All executive hotel lounges are not created equal.
Some offer plentiful food and beverage choices while some can be extremely bare bones, so unless the upgrade is free, it is wise for travelers to educate themselves on what to expect before making a decision to pay an additional fee.
A good place to start is, reading other travelers’ opinions on websites such as TripAdvisor or Cruisecritic to get an idea what the hotel is offering.
If guests are still unclear whether it would be worth their while to pay the extra charge, they shouldn’t hesitate to ask the front desk staff to see the lounge before making any decision.
After years of comparing lounges around the world, here are our top ten features to look for in an executive lounge.
Full buffet style breakfast
Most travelers, families included, love the convenience of enjoying breakfast without having to leave the hotel in the morning. That becomes, even more, important on days you chose to take early day trips or leave for the airport at an ungodly hour when many places are not even open yet.Though breakfasts can vary by hotel chain, country, and property the ones to seek are the ones that offer a full buffet with a variety of hot and cold dishes.
Extravagant Happy Hour
The “Happy Hour” that first started in restaurants has successfully crossed over to hotel lounges. Many properties offer appetizers and drinks as a free option between 5-8 pm. The lower end lounges offer potatoes chips, pretzels, and cheeses while the higher end splurge on lavish spreads making dinner plans obsolete ;which can be a money saver for a family with kids.
Ample seating space
Depending on the space allocated to the property; the executive lounge can feel spacious or crowded.
Naturally, the larger the room, the more comfortable the traveler will feel.
The hallmark of a good lounge is to not only have plushy furniture pieces but enough seating for most guests especially during peak hours namely: 8am-10am and 6pm-8pm.
Though many hotels in the United States offer unlimited bottled waters, sodas and coffees throughout the day, properties overseas might not be as generous. But it is in the alcohol department you will see the significant discrepancies.
The lower ended lounges will offer cheap wine and beer while the higher end ones will feature unlimited artisan wines, beers, and hard liquor.
Ability to upgrade
Upgrading to the executive level for an additional charge (when available) seems like a win-win situation for both the hotel and traveler, so it is surprising that only a few hotels actually do that. When offered, the cost can range anywhere from $50-100 a day, per person or room, which might not sound as pricey if you start calculating the daily cost for Wi-Fi, breakfast, snacks, and sometimes dinner for an average family of four.
Separate Family area
A growing number of hotels catering to families now offer a separate room filled with books, toys and the quintessential TV/video set to help occupy the kids. This is a good idea for all lounge guests; the adults enjoy a drink undisturbed in their area while the kids get to play and enjoy their own TV shows in a separate place.
A spectacular view of any city from a top floor is always a crowd pleaser, so it ‘s no wonder that unlike lower end properties with lounge next to a conference room or gym; luxury hotels opt to place their lounges on high floors with floor to ceiling windows.
Abundant food choices
You can recognize an excellent lounge not only by the quantity but the quality of food served and how quickly it is replenished once depleted. Some places go way out and offer mini-buffets boasting incredible selections of appetizers, finger foods, salads and desserts all freshly prepared by the hotel chef while others might stick to the basic cheese cubes ,crackers carrot sticks, and an unidentified pasta or fish sticks from Costco formula, on a nightly basis.
Uninterrupted hours of service
This one is one of the most important features on the list to figure out beforehand.
Guests should scrutinize the hours of operation and determine whether the hours of operation are convenient for them actually to enjoy the club level.
The top property lounges not only offer full service three times a day (breakfast, lunch or coffee break and a Happy Hour), but the room is accessible 24-hour a day to grab cookies as well as s hot and cold beverages which is useful after a long haul flight .In sharp contrast; less desirable lounges offer limited hours of operation, sometimes with no weekends that might end up of no use to some travelers.
Where is the best executive lounge you have found during your travels? What tips would you add to this list?