This morning I was told that Platinum members are not permitted to bring guests into in the C-Lounge at La Concha. Not only did I try to remind the attendant that this is permitted, but so did a Gold member who overheard the conversation. I was told that I could wait for the manager to be located to see if an exception could be made, but I was embarrassed since I was with a business associate. (he was also a guest at the hotel, but not an Elite member)
We decided instead to go elsewhere rather than wait on the manager.. When I returned to hotel this evening, the lounge had already closed for the evening so I spoke with someone at the front desk. At first she confirmed my understanding, but then when she called a manager to advise them of my complaint, she was told that the policy changed. Apparently Platinum members are no longer permitted to bring a guest into the lounge! Not sure if this applies to spouses traveling together, or just to those bringing in guests who staying in a separate room. The front desk clerk was told the new policy is to charge $35 per guest, but the lounge attendant didn't even offer this option.. just no guests.. elite members only.
Has anyone else heard that Marriott changed this policy? The hotel says it is a Rewards policy to which they must adhere.
So what is/would be a reasonable policy on bringing guests into the club lounge? 1, 2, a table full? And how do other members know who's a guest and who is authorized on their own? Sometimes it's obvious...some folks just don't know how to act when they're a guest at somebody elses party. I feel the same way about guests in the lounge as some insiders do about children in the lounge. And I'd like to see anybody tell my wife she can't go into the concierge lounge when she's staying at the hotel with me! That's not a fight worth pickin'!
The Marriott Rewards T and Cs are silent on this guest issue for Elite members:
"Help yourself to light snacks, beverages and complimentary continental breakfast in our Concierge/Executive Club Lounge at participating Marriott Hotels, JW Marriott Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, and the Autograph Collection. For Marriott Hotels, JW Marriott Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, or an Autograph Collection hotel without a Concierge/Executive Club Lounge, we invite you to enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast on your weekday stays, Monday-Friday. Just show your membership card and room key in the hotel restaurant. We guarantee you will always receive access to either the lounge during normal hours of operation or complimentary breakfast, or we will reimburse you $100 USD at full-service hotels. (Not available at Ritz-Carlton Hotels or resort locations.)"
I have seen signs restricting the number of guests (other than family members) but never one that says "no guests."
I'm looking at the Platinum Elite booklet from 2010 and the 'Guaranteed Lounge Access/Free Breakfast' section only makes reference to 'you' and 'help yourself'. It does not say 'you and a guest' or 'room guests'. Then, I looked at the "Elite Membership Terms and Conditions" and in addition to the same individual references, I also noticed that in the "Elite Benefit Guarantee" Terms and Conditions it also makes the same 'you' lounge reference, but also noticed that Item #13 says 'Guests accompanying Platinum and Gold members to a Marriott hotel are not eligible for the Elites Benefit Guarantee'. I don't know if 'guest' means someone staying in your room or someone in another room. I also don't know if this is a wording change from previous printings.
Nowhere do I see a reference to a $35 charge (or any cost) to bring a guest into the Lounge.
That being said, it would be a bad PR action on the part of Marriott to exclude the guest staying with any Platinum or Gold member from entry to the lounge. I've never been queried about my wife being with me and I agree with NUHUSKER...that would be a situation they would not want to engage!
It would certainly be good if Marriott could clarify this situation for all of us Platinum and Gold Insiders since it has appeared as an issue AT a hotel. An Elite customer should never face an embarrassment such as Allyson did. (Note to Concierge rep: Make the exception for your best customers, it wasn't 5 or 10 people coming in...and find a better time to discuss the violation, if it is one)
If the policy response were to be a 'you and you alone' declaration, my guess is there would be an angry outpouring on this site by Gold and Platinums that Marriott probably wouldn't want to have.....and as Stepping Stones said...'it should be reversed'.
Now, is it possible that some hotel personnel are really nit-picking the rules and regs?
I'm somewhat confused by your response. Are you saying that you do not think guests should be allowed or you do think guests should be allowed? I am reading your response to say that guests should not be allowed, but that your spouse should be. would you clarify? I, for one, think guests should be allowed. I would be ok with a limitation of one guest, but I too have used the facility as a business tool with a client and would hate to give that up. Additionally, I think a $35 fee is ridiculous.....
Agree with the post by TEF. But, I'm wondering...since access to the lounge is controlled only by the key, not by ID checks, what's to stop an authorized user from entering with multiple guests, family or non-family? Surely, the lounge attendant has some idea how many authorized users are registered in the hotel that day. On the other hand, is it worth making a scene, which likely would happen when the lounge police show up and start insisting people leave, and subsequently losing customers? I come from a security background and personally don't have a problem if the attendant checks my name off an entry authority list and restricts number/type of guests if I can expect consistency throughout the chain. Besides, I'd hate to think that a guest took the last carrot stick and ranch dressing or stuffed jalapeno pepper! What's a member to do?!!
