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should marriott change benefits at properties without lounges?

should marriott change benefits at properties without lounges?

Old Dec 2, 19, 7:50 pm
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should marriott change benefits at properties without lounges?

marriott clearly intends for certain brands (sheraton, le meridien, renaissance, westin, autograph collection, delta marriott, jw marriott) to have lounges for eligible elite status guests as well as guests who buy a room that includes access. even autograph collection properties are intended to have lounges. but it seems like more and more properties from these brands (esp internaitonally) dont have lounges. what was an exception has almost becoome a rule. look at paris. out of 13ish properties that should have lounges only 4 have lounges. that means 70% of marriott's paris properties from brands that should lounges dont. so perhaps it's time for marriott to change the benefits like requiring complimentary soft beverages at properties without lounges. wqhat say u?
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Old Dec 2, 19, 8:37 pm
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Many years ago, I used to find access to a club/concierge lounge to be a significant perk. The food was good and plentiful, the drinks were high-quality and either free or significantly discounted, and the environment was pleasant and uncrowded. They were usually staffed with knowledgeable associates who provided upscale service. Nowadays, even at properties that have a lounge, I often skip it because it's all changed. I more often find them putting out junky snacks, charging a premium for mediocre beverages, and so stuffed to the gills that they are neither relaxing nor enjoyable.

I guess I'd be happy if hotels did away with their concierge lounges, but don't know what I would consider a suitable benefit to replace them.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 9:37 pm
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I don't understand the sentiment about certain brands tailored having lounges, when Autograph properties typically don't, LM typically don't, many Westins don't, etc.

Simple solution - offer a high quality, made to order breakfast in the restaurant. Hyatt and Hilton seem to get it right. IMO much more preferable than a junk-filled over-crowded lounge.
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Old Dec 2, 19, 10:06 pm
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You'll find lots of enhancements and changes that FT members would like to make.

It doesn't matter.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 12:55 am
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I would like to see hotels not have the option to close the lounge on the weekend. It is also so hit and miss on hotels that offer free beer and wine in the lounge compared to others that don't. When ever I ask if they offer free beer or wine in some lounges, the lounge attendant looks at me in disbelief that a Marriott M lounge offers that.


I would also like to see an Ambassador reception of some sort every night at the bar. Maybe get two free drinks per person. If you don't drink you can get an appetizer.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 1:41 am
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Several properties I've stayed at that either don't have lounges, had the lounge close for some reason (not due to weekends), or, in one case, knew they sold everyone at some convention lounge access, offered some credit that was enough to buy an appetizer at the bar (as well as the standard breakfast).
This seems pretty reasonable for no lounge properties and is actually a win-win for everyone as I probably get a better snack, and I'll probably also buy a beer at the bar.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 6:01 am
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
I don't understand the sentiment about certain brands tailored having lounges, when Autograph properties typically don't, LM typically don't, many Westins don't, etc.

Simple solution - offer a high quality, made to order breakfast in the restaurant. Hyatt and Hilton seem to get it right. IMO much more preferable than a junk-filled over-crowded lounge.
"iv. Guaranteed Lounge Access. The Member plus one guest staying in the same room receives access to the Concierge/Executive/Club/Signature Club/M Club lounge (collectively, “Lounge” or “Lounge Access”) during normal hours of operations at JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Delta Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Autograph Collection, and Renaissance Hotels."

A fair number of Le Meridien hotels have lounges. more Westins have lounges than people think. Butif you read the Bonvoy terms Marriott clearly intended for there to be lounges at these brands. Otherwise just limit the lounge access provision to the brands in which 90-95% of non-resorts have lounges and add in a provision that if another non-resort brand has a lounge then access is complimentary. Look at how they worded this:

"Lounge Access is offered at Courtyard properties with a Lounge outside the United States and Canada ... Lounge Access is not offered at the following brands: The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, EDITION, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Design Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Gaylord Hotels, Four Points, SpringHill Suites, Protea Hotels, Fairfield, AC Hotels, Aloft, Moxy Hotels, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Element, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, and participating Vistana properties."
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Old Dec 3, 19, 6:20 am
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I agree and wholly annoyed when brands that should have lounges don’t. Often these properties bypass rules by calling themselves a resort.

