriate to the food in my presence, I would alert the concierge on duty. The concierge on duty should be trained to handle those types of situations and would probably be the best person to address the issue.
The problem with doing nothing in a case like this is that unsuspecting people coming later might be exposed to anything. The child very possibly hasn't had any vaccinations and might expose people to diseases from who knows where since the parents travel a lot probably to be in the CL.
I think you did good, but so many of the young people have been taught that discipline is bad and they don't know how to discipline. You had to learn to discipline within the modern guidelines of no physical pain, This mother probably wasn't disciplined or was disciplined too much and goes the other way. (My guess is none at all.)
Your experience taught us all to just go to mgr. first. Thanks for sharing.
Those are good points and I will keep that in mind. Seeing it in person may trigger a different reaction and may cause one of the approaches listed here.
To the above point of adults doing this type of thing on cruises, I have seen this (to a lesser degree) done by adults in the Concierge Lounge--the most often violations occur around the cheese plate with the various crackers, baguettes and garnishes as well as the whole fruit area if the Concierge Lounge offers whole fruit. In those cases, it did not result in me taking action. Having familiarity with children, I do know how some could be more bothered/concerned by a child doing this than an adult.
In my experience, most of the members with children in the Concierge Lounge are very respectful and make sure that their children do not cut in line, say please and thank you, etc. In addition, they often accompany the child on the first trip and watch them closely; on return trips, I have seen children unaccompanied.
On cruises, there are children's programs that are well organized, and keep the kids busy. I barely notice kids on cruises. They have their own area of the ship to play, their own area in the buffet area, their pool, etc.
If Marriott wants to be in this business, e.g. having kids in the lounge, they need to invest in children's programs like the cruise ships do.
Okay, I'm chiming in as I have a 10 year-old son so I feel I'm qualified. First off, I would have asked the child just one question, "Where are your parents?" which may have stopped the offending behavior. Nothing more needs to be said to the kid at that point. Then I would have gone straight to the attendant on duty and pointed it out as fast I could. It gives me the creeps that this kid may have just used the bathroom and didn't wash his/her hands. Totally gross. Where were the parents? IMHO it's the parents' fault for not going with their child to the food area. 5 year-olds are not capable of acting appropriately by themselves in a public food area which is why they should be accompanied. This is not their kitchen at home, it's where the rest of us come to dine in the hopes of not going home with e. coli or something worse. Approaching the parents won't do any good, since they let their kid roam around unsupervised then they probably don't care in the first place. Then I would be sure to mention it to the GM when I find them (and I will eventually). I consider taking my child into the CL a priviledge that I have earned, but I have made sure that he has manners and can act appropriately before doing so. It is readily apparent which children have had an "upbringing" and I make sure to sit as far away as possible from those who don't. Don't take me wrong, Insiders, I'm not a snob by any means but proper behavior and respect from children are top on my list. The CL is not a babysitting service!
Sledchick, it is my opinion, too, that the parent should have been with the child while he chose what he wanted to eat. I agree with you that a 5-year old is not capable of acting appropriately in a public food area because most likely that is how he acts at home. I like you attitude.
The outcome of the story.....The mother did finally approach the child to find out what he was doing. I mentioned to her (very quietly, not confrontational at all) that he was taking items out of the case, smelling them, then putting them back. In a very rude, loud voice she told me he was just choosing his bread, just like I was. I told her no, I was not taking it out, smelling it, and putting it back. I told the hostess at that time and she removed the items he had taken out. When the child removed other items from the case and put them back (without his mom nearby), I mentioned to her that he was doing it again. My mistake, I should have just told the hostess. Again, very loudly, she told me I didn't like children. I told her I loved children and had recently retired after 39 years in public education. My mistake again, because she practically screamed at me that she was glad I was not his teacher. At that point, I told the hostess I was leaving and why. My husband, who was sitting at the other end of the room and had not heard any of the exchanges, was surprised when I told him I was leaving. In hind sight, I should have left the lounge after reporting the incident the first time and realized how the woman would react. I was not confrontational at all and thought I was handling the situation appropriately.