Shoeman, in the post (I think) you are referring to, I see that I succeeded in my attempt to confuse you. Actually, I am saying that my kids have just as much reason to be in the lounge with me as any other guest does. Previously, some insiders have suggested not letting kids in. Or bannishing them to the back of the bus (or a separate lounge). Not gonna happen. Like the sign says, Don't swim in my toilet and I won't pee in your pool.
If I wasn't clear in my post, I think a $35 fee for an elite to bring a guest is ridiculous. I agree with Shoeman...it's a very worthwhile perk to meet a business client or associate in the lounge. These are the perks that make people want to be loyal. If I still worked, I'd do it all the time.
I'm concerned that this situation even happened because...if it is a 'new' policy, something underhanded was done without the best customers being told of it.....and if true, the program has been diminished in a bad way.
I do believe that when entering the Lounge and swiping your key, it shows the service rep at the desk (with the computer) who is entering. The only reason I know this is because I entered at the Marriott Eastside in NYC and followed someone in the door. The rep asked me to swipe my key so she would see my access room on her computer.
I'd like to see how they would monitor entry when, at 6AM, as I recently encountered, there were about 20 people or more waiting for the lounge to open for breakfast. I wasn't in a tie rushing to make a meeting or in a rush to get a plane so I calmly waited for others to get in before I entered. Could you see the frustration and anger if the rep had told them to 'line up and swipe folks'. There would have been a bedlam that would not have been controlled.
Better yet.....even though I waited I didn't have to fight anyone for that last carrot stick. Now, that would have been a sight! Oh yeah, and I didn't go near the toilet.....and my pool's fine. Come on over!
Well, we were told that despite Adrew's leaving, Marriott folks would continue to monitor this site.
So, HELLO OUT THERE! Has there been any official change in policy regarding guests in Concierge Lounges? Or, is this most likely a revenue driven plan developed at the local level?
I have brought family and guests into c-lounges recently without issue. This to me sounds like an individual hotel trying to control their food/alcohol costs.
I have never had a problem. However, at the lounge at the Paris CDG Marriott, the guy that came in after us (with an associate) had some sort of argument with the lounge attendant. I didn't pay close attention because I don't usually like to eavesdrop (Interpretation...I was in the other room out of good eavesdropping range). From his comments, though, it sounded like it may have been the same situation of a Gold/Platinum trying to bring in a guest. The attendant didn't say anything when we entered, but that was probably because we were pretty obviously a family traveling together.
I appreciate everyone's support and the feedback on this topic. I hope the new "Andrew" responds to our questions.
At this particular lounge, after you swipe your card to enter, the attendant asks for your room number. Apparently they are then entering the room number in the computer to confirm your status (and perhaps the number of guests in your room?) Anyway I gave my number and we walked in, the attendant came up to me and questioned who was the gentleman with me after he had checked my registration. I responded that he was my guest. I was told that guests were not permitted and the attendant then began to question my associate if he had a Platinum member as well (my first clue that he looked at my file to review my status) The lounge was not full at the time we were there (8:30 am)
I understand that sometimes the onsite restaurants will ask for a room number when they are seating you. I always figured this was because they wanted to understand the onsite/offsite draw and many times you may choose not to charge the expenses to your room.
Requiring that guests be accompanied by members is a reasonable rule. Limiting the number of guests is a reasonable rule. But why should it matter if my one guest is a business associate or your spouse? Or whether we shared a room? (do you not get to bring your kids because you put them in a second room?)
Tell me I can't bring in a party of 8 ... okay. It doesn't matter if those eight are business associates or my extended family because we are holding a reunion at the hotel. If you are trying to bring in that many people on one Platinum membership I could understand ....
What will they do next.... limit C-Lounge access to the first X number of registered Elite guests? I actually thought bringing in business associates was a good marketing PR tool for Marriott ... see how nice it can be if you stay more nights at Marriott or pay for an upgrade to a C-level room? My associate decided it wasn't worth losing Diamond status at Hilton if this is how Marriott treats Platinum.
I did check the rules and agree it is now vague about guests, except for saying guests are not entitled to the Elite's benefits guarantee. I would love if one of us can find the book that was sent, because this definitely seems to be a stealth change!
It's a shame because it is a beautiful hotel, right on the beach and mostly the service was great. They honored my request at check in for a high floor with an ocean view after offering me a low floor, even knowing the hotel was sold out. Also me a 2 hour late check out.
This is Michelle (the 'Old Andrew' referred to me as his Grand boss). The delay in response to your posts is because it's a little trickier than it appears on the surface. This issue is specifically focused on one particular resort property in our system.
