I think the huge -- really huge, please note, Marriott -- number of posts about diminishing service in Concierge Lounges (in the US only, it seems) about breakfast, CL days open, and compensation for missed breakfasts when the CL is not open has raised a major loyalty issue. As I stated earlier I simply will not stay at a Marriott that does not offer me weekend breakfast either in the CL or restaurant. Since I don't stay often here in the US it's rarely an issue, but an added insult considering how well I'm treated abroad and in Canada. I am a loyal Marriott member not because the service has gotten better (it most certainly has not) but because I value the perks, whether it be free nights or in many cases, most importantly, the CL.
Consider my most recent example in Chicago. I had two breakfasts in four days at the Chicago Marriott (for which I have still not been credited points or nights) and its CL two of them. Then it was closed for the weekend. I had a minimalist breakfast in their Harvest Restaurant that cost me $26 on Saturday. $25 is my per diem allowed by my college.
I believe that especially since there are economic indicators that show the economy MAY be turning around, Marriott needs to reconsider seriously this fairly new policy of closing CL's in the US on weekends and not giving comparable breakfasts as in done in Europe at the hotel restaurant (or at the very least a continental buffet breakfast).
I doubt I am alone in saying that there are a lot of options out there. I found one just recently with free wifi, free breakfast, suite, etc. all for 1/2 to 1/3 of the cost of what a Marriott would have cost me in a more centrally located area.
Would the Community Manager please reply to these increasingly huge numbers of comments about diminishing rewards and especially unavailability of CL or breakfasts on weekends, at least in the US? It seems to me the EU is in a whole lot worse shape economically than the US, but Marriotts keep providing hospitality to their best guests there. Are we as US citizens second citizens? The loyalty business truly is a two-way street, as Randy Petersen has so often pointed out. Despite their nickle and diming of 'regular passengers,' airlines are doing a pretty good job of recognizing their high-flying members. Should Marriott do less when all its competition is offering to comp status? (And I've gotten that comped status.)
Please, Marriott, listen to us. The breakfast issue has generated enormous numbers of comments, yet all we get is a request for another poll? It won't affect me as much as other Insiders since I stay about 1-2 times a year at a Marriott in the US (but you can bet it will be at a Residence Inn next time I have to) but usually abroad. This is BAD BUSINESS POLICY.
Well said. There have been numerous posts regarding the CL's and what is happening with them. At one point, there was a post from someone from Marriott to 'stay tuned' for changes in the CL program with the intent being that weekend breakfasts were 'on the way' (as I read it). Instead, it has gotten worse. Food has gone downhill, no staff to monitor the issues of anybody coming in, people loading up with food and leaving and, in certain cases, unruly youngsters pawing the food and running around unsupervised (San Fran Marquis and Anaheim Marriott in my case, but discussed by others in more locations).
I agree. let's hear what the plan is to deal with the issues and the disgruntled group of 'loyal' customers who are experiencing them.
Opted out of The Camelback for a 2 BR suite for two of us, at about 1/2 the price and I can bring a breakfast back to the room. I know what I am getting and do not have to wonder about an "Upgrade" when checking in. Don't like to travel and have to worry about what kind of room I am getting.
Not going to wait in line in Chicago (Or NYC) to have a $25 bowl of of frosted flakes. I like frosted flakes, and will gladly take them to my room at no extra cost at a RI.
I gathered from most of the responses that while it may not have totally come from the top that most Marriott associates, when questioned, have said they've been told to close CLs on weekends in the US and not offer either free restaurant breakfasts (which is what you get in Europe when there is not a CL) or even a Starbucks voucher (what I was offered last year in Boston).
That's why I am asking the Community Manager to respond. Can we get a chorus going asking for what PP/P/G members should expect consistently regarding weekend breakfasts? Like I said, I won't stay at a Marriott in the US if they don't provide that. I have other options. But consistency seems to be one thing constantly lacking with Marriott over the past year and a half. I would like to know what the official, top down policy is.
Any others want the same?
My $25 per diem for food no matter where I travel in the world is why the elimination of free breakfast broke me -- and I stopped staying at almost all Marriotts. Now when I travel I go through booking.com, and almost always get a great deal on a very nice hotel WITH breakfast.
