A LoyaltyLobby reader from Seoul sent us a message about a rather unfortunate situation with the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square hotel.
You can access the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul website here.
READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Message from the reader:
I stayed at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul in Korea. I made a reservation for the executive room and went to the lounge’s happy hour, but I was informed that the lounge was no longer available because the limited time and number of people were all closed.
Even if you book an executive room, they are repeating that Happy Hour is a special service item for the hotel and not a guarantee. Marriott reservation sites still sell executive rooms for more than $200.
I decided to check the price difference between various rooms at the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square hotel in Seoul.
The price difference between a standard room and an executive one is $91.
There has been anecdotal evidence that some of the hotels in Asia are in a situation they have not previously seen; they are so heavy in elite members with access to an executive club or so many buy room that comes with it that there is simply no space to accommodate all.
Some hotels have instituted a policy of having to book a slot to access the lounge or have an overflow area during happy hour.
I have not, however, come across a situation where the access would not be honored for those who PAY for it.
Options for hotels:
1. Offer refunds in cash or points for guests who accept this option
2. Have an overflow area during the busiest time
3. Offer executive lounge benefits at other F&B outlets
As a guest, I would NOT accept an option where the hotel essentially tells you to get lost when paying for executive club access that is not granted.
It is an awful situation at this hotel. Elite members and those paying for club access should book elsewhere IF the hotel cannot provide access.
I am also not a fan of a time limit or having to reserve a slot to access the lounge.
Not sure what this specific hotel has not come up with other options for those with access when the lounge is too full? Surely they have F&B outlets open that could offer complimentary drinks and snacks?
Guests who are denied access should demand compensation and accept nothing else than a partial refund or a significant amount of points.