Over the years I've stayed many nights in Marriott hotels with concierge lounges. I watched them evolve from snacks only, to more food, to brand standard (a lessening of choices), and to where we are today--somewhere in the middle.
This got me to wondering about the most unusual event or events that anyone ever experienced in concierge lounge. I’ve got a couple, but I will only bore you all with two of the most interesting things that occurred.
At the Santa Clara Marriott in Northern California, I was just seated at the concierge lounge when a gentleman came in, went to the honor bar, and poured himself a water glass of vodka with no ice. He filled out the required form and sat down next to me. Being at a loss for words other than to be amazed, I complained to him that my virus checker on my laptop was acting up, and he listened intently. After I stopped, he handed me his business card. The card indicated that he was indeed the CEO of Symantec, a computer security firm, whose headquarters was next to the Marriott. He also told me, that being CEO was not as much fun as I might imagine it could be. He said that he expected to be fired within the next four months, and that that was okay with him. He was fired. I called his office the next day and spoke with his executive assistant, who provided me with a free copy of the Norton antivirus software.
At the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington VA, one of the guests was the lobbyist for the state of Alaska who has the suite on the concierge floor all year, though he was often gone, His black lab, Barney, was in the room when he was not, walked and fed and bathed by housekeeping. Barney figured out the elevator, waiting patiently until someone came along and pressed the down button. Once he was known, everyone pushed the 16th floor button, to let him go back up. Barney was a beggar, loving to look sadly at a guest, silently begging for a handout. Management heard about his presence and decreed that he was no longer welcome in the lounge. From that day on, you had to step over Barney and pet him in the hallway as you entered. Barney died while chasing a squirrel in the front of the hotel. His passing hurt a lot of us, and a plaque was installed with his photo to commemorate his life and his death for all to see. When hotel management tried to have the plaque removed it took just one quick phone call to corporate to get it displayed again.