I've always had great luck with staying at County Hall and a few other central London properties. With hearing from folks here about the Renaissance St Pancras, I figured I'd try it. As I sit here waiting for a room, I've noticed that the lounge is definitely one of the nicest of the one's I've been to in London. I think the updated JW Grosvenor House lounge is perhaps slightly nicer but this one is right up there. Afternoon tea was nice, though somewhat behind what the other locations do. To be fair this property doesn't have a proper "high tea" like the others so it is impressive I guess given the lack of formal tea service.
So far I'm pretty under impressed with the rest of it though. No upgrades and an attempt to place me in a room that is as far from my profile preferences as it could possibly be. Unless there's something pretty amazing when I get up to the room, I think I'll probably go back to County Hall for other stays. I've never not been given an upgraded room there, perhaps its luck, perhaps they focus more on Plat Prem folks but for the same $$ in spend it just seems a better value.
Has anyone had any good experiences here at the St Pancras for upgrades? I find it very hard to believe they are sold out of rooms on a Sunday.
ok so not believing for a second this place was sold out on a Sunday night I found that they do in fact have every class of room available in the hotel to reserve. I was told point blank by the manager of reservations that they only do a single class upgrade and they couldnt accommodate me into one of those rooms. She said their management's business plan was not to give suites to folks as upgrades, even if they sit empty. So there ya have it, you can't expect to get any upgrades here folks. I would definitely like to hear Marriott's official stance on this, it's enough to push me to Hilton or Starwood where suite upgrades are possible. Additionally it seems incredibly stupid to leave rooms empty when you could place someone in them for revenue.
On the short version, I'll never come back here again. This place could care less for loyal customers.
I Think this is a pretty unfair representation of the St Pancras Ren.
FIrstly, the hotel does upgrade by one single category but only within the new-build Barlow wing. I agree, not inspiring.
Secondly, really the hotel is 2 hotels, the Barlow wing, a pretty standard new-build with, for London, large rooms, definitely to 4-star standards. The "second hotel" is the Chambers wing. Here the rooms are up to full 5-star Ritz/Claridges standards. Believe me, they are an enormous step up from the nice-but-uninspiring Barlow rooms.
For Silver and Golds unless you're booked into the Chambers wing, there's little to really attract you here, room upgrades are minor and there's no exec lounge. The main hotel is architecturally interesting and the ticket office a lively bar/restaurant. That's about it really. Unless you're springing for a Chambers room (which also includes access to the Chambers Club) there really are better options in the London Marriott stable for similar money
PLats however get one major benefit not available to other elites, access to the "Chambers Club". In my opinion this is easily the best "exec lounge" I've ever visited. Never overcrowded, offering good quality beer and wine for 10 hours per day, and quality spirits for 3 hours, together with an almost constant smorgasbord of food in a traditional "English Gentlemans Club" setting, with excellent and discrete service. And it's priority accompanied boarding arrangements with Eurostar really does make it a no-brainier for those travelling by train to the continent.
So, no... This place is not an "avoid-at-all-costs". Quite the opposite, it's a "must-spend-at-least-a-night-and-sample-the-club" experience, and if travelling by Eurostar the ability to use its personalised transfer service makes it, as I've stated above, a no-brainer!
I've not said avoid at all costs, I've said if you are looking for an upgraded experience avoid this property.
The club is quite nice as I mentioned and if you were using the Eurostar, it's the place to be BUT for me, I can fairly easily move around London by tube/taxi so I'll prefer to stay at other properties that see value in my loyalty and reward it with upgraded accommodations.
For me, the previous 24hrs were a text book example of "how to do it all wrong and then excel at that". My first room assignment was about as opposite as could be from my profile. Instead of rushing to get me into any room, they should have taken the extra time to ensure it was the right room, even without an upgrade. I did inquire as to an upgrade and was told repeatedly that all rooms were occupied. Again, wrong message. The proper message as was finally explained to me upon me pointing out via the Marriott App that ALL room types were available for that night to book, was that the hotel's policy was not to give upgrades in that way. Fair enough. I don't agree with it obviously and I'm sure others see it as a stupid thing to let nicer rooms sit empty while premium guests (of any level) get the "standard room". I didn't make a scene about it, I simply inquired, pushed back when clearly lied to and then was given proper understanding of policy. They then went on to exceed expectations of how to screw things up by giving me a standard room with a view of the roof of the train station. I get they have those rooms but is that really the room you give to someone that has previously asked for a better room as they would be working from the room the balance of the day? So my 3rd room was finally a good standard room with an uninspired view but at least there was sunlight and it was away from the private event that was quite loud all night.
So I'll say anyone seeking the experience cough up the cash and book a suite. If you can get access to the lounge via status its very nice, one of the best I've had in London. If you are going out on trains or need to be in that part of London and are good with a standard, "its like any other Ren room in the world" this is your place. The staff were fantastic, everything you could expect and more. I just happen to think they have a pretty dodgy upgrade policy.