We went downstairs and reported what was going on to the front desk supervisor who immediately said he would go upstairs to the lounge to see what was going on. He also insisted that he wanted to give us breakfast vouchers for the hotel restaurant. I had not expected any compensation, but was impressed with his immediate reaction.
The moral of the story is....do not take it into your own hands. Let the attendant handle a situation like this.
Oh, this outcome made me sad. You were trying to do the right thing, and got your head bitten off by an argumentative, rude and non-mannered mother wrongly defending her non-mannered child. I would have left the CL also, as it would have been unpleasant to stay there. People are such jerks sometimes! I'm so glad the front desk supervisor was on the ball and tried to make good of the situation for you. I want to personally thank you for being an educator -- it's not an easy job. These days there are more and more people like that mother out there, and I know I wouldn't have the patience to deal with them and their offspring.
I find it terrible that you had to endure this experience, and that your respectful approach was met with such rudeness. There is just no reasoning with some people. And knowing you as we do, I would agree with Sledchick, that you must've been one really great teacher.
As I stated earlier, the host/hostess/concierge should be trained to handle situations like these. If my child caused the offending action, I personally would have no issue if another member approached me about it. I think a lot of parents would also handle the issue appropriately.
That being said, there is a % of parents out there that would be immediately defensive about it so it does not surprise me that you had this very unfortunate and hostile experience.
In my opinion, there are just too many people bringing in their kids to the lounges. All my last visits had kids in the lounge.
How many people are you allowed to bring into to the lounge?
I thought it was a +1. A couple with 1 child is 3, and if they have more kids its like 4,5,6 etc in there.
The kids get noisy, the parents add to the noisy by shushing them
The kids pay no head.
They should just take the food back to the room and leave us in peace and quiet in the lounge.
I agree that there seems to be a growing number of children in the Concierge Lounge; if the Concierge Lounge is open for the weekend, it is all but a certainty. I have not brought any plus one into the Concierge Lounge (child or adult), but I can understand why someone would and in my stays, their behavior has not negatively impacted my overall experience.
That being said, it seems that there are a lot of threads going on right now where members have had bad experiences with children in the Concierge Lounge. I stated in another thread that whether or not children (or any plus ones for that matter) are allowed in the Concierge Lounge should be up to the individual property and I believe that is how Marriott handles it today. I've been to several Marriotts in touristy areas where there are a lot of kids in the Concierge Lounge and a few of these properties are very welcoming and accommodating. For Gold and Platinum members with children, I imagine this is a nice benefit and it may help these hotels with their weekend bookings. On the flip side, I imagine that some hotel's business that do not draw much family travel could be hurt by extending this benefit.
I find this a bit interesting... I've stayed at properties (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada comes to mind), where the Concierge Lounge was Gold and Platinum guests only -- no children, no spouses, no guests, no way to 'buy' your way in by staying on the Concierge Level, and I rather enjoyed breakfast and evening snacks at that hotel, recapping the day's business with my coworkers...
I can also see it the other way -- I routinely stay at Marriott properties on vacation as well, and taking my wife into the lounge for breakfast is important -- since it is often open later than the main restaurant downstairs in the hotel.
I have been seeing more and more unsupervised/unaccompanied children in lounges, and I have also seen several hotels that have signs posted on the CL door stating "no children under 18 unless supervised." Guess what? I still see kids in those without their parents.
In a CL in Buffalo, NY, several years ago, I remember seeing several teenagers (probably 15-16 years old) come into the lounge during evening snacks. They had obviously done this many times before, as it was well rehearsed. One of them asked the attendant for something that wasn't out on the counter. While the attendant was back in the back, they proceeded to _take_ two bottles of wine and pour half a bottle of liquor into glasses and leave. When the attendant came back, I politely pointed out (before the one waiting for him could leave) what had happened. He grew rather angry and stopped the last one from leaving while he called hotel security (this CL was on the ground floor, not on the top floor, so they were there in about 30-45 seconds).
