Why Is the Service in Hotel Club Lounges Declining?

May 31, 2015

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TPG reader Wes tweeted me with this question about hotel club lounges:

@thepointsguy– “Have you noticed that many hotel club lounges in the US have been declining in their food and beverage offerings? What’s up with that?”

To tell you the truth, Wes, I haven’t really noticed a decline in the US, maybe because I’ve always thought that club lounges in the US weren’t that great to begin with (with the exception of Ritz-Carlton and some other premium hotels). The service at many mid-tier hotels has been stagnant for a while, and bland eggs and sausage seem to be the norm.

Though travelers are looking more and more for healthy food options, hotels in the States don’t seem to be responding, and are continuing to cut corners in their lounges.

However, club lounges in Asia (even in mid-tier hotels) are pretty amazing across the board. In general, I think US travel providers (both airlines and hotels) are constantly cutting back. The premium first-class cabins on US carriers don’t even come close to the amazing business-class cabins offered by most Asian carriers.

The W Lounge in Guangzhou, China. Way better than any other US lounge spread!
The W Lounge in Guangzhou, China — way better than the spread in any US hotel lounge!

US travel providers seem to be prioritizing the bottom line, while in Asia companies seem to take more pride in their brands. I was just at the W Guangzhou in China, and it’s the only W in the world with a gorgeous club lounge! Why don’t other Ws in the US have lounges like this? Probably because the focus is on minimizing cost rather than improving the product.

I recommend going to club lounges in Asia, where your expectations will most likely be met or even surpassed.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

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