Old Jul 7, 18, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by AlwaysFlyStar View Post
It's interesting. I don't go to North America that often, maybe once or twice per year. But I have seen that the Marriott/Hilton lounges tended to charge for alcohol in the lounges, but just kind of assumed that was because they are 'upscale' hotels, whereas my impression was that Fairmont was marketed as 'luxury' and the times I have stayed at Ritz Carltons, etc. even in the states, I feel like they had free alcohol. And if Fairmont was competing with Marriott/Hilton, I wouldn't think much of it, but my understanding is they are more competing with Ritz Carlton type hotels and so I guess that is why I am surprised.
I'd argue that Fairmont Gold lounges are *much* superior compared to Hilton/Starwood/Marriott/etc. lounges in North America (less so outside North America), but probably a notch below the Ritz Carlton Club experience.

Ritz Carlton has only added club lounges to various hotels fairly recently, and generally only at their top properties. This has definitely changed the competitive environment in quite a few markets..

Originally Posted by AlwaysFlyStar View Post
I really do find it interesting that people do seem to feel that they are often quite special, because this just strikes me as unnecessary penny-pinching, which is not something I normally associate with luxury hotel stays, and makes me wonder where else they try to save a few quid.
I'm not sure the original decision to have an honour bar was based on "saving a few bucks", but more about offering a more exclusive, quieter environment for people who would pax for a few drinks at the bar anyway.

But I agree to a certain degree, complimentary drinks would definitely appeal to quite a few people (and I'll happily admit I enjoy the occasional glass of wine, especially when travelling); and since Fairmont Gold lounges outside NA already offer this benefit, I wouldn't rule out that properties in NA will offer it too eventually (IIRC the Fairmont properties in Bermuda recently introduced a "happy hour" in their Gold lounge).
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