The property at Dana Point, CA - the Laguna Cliffs Marriott seems to have an issue with patrons walking off and not paying for their drinks. As a result the rest of us must pay when we order. As a long time and senior corporate user of the Marriott chain, I find the development a bit disturbing. My visit to the Marriott resort in Waikiki last week revealed a far more trusting environment. I concerned about returning to the Dana Point property!
Did the bartender actually tell you this was the case? In most Concierge Lounges it is really an honor system--and often not as honorable as it should be! But moist places, if you sit at the bar or in the lounge area (not the Concierge Lounge) you are entitled to drink first and pay later.
I've been to many a lounge where I am asked for a credit card or my room number when a drink has been placed in front of me (do you want to run a tab, sir?). I realize there are issues where some folks 'walk off' without properly accounting for their tabs. It's more of an issue when the hotel lounge is packed and jumping.
I don't really have a problem with a hotelier trying to insure they are paid for their drinks by properly asking me a question. If they rudely approach the issue, that's a problem. I can't say that's what I encounter. If rudeness is what you had to deal with, then the GM should be informed to address it.