The last few years, when travelling to a city where a conveniently located Renaissance property is available I find myself choosing it over an equally convenient full service Marriott.
The brings up an interesting question: DO THE RENAISSANCE STAFF OFFER BETTER SERVICE TO PLATINUM MEMBERS?
This has been my experience.
The only theory I have is that they consider themselves either the "stepchild" of the organization or (as one desk manager admitted) "we are a little snobby" than our "siblings".
Comments would be greatly appreciated.
I think they do try harder and view themselves above the quality of the typical FS Marriott. In my opinion the ones I've stayed with really are a notch above (Charleston, SC; Bay Harbor, MI; Raleigh, NC; one south of JAX, FL). I'm sure I've forgotten others I've stayed with over the years.
I've riffed on this previously, but, in my experience, many Renaissance properties do go the extra mile. I have enjoyed some memorable upgrades at Renaissance properties, and I've often been very pleasantly surprised by their concierge lounge-type services.... Some of our favorites include:
Alas, we were deeply saddened when we learned that the London Chancery Court was no longer a Renaissance - that was one of our favorite properties anywhere!!!!
Great answer ssindc and thanks for posting misterchk. I too, feel there is a difference in the stylish attitude of the Renaissance brands and there are some terrific rates at the Mayflower (even an AAA $99 pre-paid New Years eve) and Inner Harbor on some December and early January nights. The New York Times Sq. has $139 Sunday AAA rates for about eight Sundays in a row, which is great for a DC/Philly/Boston morning trip, matinee, dinner etc.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
With Mobile, AL; Dallas, TX Market Hall, Raleigh, NC in the north side mall that's more like a Galleria; I would say yes.
For Atlanta, GA Concourse; not really. We've had more problems with that place, including the mgrs. and their getting the rates right, as well as the thermostat working during the night; but my husband and I still like watching the planes there on the concourse side. Our son hates it because of the down comforters and the thermostat always making him (as well as us) too hot.
What in the world is the problem with hotels around ATL - on a previous post (and I believe a review) I commented on the horrific experience I had at the Atlanta Airport Marriott (where I was treated one category above a felon!).
Yeah. I bet that was the older Marriott just up from the CY and FFI, right?
The first time we stayed there, we were impressed, even though no status. Clean, good rooms, nice hospitality. About a year later, it was markedly different in the worst way. The carpet by the conference rooms was FILTHY, as though never been cleaned. We had to have coupons for Starbucks coffee. Unfriendly. Just bad and haven't been there since. That was about 2005, I think.
I forgot to mention that several, including me, have commented on the terrible treatment by the J. W. Marriott by the Galleria mall. I'll never go there again. It wasn't by the person who checked us in, who was really nice, but by the 2 men checking us out and saying that the beds had cost $1500 just recently and acted like we were lying when we said they had been terrible beds. The mattresses were terrible no matter what they had cost. Just because a mattress cost a lot doesn't mean that it's going to be comfortable. QC has to be performed on each to make sure of that.
I once worked as a secretary / receptionist at a mattress company and if a big order had been put in like that, there's more of a likelihood that some will be bad than that all will be good.
I've only stayed in one Renaissance (Baton Rouge) and since then, I've "tried harder" to stay away from that chain. First Marriott housekeeping problem I've seen in 20 + years (and it was in more than one room). Then you get "attitude" for bringing it up. A lot easier to avoid the place altogether. Ended up the manager was nice, but didn't find that out until long after leaving. Now, I don't even look at Renaissance.
Baton Rouge has got to be one of the most ignorant places ever. I avoided going through LA to TX for SC and AL for years when my young son and I were kicked out of a Red Roof Inn just a few minutes after checking in there once. He said we weren't checked into that room, but he called it and the girl who had just gone off shift had given us the key and that room number. Then the HP came and told us we had to leave. I had called them thinking the law would be on our side.
We got out of LA as fast as possible and saw someone who was pulled over by at least a dozen "law officer" vehicles a few miles later. This was at a time when LA was being publicized in Parade for pulling cars over to plant drugs on them so they could confiscate them.
I love the Dallas Market Hall Ren. when I can get it for weekend rates. The same thing with the Raleigh, NC on the north side of town in the shopping center. Mobile, AL Ren. was really good.
Don't base anything on what you run into in LA. Like all places there's a lot of good, but a lot more "backwater ignorance" there than most places.
