The last time I was in Orlando, I stayed at the JW and enjoyed it very much, so on a recent long weekend trip I decided to return to an old favorite: the Renaissance at Sea World. I liked the hotel when I stayed there before they recently spent 20 mil to re-do the lobby and rooms. The result is unusually nice: the atrium lobby never looked better and the rooms are done in pleasant colors that don't look like Marriott-cookie-cutter decor. There were good dining options, including a sushi bar/restaurant and a beautiful "sports bar" with wide plank flooring and good food, in addition to the main dining room. The hotel has also added a spa which I enjoyed. This resort hotel, particularly with its updated decor, does a wonderful job of being both family friendly (directly across the street from Sea World) and adult friendly. I wish there were more like it!
Great review and topic.
Regional themes and distinctive contemporary design seems to have replaced the cookie-cutter approach so evident in Marriott hotels. For example, the new Renaissance Patriot Place in Foxboro, MA is very different from the Courtyard Ocean City Boardwalk in Ocean City, MD. While the signature Revive bedding package is brand standard and indicative of the comfort Marriott intends for all guests, the new Marriott hotels have invested in fixtures and furnishings that reflect their location and context.
The mere mention of the Renaissance Resort SeaWorld triggers many memories. Every year from 1992 to 2002, our family pilgrimage to Orlando would be incomplete without the Sunday Champagne Brunch and Buffet at the Renaissance Resort SeaWorld.
The Brunch was hosted in the Atrium. Tablecloths, cloth napkins, silverware and crystal along with over 60 gourmet specialities, fresh prepared eggs and omelets, carving station, pasta and salad bar, dessert bar and balladiers to serenade you table side. What an experience.
The hotel ceased operation of the Sunday Brunch and began redirecting guests and dining patrons to the new JW Marriott Grand Lakes in 2003. Dining at the JW was extremely disappointing. Sadly, without the Sunday Brunch, we never had a reason to return to the Atrium.
Have they restored the Sunday Brunch at the Renaissance?
I left early on a Sunday morning, so I can't say if they have restored the Sunday brunch, but my bet would be that they haven't. That atrium would certainly be an ideal setting for it though, and I can see why you and your familty would have enjoyed it. I completely agree with you about the dining being disappointing at the JW (at least in the main "bistro" restaurant, which was the only one I tried). Attempting, I guess, to create the "bistro" atmosphere in the decor, the floor has no carpet, and the sound bounces everywhere. I had a headache by the time I finished a meal, and did not go back. A somewhat disapointing aspect of an otherwise very nice property.