There have been no changes to anything having to do with program Platinum benefits. Technically, Platinum benefits do not include Concierge Lounge access at resort properties, so this specific example is already outside of program guidelines. The property feels that it needs to offer lounge access due to their large number of business traveler guests -- ok, that's nice, and makes sense. But their insistence that the benefit only be given to the member and not to a guest is something they've cooked up on their own as well. Blaming the 'program rules' makes me cranky, but requiring the hotel to adhere to program rules would take lounge access away altogether, and that would make you cranky. So, I'm working with our regional leadership team to determine the proper guidance for the particular property, and we hope to resolve it to everyone's satisfaction.
Also, we purposefully do not call out any 'rule' relative to guests of Platinum members joining them in the Concierge Lounge. In the overwhelming majority of cases, members respect the benefit and hotels allow guests to enter into the lounge. It's explicitly meant to be discreet, and hospitable - we're glad you're with us and want you to be comfortable. There are occasions, however, when a property (generally, those that host meetings and conventions) will find guest access to be excessive and will invoke restrictions when they feel that the benefit is being abused. Again, no change, and member comments about guest lounge access have always been positive.
Finally, the search for the 'New Andrew' is underway. We have some great candidates and are working diligently to have our new community manager in place as soon as possible. We've got exciting new things coming to the Insiders soon - thanks for your support as we make our way through this (oh-so-long) transition!
The Ritz Carlton group has their version of the Concierge Lounge, it's call the CLUB LEVEL and it encompasses not just the Lounge, but also the entire floor. It is $150/nite, but in my mind well worth it. In Ritz resorts (like the one in San Juan where you were), these lounges provide multiple fresh offerings of both hot and cold food choices throughout the day. Also, they are open on the weekends. Finally, keep in mind that Marriott resorts do not even have concierge lounges in the resort properties. Maybe one day the Club Level at Ritz will be brought into the Marriott fold, but that may not be a good thing. Right now, it, like Ritz in total, is a very special experience and I would hope that it continues as such. Just my opinion.
Good afternoon, I checked into the La Concha in San Juan, Puerto Rico last night. I have been staying at this hotel most of this year, and until last night the rest of the year. I am a platinum member with over 1,000 nights. When I checked in last night with my wife, the front desk manager told me that I would have access to the lounge, but not my wife, she can have access for $35/day. Anybody that knows me, I am rarely left speachless, I was absolutely speachless. He insisted it was Marriott rules and he was just implementing Marriott rules. I have not heard of these rules, and could not find them. Many of us travel on business, and on the rare occassion our spouses are able to travel with us is a blessing. To deny access to a spouse or guest is a deal breaker for me with the Marriott system.
Marriott has also used the "resort" hotel label to deny benefits, many are not really resorts, a great deal of the occupancy in some of these hotels are business people. The hotel charges a "resort fee", it is very hard to use the resort fee when you work all day.
I would hope that this situation is corrected. I had always looked at the Marriott Hotel's as family friendly, I am second guessing myself now.
"I would hope that this situation is corrected. I had always looked at the Marriott Hotel's as family friendly, I am second guessing myself now."
Careye, I wouldn't let this situation taint the hotel Marriott chain. Just sounds like this particular GM has his head up his... What's this guy thinking?
I appreciate your looking into the matter. What you said makes sense, and yes, if it had been explained as "this is a resort property and therefore normal elite status access privileges do not apply" then at least it would have made some sense.
As someone else commented, this property does a lot of business meetings so they seem to be in a mixed purpose which highlights the program exception for lounge access exceptions at resort properties. Or the fact that despite being a major city, San Juan doesn't have a Mariott full service property that isn't labeled "resort".
I would like to add one more item. The staff at the hotel are excellent. The front desk staff, Ocean Lounge, and Bell Staff are fantastic. They are very professional as well as friendly and accomodating. The issue about access to the lounge should not place the staff in a bad light.
I've always been clear on Marriott's program rules on concierge lounge access for gold and platinum -- none for resorts!
Since most of my stays are on week-ends and in resorts, being a gold
(/platinum) is useless, as far as I'm concerned. If I want breakfast, I will just order in or stay at Residence Inn/Fairfield Inn.
The Ritz always carried on their website the required fees for additional guest(s) entering their C lounge.
I know I've brought my wife and kids up to the C-Lounge. When traveling on business and a Platinum, I've observed, that often if you ask nicely at check-in if your non-elite associate can also be granted access to the lounge the front-desk will oblige (Thanks Tucson Marriott!!!).
Additional benefits however, for traveling on weekends with family at the least, is that you're breakfasts are comped at full service Mariott's and Renaissance facilities because the C-lounge is closed - Often this is a better breakfast than what you receive in the lounge.