Our Whine Wednesday this week is about a real pet peeve of mine, namely hotels that frequently close their public facilities to the guests because they rented them out for private functions.
Usually hotels require certain facilities such as a restaurant, pool and bar to actually maintain their 4*/5* Standard and when they rent out this space for the duration of the stay the property actually doesn’t deliver the full package.
A lot of times this happens in Asia and especially Bangkok where hotels often rent out their bars, restaurants and sometimes even the pool deck for private functions such as christmas parties, birthdays and weddings.
The downside comes when the bar for example is used for the elite happy hour some of these hotels hold where one can order cocktails or just regular beer and wine.
Of course this means big bucks for the hotel and from a business perspective it makes more sense to rent out the bar to a party and charge a flat fee instead of keeping it pretty much empty and giving away free drinks to a bunch of Elite members from 5 to 7.
A couple hotels automatically come to my mind when thinking about this. One is the Le Meridien Bangkok with their BambooChic bar. The hotel is a favorite among former SPG and now Marriott Elites and the pretty fantastic happy hour is a big part of that. When the bar is closed the whole thing gets relegated to the small patio next to the main road.
Another one is the Hyatt Place Bangkok where World of Hyatt Elites (at least Globalists) are receiving drink coupons for their nice Aire Rooftop Bar. They frequently hold events there and the bar is then closed until late in the evening. At least the coupons don’t have a time limit but it’s still annoying unless you plan to go at 10pm.
Recently Grand Hyatt Erawan closed their Spasso restaurant for a private party (and has currently closed their Tables restaurant since the summer). Customers who hold the Club at the Hyatt Dining Club membership at 12,000 THB per year did not receive any compensation [I cancelled my membership there].
Even not considering the elite benefits, I select a hotel to a large part because of it’s facilities such as a bar for some evening drinks and the restaurant for breakfast the next morning. Especially a swimming pool is important to me so if a hotel decides to close it down in favor of financial gain from a private party then they better provide some compensation.
As far as I’m concerned I usually walk away and stay somewhere else that night and have done so more than once, especially at the LeMeridien but also the Hyatt Place. Hotels should stick to their ballrooms when it comes to private parties.