Just back from staying at both Renaissance Dusseldorf and Renaissance Bochum having gone specifically to see the musical "Starlight Express" (highly recomended). My first night was in Dusseldorf. The hotel is not in the city centre and the rear faces on to a busy motorway, though my room was on the front which was quiet. The hotel is a 1980's nightmare - opened in 1983 and rooms last renovated in 2000. The whole property needs a complete makeover, dreary and depressing lobby, old fashioned. The room was no better. As there is no executive lounge I was told I had free access to the mini bar - (2 beers, 1 coke, 1 orange, water and 2 small bars bars of chocolate). I had booked a package which included a 3 course dinner and 1000 bonus points. I was given a voucher for 50% off food in the restaurant at checkin but the receptionist had to look up my booking when I said dinner was included so would not need the voucher, but would I need anything to give to the restaurant for my dinner? The answer was that the restaurant would know that you had dinner included. When seated in the restaurant I was handed a menu, so I asked what I could choose as I had my dinner included in the rate. The waiter said he had no record of this and would have to phone the front desk. When he came back I was simply told "your dinner is Beef consomme to start, Pork with a mushroom sauce and then Amaretto cream". I was not shown any kind of menu with these items on and asked if I could have something else? The answer was "no, this is the set menu". I said "well, I dont particularly want what you have offered, surely there is some kind of choice?". I was then offered chicken with mushroom sauce instead of pork but the starter and dessert could not be changed. I decided to get up and go to the front desk and explained the situation. I said I fully understood that my dinner would be some kind of set menu but expected at least to be able to choose from 2 or 3 choices. To give credit to the hotel, the young lady in reception agreed with me and said it was strange that no choice was offered but that was the menu, however, if I took a seat she would see if anything could be done. She then came back and offered me the same food but i could also have potato soup or salad as a starter, and added wiener schnitzel as a main, and tiramisu as dessert. I asked if i could simply have some ice cream as dessert and she said no problem. To be fair, she did very well to help out and in a very sympathetic way, but i feel its not good to have a menu that has no choice whatsover (without complaining anyway). The food was ok ,nothing great. The swimming pool on the top floor was ok but the only shower was a communal one at the side of the pool, the lockers were across the pool lobby which is where the sauna was (but you had to pay 12 euros to use it!). The staff I met in the hotel were very friendly but I wouldnt stay here again if you paid me. Too far out of town, in bad need of modernisation, lacking in any kind of atmoshphere (except boring). I have been credited my nights stay but the 1000 bonus points are missing so I'll have to contact Marriott rewards to get this applied to my account.
In complete contrast (though the location is not in the centre), the Renaissance Bochum was a delight on the eye. Modern, tastefully decorated with a really lovely sauna & steam room on the top floor, and a relaxtion area (and all of it free!). The loby bar had a pianist and had a great atmosphere. The hotel was buzzing. The room was very nice. My only gripe was a bit out of date in-room safe which got stuck shut with my things in it and it took 2 staff members to open it. The food in the lobby bar was very good. The hotel is located directly next to the convention centre and the Starlight Express theatre. There are literally no shops nearby and without an executive lounge, drinks from the mini bar (not included) would work out expensive. Getting into town only takes about 10 minutes but you do feel a little bit isolated, though I would higlht recommend this hotle and if I was seeing another show i would stay there again.
Thanks for your review of these two hotels. Sounds like the Renaissance Dusseldorf is a no go for us insider's in your view and that the Renaissance Bochum is the better choice. I am looking forward to the upcoming Marriott Hotel Rating System where these reviews will be even more helpful to us travellers.
I know both hotels and I stay in both.I agree with yours comments and I was laughing as I read them. I only use the bar menu in the Renaissance because I
have had very poor meals in the restaurant. I wish they had the Marriott burger in the bar and not their version .The rooms are tired and the bamboo cane soft
chairs need changed. However some of the staff are brilliant and I like the hotel.The air con in the summer is an issue when the windows don't open
Bochum is better for ambiance and food in the restaurants is not an issue
I don't think either of their fitness offers are good .I don't think Dusseldorf has a gym.