What new/improved features would you like to see for the concierge lounge?
As promised, I am starting a new poll today at www.travelprincessdiaries.com. Let us know what will make your experience that much better.
Thanks to all those who responded to previous polls......we have reached that critical number of 30 responders so I am pretty excited about that. If you have any ideas for new polls, let me know. I will publish the results of the last poll soon.
Concierge or executive lounges are so different from place to place. But here's what I would like to see as more uniform:
I would follow the example of the Marriott Ledra Athens -- their Concierge Lounge does everything right in my opinion. It's open every day of the week. Real breakfasts every morning; an hors d'oeuvres time that could replace dinner from 5-7pm with free wine and beer; a dessert hour from 7-9pm; ample space to mingle and talk; newspapers and magazines; a computer; a large television and one of the best attendants/servers I have ever encountered.
The Concierge Lounge is a lot of different things to different people. One size does not fill all. That said, there is one common denominator. The Concierge Lounge should be a place of welcome and hospitality. A starting point for improving upon this theme might be to offer healthy foods at different times during the day along with complimentary non-alcoholic beverages.
Marriott's Custom House in Boston illustrates what I would call the 'middle ground.' Here the property features complimentary hot beverages plus a la carte continental breakfast for a very small fee. The area shown below is comparable to the Concierge Lounge in a full service property. The Custom House is a Marriott Vacation Club and the lounge shown is open to ALL owners and guests irrespective of Elite status. In addition to the tables and chairs, there are sitting areas with a sofa and armchairs.
Throughout our week's stay at this property, we visited the 'lounge' every morning. Sometimes there were whole families with young children, other times we had the place to ourselves. In the evenings, the Custom House provides an activity or entertainment. Since our stay spanned the holidays, there was a distinct holiday theme.
Every time we entered the lounge, it was a distinctly positive experience. A room key is required to enter in the morning when breakfast items are available. The attendant varied but all were welcoming, friendly and attentive to restock the servers. Since each suite has a fully loaded kitchenette, on some mornings, I enjoyed the convenience of picking up items to enjoy in the room.
In a full service property, the expectation is that items in the CL are complimentary. The Custom House a la carte model is not bad. For less than $5, two people can have a very healthy start to the day. As long as food offerings are fresh, healthy and affordable, I would see expansion of this model at full service properties to be a positive improvement.
I echo ProfChiara--that's exactly what I want as a Platinum Premiere/Platinum for Life - The Stamford Marriott is the only US hotel that offeres free beer and wine--and the Hartford MAriott offers 24/7 access for soft drinks/light snacks, San Diego MArriott MArina has AM & PM offerings 7 days a week...otherwise, one has to go to Europe/Asia to enjoy these benefits:)
Dear Insiders, with the news that Marriott will re-introduce the polling feature on the insiders website, the current Princess poll will be probably be the last one. That said, I am hoping to finish it with some fire and zeal from the insider community, so if you havent already, please take the poll at www.travelprincessdiaries.com concerning concierge lounge enhancements.
As always, the results will be published here. It's been fun!
This is my first post--and probably not my last!. I am a long time Marriott Rewards member and enjoy the concierge lounges for a number of reasons. I do however see a recent trend of people using the lounges to hold meetings (formal and informal) which many times leads to rather animated and loud discussions. Not a relaxing atmosphere to say the least. The other annoying practice is when patrons set up their laptop computer at a table and work (after eating?) during breakfast. This happened at least 2 mornings recently at the Renaissance in Las Vegas (same person). With limited seating, this leads to many patrons sitting in the lounge chairs eating off their laps. Maybe it's the free internet in the lounge that is so attractive that people leave their room to do their computer work? They ought to be politely asked to leave and do their work in their room.