Later that evening, when I was on my way out, I saw the local PD in the lobby talking to the kids, folks who were obviously their parents, and some of the hotel staff (including the lounge attendant). When I walked by, the attendant pointed me out to one of the officers. I politely informed the officer of what I'd seen (which two I'd seen taking the bottles of wine, which one I saw pouring the liquor into glasses) and went on my way. I don't know what ended up happening, but I had an envelope from the GM of the hotel in my room when I got back with a note thanking me for my help and $250 in Marriott gift cards.
I really think we should be allowed to bring 1 person in the lounge with us, whether its a colleague who doesn't qualify to be in the lounge, a friend, or on occasion I bring either my niece or nephew with me when I travel. Colleagues and friends have never been behavior problems. The kids can be. When they were younger I just removed them if they weren't responding to requests. After that they had to sign contracts that stipulated their dress code and behavior, or else stay at home with the grandparents, or their father. Now that they are grown, its amazing when we travel. They are always telling me the outfits they are packing, and what they are planning to do. So I guess they eventually learn, but the goal was to make it as painless as possible for the rest of us.
My opinion seems to be counter to yours, GemPrincess. My wife and I occasionally travel with three of our grandchildren. We enjoyed two stays at the Renaissance in Denver last year and one of the reasons that we booked the hotel was the lounge. As paying guests (once paid with $ and once paid with points - no difference to me) with lounge access privileges, the five of us used the lounge each morning for breakfast. We did not take our grand kids to the lounge in pajamas, as I have seen others do. We made sure that they were both well behaved and well supervised. Except for taking five places in the lounge we were, in my opinion, perfect "lounge guests." The first morning the lounge was very crowded because half of the business travelers had brought their luggage into the lounge probably checking out). There was a ton of luggage strewn around and it literally blocked access to the coffee. To me, that was more of a disruption than our family.
I used the lounge at the Atlanta Perimeter Center for breakfast just December 2012 traveling solo. Two women, obviously traveling on business together, had pulled two tables together and had their laptops and work spread out. There was no place to sit. I thought that they were inconsiderate to do that during a time when the lounge was packed.
So, my point is that it is not children or families, rather people who are inconsiderate of others.
I agree. I have seen many families in the Concierge Lounge and most of the parents/grandparents are very mindful of the other guests and the children are very well behaved and polite (even if they are very young children). I spend a lot of time at sporting events, amusement parks, shopping centers, movie theaters, and children in the Concierge Lounge are much more well behaved than the children in those other venues (but even in those venues, the behavior of the children does not really bother me that much).
I really haven't seen much disruptive behavior in the Concierge Lounge. The last few times, it was actually big groups of adults who were there the entire night, but even in those cases, it was not the end of the world.
Seems to me (and I may be alone on this) that rudeness is rampant in the land, whether it is the obsession with screens, phones, tablets, or televisions.
Stroll the streets of any major city and if you hear "excuse me," or "sorry" you'll be shocked, as I am, that anyone uses those terms anymore. And, line-cutters, loud movie talkers, pushy and wild drivers, and finally, Concierge Lounge disruptive persons of any age are the norm.
Just my take, and I am willing to be flogged for stating it, but please say "sorry" when you do (Oh wait I have to finish playing Angry Birds on my smart phone so don't bother me right now)
We live in a world of rudeness, sadly, and it is getting worse by the day. I think that texting in church and Broadway theaters is becoming the new thing;that glow is a dead giveaway that you've got to connect to something all the time.
If you've seen the play "Kinky Boots," you know that the admonition about using phones is taken very seriously by the cast. One actor threatens, in a humorous way, anyone who crosses the line.