This is copied from the MR member benefits:
Help yourself to light snacks, beverages and complimentary continental breakfast in our Concierge/Executive/Club Lounge at participating JW Marriott Hotels, the Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Hotels & Resorts. If your hotel doesn’t have a Concierge/Executive/Club Lounge, we invite you to enjoy complimentary continental breakfast on your weekday stays. Outside the U.S. and Canada, you are entitled to continental breakfast 7 days a week. (Not available at resort locations.) In the event that this guarantee is not met, a guest compensation of $100 USD* will be issued to Elite members. [GOLD/PLATINUM]
*Outside the U.S. compensation will be paid in the local currency.
So, it's officially only weekdays in the US.
I agree the policy needs to be changed, though I should also point out US Marriotts typically have weekend rates which are considerably lower than the regular rates. So if I pay $100 less on the weekend, perhaps the loss of breakfast is a bit easier to take.
But if only it was that simple... frequently, when I decide to extend a stay into the weekend days I'm not offered the weekend rate for the applicable days. I have to book as 2 separate reservations! For example, one for Tuesday through Thursday nights at $250/night and one for Friday and Saturday nights for $150, and then hope the front desk can figure it all out. And I've actually been told at one property recently that I'd have to check out on Friday morning and check back in on Friday afternoon in order to get the weekend rate! (A complaint to the manager fixed that.)
So sounds like Marriott wants it both ways, no CL lounge and no weekend rates (unless you know enough to do it yourself).
Very good point. The prices on week-ends are typically less, but I have seen just the opposite in other markets like NYC and Chicago. Where you have "Hot Spots", for shopping and dining, week-ends can be much higher in costs. In that case you think they would keep the CL open on week-ends.
I will tag NathalieF so he sees this thread, although I think he is probably already watching it.
After seeing all the discussions of the differences on the US Marriott Visa vs the European Visa Marriott offerings (no, we don't want to open that discussion here), and the differences between the US and European CL and breakfast offerings, I think it safe to say, that what really drives what we will get, is the market competition it that part of the world. What is strange, is that the US market competition in the CL and breakfasts on the weekends offering, many competitors are already offering this, so Marriott is just losing time and business while they think this out. So strange, from a business aspect!
Hi Everybody, yes, we have noted that you actually eat do breakfast seven days a week and it's dumb that you don't get breakfast on the weekend. I have responded to this in the past, here. We know that many, many hotels operate outside of the standard and indeed offer you breakfast on the weekend. Until a fix is in place, it doesn't hurt to ask for it - just don't beat up the poor associate who might be forced to decline your request.
Michellel, again the issue here is also consistancy..In some cases the hotel will give a breakfast voucher, while other hotels will not. When making a booking, one would like to know whether or not this is a benefit or not so they can make a decision on whether or not they want to stay at that hotel. Would also appreciate your confirming whether or not Marriott has instructed properties not to give this benefit as has been alleged on Insiders??
Although my memory isn't as good as it used to be, I recall that the closure of Concierge Lounges on weekends only became a common policy a few years ago. Prior to that, they were open on weekends and offered breakfast. They only started closing on weekends due to the downturn in the economy. Do others recall the lounges always being open on weekends? Therefore, open CL on weekends/offering breakfast would not be a new policy, it would only be a return to the standards in place during a better economy. I am also disappointed that the concierge continues to ignore the question many of us have asked: did Marriott recently start instructing 'overperforming' properties to no longer offer vouchers/ open CL on weekends. Marriott's silence regarding this topic is beginning to look like an admittance of guilt.
Everywhere I've been outside of the US has concierge lounges or equivalent value, even over the past few years. Considering that the Eurozone is in far worse shape than we are, I think that says something about their view of hospitality. And yes, the silence is deafening.
Gentle Men & Women ~ first about weekend breakfast: there has been a standard in place for many, many years that breakfast is to be offered during weekdays only. In the name of consistency, we can enforce the standard, but that would mean that the breakfast offerings you occasionally receive now would vanish.