People from Louisiana and Wisconsin are special, they smoke at the gas pumps more than any other state I've driven through.
That said, although there is a lot of corruption in Louisiana, I'm sure there is a long list of other states where it is quite significant also. I wouldn't single Louisiana out for that as they have lots of company.
Some of my best friends live in Louisiana and I've always had a good time there, despite the one obnoxious hotel clerk.
I prefer Renaissance to Marriott though it is mainly because I enjoy the rooms and decor more--more contemporary. I feel for the most part that service has been the same though I do feel that the hotel/staff at Renaissance Las Vegas and Renaissance Boulder went the extra mile. I'm at the Renaissance Nashville right now and while I like Renaissance, I have actually enjoyed the food more at Marriott Concierge Lounges.
I am looking forward to staying at the Chicago River Downtown Renaissance in March.
I have stayed at a total of three renaissance properties. One with my wife, one alone, and one with my wife and mother (two rooms).
My wife has advised me that she is not willing to ever return to the Baton Rouge Renaissance Hotel under any circumstances. This is likely due to poor housekeeping and rudeness of the staff we dealt with.
The LAX Renaissance, although dated, was fine...that's the trip I took alone.
The third Renaissance - at London Heathrow Airport - was with my wife and my mother. they both wanted to move to a different hotel after only one night's stay. In fact, my mother insisted upon it and it was the only "bad" hotel experience of the entire trip.
Renaissance branding themselves as a "cut above" the Marriott mainstream chain is absurd.
My mother and wife generally are not all that fussy, but each of them have banned staying at 100% of the properties in this chain that they have stayed at.
The check in staff at the Renaissance Heathrow left a lot to be desired. I had to abandon the first position after waiting in line because the girl didn't know what she was doing. Fortunately, someone else was able to check me in. Untrained staff should not be checking people in - or attempting to do so.
I'm not sure if I will ever try a "Ren" property again. Maybe they should join Econolodge or something.....
ssindc, thank you for your response. However, I don't know why I would give it one more try as there is really nothing to win. The problem is that despite the small rooms,the renovation and the lack of concierge lounge in my comments, it appears they also have some painful check in procedures and do not feel like it is important to properly train people before subjecting the guest to them.
As I had a room with no view at all, I would have been better off at the Marriott Heathrow. And in fact, that's where we did go and the reason we went to the "ren" was that the Marriott Heathrow was full. Fortunately, they found room for us. But maybe they should "walk" that "ren" over to another chain. Although I don't know what chain in their right mind would want them.
Have a good trip to Munich and be mindful of the cancellation policies at Marriott there.
I was not excited by the Renaissance Heathrow either. On the other hand my experiences at Renaissance properties in Charlotte, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Nashville were all outstanding. I'm looking forward to a stay at one in Oklahoma CIty in August.
It's hard to argue that three bad experiences in a row is just coincidence, but I'd suggest trying one more time (though I can understand why you'd be reluctant).
Good call, agree with you!
You are in for a treat in "OK City"!
Great location, plenty of interesting places within walking distance, and easy to drive around town. I really enjoy OK!
Hotel has The Convention Center just behind it!
The Lobby is very attractive and comfortable!
Atrium is really nice in the OK Ren! One concern was the Valet Parking. It really seemed to be "Backed-up"! It's probably due to the "Feast or Famine" of activities at the hotel and/or area!
Thanks everyone for your input.
Actually, I did not have three "bad" experiences in a row.
The experience at the Baton Rouge Renaissance was a couple of years ago, maybe even three years ago. We went into the room and it had not been cleaned properly. There was "stuff" on the cabinet by the tv and in the bathroom.
As this was the first time I'd set foot in a Renaissance, I just headed down to the front desk and wanted to change my reservation to the Residence Inn, where I had stayed many times. I was then persuaded to stay and they'd give me another room instead, and it was nice of them to then upgrade me to a suite but of course the same bad housekeeping practices were in force and there were uncleaned surfaces in that room too. Please bear in mind that in the decades of staying at Marriott properties, I had only had an issue with this once before, and only once.
The problem is that they seem to "pretend" to believe you for the first room and then when it turns out there is the same problem in the second room, rather than acknowledging there's a housekeeping problem, it is almost like a mockery is made of it, where she wipes the table and says "is this good enough" etc, etc. Entirely unprofessional and uncomfortable situation which is what happens when you have an employee with "attitude". My "spider sense" was tingling after the situation with the first room, and that sixth sense I have is just about always right. I should have simply left the property.
