Has anyone else seen this yet? Looks like the overcrowding of the lounges is being addressed and a "light snack" is a new phrase. Sounds like airline talk to me for food offerings.
And thanks United/Marriott Rewards Plus for helping to crowd the lounges with non Marriott loyalists by giving high end MileagePlus Elites Marriott Gold status and helping create this change.
In my experience lounge offerings are very variable, and whatever the minimum standards are, at least here in Europe, no hotel follows them, since all European lounges I've been to allow alcohol. As for the elite plus one, I'm sure that was part of the introductory spiel some time ago, and is now enshrined in the T&Cs. In reality, the Marquis in NYC has long enforced an elite plus one policy. I also remember others being claimed to do so as well. I anticipate these changes will only effect the most packed lounges such as Marquis NYC and Niagara Falls, both of which I'm visiting with my wife and 4 teens in July.... ERK!!!!
You'll have to let us know how that goes, brightlybob.
I would be interested to know about how this impacts families that are traveling together!
I definitely will, joshm I am really looking forward to this trip. Absurdly so. Possibly more than the kids so! All these exotic locations, Oakville, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Albany. New York, Washington, DuBois and Niagara.
Very much looking forward to the Marriott Marquis on Times Sq and the Niagara Fallsview Marriott.
Alas, I'm missing out on the Washington Ren Mayflower as the kids really want to stay at the Holiday Inn with its exotic rooftop pool. I suspect they're thinking it's like the Ren Bacelona Fira (which features on the list of he best 500 hotels in the world). I've a feeling they may be disappointed with the Washington Holiday Inn. Never mind, I'll save up the Mayflower Ren for a future visit, sans Kids
You can have that one from me: I am happy, because my kids have an age where they normally behave. And if not I personally throw them out of the lounge myself anyway . So I would ignore the rule and try my luck as nobody seems to enforce anything. Yes, this might be annoying for somebody reading, but probably I have only 3 nights a year where I have a lounge opportunities AND my kids with me. (oh, that one calls for many answers...)
Bob, Stayed at NFM Fallsview that same time frame. Did not enjoy the stay as they seemed woefully unprepared for the volume of people. the Concierge was definitely one plus with a $5 option per person that joined. Which is fine but don't call a deep fried riceball with creamy sauce inside your hor d'ouerves. They were gross.
Not too big of change, hopefully will cut down on some of the crowding and large families loading up. "Light Snacks? Hmmm. I agree about the complimentary United "Gold" status for United elites. It stinks big time! If Marriott wants to try to increase business then lower prices or something. Don't give away status that many of us work hard to obtain and is due to our loyalty to Marriott- not United! United's match of Silver status for Marriott Platinum elites is a slap in the face.
I must be the only one getting anything out of the Silver Premier status at United. I guess I fly weird routes where there are not a lot of other people with status or paying first class, because I seem to get a first class upgrade on United about 40% of the time. Of course United has a load of problems getting any flights out on time or out at all, but that's another matter....
There are 2 main changes in the T&C:
1. Literally putting E+1 - so hotels can easily point at that and refuse to offer it to families - this E+1 thing is very vague, and most hotels interpreted the "E" as the only E in the name of reservation, i.e. both Mr. and I are Plat and they only extend the E+1 to him, not me.
2. The officially define lounge food as "light snacks", which means that a lounge can put a bag of Lay's and that is
This change doesn't only affect family, but to EVERYONE!
Don't you love when marriott is vague.
"We serve a 'light snack' in our lounge."
"Oh, what does that mean?"
"Whatever the hotel chooses to make it mean, duh."
I'll never understand how Marriott thinks they can guarantee consistency when there is not even a guideline for what hotels have to offer.
In fact, here's the language as of July 30, 2014, courtesy of a flyertalk post dated that date.
"Lounge Access/Free Breakfast
Free daily continental breakfast, light snacks and beverages for members and one guest in the Executive Lounge*. In the U.S. and Canada, choose between 750 bonus points or breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant if the lounge is closed. Select hotels will provide 1,000 points in lieu of breakfast in the event the lounge is closed.
* At JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection®, Renaissance® and Marriott Hotels® (resorts excluded)"
I agree with you that those have been the rules for a while. The text you quoted above is from the Elite Benefits page:
What is new is that the official Terms & Conditions were updated on April 29th to also include the same language.
What I mean is- the "elite plus one" and "light snack" language have been on the Marriott site for almost 2 years. The earliest debate I can find about it on FT is from July 2013. So why is everyone suddenly in a dither about it?
