Just checked into a new Marriot with a "M Club". Evening snacks were beef jerky and fried garbanzo beans. You have to be kidding me! This is just another way to reduce the perks. If this is the wave of the future I am going back to Hiltons. To prove the point there was no one in the M Club. Plus in the new model you have to walk thru the restaurant to get to this "club". Won't stay here or anywhere with a "M Club" in the future.
I hope your visit was an off one evief! I had no idea about this change.... I sincerely hope that the lounges are more often like the one in this review: http://hackmytrip.com/2014/03/marriott-introduces-m-club-lounge-2/
I made a reservation at the New York Marriott East Side which just opened an M Lounge on their second floor.
The good news - they are (currently, no doubt always subject to be reduced) offering an American breakfast
the bad news - others can buy in for $50 (which could lead to crowding)
Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members automatically enjoy access, plus one guest, as part of their elite status. All other guests can gain access for an additional charge. Additional charge is $50 and when making your reservation, please select the “M Club Lounge Access” offer.
M Club Lounge guests enjoy the following services:
A non Plat/Gold could see value in two breakfasts, internet, and beverages, turning the lounge into a crowded affair.
We'll see how this goes, but as Billy S. taught us, what's past is prologue .
I think the M Lounges are going to vary. Here's a report by SS255 (on FT; I have her permission to post here) right after the Marriott Marquis in DC opened (literally the day it opened).
The M Club is on the 12th floor. The mid-day snacks consisted of granola bars, Kind bars, Rice Krispy treats, nuts, and fresh cut veggies with ranch dip. There is a self-serve fridge with sodas and water bottles, but I was surprised and disappointed that there was no cappuccino/coffee machine - just carafes that had to be manually re-filled. (Fail)
The evening snacks consisted of two different kinds of hot rolls (the one I tried was really good), chips and guacamole dip, cheese, spring rolls, some kind of a filled pastry that reminded me of samosas, and sliced meat. The drinks at the Honor Bar ranged from $6 for a domestic beer to $11.50 for a martini. Mixed drinks are $9.50. I returned to the lounge around 9PM, and there was a decent selection of desserts and chocolates (including truffles) later in the evening.
There is one internet terminal right in the entryway, but if you walk all the way back, there is another (somewhat hidden) room with three internet terminals. The outdoor terrace is lovely, just not on a hot and humid day like Monday was.
The breakfast service (from 6-9AM) still needs quite a bit of fine-tuning. I arrived at “rush hour,” around 8:20AM. I noticed a man and a woman dressed in professional clothing (Management, I presume) whom I think were helping out due to staffing issues. Even with their help, the staff were unable to keep up with the replenishing needs. Please note that there was plenty of open seating available during the breakfast rush.
The continental spread consisted of your typical fare: yogurt, fruit (including blueberries and blackberries), breakfast pastries, bagels, lox, etc). There were 2 cereal dispensers, and one dispenser bottom with the cereal tube removed. The missing cereal tube was not replaced. The other two tubes contained Fruit Loops and granola. By the time I left the lounge at about 8:50AM, the granola tube had been completely emptied out. The missing tube looked very tacky.
The hot items were: Scrambled eggs (decent), bacon, sausage & potatoes.
There were two coffee stations: One in the thick of the action on the bar, and one right inside the entrance. The coffee pot containing the regular coffee had been removed from the station near the entrance, so I got my coffee from the more crowded station.
I had to ask for a knife and a napkin, which prompted the staff to replenish these items. When I left, I also noticed that the bagels were gone.
Hopefully the staff will get the rhythm correct very soon, because it was very chaotic yesterday morning.
i understand that club vary but they said they never do hot food, veggie, cheese etc. so all there was fried garbanzo beans and beef jerky, really not what I expected.
the he staff said they had had numerous complaints
i won't spend the money to stay there again
Then it's a decision that that particular property has made. I would let the GM know the reason you're no longer willing to stay there. S/he needs to know the consequences of his/her decision to cheap out. Since other M Lounges are providing more than beef jerky, it's not a M Lounge-wide policy. Good grief - you can get better offerings at a Residence Inn!
I don't think it's a way to downgrade membership, sounds to me like Marriott's trying to standardise the look of lounges and generate some F&B income by offering the restaurant/bar menu in the lounge. I suspect not all hotels will transfer to the M format, especially the non-Marriott FS (i.e. Autograph, Renaissance, JW) and Marriott's where due to lounge position on a different high floor and a long distance from the kitchen means its just not possible to offer the bar/restaurant menu there.
My only concern regarding this development would be relating to the non-US/Canada hotels where free food offerings seem stronger and free beer/wine is routinely offered for at least a couple of hours each night. If they changed to M lounges would this also be accompanied by a reduction to the US/Canadian model of deep-fried-thingy and no free booze. That would be a downgrade that would certainly cause me to look more closely at other chains (in the EU, Hilton and Crowne Plaza) which is probably why it won't happen that way here, every business would like to cut overheads but has to have a weary eye to their competitors offerings, where free assorted food and beer/wine remains offered in exec lounges by all brands
Never say never, but I doubt the int'l properties would drop down to US/Canada model. Int'l (so far) hasn't gone to the 500 pts or $10FB coupon like the US/Canada did. And as you note, int'ly the other chains still offer decent food, free beer/wine so competition comes into play.
However, getting back to the M Lounge model. I do agree part of the reason for it is to generate F&B revenue in the lounge (rather like those $10FB coupons). We do have a report on FT that the Marquis's M Lounge isn't offering food/drink on Fri/Sats. Open for brekkie only & key accessible for soft drinks.
Back to the OP - let the GM know the reason you won't be staying at the property again. If you just stay elsewhere they won't know that their decision is causing them to lose revenue.
Sheraton has started some "clubs" in resorts where everyone pays however elites pay less. The cost was around the $50 (don't remember for sure) and it could be somewhat crowded at times. It had breakfast and an evening snack. Wifi too. You could pick up water and alcohol had a price. If you have a couple, it can be a good deal. They charge per room not per person. Not good for 1 person.
M Lounges are a terrible idea for anybody other than a solo business traveler, and even then you're in a bind if you want to invite more than one colleague or client. From the above description, and from looking at them in Little Rock and Canal Street in NOLA, they offer nothing beyond soft drinks at off hours and the usual Concierge Lounge breakfast--that isn't that much better than the free spread at a high-quality Fairfield. I've stayed all over the country, with Platinum status for almost a decade, and this policy if allowed to continue is going to drive me away from the JW/Marriott/Renaissance end of the spectrum when I travel with family. I'm beginning to feel like I'm suffering from battered customer syndrome, and if it weren't for an occasional Points stay at the South Beach Stanton (which has a small lounge but lets Members bring their families) I'd burn off all my points in a wild orgy and stick to Fairfields: which gives you an equally warm welcome whether you're a first-timer or Lifetime Platinum. Or who knows, we might even try B&Bs if we broke the Marriott addition.
Believe me, folks, I was there at the beginning of the airline miles gimmick when Pan Am offered a real First Class in the air and Clipper Clubs on the grounds. You saw what the airlines have done and now you're seeing the future of Marriott: non-refundable cancelations last year and monetizing the Lounges this year. Don't say we didn't see it coming.