We are not silent, nor have we dismissed any of your ideas. We know you want breakfast every day, better concierge lounge access for Elites (and the entrance needs to be aggressively enforced when it comes to kids accompanying their parents), more differentiation between elite level benefits, less generous ability to earn a higher status, more generosity when someone can't attain their usual status due to circumstances beyond their control, bathtubs, parking fee waivers, better recognition of your status by associates, reinstituted BOGO offers, better dining offers, Plutonium status, guaranteed suite upgrades, free gifting of points, comparable credit card benefits outside of the US, kiosk check-in ability, better communication regarding program changes, reverse/accelerate changes to the m.com experience - ok, so there are issues I haven't covered here, but you get the idea. We hear you and continue to listen to what you have to say. Were we able to accommodate every suggestion, we would gladly do so. The reality is that any one of these changes would involve multi-million dollars. We eagerly invest in the program every year and search for ways to remove pain points and increase member loyalty. As successful business professionals, you all know that decisions requiring this magnitude of investment requires intense rigor, and when the business spans 70 countries and myriad stakeholder groups, the pace of innovation can be positively maddening. Instituting changes in this type of business model - and doing so consistently - poses its own set of challenges.
You've been with us long enough to know that we're not a first mover, but when we do move it's generally a move of substance. This is an extremely competitive business, and I cannot respond in any way that could compromise our position. Nor will I ever say something just to appease the conversation. Our promise is that we'll tell you first and we'll engage you when there are choices to be made. You will either be delighted or disgusted - that's fair. Reward us with your business when we've earned it and take it away when we don't.
P.S. Mr. Marriott is not retiring, he's just stepping away from day-to-day activities but will continue to be involved in the business. He continues to eat in the cafeteria, work out in the gym and remind us all that the family legacy is alive and well.
Travel well, MichelleL
Having heard all of this Michellel, you would have thought Marriott would have made a few adjustments to keep up with the competition. Appears to be many many issues here and that at least several of them would have been addressed by now. I know your competition has implemented many of the concerns that you have articulated and seems like the Marriot is way behind. I believe we all want to be loyal customers of Marriott but it works both ways. All we are asking is that the Marriott treat their elite members like they used to. Service, in my humble opinion, deteriorated significantly in 2011 and hoping that things improve in 2012. I am suprised you would say " Reward us with your business when we've earned it and take it away when we don't." Because that is one certain way to lose a lot of our business to your competitors who do want to earn our business every day though outstanding customer service. I know for one, I have shared my business with other hotel chains who seem to really value my business and treat me as a "special" person and frankly better than the Marriott has on my last several stays. But again, I hope Marriott still wants to earn my business and I will give it to them if I receive the appropriate service!!! Travel well!!!
Sorry - my reply must have been too obtuse. While the standard already exists about weekday-only breakfasts, hotels have chosen to do their own thing based upon their customer mix. While we could enforce the standard, we don't. So - no, Marriott Management did not issue instructions to their hotels to not give breakfast vouchers on weekends to Gold/Platinum members. That said, if a owner group or franchise partner chooses to enforce the standard on their own, they are within their rights to do so.
Thanks for clarifying this...It is very good to hear that Marriott has not issued instructions to their hotesl to not give breakfast vouchers on weekends to Gold/Platinum Members. Maybe when the hotel decides not to give these, they possibly use Marriott Management as an easy excuse.
Didn't know that Marriott had another HQ person watching these threads from the Marriott Insiders, only thought it was the community manager. That being said, as i read through this thread and the comments from all, including Michelle, Marriott still doesn't "get it". The majority of the folks in the insiders are platinum and platinum premier in some cases, like myself. We have shown a consistency to staying in Marriott properties, yet the only consistency from Marriott properties is their inconsistency. I cant believe that Marriott can not have a basic standard minimum that all properties need to adhere to, especially for their key members. While i am not going to compare the Marriott chain to McDonalds, at least with McDonalds you know exactly what each restaurant is going to be and their consistency is outstanding. I stay at properties from Ohio to California and every state in between and I find a wide range of service levels within each brand. Why?? If McDonalds can have a majority of franchisees and keep consistent, why can't Marriott. I am sure that the old rile of 80/20 works here and that Marriott properties are receiving the majority of their revenue from us 20%.