orlando for example has two properties that I’m aware of with lounge, both by mco. Although I believe the new jw bonnet creek is including a lounge. Regardless vast majority of what is a sea of marriotts in Orlando have no lounge and marginal elite benefits

all the other hotels in Orlando fall under resort and fail to live up to elite standards. Recent stay at renaissance seaworld. No lounge but also failed to give a true late check out and claimed a 1pm check out was generous
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Old Dec 3, 19, 7:51 am
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More likely they get rid of the benefit than expand them to a brand standard, as to availability, hours, and menu.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 7:59 am
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I don't think the OP realizes that the Guaranteed Lounge Access statement is a CYA for Marriott, vs. an actual declaration that all the FS brands will eventually have lounges...clearly not the case.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by icanneverflyenough View Post
marriott clearly intends for certain brands (sheraton, le meridien, renaissance, westin, autograph collection, delta marriott, jw marriott) to have lounges for eligible elite status guests as well as guests who buy a room that includes access. even autograph collection properties are intended to have lounges. but it seems like more and more properties from these brands (esp internaitonally) dont have lounges. what was an exception has almost becoome a rule. look at paris. out of 13ish properties that should have lounges only 4 have lounges. that means 70% of marriott's paris properties from brands that should lounges dont. so perhaps it's time for marriott to change the benefits like requiring complimentary soft beverages at properties without lounges. wqhat say u?
Lounge access at Rewards-legacy brands and SPG-legacy brands are two different things. I would not lump these eight brands together.

Lounge Access at five Rewards-legacy brands — Marriott, JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Delta, and Renaissance (hotels but not resorts) — is in addition to the Platinum Elite (and higher) Welcome Gift. If the hotel does not have a lounge or the lounge is closed, member can choose 750 points OR breakfast for member + 1 Elite Pantry access is an approved alternative at Delta). A limited number of hotels provide 1,000 points each day the lounge is closed instead of a choice. Daily breakfast in the restaurant for member + 1 is not a Welcome Gift option.

Lounge Access at three SPG-legacy brands — Le Méridien, Sheraton, and Westin — only means that if the hotel has a lounge and it is open, then Platinum Elite (and higher) members have access. There is not an alternative benefit if there is not an open lounge. However, daily breakfast in the restaurant for member + 1 is a Welcome Gift option.

To make things more confusing, resorts of five Rewards-legacy brands — Marriott, JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Delta, and Renaissance — are not included in the Lounge Access benefit. However, they provide the option of daily breakfast in the restaurant for member + 1 as a Welcome Gift option, unlike hotels of the same brands.

If Marriott were designing its Elite benefits and brand structure from scratch, it would make sense for similar brands (such as Sheraton and Marriott) to provide the same benefits. There would also be fewer full-service brands. But with thousands of franchise contracts signed over a course of dozens of years, Marriott Bonvoy seems to be stuck with a bewilderingly complex Elite benefits program.

It's not a brand requirement to have club lounges at any of these eight brands. Lounges make business sense at larger properties with plenty of higher-tier guests.

No. I don't expect hotels that do not currently have club lounges to add them, except in rare cases in which a hotel owner sees it as an opportunity reduce the cost of providing breakfast to Elite guests.

No. I don't expect Marriott to force properties without lounges to provide alternative evening offerings. Smart hotel owners might do so on their own to attract higher-tier guests and to get their repeat business. But most hotel owners would balk at any increased expenses not required by their franchise agreement.
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Last edited by Horace; Dec 3, 19 at 9:56 am
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by Horace View Post
Lounge access at Rewards-legacy brands and SPG-legacy brands are two different things. I would not lump these eight brands together.

Lounge Access at five Rewards-legacy brands — Marriott, JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Delta, and Renaissance (hotels but not resorts) — is in addition to the Platinum Elite (and higher) Welcome Gift. If the hotel does not have a lounge or the lounge is closed, member can choose 750 points OR breakfast for member + 1 (OR Elite Pantry access at Delta). A limited number of hotels provide 1,000 points each day the lounge is closed instead of a choice. Daily reakfast in the restaurant for member + 1 is not a Welcome Gift option.

Lounge Access at three SPG-legacy brands — Le Méridien, Sheraton, and Westin — only means that if the hotel has a lounge and it is open, then Platinum Elite (and higher) members have access. There is not an alternative benefit if there is not an open lounge. However, daily breakfast in the restaurant for member + 1 is a Welcome Gift option.

To make things more confusing, resorts of five Rewards-legacy brands — Marriott, JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Delta, and Renaissance — are not included in the Lounge Access benefit. However, they provide the option of daily breakfast in the restaurant for member + 1 as a Welcome Gift option, unlike hotels of the same brands.

