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Homewood suites reception changes

Homewood suites reception changes

Old May 21, 15, 12:20 pm
  #1  
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Homewood suites reception changes

I have been staying at Homewood suites for years - specifically for the included dinners. I like not having to deal with leaving, searching, driving for dinner and I know I could get full. (for no extra $)

Yesterday, checked-in and found out the one I am staying at is changing to a new much "lighter" (smaller) food selection. The employee told me all Homewood suites are making this change.

I cannot understand this from a business perspective since I universally have heard and talked to other fellow guests for years that this was the thing that set Homewood apart and why we all stayed here. I don't know anyone who will be happy. If you can't get full, then why bother and what is the point. So if this turns out to be true - are there any other chains that actually still offer a meal included?

thx - scratching my head
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Old May 21, 15, 12:23 pm
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Did you ask them what that meant exactly?
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Old May 21, 15, 1:28 pm
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This could be an improvement if "lighter" means anything healthier than the awful, institutional dreck that they've been serving. The concept of included dinner is a good one, but IMO the execution has been consistently poor. Likely a good choice for families on vacation or those who simply want to get a full stomach; for others, not so much. Must say that some locations, such as Carlsbad, CA, offer decent local beers instead of the absolute cheapest stuff available that seems to be the brand standard.
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Old May 21, 15, 1:48 pm
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I've stayed at a lot of Homewoods (and Embassies, and Residence Inns, and one or two others that do complimentary evening food/bev) and never encountered one where the food was in any way memorable. I appreciate the ones that serve a local craft beer instead of college beer, but I don't think I've ever considered the food any more than a simple snack before a proper dinner.

Institutional dreck is a good description for it. I like Homewood...just never went in expecting it to be a foodie's paradise to begin with.
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Old May 21, 15, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I've stayed at a lot of Homewoods (and Embassies, and Residence Inns, and one or two others that do complimentary evening food/bev) and never encountered one where the food was in any way memorable. I appreciate the ones that serve a local craft beer instead of college beer, but I don't think I've ever considered the food any more than a simple snack before a proper dinner.

Institutional dreck is a good description for it. I like Homewood...just never went in expecting it to be a foodie's paradise to begin with.
The HS in Kalispell did a real meal. Enchilada casserole, tacos, chicken, vegetables, salads. Good spread. But as I said above, this is the only HS I have ever stayed at so is in no way indicative of what is usual fare at HS's.
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Old May 21, 15, 2:37 pm
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No, the HS dinners have never been anything that would impress a restaurant critic, but I have valued them highly as a business traveler. I'm usually pretty busy and often on a per diem, so the time and cost savings are both appreciated. Couple that with the fact that sometimes the HS locations are in areas that don't have great food offerings to begin with. And I have never found the food to be bad, by any means. Last HS I was at, Chicago mag mile, actually had salmon that was probably better than 50% of the restaurant or catered salmon you run into.

My only gripe about HS dinners has been that there aren't any on Sunday evening, which is when I usually show up right off a plane and starving...
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Old May 21, 15, 3:22 pm
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I'd be curious what the change constitutes. Let us know after dinner tonight DJ44...
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Old May 21, 15, 3:51 pm
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I haven't actually stayed a lot at this chain, but always live in fear of encountering my least favorite offering I've seen on their posted menus: stuffed peppers! The "Asian" glop I didn't find all that thrilling either.

Might they go Hilton Lounge effect to crackers-and-cheese, veggies and pot stickers? I don't necessarily see families going for that.
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Old May 21, 15, 3:59 pm
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Occasional leisure travelers won't select HI based on menu. Business travelers seem to demand lighter and healthier alternatives these days. Bearing in mind that business travelers are being reimbursed by their employer, they just go somewhere else to eat if it's not to their liking and then HI's competitive advantage is gonzo.
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Old May 21, 15, 7:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Bearing in mind that business travelers are being reimbursed by their employer, they just go somewhere else to eat if it's not to their liking and then HI's competitive advantage is gonzo.
Hey there Don Draper, not all businesspeople are on an expense account. See my post above.
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Old May 21, 15, 8:15 pm
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Hey there Don Draper, not all businesspeople are on an expense account. See my post above.
^^^

I get it - for a lot of people, the Homewood food doesn't work for dinner. No problem. But for others, myself included, it does, especially when I have work to do in the evening and I need to stay in. Their dinners were always a significant component of my hotel choice. If they take it away, they take away what has often been the deciding factor for staying there.
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Old May 21, 15, 9:53 pm
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I have never been wowed by the dinners at Homewood Suites (nor Residence Inn) but sometimes they are convenient. Residence Inn has also been generally cutting back on their evening offerings for a couple of years now. I think it is a trend in this segment of the industry.

For me, breakfast is more important than dinner. I sometimes take advantage of dinner (when I am very tired or unusually busy) but more often go out. I am lucky that I can expense a reasonable dinner. For family leisure travel we almost always eat breakfast at the hotel but are almost never there for dinner. So lack of dinner won't really affect my choice for neither business nor leisure travel. At the same time I do understand why folks like having the dinners and it is always a nice fallback to have.

--Jon
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Old May 22, 15, 8:00 am
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Originally Posted by PATRLR View Post
I get it - for a lot of people, the Homewood food doesn't work for dinner. No problem. But for others, myself included, it does, especially when I have work to do in the evening and I need to stay in. Their dinners were always a significant component of my hotel choice. If they take it away, they take away what has often been the deciding factor for staying there.
Exactly. And HS has to know that. Everyone is talking about these families and leisure travelers that HS is supposedly courting. Well, that's not who I see at the HS locations that I have been to on Sun-Thurs. Unless they are leisure travelers who like office parks and wearing company-logo polos. Joking aside, HS is clearly courting the everyman business traveler - the people who aren't high rollers like Often1. And for those folks, on both the time/convenience and expense fronts, the dinner is a significant part of the value proposition.

Another question is - if you take away the dinner, what differentiates HS from ES?
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Old May 22, 15, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Exactly. And HS has to know that. Everyone is talking about these families and leisure travelers that HS is supposedly courting. Well, that's not who I see at the HS locations that I have been to on Sun-Thurs. Unless they are leisure travelers who like office parks and wearing company-logo polos. Joking aside, HS is clearly courting the everyman business traveler - the people who aren't high rollers like Often1. And for those folks, on both the time/convenience and expense fronts, the dinner is a significant part of the value proposition.

Another question is - if you take away the dinner, what differentiates HS from ES?
ES receptions every night, not just midweek, in that case. ES also has on-site bars/restaurants.
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Old May 22, 15, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post

Another question is - if you take away the dinner, what differentiates HS from ES?
- Full size kitchenette.
- Larger suites
- 2 bedroom suites (Very few ES have these)

So if you need more space and/or the ability to prepare and store food, HS still is front-runner in that regard.
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