As a recent platinum Premier in 2012, I can count on one or two fingers the properties that have recognized my status. While I don't expect to be treated with a red carpet when i check into a property, I would surely think that the front desk could recognize my status when I check in and realize that maybe offering the upgrade without asking or breakfast coupons for the weekends would be a nice gesture. However, I find in 2012 that I am having to ask for these things more and more when I check in vs the front desk already offering some of these perks.
I am beginning to believe that the only way to enact change is to go try one of the other programs, i.e., HiltonHonors, SPG, etc. and compare.
Hoo boy - we couldn't agree more. 3700 hotels / 70 countries = herding cats. No excuses tho, not at all. We do have standards in place, and invest a lot of time and resources into training, awareness building, best practices, etc. We continually collaborate with senior leadership at the regional and continent level, monitor guest satisfaction survey results, listen on social sites, etc. So - we 'get it' big time...and if it were a widget we were talking about, we could ensure greater consistency.
Since you are posting here, you have an inclination to let us know what your experience has been in an effort to, I am assuming, help us improve - and for that, we send a gigantic THANKS! Should you wish to help us correct behavior 'in the moment', we encourage you to reach out to the property management while you're in-house and let them know how you feel about your recognition experience. If you receive an invitation to complete a Guest Satisfaction Survey, you can give feedback that is viewed by property leadership on up. And while it is not my favorite activity to suggest (but in the interest of full disclosure), TripAdvisor comments are mighty powerful. Finally, our Customer Care team is always ready to capture your comments and move issues to swift resolution - in my opinion, that would include sub-par recognition...
Please know that the vast majority of our associates want to delight you, and your gentle-but-firm feedback might be just what they need in order to better understand how their actions are being perceived. I regularly 'shop' our properties by posing as a Platinum member (several of us do this and provide feedback as well) - after the check-in experience, I praise good behavior and gently point out gaps. You just can't beat that immediate feedback! (With difficult cases, we move the feedback through appropriate channels).
Thanks again for your comments, jmring - glad to meet you! MichelleL
Unfortunately, one must switch into lawyer mode here. Note the word "participating" in the guarantee. I have found that both resort properties and franchises will consistently use this one word as their sole excuse to deny one this simple benefit. I have NEVER received a breakfast as a Platinum Premier or Lifetime member at a resort and find the same to be true on weekends at the higher end franchises. Conversely, I have NEVER had breakfast on a weekend declined at a corporate property. All Marriotts are not created equal. Or at least they certainly don't treat their guests as well as the corporate owned sites do. Beware the franchise. Due to numerous other issues I have had over the years with franchise Marriotts, the best advice is to avoid those if at all possible.
Just stayed at Courtyard in San Antonio. I am timeshare owner of condo in Orlando. Used pts. for this stay. Shocked at lack of complimentary breakfast. My credit card was charged $40. per night for "incidentals". I didn't use, buy, eat or anything at this place. Called them. State they will credit charges tomorrow. BUYER BEWARE.
I agree that change taken over the many properties is an expensive proposition. However, the loss of business revenue (especially to the competiton), is even more daunting. Consider that a loss of one $200 night would be equivalent to approximately 1/2 of the total cost of that CL breakfast for that day.
I do not disagree with the closure of CL on the weekend, but I do not think that it should be an absolute rule. Rather, it should be weighed as any other business decision: Does it make money, create goodwill, or take business away from the competition, or serve our best customers in a manner that will keep them as our best customers.
I have not found that there is a lack of recognition of status by anyone above the front desk level. I make it a habit to introduce myself to the manager upon check-in, you would be amazed at how many problems are avoided this way, as the grapevine in the hotels is one of the fastest communication methods available. As one manager once quipped to me "the platinum guest is either your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on your service level."
Keep up the good work, but don't forgrt to improve, as your competition is always trying to steal your customers.
As I await dinner on Mykonos (it's 7 hours ahead here), I felt like I could write of what I consider the absolute BEST hotel stay ever, anywhere in my whole life. Since there are no Marriotts on the Greek islands, I went to expedia, then checked back and forth with other sites, including that at the hotel. I paid $700 for a R/T Aegean airfare in first (which I hadn't expected) to/from Athens, then was picked up at the Mykonos airport by the complimentary shuttle. (Same both ways.)
