During the past 15 years, or so I have been to about two dozen CLs. most are good. A few are superior and a couple really came up short.
The best was clearly The Amsterdam Marriott. There was no close 2nd. Other excellent ones were Marriott Rive Gauche, The Budapest Marriott at the Chain Bridge, Vienna Riding School Renaissance, and Baltimore Harbor Renaissance. These were all several cuts above the others.
I've only been seriously dissatisfied twice: the Charleston, SC Marriott, served really substandard food and the staff at the New Orleans Marriott in the French Quarter delivered very poor service..
Who else has some CLs to recommend or some suggestions as places to avoid? What are your most and least favorites?
Off the top of my head in no particular order:
I'm sure there are more, but these stand out right away.
I’ve seen many posts lately with references to lounges at Marriott properties; this one about most and least favorite is the most recent one so I thought I’d add to it. Sorry this got so stinking long, I’ve been adding to it for months. After reading all the posts I think it would be really, really nice to have information regarding lounge offerings somewhere online. Like the price of alcohol, what constitutes a continental breakfast, those that offer points versus complimentary continental breakfast, generic description of food available in lounge, i.e. meat versus no meat for breakfast.
Another reason for compiling this information is to point out the inconsistencies from lounge to lounge. Wouldn’t it be nice to know one could get a glass of wine for a set amount in EVERY lounge? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that all lounges offered at least one hot appetizer and one cold appetizer each night (and different ones each evening), in addition to cheese, crackers, raw veggies, dips, etc? Wouldn’t it be nice to know one could get bacon or sausage at breakfast in every lounge? Wouldn’t it be nice to know which lounges were open Saturday and Sunday in addition to weekdays?
The lounges are a great benefit and the staff members are typically wonderful; hard working and pleasant. It was pointed out in another post that there will always be someone who drinks three glasses of wine and only writes down one glass on the honor bar slip. My solution? Do away with the honor bar; all drinks are free. Cheers! And if that doesn’t go over at corporate Marriott check out the situation at the Seattle Airport Marriott Concierge Lounge below in my additional notes; this was the first time I’ve seen it.
My ratings below are mainly for food and beverages in the lounges; all the hotels below were ones I’ve stayed at in the last year, mainly in my favorite city, Washington DC, and were good to great as far as room, staff, value, location, etc. At the very least maybe these will help someone make a decision at which Marriott property to stay. I hope people add to this with ratings of their own.
Concierge Lounge Ratings 1=Terrible 10=Fantastic
Food and Beverage
Breakfast Evening Ambiance
And a few extras:
Springhill Suites Minneapolis, MN Airport 10 6
Courtyard Washington Convention Center, DC 8 10
Residence Inn Minneapolis/Bloomington, MN 7 6 6
A note about breakfast at Springhill Suites; it was included in the room rate which was about 50 dollars less than the full service Marriott for the same night when I stayed there. The breakfast was actually better than many of the Concierge Lounges; eggs, cheese, sausage, bacon, yogurt, cereals both hot and cold, breads, pastries, and my favorite, little disposable packets of Nutella. The property I stayed at had a small bar on the premises so I could enjoy a glass of wine the night I arrived; they also offered some bar-type food but I didn’t sample any of it.
My all time favorite Courtyard on 9th and F in DC has some decent breakfast offerings in the Bistro and I always get a coupon for a complimentary breakfast for each day of my stay. I usually have the breakfast sandwich; egg white, and Canadian bacon on an English muffin with some fresh fruit to go with it. There used to be a Concierge Lounge open during the week and I think it might still be there but it’s been so long since I’ve there on a weeknight I can’t give any ratings or recommendations. The rating of a 10 for ambiance includes the building, a stately old bank, the location, and the incredibly wonderful staff.
I hadn’t stayed at a Residence Inn for a long time but stayed at this one in Minneapolis in May 2015. The evening snacks and breakfast were included in the room rate. The snacks at night consisted of tossed green salad and dressing, and toppings such as shredded cheese, tomatoes, and bacon bits. The only hot offerings were chicken tenders and mozzarella cheese sticks, both deep fried. I don’t care much for fried food but I tried one of each and they were just okay. I loaded up on salad and a couple glasses of wine. The wine and beer were complimentary. There were brownies for dessert also. Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs and sausage, a breakfast sandwich made up of Canadian bacon, egg and cheese on an English muffin, oatmeal, cold cereals, toast, fruit, and yogurt.
great post, thanks! I am little surprised. Paying for a glass of wine in the lounge, even 10 Bucks? You got be kidding me. Every lounge in continental Europe I have been (many...) to offers free wine, and they are not counting (before you ask, 2 glasses max for me anyway). And the wine is not the cheap and ugly one, it is average quality wine, (I am living in the Palatine wine region, 400 kms from Burgundy and multiple visits to Napa valley, so I know what I am talking about).
