As one who travels weekly on business and often spends the weekend in the last hotel of the week to unwind, wouldn't it be nice to have access to the lounge after noon on Friday. Even if it was open on a limited basis for coffee and water, it would be a vast inprovement over the current situation. What troubles me more is that I find this is corporate policy rather than an individual hotel decision.
Some California hotels used to have a lounge that was open 24/7, they called this "raid the fridge." The intent was to have a place where there were snacks, cold drinks, and coffee for those of us whose schedules would not allow us the luxury of being present during normal operating hours.
The procedure ended several years back, due to security concerns and the abuse of the privilege by some guests whose idea was to empty the fridge, rather than raid it. As with any experiment there were upsides and downsides, but the end result was that the cost of doing this outweighed the benefits to the hotel.
Why not have a Gold and Platinum Elite survival back that could be ordered through room service for no charge? That would allow us to meet the hotel in the middle I think.
Stepping stones - very good idea on the survival pack! Isn't it interesting how small things like this mean so much to us weary travelers, but are often dismissed by hotel management as investments w/o return. Who of us remember the fresh cookies at Doubletree? Even a bag of chips waiting in my room at Embassy Suites is a welcomed gift. Another idea for marriott that would follow existing policy that allows for breakfast coupons when the lounge is not in service, how about a small $$ stipend each weekend day to allow for snack purchases in the gift shop?
Dear Shoeman, what a nice idea!
We all remember the CARE Packages that we got while away at school, as well as, in my case, the essentials while in the service, coming from home. I also like the stipend idea.
How about these things to ponder:
Each of these ideas has a cost and are virtually unheard of in the lodging industry. Marriott can and does lead in making life better for many of us road and former road warriors. Like double nights, and roll overs, this is a small yet powerful perk that might pay increased dividends in the future for the corporation.
I can't agree with you more!
The Concierge lounges are one of the reasons why I love staying at Marriott properties around the world. One of the most interesting ones I've been in was in Ottawa, Canada. The lounge is clearly marked "Platinum and Gold Elites only--NO GUESTS!" on the door, and they check when you go in.
The lounges make life so much easier, particularly when you get in at 11pm, head in to the hotel, and need that soda or bottle of cold water to make things work. I wish more of them were open 24/7, even if they're not staffed... but for some reason, people just aren't as honest about things as they used to be...
This is a very important area for Marriott to consider in keeping their most loyal customers. With the every changing buisiness climate many business trips take us over the weekends. I think we all agree that having the concierge lounge at our disposal is why we work so hard to stay at Marriott properties through out the world when honestly sometimes it costs more to stay there. My company would prefer me to use a website that I put my budget into and "poof" that is the hotel I need to stay at. I have convinced them that when I stay at Marriott I can recieve benefits which help with my budget. The breakfast in the morning is so important and having a relaxing place to work on my laptop and meet other business people in the evening is important to me. I travel overseas and my last trip to Amman Jordan had their concierge lounge open everyday which was a blessing - yes I paid more and it closed at 10:00pm but I hope I can stay there again (if budget allows).
Please Marriott if you are listening - weekends are important to us loyal Marriott customers.
Great thread! My thanks to Geoff27 for initiating this discussion. My greetings to all from the Anaheim (CA) Marriott - my first "full-service" brand stay since I can't remember when.
For those who have read my posts in other forums here at Insiders, my having abandoned the "full-service" brands for the discounted brands comes as no secret. My reasons were twofold: 1) I was able to get free wireless internet connection at all Marriott brands other than Marriott and Renaissance and 2) Non-existent access to Concierge lounges on weekends.
It appears not to have dawned on Marriott decision-makers that Platinum members do eat breakfast and enjoy end-of-the-day snacks and cocktails on weekends as well as on weekdays. So the combination of my two points from the previous paragraph has had me enjoying my stays at Fairfield and Residence Inns almost exclusively.
Marriott has changed their internet access pricing for certain Elite members at some of their hotels which is a step in the right direction.
Yet there has been no change on weekend Concierge Access. I suppose I could stomach having the Lounges closed on weekends more easily if the room rates were discounted compared to the weekday rates. While that is true at some hotels, it most definitely is not true at all of them.
As a case in point, on WED night here in Anaheim, I paid $109/night and had access to the Lounge. But for THU, FRI and SAT night, I am paying $189/night and was told at checkin that the Lounge closes at noon on FRI. Thus the pricing does not reflect the reduced services here in Anaheim.
At some hotels, you can even book a Concierge Level room on weekends at the same premium price you would pay to reserve one during the week, (not recommended for the PE crowd, by the way, since that benefit is provided with Marriott's compliments). Despite this, the Lounge is closed on the weekend; which means the guest who pays that price is paying the premium rate for what? The shampoo and the bottle of water put in those rooms? The bathrobe? (which you can't take with you)
In short, if the Lounges are to be closed on weekends, that should be reflected in the room pricing.
Redwood, allow me to add my vote in favor of your suggestion.
My husband and spent a four day stay at a Marriott in Fort Worth Texas and they told us the conceierge was now closed all through the day, and only open after 5:00 pm. Maybe with the economy they are cutting back, but this seems like a poor decision. The concierge lounge should be open 24/7 with or without food. I think most businesses forget about repeat and loyalty of customers. Little things make a big difference to people. How hard is it to keep a room open with free water? Why close the concierge lounge for any reason? I do not go there to visit with an attendent, they just need to have someone check on the room like they do bathrooms.
We love Marriotts but tend to stay more and more at the Fairfield ends, for the free breakfasts on weekends, nice fireplace in lobby. It's about comfort, knowing your welcome and they want to make you happy! If they would just grasp, small things make a HUGE difference, they would retain customers, gain and even profit! The tighter they pull back, the more loyal customers will look elsewhere. I think the lounges should always be open and I bet if they opened the lounges on weekends, their business would boom! GIVE is what iife is all about, you give, and it comes back to you! Instead businesses are always taking away small things, they don't think people will notice, but we do notice and guess what? Service gone, people gone!
You all make great points. We have earned our status by the amount of nights we've stayed or points we've accumulated. While most of my stays are in Europe and concierge lounges are either open via cardkey access or full access all the time (or an equivalent is provided, as the Ghent Marriott does so wonderfully with its 'free appetizers [whole meal equivalent for most] and drink' per day of stay), I am concerned with the selling of 'elite privilege'.
What worries me is that Marriott is selling our access to Concierge Lounges at a substantial price to those who haven't made elite status. All of that means that the lounges (where they are open) are crowded, often noisy, and usually have many more guests than usually. Even if I'm elite, I'm not an elitist, but I think the loyalty we've shown should be repaid. If others are gaining access thanks to a slightly different rate, then Elite Members should be offered far more than the 500 points or snack and beverage as a checkin bonus.
Let's keep this thread going.