Yep. The list for rudeness is getting so long. Driving while on the phone and going at slow speeds (even where it's illegal to do so) is one of my greatest irritations besides being scary when they're behind me.
Taking up 2 parking places so you can be sure to get in and out easily when there are only 5 spaces near the building (2 are handicapped). Parking in the handicapped access just because there's room for your car. Parking your car closest to the bldg. when you're going to be taken to the airport and leaving your car there for at least a week.
Not waiting for the people to get in or out of the space next to you before opening your door and spending a long time getting an infant unstrapped or strapped in the car seat when it would just take a few seconds to wait.
Purposely driving in the left lane to hold up traffic and not moving until ready to exit the interstate.
Teenagers in a movie theater passing around their cell phone to look at their pictures, and I'm talking about a group of 6 or more who all have to see each picture.
Calling people names because they don't look or act the way someone thinks they should or laughing at them.
There are really some unhappy and rude people out there to do all of this without consideration for anyone else.
And a lot of it is a lack of being taught any better. My son's friend who was born without arms was told by a guest in her home that he was glad her husband had shown him her picture so he would be warned about how bad she looked. Her husband told that scenario to the other workers at their mutual place of employment and they were shocked, but he proceeded to yell it to her husband the next day at the grocery store at which they worked.
Yep. That's bad about a non-handicapped person borrowing someone else's car or placard to use handicapped parking.
I still stick with disappearing manners rather than gone. I consider you and your expectations to be a good example that they aren't gone.
lakersfan has well - mannered grandchildren.
My son and husband always hold the door open for people and my son races ahead to open it for women. I'm treated like really well around our place as the only female, but I also try to be considerate of them.
I'm sure it's that way with most everyone on this site. I haven't noticed anything that would say otherwise.
I would expect your opinion to be counter since you are one of the people bringing in children to the lounge. As my mother always said no parents (or grandparents) ever think their child is a problem because it does not bother them.
Actually I do not see the difference between you with a group of 5 in the lounge, and a business traveler who has either earned the right, or paid a higher rate to be in the lounge at a table. I just about always sit at t table alone in the lounge. I have earned that privilege, and I don't think I should have to share a table unless I choose to.
Nor do I expect to listen to families with their children from across the room, the kids making noise, parents repeatedly shushing them, but making no move to remove them from the lounge.
If you have to shush your child more than once, you should have already left the lounge!
For me, I simply consider the atmosphere, quality/variety of drinks and the comfortableness of the Concierge Lounge a bonus and not an expectation. The only expectation I have with the Concierge Lounge is that if it is open during my stay, I expect to be given access. The Concierge Lounge should, of course, be clean, safe and everything (to the best of the hotel's ability) should be in working order, but those are the standards for all facets of the hotel and not just the Concierge Lounge.
In terms of noise, I do expect the hotel to address noise issues that they can control while my room doors are closed and windows are shut. I understand the frustration with a noisy Concierge Lounge, but I do not expect the same peace and quiet in the Concierge Lounge as my room. It is a lounge after all and there could be many guests in there so a noisy environment is sometimes inevitable. The host/hostess should proactively address noisy tables that are disrupting other Concierge Lounge guests though I think what is too noisy is subjective. Concierge Lounge guests may have to bring up the noise with the host/hostess to get the issue resolved.
I have always viewed the Concierge Lounge as a bonus and not an expectation (like the Platinum arrival gift, bonus points, etc). I will say that when I've been in the San Jose area for the weekend, I used to stay at the Santa Clara Marriott--great rate, great fitness center and free weekend parking. But their weekend breakfast in their Concierge Lounge (which is in the hotel's casual restaurant) is only continental. A lot of families stay at this hotel--great rate, great pool, close to the amusement park, etc.--so it is possible the hotel has to accommodate more Gold/Platinum members and their families so they do not offer a full weekend breakfast.