I have stayed in multiple Residence Inns, breakfast is quite ok, comparable to even some Courtyards, but the evening reception i some hotels sometimes is really low (well, it is free, so no complaints)
You're welcome, paddyscherrer. Yes, wine in a Marriott lounge in the US has a price. Boo hoo. The last international lounge I was in was in Sydney, the food was GREAT and the wine was no charge; would love to visit more in Europe.
Also I see one of my words got censored; I should've used "twist" to describe the type of top on the wine in that lounge instead of that word that starts with an "s" and ends with a "crew". Oh well I'm sure everyone probably knew what I meant.
And yes, I agree, you can't beat free.
Yes you're correct, the Residence Inn I was just at had that manager type reception and the wine and beer were no charge. It seems just the full service Marriott hotels and Renaissance Inns or wherever there is a Concierge Lounge charge for wine, beer etc. I think my suggestion of all drinks for free in all Concierge Lounges would be very nice.
All the lounges that I have been to, in Europe served free wine and beer. In the US, I have been to a few hotels where the first glass was complementary, but that is all I've gotten here. My understanding is that Ritz Carlton includes alcohol in their lounges but the lounge is not free for most guests.
The last time I stayed at the Key Bridge Marriott (11/14), I have to say that I was underwhelmed. The food in the CL was tolerable, and the lounge, like the rest of the property was pretty tired and dated looking. Lounge staff were lovely however, and we enjoyed watching the rowing clubs out on the Potomac during breakfast (for anyone interested, the lounge is closed on weekends with breakfast served in the restaurant downstairs).
My most favorite lounge would have to be the Prague Marriott, which is outstanding.
Sometimes no lounge is better than a lounge. I've mentioned this before elsewhere I think, but the Marriott in Freising, Germany (outside of Munich) has no lounge, yet the substitute offering is better than a lounge. They gave us coupons for a free meal (delicious) and drinks (we had wine) in the lobby lounge with excellent ambiance and then breakfast is served in their spacious, cheery morning breakfast room with an enormous and varied number of offerings, all outstanding. Costa Mesa Marriott and Newport Bayview Marriott, no lounge, but the complimentary breakfast buffet in their restaurant is superb and includes an omelette chef. Same with Monterey Marriott. Since the Costa Mesa and Newport Bayview properties are all suite properties, for me evening lounge offerings are not really necessary.
Good to know about Budapest and Okinawa. Both are on my travel list.
Victoria Harbor is great, but probably the best one at the moment in my opinion is the one at San Francisco airport.
Worst....University Marriott, Salt Lake City is right up there. The staff was great, but the food was absolutely terrible, and almost every option was fried.
OK, I'll play, giving this an international dimension...
Exec lounges in the UK and Europe are not so common, so after about 600 nights staying almost exclusively at EU and UK Marriott's only those with Exec lounges feature here. So this is my view, somewhat coloured as an avid Beer drinker!
1. London St. Pancras Renaissance... Strong breakfast offering with choice of full free breakfast in the restaurant, or the very good, but somewhat more restricted offering in the lounge. Lovely afternoon tea food with fab sandwiches and a wide offering of different teas. Lengthy evening food offerings and even longer beer/wine available all afternoon and evening till 11:30pm makes this easily the best exec lounge I've ever been to. But it comes with a catch, the lounge is called "The Chambers Club" and with that technicality it's not "actually" a lounge at all, so only Plats get elite access, Golds have to be in the much more expensive chambers wing to gain access. Hence for Golds this has to be the worst lounge in the world, as they don't get in, but for Plats, or anyone paying the extra for a chambers wing room, it's an absolutely top lounge!
2. London Renaissance Heathrow... Breakfasts are quite good and evening offerings very strong, with a 4-hour beer and wine service. The revamp of the lounge and it's runway view push it well up the table. This hotel is easily available at £70/night inc parking and that's great value especially as the evening food really can be a full meal, and has been for me on a few occasions!
3. Copenhagen Marriott... Breakfast is full offering in the restaurant at weekends, so that can't really be bettered. Evening food is good on hot but weak on cold choices. Alcohol is a 5 hour Carlsberg gutting session, pushing it way up the list
4. Leeds Marriott... Good offerings at breakfast with lengthy and good evening food plus even longer beer/wine gives this hotel a very surprising place. Added to the fab restaurant and bar, makes this my favourite "value" UK/EU Marriott.
5. Brussels Marriott... The hotel is situated only a minutes walk from the medieval city square and couldn't be more central. Rates are very reasonable and this ground floor lounge is open 7 days a week serving light breakfast and evening food, but in plentiful quantities and with free beer and wine to help yourself.
