After spending five days at a convention at the lovely Marriott Los Angeles Airport, I come away with a thought - too bad all hotels aren’t all-inclusive!
Marriott Los Angeles Airport
While I love the all-inclusive resort convenience, I also love some aspects of the Marriott hotels. Marriott hotels have amazing beds, great rooms and amenities and are in good locations. I was super impressed with the attention to details at this hotel. I was at this hotel for a large convention but when I walked in by myself, there were at least ten staff members in the check in area to help me with every little thing and welcome me and make me feel like I was home. I’ve checked into many many hotels but this had to be the best welcome I’d ever received.
Quickly I realized I forgot my toothbrush and with one phone call, I had a beautiful little welcome package brought to my room with a smile. I awoke the next morning with a personal hand-written welcome note from the concierge - nice!
The beds...my favorite. Soft, firm, cozy! Lots of pillows, beautiful featherbed duvet and I was in heaven!
But....what’s my bill going to be...
Checking out - the ugly part of the hotel stay!
But as I am looking at my hotel bill and checking out today, I write this wishing this was a pre-paid all-inclusive resort.
One item I really don’t like to pay for is internet but yes, in room, internet is only available for a fee. It’s free in the lobby but you know how many people are in the lobby when it’s the only place internet is free! I don’t like standing in the corner holding my computer. Add $9 per day to check and respond to e-mails. Seriously, what does internet access cost them.
While here at the Marriott, my choice in the morning for coffee and a bite to eat was the Starbucks in the lobby because our meetings began at 7 am. That usually meant just under $10 for my coffee and a bagel or scone (and tip). Coffee break at 10:30 meant another $5 for coffee and $2.50 for a bottle of water and back to meetings. Lunch was easily $25 for either caesar salad or a hamburger and an iced tea (again with tip). More coffee breaks, evening dinner (always around $40 for a simple dinner) and much more if we added a glass of wine.
Room service is something I’ve also gotten very used to at all-inclusive resorts. Here at Marriott, the room service menu is great but...$7 for cereal? $8 for coffee? $4 for a soft drink? $20 for a light American breakfast. Yes, those are typical room service prices and options but I guess I’ve gotten very used to it at the all-inclusive resorts where I can order anything I like and it just costs me the tip (and that’s not even mandatory).
Resort fees are becoming quite standard and those fees often cover parking, internet at some hotels, concierge services, some city fees, etc. I fly, I don’t park my car so I don’t like paying this but when it’s charged at a hotel, you’re going to pay for it. It seems like every state or city loves to tack on added state assessments, city assessments, improvement fees, etc onto the tourism industry and we pay for it in the hotel rooms.
At Marriott, my $109 room rate ended up $22 per room higher just in taxes and fees. And don’t forget my Starbucks bill!!
The Moral of the Story
The moral of the story is I realize how much I appreciate the all-inclusive concept when I travel. I truly appreciate having a cup of coffee, a bottle of water, a soda, and yes, a glass of wine without thinking about the end bill.
I appreciate knowing what my cost is before hand; being able to accurately budget the cost of my stay without any real surprises.
I appreciate the relaxing nature of a worry-free all-inclusive option at a resort and I know most of my clients feel the same way! That’s why all-inclusive resorts are so very popular in Mexico and the Caribbean.
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