Well, there are times when we all long for things that we once enjoyed, but no longer do. Perhaps it's things remembered, or transference as they say in the trade, but the Marriott Concierge Lounge of days gone by is not prevalent today. At least in my recent experience:
The surroundings are pleasant but the experience is, to say the least, not that welcoming. In the good old days the Concierge Lounge was often just an honor bar with top shelf liquors and attendants who actually worked in hospitality jobs before and could recite chapter and verse on places to go and things to see.
One hotel in DC had three Concierges in the am and three in the evening. It was open 24 hours a day, but not staffed from 11 pm until 6 am.
One of the Concierges was a graduate oif Cordon Bleu in Paris and often added her special touch to the kitchen's offering. Special events for frequent guests were always remembered, even the birthday of a family pet that one fellow kept with him in his suite while at work on Capitol Hill! It was a family atmosphere, with everyone (like at Cheers) knowing your name! Alas, those days are gone and mostly forgotten.
PS--forgot to mention the sign at the door requesting appropriate attire--widely ignored by everyone.
-- Edited by SteppingStones at Jun 25, 2010 2:26 PM PDT
Stepping Stones - Very good post, and spot on! Although I cannot say that I ever held the lounge in such high esteem as you long to return to, I can totally relate to each of your points. I'm laughing as i write this because just this past week I was in Columbus Ohio at the Airport Marriott with about 200 kids who were there for a baseball tourney. I think ever one of them was in the lounge everey time I was. Also, the hiding attendant syndrome could very well be in their job description. And yes, the time and effort that goes into the food prep, only to see it sit there and have diminshing appeal.... HONESTLY, i HAVE LOWERED MY EXPECTATION SO MUCH THAT AS LONG THERE IS COLD BOTTLES OF WATER AVAILABLE I'M MAINLY OK. SAD, HUH?
Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well. The experience has eroded to this sorry state; I arrive early to get fresh coffee, anything else is a bonus. I stopped entering in the evening and after 7:00 am. As we are in the midst of the summer months with many of us using points, the extra guests are in full force.
I think in the European lounges, they have free been and wine in the early evening, but not in North America. I stayed in London properties more than 10 times before I knew.
I like the bottled water.
They do let too many kids in there and if the kids are caught double dipping, the whole group should be kicked out immediately. That is obviously not the place for people who do that.
I like the lounges, but would like them to be better.
Right now, Bexleyheath Marriott - just outside London - no lounge.