Depends, if it is the Renaissance in Times Square, I think you will like it. If it is the new Renaissance Hotel 57, avoid it at all costs. It is old run down and there are still working on it. I was upgraded to a junior suite and stayed one night. Move to the Times Square Renaissance and their standard romm was about 50% larger.
If I were going to NYC, I'd stay at the Renaissance in Times Square - even though I've never stayed there before. Here's my take on the Marriott Marquis and why I'd choose the Renaissance.
MARQUIS TIMES SQUARE: I stayed at the Marriott Marquis - in August 2007. Here's my take on the Marquis: Excellent location if you plan on attending the theater at night. Right in Times Square and within steps of many theaters. If you don't want the hustle and bustle of Times Square, this hotel would not be a good choice for you. This hotel is enormous - I believe it has over 40 floors and hundreds of rooms. It is high energy - full of guests coming and going. Decor is a little dated and garish - reminded me of cinemas/movie theaters in the 1960s. Room was fine but again, a little tired although very clean and comfortable. I was a little worried about noise as my room overlooked the crowds of Times Square but no problem - VERY QUIET! As I was there in August, I was glad the A/C worked very well. The hotel may have been renovated since 2007, I don't know. Service was great even though the hotel was full. The workout facility was large but so packed with equipment so that finding a place to do floor exercises or stretch was difficult. NOTE, NOTE: The Marquis is famous / infamous for its elevators which were totally renovated in 2006 or 2007? If I remember correctly, you enter your room number on a wall-mounted key pad near the bank of computers and you are assigned an elevator car to go to your room - or something like that. It's not terribly difficult but takes a time or two to get used to the system. Before the renovation I heard that wait times could be quite long - especially when everyone was heading out to the theater in the evening. I stayed after the elevator renovation and did not have any exceptional waits for an elevator. This hotel also has or had a revolving restaurant called "The View." Like the hotel, when I dined there in 2007, it needed renovation. The food was adequate and the view was nice, but not really breathtaking. I enjoyed my meal but I'm not sure I'd go back again especially since it's very expensive. I have no complaints about the Marquis - they did a great job, but it wasn't the kind of place I really like. I would stay here again if the price were right.
ABOUT THE RENAISANCE: I've never stayed there, but I was in NYC in November of 2008 and walked by it. Excellent location! Right in Times Square - not far from the Marquis and steps from lots of theaters. It also went through a major renovation in 2007 or 2008? I've done some research on the internet and it gets great reviews from people who have stayed there. The rooms are reported to be very nice. The Renaissance is not a small hotel, but in comparison to the Marquis, it's smaller and, to my way of thinking, a little more manageable. If I had my choice between the two hotels, I'd choose the Renaissance because it's newly renovated and supposedly very nice and quiet too. I don't think you'd go wrong with the Marquis but it would be a very different experience.
The Renaissance is on Seventh Ave at 48th Street, a mid-point between the explosive environment of Times Square and the comparatively stately tranquility of Columbus Circle and the entrance to Central Park. You're also one block west of Rockefeller Center - one of my favorite places in all of Midtown NY. You're steps from the theater district w/o the throngs of pedestrians and more conveniently located when it comes to public transportation (48th & Ave of the Americas), hailing a cab or finding a charming restaurant. Stay with the Renaissance.
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I travel to NY quite a lot and have never stayed at the Renaissance but have recently gone into the lobby and had a look around. Personally for me, it all looked a bit too modern and ultra trendy - a bit like a night club atmosphere. I like contempary design but it was just a little over the top for me and far too packed. It has recently finished its major renovation and i'm sure there are loads of people who love it, so i suggest you go there, try it and see.
I personally like the Marriott Marquis though it can be a bit impersonal as its so huge and the 8th floor lobby can have a kind of train station atmosphere at times. Ive stayed there for many years and like one of the posters commented on here, it used to have problems with the elevators, however, they now have the most efficient system i have ever seen in a hotel. Simply key in the floor number you require BEFORE you get in and the computerised system automatically allocates you an elevator and tells you which one to go in. NOTE: Once inside there are NO buttons at all, so dont try and be clever and jump in one that just happens to open up, it wont go to your floor unless it has been programmed to stop there. It sounds complicated, but believe me, its not and definately works. The rooms at the Marquis are HUGE especially compared to NY standards. \
The revolving restaurant and bar on the 48th floor (The View) is still there and has also had a renovation. Sometimes a bit pricey but you are paying for the a revolving restaurnat high up in Times Square! The gym is excellent and open 24 hours and is huge and overlooks Times Square.
"Simply key in the floor number you require BEFORE you get in"
Post 9-11-2001, security increased substantially. Many New York buildings implemented tenant/visitor photo ID checkpoints, CCTV, bag scan and the use of 'Destination Elevators.'
As pointed out by Platinumstar, the Marriott Marquis was retrofitted 3 years ago to reduce the long wait times through more efficient routing that is programmed in the lobby. However, the Renaissance Times Square ~did not~ implement Destination Elevators - you press a button to get to your floor.
I just stayed in the Hotel 57 for five nights and enjoyed every minute of my stay. I've stayed in NYC for work and pleasure many times, so I have a good idea of the offerings in the city.
I haven't stayed in the Marquis or the Times Square Renaissance, but I do know that the TS Ren interior was also designed by Jordan Mozer, same as Hotel 57. Yes, perhaps a little over-the-top, even for a modern enthusiast such as myself, but that's part of the fun of staying in a chic NYC boutique hotel instead of the safe and replicated patterns of some of the other Marriott brands.
All over the web I've read some not-so-nice reviews of Hotel 57 about staff and about rooms, but something must have changed mid-year. Staff was very pleasant at the front desk, concierge desk, lounge and restaurant, and everyone else we met.
All the renovation is complete and the hotel looks great. The rooms are well-appointed, though small --keep in mind that most NYC rooms are small, so this hotel is no different.
I was very lucky to have our two rooms upgraded to the terrace suites on the top floor (not the sky loft rooms, but on the same floor). The only maintenance problem encountered were a few burned-out bulbs in the bathroom, but that was quickly resolved. The terrace was a great place to come home to at the end of each day, open a bottle of wine, and relax a little before heading back out for dinner.
Food in the restaurant was great. We hadn't planned to eat there during our stay, but it just worked out that way. Even the sushi here was quite good especially for not really being a sushi restaurant.
I did consider staying at one of the Times Square locations, but decided against it for a few reasons. Primarily, the crowds are very heavy in the TS area, and also because it's surrounded by chain restaurants. Why go all the way to NYC just to eat at the same restaurant that's in your local mall?
Hotel 57 is in a great location for all sorts of shopping and eating experiences. There is a subway station just two short blocks away that services six trains so it's pretty easy to get to just about anywhere on the island or over to Queens and Brooklyn. The hotel is also just about five blocks from Central Park.
All in all, I highly recommend Hotel 57.