The second Renaissance experience was at LAX and it was good. This was last December.
The Heathrow Renaissance stay was in May, and it was cut short after one night as I mentioned.
The title of this thread is "Does Renaissance Try Harder?", and in fact they don't. I would contend that they don't try hard enough.
Normally, I evaluate hotels on their individual merits and not by chain. Some Courtyards are better than others. Some RI's are better than others. But if you were to look at my experiences by chain, the one called Renaissance would likely fare worse than any other, with a failure rate of 66% by hotel, and 75% by "hotel room" I stayed in.
I recognize that there are probably some good Renaissance properties out there, but considering the hotels I've stayed at, they did not fare very well.
It is actually my wife who stated she would not give the Renaissance in Baton Rouge another chance. And my wife and mother who both have no use for the one at Heathrow (particularly my mother) - and she was quite impressed with the Marriott properties we stayed at in the UK, except that one.
Just have to say that I had a very good experience at the Baltimore Renaissance when I left a really old but favorite bath brush in the bathroom practically hidden behind the shower curtain. I called them and had a manager look for it but he said he didn't find it, that he even checked the housekeeping room and the trash bins etc. I told a young woman over the phone at the front desk and she actually went and looked for it herself in the bathroom and found it and held it for me. I wrote a glowing note about her to the management. Not all hotels will try to find a lost item for a guest who has checked out. At another Marriott hotel I once left a favorite Christian Dior velour bathrobe hanging on the inside of the bathroom door, called back about an hour after checking out and they never "found" it.
And I left a bluetooth headset at the London Marriott West India Quay. They found it and I had checked out.
There are bad hotels, good hotels, and exceptional hotels in every chain. The "bad" hotels bring down the brand, the good hotels help it and the excellent ones are a huge positive differentiator.
I'm certainly glad to hear of the positive Renaissance experiences that others have had, and hope there are many more. In my view, the negative experiences bring down the brand and I have absolutely zero confidence that anything will be done to address the points I've made.
I shall make an effort to judge each hotel upon their individual merits, but certainly I will not agree with any statements that attempt to elevate "Renaissance" as a chain to a higher level than that which they have earned. I too was told that Renaissance was a higher level brand, but in my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. They are, in fact, in my opinion, the absolute lowest tier of the Marriott full service hotels, and in fact, would not fare well in my comparison of them to other full service hotels that are not Marriott.
I have had a strong loyalty to Marriott over the past several decades, Generally I stay at another hotel only when there is not a Marriott branded property available. But two of my Renaissance experiences have challenged that loyalty to the extent that if they are the only Marriott branded hotels available, it is extremely likely that I will simply go to another brand until some definitive action is taken to ensure that these sorts of things are corrected,
My last experience at Motel 6 was in fact better than either of these two Renaissance properties. Ditto for my last two Best Western experiences.
Perhaps an improvement to Marriott's website would be to, instead of specifying which Marriott brands in the list TO search for, allowing one to check box which ones one would NOT want in the results.
At this point, if we were allowed to specify in our profile which hotels to search for by default, I would almost definitely have Renaissance not even show up.
Sorry if I sound upset, but writing these notes has reminded me of how absolutely unacceptable the attitude of that woman at the Baton Rouge Renaissance was. As for the Heathrow Renaissance, it has been questionable for years, and although it is under renovation, I wonder why they weren't simply removed from the Marriott portfolio years ago.
Have had mixed results with Renaissance properties lately. The Charleston, SC, Renaissance was elegant and excellent. Superb customer service and a classy restaurant in the Hotel. On the other hand, my stay at the Renaissance Raleigh property was so-so. The front desk Associates were lackluster, inexperienced, and border-line rude, like they had better things to do than deal with us (Platinum Premier Members). The restaurant was a disappointment. Beautiful decore but not a comfortable experience. In the old days we would have said "all show, no go."
motel66 has already mentioned the Baltimore Harborplace Renaissance and I agree with their take. I had a stay there with my wife that was awesome. I requested an upgrade before arrival and the front desk staff made it happen. We were given a harbor view corner junior suite and it was awesome. They even sent up champagne and strawberries for us! I would absolutely recommend that property.