My guest experience has been like nothing I have experienced in my whole life. I was first whisked to the top level of the Myconian Imperial Resort & Thalasso Center, part of the Myconian hotel chain. I was greeted with a gentleman (at noon) carrying trays of champagne with strawberries. Naturally, I accepted. The manager then came and asked me to sit down - I immediately started to get out credit cards (even though the hotel room was prepair) and he said, no, no, just your passport so I can write down that information. He told about about the hotel amenities (almost all of which are complimentary), and almost immediately I was presented a fruit tray. (This was most welcome after 27 hours of driving, bus, plane, plane, and plane.)
Then he asked the driver to take me down to the 2nd level, where my room was (this is standard Mykonos/Santorini style white leveled buildings, and absolutely gorgeous). By now, 3 different people had introduced themselves, and I know now the names of at least 7 of the staff, and they all know who I am --- after 2 days! Marilyn then sat down with me to tell me more about what was available (three outdoor salt water pools, an indoor pool, and a private beach for Myconian Imperial guests on the Aegean). She took me down to see everything, including the spa area, but no hard (or any sell) at all, and I haven't used it. She took me to the breakfast room (a huge breakfast fully included, including if fresh crushed strawberry juice, and if you're one of those types, champagne that you can just pour for yourself. Besides all kinds of fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, breads, rolls, etc., premade eggs, meats, omelets, etc. you can simply ask the server for a special omelet or other concoction, all included. Then dinner last night at the hotel restaurant was amazing -- and surprisingly inexpensive.
My room is fabulous, with a white patio with table and two chairs overlooking the Aegean, a king bed, a small living room, a jacuzzi, internet access, flat screen TV, a stereo for Greek music , etc. When at the pool, I did order a drink, but then later Chrisa came over with special towels for wiping my hands (the third time I'd received that service), then later she came and cleaned my sunglasses -- all at no cost.
This is truly the most outstanding hotel I have ever stayed in from beginning to now and for two more days. It shows what can be done. Obviously large franchise hotels cannot compete, but considering what I paid to expedia I feel like I've been treated like Angelina Jolie.
Just my two cents...
The original flight to Athens was not part of Tripadvisor. I wanted my Delta Skymiles, so I flew from Bos-JFK and JFK-Athens. There it's a breeze to change to another airlines. I could have gotten to Mykonos on Skyteam with Air France through Paris and Athens, but for a few extra miles it would have cost me an extra $1000. I only had to hope that there wouldn't be travel delays and that I'd miss my Mykonos flight (a two hour layover); even with one in JFK I made it fine.
Sounds like a fabulous stay & I adore the Greek Isles, but I'm a bit confused. Is it a Marriott property you're referring to? If so, which one? If not, why post a (great) trip report on a non-Marriott property on Insiders - unless it's to point out what you'd like to see from Marriott?
I'm w/ Michelle on this one though - I'd like to stay there. They had me at champagne & strawberries
How wonderful to hear from you on this fine day in America. I was wondering about where you had gone, not having seen any recents posts.....
Sounds like you are having a great time and my hopes would be that a few pics might follow in the days to come.
You should -- just say you're a Platinum member of Marriott, like you said you do. I ate dinner there tonight, less costly because of what I ordered last night and was told most of my wine was comped by the head waiter because I'd eaten there the night before (and made a reservation for tomorrow night as well because it's so good). The whole meal -- all courses, much wine, free entrees, free digestif and chocolates -- cost me 64 euros! A special shrimp potato encrusted with wasabi sauce, olive (or other) bread with olive/dried tomato sauce or blue cheese started it (I had that both days), then yesterday were my king crab's legs with pasta, and today filet mignon, perfectly cooked to specs (rare) with mushroom and Santorini vin santo saucem asparagus, etc., followed by (unintentionally except the piano player.singer sounds like a young Elton John). I waited a long time, but wanted to hear more (apparently normal), so I deferred plus was full. But I stayed and finally ordered strawberries in vinagraitte (it works) on Greek yogurt and another glass of red wine (one of two that was free). When I asked for the bill (1/3 of yesterday's), I learned about how they'd treated me. Greece -- EVERYONE PLEASE NOTE THIS - no longer has the usual European service charge, so if you don't add a tip you'd be doing what most not very nice people do in the US. The usual good euro tip in Greece is 10-15%. I added 20% but considering what I got, it tells me a whole lot about how you are treated when you treat people well. After all, t his is a very poor country except for those who are holding their money out of the system.
