I would really like to know what others think of the new M-Lounges at many Marriott's with specific focus on the alcohol prices. I often stay at the Marriott SFO Airport, an excellent hotel, btw, and the lounge used to be quite informal on the top floor, with pour your own wine and honor bar. This was all removed and relocated to the ground level with the M-Lounge, a rather sterile environment. The honor bar was replaced with a digital wine metering device and the prices for any pour are exactly set and metered by a machine.
Worse yet, the prices in the old lounge were quite good, often a glass costing only $6 or $7. Now, the cheapest for a mere 6 oz is $9 and all the prices are identical with the bar/restaurant a few dozen feet away in the lobby. The lounge has lost the intimate setting it once had as well as any discount whatsoever for wine or alcohol.
In addition, in the previous location, each night offered different appetizer choices ranging from chicken wings to buttered chicken to pork. Now, each night is the same. Every night, one is offered buttered chicken, macaroni, cheese, vegetables. And I do mean the exact same appetizers 7 days per week. I'd like to at least offer the caveat the display is better than most other Marriott's, regardless of location, but it never varies....
1. should Marriott offer some discount to elite members in the Lounge?
2. should Marriott make some attempt to vary the lounge food offering during the week?
Sounds like they messed with a good thing. The whole point of the lounge is to have a quiet sanctuary to relax and unwind and not be in your room, or in the lobby, or in a usually loud restaurant/bar. Sounds like the property went for the money grab instead of realizing they offered a great service that elites really enjoyed. It is unfortunate.
the drinks changes and changing to machines is probably occurring because I have witness ALOT of people takin advantage of this NICE benefit.
the HARD working Concierge employee-- is running around... making sure everyone is "Happy" replenishing the food, plates, water, cleaning, ect. I have SEEN countless times were people help themselves to MORE than one drink, and not fill out a extra payment form. So they can be getting 3 glasses of wine for ONE charge. I am sure Marriott has been losing money of people abusing this WONDERFUL BENEFIT.
What you mentioned seems to be the case in about 50% of my stays at the Marriott SFO Airport. It is an open door! And many walk in who are not Gold or Platinum. How do I know? They think the alcohol is free, walk about in a daze as if they have never seen a lounge before. Just this week I was there and it was difficult to find a seat for breakfast. Door was wide open the entire time with no attendant.
The Miami Airport Marriott M-Lounge has two doors. The back door seems to be propped open every time I visit the hotel. The back door is easily visible throughout most of the lobby area and is near the bar. I see similar behavior mentioned about where non-elite members wander in and take what is available. I said something once to the front desk person but they just shrugged and said the door gets stuck. I told her there was something wedged under the door keeping it open. I got a blank stare back at me.
Even worse than this is yet another problem at the Marriott SFO...but it is a bit of a thread drift. The local homeless population has figured out how to use the gym shower/sauna! They roll a bag in, wait for someone in the gym to open the door from the inside, and set up a long camp/clean in the locker room. (Do real guests wash their underwear in the sink? Do they hang clothes all over the locker to dry?) I've pointed this out to the staff as well. It is rare to have them removed.
Its really evident when traveling abroad-especially to South East Asia. We were at the JW Bangkok in January. The lounge is top notch. Excellent service-full complimentary bar. Food cooked to order. breakfast, dinner. You really do not have to pay for any additional food.
Quite a contrast in the US.
This sounds like the hotel is doing the minimum, and trying to profit to the maximum. Marriott cut back lounge offerings as a result of the recession because they were unaffordable, now it appears to be doing so during the recovery because they're unecessary. Heads Marriott wins... Tails we all lose!
At the moment the hotel groups in Europe are standing firm, lounges offer a variety of evening foods and free alcohol "happy" 2-10 hours. Hopefully none will dare to make the cuts here for fear of losing out to the competition. Lounges like the Marriott SFO sound a particularly sad affair...
The SFO Marriott lounge IS a sad affair! While the ambiance is nice, very well designed and updated, they have lost all the real appeal by serving the exact same food each night and over-charging Premier guests....Yes, I do wish we could see lounges in the US similar to those overseas...
I do not know how things run ...Over Seas...ever gone
but it is WONDERFUL here at Tyson Corner Concierge Lounge in VA
FOOD... VERY YUMMY (Deserts are AWESOME, at times they run out too soon, got to grab them within 25 minutes) and different variety of Entrees.... EVERY night
WONDERFUL Employee ....Hard working and VERY FUN- layback/comfortable place to "hang out" at!!!
COME here....Concierge Lounge experience will NOT be disappoint to ya..
I think the wine prices in the concierge lounges are ridiculous. The lounges offer free food and free drinks except for alcohol in the USA. The lounges are supposed to be an amenity for those of us with platinum or gold status and in other cases room charges cover the concierge lounge. So why is alcohol singled out for a charge? Why not orange juice (which in some cases may cost Marriott about as much as the cheap wine that some lounges stock).
Why charge the same price as wine consumed in the hotel bar? Why not a discount at the very least? If the lounges in other countries can serve "free" alcoholic beverages, why can't hotels in the USA do the same?
I simply don't understand Marriott's conceptualization of the lounge any more. They are usually closed on weekends, they become profit centers for alcohol, they have inconsistent rules about breakfast when the lounges are closed, food offerings are inconsistent, etc. I doubt that Marriott's corporate office can even give a coherent description of what the lounge is intended to be.
As far as I'm concerned I see the wine prices as another of Marriott's "sleaze fees" (in the same category as mandatory resort fees).