For me, this has moved me over to the San Jose Marriott--you get a breakfast in the Michael Mina restaurant there--and even with the valet parking fee, the combined hotel/parking rate at that San Jose Marriott is sometimes only slightly more since the Santa Clara Marriott recently raised their rates...probably in anticipation of the new 49ers stadium.
So that is the case of the "crowded" Concierge Lounge having some impact where I stay, but the reality is that probably families contribute much more than me or other solo adults to that hotel on weekends. If you are a family friendly hotel and it is core to your business, families should come first--especially on weekends (in my opinion).
I do exactly as you did and I will nicely alert parents of the rugrats at times like you did as well. So allow me a second to opine on kids in concierge room, admirals clubs, and other spaces where constant travelers like myself go because of status or paying for some quiet once in a while. If your kids have no social grace and are badly behaving kids (parents you know who you are, and it is usually 95% your fault they don't know how to behave) don't bring them in the areas. Keep them in the rooms and go and get food for them and bring it back to them. It is very rude. Also if your kids are behaving and the areas are extremely busy, don't choose that as a teaching moment for your kids to choose there food and take forever to make a decision, that is also rude. You may think it is cute, but for people like me it is not. I don't think it is cute for your kids to yell and scream and run around in the admirals club and bump into me when I am catching some down time between flights. Take your kids outside to the regular terminal for that. I get sick and tired of parents out there saying this is what kids do or he's doing what a six year old or seven year old does. That is code word for I don't know how to teach my kids to behave. I was raised to be quiet and polite in all public places. If I stepped out of line, I learned very quickly it was not acceptable behavior and never did it again. (and no I was never hit) It is because my parents talked to me all the time about acting properly and there where consequences for not following rules. When we went out, my parents told me what level of behavior was expected in every social situation. My nephew, who I am very much a father figure for, was taught the same lessons and we get compliments all the time about how polite and well behaved he is. And he was always well behaved when he was 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and now 10. Cause we constantly remind him to have manners. I just used these same tactics for my cousins terrible kids cause they are lazy. He would not eat his food and they were starting to cave. I told them to go away and told them I would make sure he ate his food. Guess what he ate his food, cause I was firm, never raised my voice and told him I will just sit here until he ate. He knew I was serious and was not gonna cave and ate right away.
Sometimes, what's taught in school curriculums accounts for our children's ideas going astray from our own.
My husband and I are extremely conservative, but our youngest son, and maybe the other 2, is extremely liberal. I had thought that maybe all of his friends were also liberal, but that's not the case.
Do not be concern about the children only.
The Marriott Marquis Hotel in San Francisco over the Christmas/New Year 2013 Holidays averaged 600- 800 Platinum and Gold members; adding spouses and their children there were about ~ 1,800 folks having breakfast and access to the lounge.
My hat goes off to the Marriott staff, they worked hard, had amazingly positive attitude, work feverishly to provide best service to all.
We may need to align and adjust our “Lounge Expectations” as the MR LP, PP, P and Gold Level memberships are being further diluted, many thing about the “MR Lounge” will change further.
Wow. Great stats. I always wondered how many people have access to the Concierge Lounge. They do a good job at that lounge and it is open for breakfast and nightly appetizers 7 days a week. It was a mad rush at 5:30 p.m. and they did put out a lot of food to appease the big crowd.
Will look like my last visit to the United Lounge in Newark airport.
there were 7 attendants checking people in.
I walked through 3 huge rooms several times and could find no where to sit...not at a table, not at a bar.
Finally went to the gate where there were plenty of open seats, and did not have to wait long for Boarding Group 1 to board.
Pretty amazing when you have lounge membership, a 1st class ticket, and there are no seats?
Guess that is what happens when you hand out membership to everyone (credit card holders, hotel loyalty programs, etc)
All this talk about children in the Concierge Lounge, plus ones, plus twos, and people getting access via paying a hefty annual fee on a credit card...if the hotel/airline wants to allow this access to more than just the frequent traveler or limit access...so be it.
