Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Club Floor

At the J.W. Marriott Bangkok, I stayed in a room on one of the hotel's club floors. A room on a club floor costs extra, but some travellers enjoy the additional perks. After a door-to-door journey of 21 hours, I certainly did.

A club floor is a floor within the hotel which allows its guests access to a dedicated lounge -- the eponymous "club" -- which is usually located on one end of the floor. Club floors are also sometimes called "executive floors," since the floors cater to business travellers. Some hotels have multiple club floors, which are often linked by an internal staircase that connects only those floors.

The specific perks vary depending upon the property and the class of hotel. Even the most basic club-floor lounge should provide guests with complimentary newspapers, magazines and soft drinks.

Assiduous use of the club floor's privileges can reduce your food and beverage tab. At the J.W. Marriott Bangkok, the price of a club-floor room included a buffett breakfast in the morning and high tea and a dim sum spread in the late afternoon. After dark, the space became a lounge proper with an open bar and nibblies. Non-alcoholic beverages were available all day for the taking.

Consequently, at this particular hotel, you could eat two meals a day on the house, and you rarely needed to raid the mini-bar (which you could re-stock for free in any event).

Club-floor privileges can also include internet access (wired and wi-fi), use of a meeting room or whatever other services the hotel decides to offer. The club floor sometimes provides separate front desk, concierge and butler services for its guests.

All of which adds up to the fact that the club floor has excellent snob appeal. A well-run club floor is a hotel within a hotel, in which you never have to venture down to the lobby and wait in line with other guests. Rooms on club floors are generally not marketed to leisure travellers nor sold to packagers. Thus, you can take your breakfast in the company of other International Herald Tribune-reading members of the global business community and away from the tourist couple from Iowa and their three fat children. They're not members of the club.


Blogger Dave Williams said...

The JW in Bucharest has a similar "snob sector."
I loved it, along with the impossibly amazing complimentary breakfast...
Don't you love high-end travel in third-world countries?

3:55 AM  

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