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Charging for drinks in the Club lounge?

Charging for drinks in the Club lounge?

Old Jan 20, 20, 6:07 pm
  #1  
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Charging for drinks in the Club lounge?

In the Nashville Sheraton Grand and the JW Marriott in Panama, they are now charging for glasses of wine!

I have been a member for 35 years and travelled a lot with this hotel group. I have not seen this before this current trip.

It reminds me of what Cathay Pacific did to their first class lounge at Hong Kong airport. Cut costs and now its almost empty and they have lost many of their best customers.

So will Marriott, change back to the way it used to be.

Those two hotels have lost me as a customer.

Or when bank's started removing pens to save money, forgetting they cost less than getting new customers!
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Old Jan 20, 20, 6:16 pm
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Most nonluxury hotel lounges in the USA charge for drinks.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 7:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Dontchange View Post
In the Nashville Sheraton Grand and the JW Marriott in Panama, they are now charging for glasses of wine!

I have been a member for 35 years and travelled a lot with this hotel group. I have not seen this before this current trip.

It reminds me of what Cathay Pacific did to their first class lounge at Hong Kong airport. Cut costs and now its almost empty and they have lost many of their best customers.

So will Marriott, change back to the way it used to be.

Those two hotels have lost me as a customer.

Or when bank's started removing pens to save money, forgetting they cost less than getting new customers!
Surprised that you haven't encountered this. US mid-level brands rarely, if ever, include any form of alcohol. Been that way for at least 35 years.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Dontchange View Post
In the Nashville Sheraton Grand and the JW Marriott in Panama, they are now charging for glasses of wine!

I have been a member for 35 years and travelled a lot with this hotel group. I have not seen this before this current trip.

It reminds me of what Cathay Pacific did to their first class lounge at Hong Kong airport. Cut costs and now its almost empty and they have lost many of their best customers.

So will Marriott, change back to the way it used to be.

Those two hotels have lost me as a customer.

Or when bank's started removing pens to save money, forgetting they cost less than getting new customers!
In my experience, most properties in the USA don't offer free alcohol but almost all in other countries do. In California, the properties have claimed that it's due to liquor licensing laws which I believed for years until I went to an IHG property that was offering complimentary alcohol with no problems. I think the hotels are finding that with the relatively low cost of "upgrading" to lounge access (about $50 on average a night), they will lose money on the free alcohol. Not hard to believe when I see some people camping all night in the lounges with free alcohol.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 7:42 pm
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It's been a handful of years now, but I seem to recall doing an overnight at the IAH Marriott (took an $800 VDB) and they had an "honor system" for alcohol in the lounge.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 8:41 pm
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I can think of only four USA hotels where I've ever seen free wine in the lounge, only one of which is Starriott (legacy Starwood LC).
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Old Jan 20, 20, 8:46 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Most nonluxury hotel lounges in the USA charge for drinks.
Agreed, welcome to the US.

That said, Marriott loves to group JW into the luxury property portfolio when it just doesn’t offer a luxury experience. In full service hotels, this may be the brand I hate the most just because it’s so ambiguous and over marketed. I’ve been to plenty ‘standard’ Marriott hotels that I find more luxurious than JW.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 8:50 pm
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If someone thinks JW is luxury, I have a bridge in NYC to sell.....
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Old Jan 20, 20, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Dontchange View Post
In the Nashville Sheraton Grand and the JW Marriott in Panama, they are now charging for glasses of wine!

It reminds me of what Cathay Pacific did to their first class lounge at Hong Kong airport. Cut costs and now its almost empty and they have lost many of their best customers.
They did not cut off free drinks in F nor J lounges in HK or for that matter, anywhere in CX J or F lounges. They are far from empty, also.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by ricktoronto View Post
They did not cut off free drinks in F nor J lounges in HK or for that matter, anywhere in CX J or F lounges. They are far from empty, also.
Well, to the extent Cathay lounges may be lighter these days, I'm pretty sure it's due to factors other than their food and beverage offerings.

Agree with others that I've seen cash bars at many US lounges, across chains, for years. (I also remember it at the Westin in Lima almost a decade ago.) The trend is for many US properties to get rid of their lounges entirely, anyway, so I wouldn't base much of my US loyalty on this at this point
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Old Jan 20, 20, 10:12 pm
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if you are staying in these hotels, you may not be their “best customer”. it goes far more upscale...
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Old Jan 20, 20, 10:40 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If someone thinks JW is luxury, I have a bridge in NYC to sell.....
It's probably somewhat relative. For example, while probably not "luxurious," per se, in the eyes of many, the JW in Bogota is probably considered one of the more "prestigious" in the city with many diplomats and the occasional head of state in residence. But I haven't stayed in many JWs other than that location, so don't really have a wide base of experience to speak from. And while I enjoyed their lounge nightly over many stays, until one got to know the staff fairly well they more or less stuck to a two-drink limit in terms of free pours and handed you a check for anything more.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 10:46 pm
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I don't ever remember US based Marriott or Sheraton lounges offering free booze. Wasn't offered for free in Canada either. Now in Europe and Asia is a completely different story. Pretty much open bar for beer and wine only. If you want free booze in the lounge, Intercontinental still offers it in their Club Lounges with the evening appetizer service.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 11:54 pm
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There are a few places, but they’re hard to find. Here are some recent ones:

Sheraton Waikiki
Westin Moana Surfrider
Sheraton Salt Lake City

LM King Edward in Toronto used to have free wine/beer but it rebranded about 10 yrs ago.

I know there are others, but it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 11:57 pm
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RC (including mixed drinks and some luxury cognac) lounges have open free bars for many hours of the day at an additional lounge access cost in the range of $100-200 extra per person per day.
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