The only thing I would like to see the Concierge Lounge do is require sign-in (even if it takes some time to do verification / confirmation). I don't think many people are sneaking into the Concierge Lounge. But as pointed out by several threads recently, some seem to think this happens a lot. If it does, I think Marriott should take necessary efforts to prevent/discourage it because that is just plain stealing. This is both the right thing to do for the hotel guests who have legitimate access as well as the many non-Gold/Platinum guests who obey the rules and do not sneak in.
I have noticed that the lounges where the locks work on the doors, it not such a problem. A couple of lounges the locks don't work, or someone unlocked them, and this is probably more of a problem. Once folks know which properties do this, they can just amble into the lounge as they like.
Our last time in EWR we found the same thing in both of the UA Clubs. Seems around 4-6 PM is when it's the worst as the international departures as getting ready to head across the pond and it's filled. I'm not going to even renew my club membership any more, it's just not worth it.
Oh and there are plenty of kids running around as well.
Its like you were reading my mind!
It was 4ish and we were waiting on our 5:10pm Rome flite. Luckily, we stayed at the EWR Marriott in comfort until around 2pm, enjoyed our quick shuttle ride to the terminal, had lunch in Gallagher's, and then I though, we have an hour to kill, why not try out the new lounge access. Big mistake on my part. I forgot to mention in the original post, despite 7 associates checking in guests, we still waited in line quite a while as it was a long line. Then circled several times, and finally decided to wait in the gate area. It was great to be 1st in line for priority 1, and then in our lovely Business 1st seats thanx to transferring my Marriott points to United!
I think everyone who would choose to ignore or overlook this behavior is way off. There are two sayings that really apply here: "It takes a village..." & "All it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing" (wording may not be exact)
When I see a child behaving poorly without the parents caring or providing any direction or discipline, I have no issue in giving the same stern glance I use on my children. This frequently works. If not then a simple statement along the lines of "Please don't do that" will almost always stop it. When the parents encourage poor behavior it is definitely time to get management involved and request they intervene.
I think properties such as Pittsburgh Marriott North (Cranberry) have it right. Their lounge doors are open and you feel welcome immediately. They do not have to lock them because the only way you can get in is if you are a guest on one of the Concierge floors. I love when a property has an elevator which is run by room keys.
Have stayed there many times and alway get upgraded. They actually walk out to me from behind the front desk to hand me my room key and welcome me to the hotel! Because of needing to use your key card in the elevator to get to your room and the CS, you get another level of security which is always good.
Interesting lounge experience this weekend!
Was delayed waiting for a rescheduled meeting and decided to wait in the lounge. It was well after breakfast but before evening, and I decided to invite a friend who lived nearby to come over and just catchup while waiting. Asked at the front desk if the lounge was available to wait in and they said yes.
Walked into the lounge and the only 2 people there were obviously conducting an interview. I walked in, grabbed some soft drinks and sat down. My friend was hesitant asking me if it was okay to be there while someone was 'working'. I told her it was not Marriott personnel, just other guests, and they really should be using the lounge for meetings, as it was intend to be a social gathering area. They were talking so loud, that even though we sat at the other end of the lounge, we could hear every word. The minute I started talking with my friend, the male interviewer would raise his voice as to overtalk us. He proceed to interview one woman, and then a man.
Finally the concierge arrived, and started setting up for evening snacks, and we started talking with her. She was so incredible nice to us, bringing out food early, getting great things from the kitchen just for us. It was unbelievable. Bet she is tired of this meeting **** as well.
Then another group of 3 came in, also holding a meeting, but at least they were very quiet, mostly working on their laptops, and occassionally chatting. When some one is quiet and unobtrusive, I guess it really doesn't matter who they are or what they are doing.
Its the loud, noisy people who think the lounge is their private suite.