Matilda, my hostess at breakfast and dinner, was spectacular. She asked about my Venetian murano glass necklace when I went in, and said it was so beautiful it must be so expensive. It wasn't. But she then said you dress so wonderfully and essentially look so put together. I do that for my students as well (there's not much else to do in central Maine and they don't much appreciate it). But this is a real tip for Americans abroad. Not only do as the Romans do, but dress your best depending upon circumstances. You might very well find your restaurant bill cut by 1/3.
Then I got back to my room to find the 3rd day's half bottle of Greek lemon sweet wine (complimentary, of course) with Greek cantucci.
DOes it get better than this? There are more beautiful islands than Mykonos but I needed to go to Delos, 3 km away by ferry.
To echo but change Joan Baez, PLEASE COME TO GREECE! Nowhere but Syntagma Square is problematic (and that in Athens) and the islands are unaffected. I easily got cash upon arriving in Mykonos. There is nothing like the kind of light you see in Greece as well as the incredible beauty of the water, all four shades of blue to green.
It's late here, but I'm off to bed. I've taken pics of the room, the hotel, and tomorrow will try to do the restaurant. This is one amazing place.
I'll ask one more time...
Why are you doing a morsel by morsel review of a non-Marriott property on Marriott Insiders? And why in the 'Marriott doesn't provide breakfast' thread? (confused)
If you're having a great time, shouldn't TripAdvisor or something be the more appropriate place to post?
Please explain this to me because I don't get it. Seriously.
I posted because we all often comment on what we want or expect from Marriott properties, especially when we're paying a lot of money. This was intended to show what at least one hotel has done, even though it is not part of the Marriott chain. I fully realize most hotels can't or would not do all the things I went through, but the funny thing is if you add up all the complimentary things per person, I don't think it would cost all that much. But boy what an impression it makes!
There is a sticky thread on Flyertalk in the Marriott forum on which exec lounges are open/closed on the weekend (the list is both for domestic & international properties), and if they're closed if they offer brekkie coupons, and if closed if they're key accessible, and if they offer free wifi or internet terminals in the lounge.
If anyone is interested in whether a property they're going to stay at offers the above, I'd encourage them to go to that thread & check it out (and update the thread if they have knowledge of properties) . Maintaining the list takes a lot of work so I'm not going to duplicate it on Insiders.
And I'll trust Michelle to honor her word that they're not going to slap the hands of the properties who are customer service-oriented & find a way to make their numbers work yet still keep the exec lounges open
We stayed in Spartanburg, SC Marriott on May 10, 2013 on our way to Gatlinburg, TN since all hotels in Cola., SC were full because of USC graduation. The room was more expensive than the RI or CY, but I knew from experience that it is a nice hotel with an awesome restaurant so I opted to pay $127 per night rather than $79 and an RI breakfast. After calling Marriott to verify that breakfasts would be comped, we were comped for all 3 and the breakfasts were even better than expected with all kinds of eggs, omelets and waffles cooked individually, bacon that was delicious and sausage, quiche (not the greatest but good), juices, coffee and bottles of water that the waitress brought for us to take with us (maybe because she hadn't turned in the waffle order and had been a bit slow in getting to us). Really nice room and free parking. Really good stay. The last time we stayed there was several years ago and it was known as Spartanburg Renaissance Marriott, which was really confusing when making reservations and asking for a Ren. There wasn't a CL then, either. Beautiful grounds and building, too.
I didn't need to call to ask for the breakfast, it doesn't seem, since there were lots of envelopes there in the little trays to the side by the desk clerk.
I forgot to mention one of their pastries was a puff pastry that had the middle 1/3 spread with what tasted like a pecan pie filling and