I am very disappointed with the evolution of the cost of a glass of wine at Marriott hotels. I typically have 1-2 small glasses of red wine with dinner every night. The CL had complementary wine for many years, then started a small charge for a self poured glass. Now, the price for 4-5 oz in the restaurants, bars, and most CL are $8-$12 for a wine that typically would cost less than $8 per bottle. Additionally, they have eliminated the platinum arrival gift of a cheese plate and a split of wine. I now have to go out to eat in order to have a glass of wine and dinner within our corporate guidelines. Their nickel and diming margin enhancement is costing them my business.
I think prices in the CL should be discounted by at least 25% relative to bar/restaurant prices, or offer one free glass of wine as a arrival gift option.
Another post, right on the money. It may be possible to change the absurd charges with a bit of action.
Complain to Marriott Corporate
Quit paying $9-$12 for a 6 oz pour of average wine in the US. If you want the wine, go to the bar instead. Same price, maybe better pour! (Or bring your own as I often do)
I shared this story with the Concierge employee at this Marriott. He said... SOMEtimes .. the Marriott will have certain "tester" locations/properties tryout a "new thing" and see if it is effective and well recieved by customers. HOPEFULLY that is the case (just a trial run) and they do NOT change all the Marriott Lounges to a wine metering device..
I often bring my own wine if I'm there for a few nights. Since the bar and restaurant prices and pours at many Marriotts (especially SFO) are as bad or worse, I find a restaurant nearby. Therefore, Marriott is losing the incremental revenue I would have spent at the property.
Seems the topic has taken a turn. Speaking of my brief experience with the new M lounge, I am very impressed. The only one I have experienced is at the Marriott Columbus Airport, Columbus, Ohio. The physical room is a MAJOR upgrade. Both the appearance as well as the comfort are top-notch. The food offerings are also a MAJOR upgrade. As far as the libations, for some reason I just do not partake in the lounge so I cannot comment on the cost or quality of the offerings. In my humble opinion, if these new lounges bring in enough additional revenue to Marriott that MY experience gets upgraded, I'm all for it and welcome the enhanced experience.
Sorry about this months late resonse! It has been a busy year. If Marriott would indeed follow your suggestion with upgraded food/alcohol or increased service with the increased revenue generated, I too would be a fan. As it stands, it seems nothing has changes at the SFO Marriott, same dish each night, same high wine prices, but the employees are outstanding. I'd hate for my personal complaints about the prices or lack of variety to have any reflection upon the dedicated staff in the lounge or hotel.
For some reason, I don't generally partake in the evening lounge offerings in the United States. Not sure why... Either we arrive too late or are always busy in the evenings (and don't travel on business)... I've stayed at the fabulous Marriott Mayflower twice in the past 6 months and have never set foot in the lounge in the evening. In the U.S., lounges are more about breakfast to me. We did spend our first evening in NYC in the new M Lounge at Marriott Eastside, arrived early enough for it and went there to decompress from our travel day and discuss plans... It quickly grew on me. I liked it a lot. No I wasn't impressed with the wine offerings or the fee, but as I am rarely impressed with the wine offerings in hotel lounge/bars anyway, it's really no surprise. At least a glass of wine in the CL/M Lounge is less expensive. It will certainly do in a pinch. Would I like complimentary? Of course.
Europe is a whole different animal. Food and beverage offerings are more upscale and all complimentary, and as the custom is to dine late, we usually spend some evening time in the CL prior to dinner and are rarely disappointed.
In my limited experience, the M lounge hasn't really been either an improvement or disappointment compared to the CL lounge. Again in the U.S., either can be stellar or unremarkable. I think it just depends on the property.
WE have just checked into the Calgary Marriott and have been informed of their new M Lounge. Now the Calgary Marriott has been undergoing a major Reno/facelift and it is just about complete. This new M Lounge is open 24 hours a day as well as open on the weekend and it is exclusively for Platinum Elites. In checking this out we were stopped at the door asked our name and room number, the young lady manning the door had the listing of all Plats staying at the hotel. Upon entering we were greeted by a number of staff members... Bartender, busboy, chef who was cooking up the most scrumptious shrimps. There was a wonderful tomato fennel soup and a wonderful array of cheeses and Italian coldcuts. Yes the alcoholic beverages had a price tag attached to them but in my opinion this lounge was definitely an improvement over the concierge lounge. We will be here for a week so it will be interesting to see if there is any variety in the offerings...will keep you all posted.
Upon further clarification lounge is for both Gold and Platinum, miscommunication by young lady at the desk but the fact that it will be available on weekends is a major plus. Had a great breakfast there this morning, regular buffet style, fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, cereals, yogurt etc. wonderful service from the whole group manning this area.
I recently stayed in Teaneck, NJ and had a chance to experience their M Lounge. I was not impressed.
Pro: I REALLY like the 24 hour coverage. That's a huge advantage.
But almost everything else is a con.
The lounge is noisy. There are 4 TVs, plus the muzak in the lobby is loud and infiltrates the lounge and interferes with the TVs which already interfere with each other. And the remotes are hidden too. It is far from relaxing.
There is no view, being on the ground floor, and the windows are covered by curtains. It is far from relaxing.
The breakfast offerings are a step down in my opinion. Less variety, and pre-made things. I'd rather select my own fruit and my own flavor of yogurt, thank you. And some of the seating is quite uncomfortable. It is far from relaxing.
Yes, I can now order drinks, rather than pouring my own. I can even order food. Of course, I can just go to the bar/restaurant and get the same things for the same price in a more relaxing environment. The M lounge is far from relaxing.
And I was amazed -- a decent number of electrical outlets but not a single USB charging port! WTF?