Just finished a stay at the Asheville NC Ren and was surprised to learn the CL is only open in the evening. They no longer have it open in the morning. Instead, Golds and Plats are given a coupon for "continental breakfast" in the restaurant. This consists of cold items, such as the industrial muffins you can get in a cardboard box of 18 for $5 at Sam's Club, fruit and Wonder Bread, white or wheat, or frozen bagels. You need to go down to the restaurant and wait in line to be seated, which took about fifteen minutes this morning.
Where to begin....
The purpose of having breakfast in the CL is as a business traveler, I know I can get in quickly, grab something and be out the door. Who wants to wait to be seated?
There are no hot items. The "helpful staff" at this hotel insisted that was to bring them in line with the Marriott standard. Of course that means every other CL in the country I've been to must be doing it wrong, and only this hotel is getting it right. When I pointed out that other than Resorts, Rens provide breakfast, the restaurant manager kept insisting Ren doesn't have resorts. He needs to call the people at Orlando Sea World, Aruba, Phuket, etc, and let them know they don't exist. He was adamant on this point, so he better let them know quickly.
It would have been nice to have been given notice ahead of time, rather than to find out after checking in. When the Ren in Bangkok was not serving breakfast in the lounge, there were emails and a notice on the site. Also, they gave the full buffet in Flavours restaurant, which is huge. They did not nickel and dime me. They didn't try to squeeze more money out of me by requiring I pay for juice or eggs.
If this is becoming the brand standard, please, Marriott, just be honest and up front, let us know, so we can make travel decisions based on the full information. CL breakfast is one of the chief motivators in my staying at Marriott full service hotels. If you don't want to offer a quick, easy, hot breakfast option. that's your prerogative, but, of course, mine will be to stay elsewhere.
Thanks for posting, cjkatl, and for sharing this with the community. I will be sure to share your perspectives with the greater Marriott team, as I'm sure many frequent business travelers would agree with you!