6. Moscow Marriott... Strong breakfast in the lounge with free full breakfast to Gold/Plats in restaurant too mean mornings are unbeatable here. Strong evening food (easily capable of being a meal) and long beer/wine hours push it further up the list especially considering Moscow prices. It is however windowless so you don't see much of Moscow, though Moscow hotels are very expensive for food and drink so it does make this a top redemption venue for Gold/Plats.
7. London JW Grosvenor House... Good offerings throughout the day with breakfast, afternoon tea and evening food means even though it lacked free beer/wine it still figured well, though as I understand it, the new improved lounge may now offer free beer... WooHoo
8. Paris Rive Gauche... Good breakfast with strong evening offerings, lengthy free beer/wine. Closes on Saturday night only.
9. Dubai JW (old)... Weak breakfast (in comparison to the outstanding restaurant selection) but fair evening food with wines/spirits, albeit short hours. Far too few tables can however leave you standing.
10. Edinburgh Marriott... Fair breakfast and in restaurant at weekends, long alcohol hours but somewhat limited food options means this one just scrapes into the top 10. All the same, it's good, the only reason it's at the bottom of this list is the rest re so much better.
I've also sampled the delights of the lounges at Cardiff Marriott, Grosvenor Square Marriott, Leicester Marriott, Newcastle Gosforth Marriott, West India Quay Marriott and Windsor Marriott. All do breakfast and evening offerings but either due to short alcohol hours, uninspiring food, weekend closures or just events beyond hotels control have not ended up in the top 10. All do serve free beer so none can possibly be marked down as poor, which means I've never been to a poor lounge, but then so far I've only stayed at 3 North American Marriotts.
Finally, I'm giving the Philadelphia Downtown Marriott an honourable mention as although it can't make the top 10 due to a lack of beer and weekend closure sans free brekkie, but when it is open the breakfast and evening food selections are very strong, much stronger than most in this list. And another honourable mention goes to the Marriott Porte Monaco as the lack of an exec lounge is compensated by this hotel via a free (small) minibar with beer, sodas and snacks, restocked daily. Book a Marina view room and wind down at the end of each day on the balcony with a last beer, Wonderful! Then there's full breakfast in the restaurant overlooking the marina. We sat outside and enjoyed our breakfast alfresco every morning. An excellent redemption option!
Wow, some great choices, and here are a few notes to share with you:
To relax from your own deck at Porte Monaco, (Cap d' Al), is really something special! It's worth bringing your comped items back up to the room to enjoy the fantastic view!
Agree totally, on Copenhagen & London JW, as well.
Would like to also add:
Mexico City JW
WDC, JW, the historic view is a wonderful experience!
Portland Marriott, City Center.
These places make traveling fun!
Marriott (new one) Dubai : Wonderful hotel and concierge lounge. Fantastic breakfast and evening reception, including free drinks. Staff here are outstanding. Got put on Concierge floor using a points redemption.
Denver Marriott: Again, great lounge and nice staff on concierge floor. Saw guests walking out with full bottles of wine...not good guests... This is the downtown hotel near convention center.
JW Hong Kong: Fantastic congierge lounge, food and service. Highly recommend. Excellent food.
Renaissance HK: renovated concierge lounge is very good. Excellent breakfast with stunning views. Evening reception crowded but nice.
Marriott Round Rock (Austin North) : Very nice concierge flow and lounge. Decent food and accommodating staff.
Renaissance Amsterdam: Again, lovely staff and lounge. Very accommodating.
Marriott Rive Gauche: I second all good comments above from contributors.
Marriott Boca Raton: Great service and nice offerings. Lounge a tad on the small side.
Marriott Park Ridge, NJ: Lovely lounge and nice offering. older hotel in good setting.
JW Marriott NOLA: Stayed last August with son for a BTS shopping trip. Put on concierge floor and loved the lounge. It is small but well appointed, accommodating, and plenty of free food and drink. The breakfast was excellent.
Marriott Marquise, NYC. had a great NYE week there with family. Was put in room next to lounge and sons (who are young adults) were given access to lounge. Had a fabulous experience with points redemption.
Renaissance 57th st.n NYC: Pre christmas week getaway with son. Had a fantastic time and lounge is in a nice location. Drinks not free, but its on a cool floor in a boutique hotel.
Renaissance times square: Love the lounge overlooking times square mall. However, at Christmas season it is usually rented out for private parties and closed to guests. Be forewarned. free breakfast there is excellent.