Some hotels enforce elite plus one, some don't. Some have better evening offerings some don't. And that decline started 10 years ago.
Personally I think anyone in a Plat member's room should be allowed in. We are a family of 4, and when my husband (the Plat) travels on business he doesn't use the lounge at all. He's not a breakfast eater and prefers to work in his room at night. The 2 weeks a year we are on family vacation with our 2 kids we do use the lounge (and sometimes one of those weeks is at a resort with no lounge). Overall our lounge footprint seems pretty low.
I understand what you are saying. Sounds like you probably make sure they are quiet and good guest's too. If you had 3 kids instead of 2 would you feel the same way about all going to the CL together? How about 4? What's the threshold?
At the JW in SF there were over 10 in a huge family and the kids were not using their "inside voices" either. Not enjoyable. I'm all for the opportunity to travel with family. I've seen members eat in pairs so as to not void rules. To each their own....to a limit. Each FS stay recently I (and others) have had issues with "families" abuse of the rules and general restaurant manners. JW SF and Marquis NYC were the worst! Not cheap hotels either. I suspect several families were making use of purchased upgrades...just didn't seem like repectful Elites to me. It's not McDonald's!
I'm inclined to agree with Vicki. The verbiage has been there for a while. What's new is they're trying to match two dif parts of the T&Cs to be consistent - something that doesn't often happen with Marriott. LOL.
Properties that went above & beyond previously will probably continue to do so, whether that's offerings or # of guests. Those that are not as customer service oriented will probably stick w/ the rules more & scale back.
As with all things Marriott, it will be a property by property thing.
Hi, why bother. Just had breakfast in the Marriott Lounge in Copenhagen. They told me I am not allowed to use the normal restaurant. This is what I got:
- They have no butter, only margarine. By default!
- no egg or croissant for 20 minutes. Then I left and came back 15 mins later again, still nothing.
Anyway coming from Europe (no Marriott credit cards) I am used to being 2nd class Marriott, so everybody stop complaining :-). At Hilton or IHG it is worse.
Thanks to MR for giving Gold Elite status to United and anyone else who asks, resulting in lounges becoming overrun and severely overcrowded, especially in the AM. Maybe MR can offer a CL family pass that can be redeemed by elites traveling on vacation with their families. The passes would allow 2 adults and 2 children in the CL. PP would get 4 passes per year, Plats - 3, Gold - 2, Silver - 1. Additional passes could be purchased for points or cash! Oh but wait, this would mean adding a benefit, and we know MR likes to take them away!
I have definitely seen a decline in lounge offerings since the beginning of the year! Some have moved away from any type of breakfast meat in the morning, only offerings eggs and oatmeal, along with the breads and pastries. With "Continental Breakfast," being formalized in T&Cs, I guess CLs can do away with the eggs and fruits at breakfast and still be in compliance.
Formalizing the, "light snacks," into the T&Cs is a little troubling in my book. What is the definition of light snacks? Does that mean a CL can throw a few bags of chips out and be in compliance? Does that mean the cheese and veggie trays will disappear as will the hot food items in the evening. I have seen the most of CLs go from offering a dessert in the evening that was usually a cake, pie or similar, to a variety of cookies. Now it is simply peanut butter cookies. Some lounges no longer offer any dessert item of coffee in the evening!
Is there a Marriott standard for lounge offerings and has that standard been changed along with the change to MR T&CS?
Updating the T and C 's allows individual hotels to adjust and point to new rules. Let face it if you go back ten years most conceige lounges offered a full meal and free drinks ( at least the ones i went to) . I think you will see truly lighter snacks but suspect some will be better than others. As always we will see and i am sure the insiders will let us know
I'm just hoping the +1 thing kicks in. I mean, hell, I don't mind if you have 5 people in your family and you walk each one down separately, but I shouldn't have to deal with what I dealt with in NYC, when I walk into the lounge and instead of being greeted in a friendly manner I get "Oh, there's a wait, what's your name and I'll call you when we have a table" and see what looks like 80 family reunions.
Marriott nerds to just mandate all hotels have a separate lounge for actual Marriott customers who are loyal to Marriott, and a lounge for people who are just there because they're loyal to some other company.
both Marriott and United benefit from this deal, and I get that. but United's customers get lounge access, which depending on how much you travel can be worth a substantial amount of money, and Marriott's customers get free checked bags,whuch can also save you some money but I can get that from a credit card for like $90
at least the Ritz card that gets you lounge access costs $400
why can't Marriott Platinum members get access to United clubs?
plus, United pulled out of priority pass (starting may 15) because of... you guessed it... OVERCROWING in their lounges.
