What is the purpose of the Concierge Lounge at most non-resort full-service Marriotts?
As you can see from this list the Lounge cannot be all things to all people. Setting aside what the Lounges have become for a moment, can we focus on what they should be in the future?
Many of you will recall the airline clubs of the past (I am dating myself here) like the Senator's Club Lounge at Lufthansa or the Clipper Club at Pan Am? Quiet, exclusive places where you could be alone or meet with someone in a private setting, free from distraction. Membership and guests were tightly controlled, drinks were free, attendants well-skilled and discrete. Gone with the wind, sadly.
Do we want that to be the case in our Concierge Lounges? Is it even possible to get there? How can we balance the needs of every guest and still reach a golden mean on this? Or is that a faint hope?
So, please take a moment and tell all us Insiders what you'd like a Concierge Lounge to be, assuming you had the power to change it. Just wondering?
For me, I am not comfortable eating in restaurants alone, so I use the lounge to grab some breakfast in the morning and a snack in the evening. If my room is on the same floor, I will take the food back to my room and eat there. (Wow, this is painting me as quite the anti-social, isnt it??)
All I ask is that the food/beverages are there (that they havent run out and continuously replenished) and that there is a place to sit (if I dont happen to eat in my room). Sometimes these 2 things are difficult to come by.
I was in the lounge at the JW in Kuala Lumpur this year. I arrived 40 minutes before the food service was supposed to end and they had run out of food with no intention of getting any more. I was basically told I was out of luck by the staffers until a savvy manager sensed my confounded reaction and offered to order me something from the room service menu - no charge.
Hi SteppingStones -- Great questions! You're right in that the c-lounge can't be all things to all people, but I'd have to answer Yes X 6 as I have used the lounge for each of these purposes depending on the reason for my travel, who I was with, particular mood at the time and so on. Granted, the lounges aren't what they used to be, but it's still a huge perk for me to continue to stay with Marriott, as it seems to be for many other posters on Insiders. I just hope that the decline in food offerings, service level by the lounge attendant, and allowing access to other than gold and platinum MR members, don't result in the lounge following the path of Pan-Am. But, there are some Marriotts I stay in where it wouldn't surprise me to see the lounge close, not due to utilization by the guests, but because of lack of involvement and interest of hotel management. Conversely, there are still some great ones out there as well!
My expectations of the Concierge Lounge include most of what's been said with a priority on delivering extended hospitality.
This means that the staff is not only welcoming and personable, they are knowledgeable. A concierge who is 'well connected' and able to 'deliver' reservations for the best dining or tickets to the event du jour effortlessly is the ideal and likely the exception.
Given the world is very diverse, the concierge lounge could be a 'place' to jumpstart my experience from healthy comfort foods and beverages to tasteful design and decor respectful of the location to pointers about business customs and social expectations.
IMO, a cookie-cutter or one-size fits all staff and lounge is a starting point, not the destination.
my answer is to simple ,possible?
when i book in the jw marriott bangkok i will find
a very nice louge no alkoholique beverage all day
and from 17.30 to 20.30 i get whisky. beer. wine
all what i like schure for free
when i book in the jw marriotts phuket i get nathing
yes the smile from the owner but he dont open a lounge.
you can be a very loyale customer but this change
nathing here, in phuket, everybady is so happy
why the owner open a lounge ? buisness is buisness
result after 7 days stay in phuket with 2 persones
your bill will be about 40 prozent more hight at in bangkok.
for this simple reason i like hotels with a concierge lounge
-- Edited by KLAUS29 at 12/19/2009 4:45 AM PST
Hmm... the concierge lounges in Marriott properties... what do I use them for? It all depends on where I'm at...
in the US properties, I don't use them for that much, because they're usually not that high a quality. Sometimes I'll grab breakfast or snacks in them.. and drinks (especially if I get in at an odd hour and can't hit a grocery store on my way in). I have also had the experience of going into a lounge as early as 30 minutes after the start of 'hors d'oeuvres', only to find the lounge full of kids and no food left. I think a lot of folks use them as places to park kids.
There are only a few US concierge lounges that I appreciate... the one at the Marriott Anchorage Downtown is actually a pretty good one--and helped us out greatly in recommending restaurants.
Overseas/outside the country? Dramatically different. The lounges in Prague, Heidelberg, and Stuttgart are great for Breakfast and a light Dinner.... Internet access? WiFi is nice, but don't count on being able to use the machines in any of those locations... Drinks are generally free in the non-domestic US ones as well... In fact, if I remember correctly, the one in Prague was no children allowed without a parent--and supervision of the children was required.
The lounge in Heidelberg in particular is a great place--lots of business discussions go on there... they keep it well stocked, and the attendants USUALLY know what's going on around the town, and can help out.
I agree with your premise that the lounge can not be everything for everybody. However, I think it should be open to the members 24 hours a day.
It frustrates me to get to the hotel with my family and I have work or want to watch TV and the family goes to bed and the lounge closed Friday at 5 PM. I understand that the lounge is mostly for business patrons and the food service is open only during the week, but I think the lounge should be open all hours.
The Marriott Southern Hills is open on the weekends and they offer Starbucks coffee to their members. I really appreciate this because not all concierge members stay during the week.