JW Cancun: Lounge access is actually part of a "buy up" package that was not available the week I was there with my boys...but no problem, staff was fantastic. Restaurants were great and using a points redemption for 2 rooms we had fabulous rooms with stunning views, loved our cabana and had a memorable week. Note: I checked out the casa magna and the Ritz, I would recommend the JW of the 3 properties.
My favourite lounges:
Dulles Airport Marriott (the only US lounge on the list)
Leipzig Marriott (they let us eat breakfast at the restaurant)
Courtyard Sha Tin Hong Kong (improved food offerings drastically since it's opened)
Leicester Marriott (enough hot dishes) but replenishing food is rather slow
Shanghai Marriott City Centre - impressive spread, flagship lounge
No go lounge:
Bakersfield Marriott - no hot food, cocktail hours is salad and cheese.
Copenhagen Marriott - in general this hotel is my no go because from check-in to check-out it's like they are doing me a favour letting me staying there.
The rest I didn't mention are ok
BEST: Charleston Marriott Hotel Wonderful newly refurbished lounge on the 13th (PH) floor. The evening service is fantastically good -- the food/beverage/catering department really outdoes themselves. Nice big outdoor terrace with a view of the city (but noisy). They seem to like a "theme" -- i.e., Italian night/Mexican night, etc. Beautiful vegies and salads everynight, excellent cheese/cracker selections and smoked salmon. Really. The only downside is the occasional guest who thinks it's ok to bring along 4 kids who act like they have never had a meal before. And then they trash the place (don't pick up after themselves) and leave.
WORST: Renaissance Asheville Hotel It's the WORST because it isn't there anymore. It's been closed. Yep - there is a "Concierge Floor" but no Concierge Lounge. "Too many Golds and Platiniums using it and not enough room". And this is a HOTEL with banquet facilities? Sounds like another Marriott "cheap skate idea" like the Residence Inn Mix that is supposed to be a good deal for the guest.
Yep - the Charleston Marriott really turned itself around. They even had smoked salmon, various nice deli boards (meats and cheeses/grapes/etc.) as well as several hot selections -- empenadas, quesadillas, fresh guac and salsas, etc. etc. Nice BIG plates, real silverware. Put it back on your "good" list!
Well, semgal71 I guess you win the prize for identifying the worst lounge, the one that's been converted to a guest room! I guess by the sounds of it the Ren Ashville has too many elites and wants to reduce the numbers staying. Cutting out the exec lounge should do the trick!
Since the new Lounge was installed on the ground floor the Grosvenor House in London it is one of the most stylish and spacious I have found. The Lounge at West Quay in London Docklands is very pleasant with nice views and weekend service. The surprise is perhaps the Regent's Park, London where the fit out is a bit dated but very pleasant. The service at Maida Vale, London is always good. The Lounge at Cardiff is open at weekends and well stocked.
The new Buffalo Marriott is supposed to be a smashing success -- I haven't been there yet but will be in June. However, the Concierge Lounge there is called the "M Club" -- supposedly where Marriott is going now in their high-end properties. It is the old C.L. idea, but located on the main floor, and non-elites can "pay admission" to use it. Not so sure about that idea. Has anyone been to an "M Club" yet?
Non elites have always had the opportunity to pay for access to the CL, by paying for a concierge level room! Admittedly that requires both forethought and the ability to eschew the cheapest rate that most of us dive straight into, so now that the lounge will become a checkin upsell, I do expect more guests to be tempted on arrival, though I suspect much will depend on the price.
(Hotels in the United States - Major City properties)
Easy choice - all in the same city (New York City - Manhattan)- located a few streets from each other:
JW MARRIOTT ESSEX HOUSE
Pros: Open Seven Days, very large selection.
Cons Not on concierge level (not even sure this property actually has a concierge level)
MARRIOTT EAST SIDE
Pros - Size and food selection - one of the larges CL's in U.S.
Cons - closed on weekends - not on CL Level
Least favorite and (my opinion) worst in the U.S.
MARRIOTT MARQUIS TIME SQUARE
Pros: Good location on a CL level - open 7 days
Cons - Don't have the energy to tell you all the problems with this CL - read other blogs
I like the East Side and have never stayed at the Marquis. The hotel looks like a zoo, with all that goes on there.n I would like to try the Essex House, but I now tend to stay in Brooklyn, near my son.
Interestingly, the resurrection of this thread has featured lots of good words about new lounges in Charleston and NO, which I had listed as my two worst when I started this thread.
With apologies to the Time Square Marriott Marquis (it is a well run hotel - except the CL) referring to it as a zoo is actually flattering.
Most are familiar with term "this place is as busy as Grand Central Station"......The term should replace "Grand Central Station" with "The Marriott Marquis"..............There is only one reason to get caught in that crowd and that is trying to get to a Broadway Theater!!!!