The United Club membership is pro-rated for MileagePlus Premier members based upon their status, normal bump is around $50 different for each Premier level. Even Global Service folks have to pay for club membership so I don't see any Marriott Platinum members getting access other than buying a day pass or a membership. The UA Clubs at HUBS are already booming with folks during peak arrival/departure times.
I just was just sitting in the Copenhagen Marriott Lounge. Doors open, about 10-12 people, all about same age came inn instantly. All looking around, all queued then directly for food, standing in everybodys way, probably the first time they see a lounge from the inside. It was so crowded then, that I left. This bothers me! The little boy, sitting with his mom and dad playing on his tablet does not!
I'm not sure why, but I am seeing more classless activity in the CL's. PJ's mostly on children, but yes I too have seen adults in PJ's and no shoes. I've observed people getting drinks and wine from the honor bar in a dishonorable way(not signing paperwork). Many times I've seen more than 2 people come in together and crowd tables only to go to the buffet and literally stuff themselves and then take many items to their room or on their hike or sightseeing tour. I've seen and heard kids behave like they are at the playground. If Marriott is going to establish, republish or in other ways try to gain our attention....then enforce the rules. Add a few...like a dress code, no screaming kids etc.
Now as to why this is happening. I hazard a guess that it's mostly people buying access and its Gold members who fly United a lot and get the outrageously stupid Gold status whether they ever stay in a Marriott or not. They could care less about staying in Marriott's except for the occasional night on the town with the entire noisy brood. Sorry, but the CL experience is starting to stink.
While I agree that lounge behavior has deteriorated over the years I'd say that has more to do w/ society in general. I'd also like to a see a cite/proof that UA folk are especially boorish/drunk etc. It's all very good to throw around generalities, but unless someone walks in w/ their UA card plastered to their head it's a bit difficult to say that the boorish people are UA folk. Heck I could generalize that Americans in general are more boorish based on some behavior I've seen in int'l lounges. Shrug.
Bottomline it comes down to one point: Some people/families behave in acceptable manner, and some don´t. Therefore generalizing to Families/United/big groups is a wrong approach. Maybe the lounges should use the approach from the Milan Marriott. Every guest who signs in gets asked for Name and room number. And suddenly many at the lounge entrance turn away (Oh, I was just looking). So actually the smallest Marriott lounge I know (a room converted, about 10-12 seats) always has free places.
I Remember US CL's requiring sign in years ago. Interestingly, the Marriott Marquis seems to have pretty strong control at the door. I've observed them not allow someone in, and nicely bring them a cup of coffee at the door as they turn them away. Even with the control at the door the Marquis was one of the worst for crowds during my visit. As I think back about the past year, I think the worst crowding and behavior that I've seen has been in hot tourist spots...NYC, DC, San Francisco, LA. That's why I generalized the behavior and crowding coming from those who really didn't earn status. A good CL experience is awesome and I really appreciate the access that I've EARNED through my loyalty to Marriott!
The crowding at the marquis is why I chose the essex house over the marquis. Then I go down to breakfast one day and it was probably just as bad as the marquis was that day.
Since I have the ritz card now anyways, I've found myself looking at more and more RCs as opposed to FS marriotts since I have these club upgrade certs to burn. I have my first club level experience coming up in june, and we'll see how it compares. I feel like it'll be a little less hectic than the standard fare marriott CL.
This may come as a surprise to you, but elites go to touristy places during holidays, summers, etc. Those same elites might not care about lounge access or upgrades when they're on their own but they do when they have their families with them.
Also, someone may not be elite but if they've paid for exec level floor (which comes with exec lounge access), they have just as much a right to the exec lounge as any elite.
Properties in popular areas & during popular times (whether it be NYC over 4th of July or Silicon Valley during the week) will always have more folk in the lounge than properties in less popular places.
While I'm not as firm on the elite+1 I think that monitoring more by the hotel how many come in or checking room #s is appropriate. I've seen many an elite bring in all his work buddies with him & I've also seen people try to sneak in with others.
Okay. uncle! The source of the behavior doesn't really matter to me. Enforce the rules, add a few rules such as shoes required and no PJ's, keep the noise down, no fingers in the food. If there's too big of a crowd, and it's a regular thing....then increase the size of the lounge or add another lounge....looking at you NYC Marquis!
Here comes my crazy idea. Seems here in the post we are already discussing good and bad lounges. So all of us have bad and good experiences. So why not compile a list of our good and bad experiences. This might be useful for all of us. So here is my (still non organized list). I am not mentioning the average ones, the