Hi Insiders - As I recall, this has been discussed before, but I'm not sure if Marriott corporate has ever responded. (As I just turned 65, please consider my advancing decrepitude as an excuse for not remembering!)
My question is specifically this - Has anyone ever asked or heard from Marriott corporate as to why the Concierge Lounges in most properties are closed on weekends? They have the space; they have the personnel; they have the food - what is the reason for not having the lounge open?
I'm going to spending a weekend at the Renaissance South Boston at the end of April and, you guessed it, their CL is closed on weekends. It seems to me as if Marriott could make keeping the CL open on weekends a contract condition for all their franchise owners.
As a Platinum Elite Lifetime who has accumulated many of my nights on weekend trips (closed CL), and at resorts (no CL), I'm just curious as to why the properties that have them, keep them closed on weekends.
There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation that I'm just not getting. I look forward to any insight my fellow Insiders might have gleaned over the years.
I haven't ever asked beyond the local hotel but can guess it's personnel cost. I stayed at a FS Marriott between Christmas and the new year, and the CL was closed. I asked at the front desk and was told their occupancy rate was very low that week. They cut back on staffing to save money. They gave me a voucher for breakfast in the restaurant. No compensation for evening hors d'oeuvres. I changed to a FF.
In 2009 Marriott Corporate made the change where all CLs were closed on weekends. Cost savings I would think.
I found a post on FlyerTalk
Company Representative - Marriott Concierge:
Our hotels have been instructed to maintain the published standards. These standards have not changed since the economic downturn, nor are we closing lounges in an effort to save money. We will continue offering concierge lounge access to Gold and Platinum members as stated in our terms and conditions of elite membership.
Most of my stays are on weekends...so I lose out too. I always felt that CLs were more for business people.
Most properties that have closed lounges on the weekends usually allow you access to the breakfast buffet in the hotel's restaurant. This usually means you have better food choices for breakfast. Some properties are moving towards having the lounge open on 7 days a week.
skiadcock has been maintaining a list of Marriott Lounge Hours of Operation on Flyer Talk. Here is a link: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marriott-ritz-carlton-rewards/1078647-master-thread-domestic-international-executive-lounges-open-closed-weekends.html
I agree. I find at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott where I stay a couple times a year, I have only been in the CL once in the past 3 years. I have to say, the CL is decent, but the voucher for the breakfast in their restaurant is better. Much larger space, a really good buffet as well. The value is great. A big breakfast before hitting the road back to NJ is much appreciated and works well for me and my family. It means we have enough food in our bellies to avoid eating lousy fast food during the drive home.
It's definitely a cost issue. They tried to keep it open at the Full Service Marriott Raleigh/Durham, but when it was trashed on successive weekends they cancelled the policy. I suggested they put a camera in the Lounge but that may be an invasion of privacy.
I never get worked up about the cl being closed on the weekend because as vaboywnder states they must offer you b fast in their restaurant, Technically it is a continental b fast but I have only ever been asked to upgrade (for 5 bucks) to the full buffet once, that was in California and the 10 dollar welcome gift covered that . I love Marriott b fast buffets.
Good catch. Your right they only have to offer a continental breakfast in the restaurant or provide either 750 or 1,000 points in lieu of breakfast. I've been so lucky that most of the properties I've have frequented offer the full buffet instead at no additional charge.
Thanks to everybody's great advice on this site I've found myself using the CLs way more than before. I agree with peymanagement. I'm happy to receive a breakfast in the restaurant instead. Basically I see it as a wash. No evening food, but sometimes I'm not around or simply the food is ok, but rarely so amazing that I'm happy I stayed in. So during the weekday I can have breakfast and sometimes dinner in the CL or on the weekend I can get a nice breakfast and they I get to treat myself to a fun dinner. I've come to find out that I'm just fine with them being closed on weekends, especially if it helps keep the crazies out.
Other insiders are correct in that concierge lounges are primarily only open on weekdays because they are meant to cater to business travelers. As always, we thank our members for providing feedback, and want to let you know that we have shared your comments with our brand development team. Thanks again
Thank you, everybody! I suspected that this was the reason, but suspecting it and having it confirmed are two different things!
Regarding the post referencing a CL being trashed on two consecutive weekends, it's things like that that really make my blood boil. I still remember a time when I was at the Wentworth-By-The-Sea in NH and I went into the CL which was open on the weekends one Saturday night. Some people had obviously had a pizza party in there and had left a pile of empty pizza boxes and plates, etc, on one of the tables. I decided to be proactive by cleaning it up on my own (fortunately there were some empty waste baskets in there) and then telling the front desk to just empty the baskets. I did this because I had the thought that by leaving the mess created by someone else, the hotel might be tempted to just close the CL on weekends, thus depriving me of a real benefit.
The rather profuse thanks I got made it all worthwhile.
I like your reply, straight to the point. I would like to add that while I understand the strategy of being open only during the week to cater to business travelers, let's not forget that the majority of gold and platinum memers are these business travelers who are likely traveling on weekends for personal reasons and would enjoy lounge access 7 dyas per week. Just a thought.
Well here in the EU the vast majority of lounges are open 7 days per week for both breakfast and evenings where evening food usually consists of both hot and cold options as well as beer and wine. As I understand it the situation is similar and even more generous in Asia.
Weekend closures were unusual until a few North American hotels decided to cut back in 2008/9. In the absence of censure from Corporate others copied and for guests it became such a gamble as to wether lounges were open on the weekend and if not, what alternative offerings, if any, would be forthcoming that in 2010 skiadcock set up her excellent Flyertalk thread MASTER THREAD: Domestic & International Executive Lounges Open/Closed on Weekends - FlyerTalk Forums identifying the weekend status of all known full service Marriott lounges worldwide, and has to this day continued to keep the massive post updated thanks to her own enormous sacrifice of time and effort and to FTers contributions to the end of the thread.
Weekend lounge closures are neither necessary nor required but they are cheap, and it seems most Full Service Marriotts gladly chased after this race to the bottom when times were tough and seem to have no intention of reinstating them now lodging has improved. There's safety, so it would seem to the hotels anyway, in naysaying numbers!
Excellent points - I honestly would just like to see the lounge stay open (M-Lounge style - which I love... and hate, since they are moving to ground floor locations... but I digress).
I get more annoyed when I'm at a FS hotel and there's bottled water for purchase in my room and than complimentary water/soda/juices/coffee/teas in the lounge, which when open, I can grab a few and take to my room. It's definitely a very nice perk.
Thank heavens for that brightlybob. I began to think I was delusional in thinking the Executive Lounge at WIQ was open 7 days a week! The one thing it doesn't do is breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. The breakfast in the EL does not have the variety of cooked items that the main restaurant has, but neither of us are huge breakfast eaters, and there is plenty available for us in the continental and cooked ranges. In fact an excellent choice for our appetites. On Saturdays and Sunday, anyone who is entitled to EL access can have a full breakfast in the main restaurant. But, in common with all London hotels in my experience, weekend breakfasts are often a bit of a scrum, and waiting for a table is commonplace.
That is why whenever we go for 5 days, we arrive on Sunday and leave the following Friday!
Well i am at the burlington ma Marriott and its a saturday with concierge closed but they gave me the full breakfast buffet and it is wonderful. The hotel lobby has been upgraded since i was last here a couple of years ago . There are a lot of marathon runners here getting all those carbs before the Monday race.
YYes, Tommo781, over here it's quite common for hotels to keep lounges open 7 days per week but to serve weekend breakfasts in the restaurant. I like that arrangement as restaurant breakfasts always have more choice than the lounges, as do my ravenous teenagers!