If Marriott were designing its Elite benefits and brand structure from scratch, it would make sense for similar brands (such as Sheraton and Marriott) to provide the same benefits. But with thousands of franchise contracts signed over a course of dozens of years, Marriott Bonvoy seems to be stuck with a bewilderingly complex Elite benefits program.

It's not a brand requirement to have club lounges at any of these eight brands. Lounges make business sense at larger properties with plenty of higher-tier guests.

No. I don't expect hotels that do not currently have club lounges to add them, except in rare cases in which a hotel owner sees it as an opportunity reduce the cost of providing breakfast to Elite guests.

No. I don't expect Marriott to force properties without lounges to provide alternative evening offerings. Smart hotel owners might do so on their own to attract higher-tier guests and to get their repeat business. But most hotel owners would balk at any increase expense not required by they franchise agreement.
I disagree. I think it's fairly obvious that Marriott intends for these brands to have lounges. Not having a lounge was an exception that is increasingly the rule especially in Europe. Until quite recently it would have been unheard of to find one of those legacy Marriott or legacy Starwood brands without a lounge. So clearly they were always intended to have lounges except in some circumstances. If Marriott didn't intend for these brands to consistently offer a lounge then you would expect the terms to be more generic. Perhaps something like all hotels except the following brands are to offer complimentary access to eligible elite status guests if they have a lounge. Instead Marriott has carefully listed the brands that have always had lounges. Of course thats just my opinion but it's also just your opinion. Sure be nice if someone had a copy of basic brand standards that franchisees get.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post

Simple solution - offer a high quality, made to order breakfast in the restaurant. Hyatt and Hilton seem to get it right. IMO much more preferable than a junk-filled over-crowded lounge.
Agreed for the domestic properties, this is a good solution. For the international properties, especially Asia but also Europe, I think the lounges provide value beyond breakfast. No reason they can't have a different offer internationally and domestically - in fact they kind of do already.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by icanneverflyenough View Post
I disagree. I think it's fairly obvious that Marriott intends for these brands to have lounges. Not having a lounge was an exception that is increasingly the rule especially in Europe. Until quite recently it would have been unheard of to find one of those legacy Marriott or legacy Starwood brands without a lounge.
Such lounges are, to a great degree, artifacts from the 1980s and 1990s, when hotels were built with Club/Concierge/Signature/Executive floors whose rooms included access to an exclusive lounge. Hotels could charge more for rooms on such floors. Such floors have gone out of fashion, although they persist at some hotels that had them. In 2000s and 2010s, lounges have been largely divorced from specific floors.

In more recent years, Marriott International has sought to re-invent lounges. For example, M Club Lounges at Marriott Hotels are usually on a lower floor, are usually larger than traditional lounges, are not tied to a specific guest room floor, serve Elite members, but also serve regular guests who pay an up-charge for access. Such lounges only make business sense at larger hotels.

There have always been plenty of hotels without lounges — including full-service hotels that have been in the Marriott or Starwood systems for decades. Hotel owners decide when it makes business sense to have a lounge.

I disagree that "it's fairly obvious that Marriott intends for these brands to have lounges." That has never been the case. For higher-tier members, Marriott Rewards provided a breakfast alternative. For higher-tier members, SPG offered daily breakfast as a Welcome Gift option. In both cases, that's recognition that not all hotels will have lounges. It's still that way in Marriott Bonvoy today.

Originally Posted by icanneverflyenough View Post
So clearly they were always intended to have lounges except in some circumstances. If Marriott didn't intend for these brands to consistently offer a lounge then you would expect the terms to be more generic. Perhaps something like all hotels except the following brands are to offer complimentary access to eligible elite status guests if they have a lounge. Instead Marriott has carefully listed the brands that have always had lounges. Of course thats just my opinion but it's also just your opinion. Sure be nice if someone had a copy of basic brand standards that franchisees get.
The terms are specific because they need to be. As I noted earlier, the rules are different for different brands. A Westin guest is not entitled to request 750 points each day a lounge is closed (or not there at all), but a Renaissance guest can do so. That needs to be in the terms — and it is.

I disagree with the word "always" in the sentence, "Instead Marriott has carefully listed the brands that have always had lounges." There are no Marriott brands that have always had lounges at all hotels.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 11:47 am
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I believe the Starwood Sheraton standard was Sheratons had lounges. Full stop.

I don't recall ever being in a Sheraton prior to Stariott that did not have a lounge.

This may have been different internationally but I know in the USA there were hotels which switched from Sheraton to Four Points in part so the could get rid of their lounge.
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