Who Are the Renaissance Hotel Group?
Renaissance Hotels are part of the upper upscale collection of hotels geared towards business travelers who want to stay somewhere that they feel better reflects their lifestyle. Although it’s a large chain of hotels, Renaissance Hotel works hard to ensure each property reflects the neighborhood and city it calls home.
When you walk into the average hotel chain properties, you can expect to see more of the same whether you’re in Toledo, Turkey, or Tokyo. Renaissance Hotels doesn’t work like that.
Walk into the lobby of the Renaissance Chicago and experience a distinct brand of cool that only the Windy City brings to the table. The famous St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London offers a cathedral-like space with an incredible grand staircase that conjures of authentic dreams of Victorian London with a modern, first-class twist.
When you walk into one of the group’s Caribbean properties, you’ll see more of the same. The Aruba resort offers two experiences: one for adults looking for privacy and another for families enjoying a beach vacation.
Located in the downtown area of the Aruban capital, there’s no shortage of the serene beach vibes offered by this Dutch island. It even captures the quintessential Aruban experience: flamingo sightings at Renaissance Island.
In addition to stunning lobbies that don’t eschew function for style, many hotels also serve as cultural hubs and host regular events for guests and locals alike to enjoy.
What Is a Renaissance Hotel Room Like?
While lobbies and cultures differ, there’s one thing any visit to a Renaissance hotel guarantees: some of the plushest hotel bedding in the industry.
You’ll also get all the basics like hairdryers, in-room wifi, and accessibility options for those who need it.
Another big plus is the amenities, which often feature a high-end toiletries brand associated with the local area. A Parisian Renaissance features Bulgari amenities while other resorts might allow indulgence in Aveda, JOYA NYC, or other products that suit the locale.
Loyal customers love the bedding and amenities so much that the hotel began producing its bedding and toiletries for a broader market.
Order Renaissance’s soft combed cotton towels or the official Renaissance robe to take a piece of the hotel home with you. Trick your olfactory senses into believing your still on vacation with Joya’s Tea Diffuser or Tea Candles.
What You Get When You Stay
Stays come with perks depending on how and where you book.
Sign up for Marriott Rewards and book your stay through your Marriott account on the flagship site, and you’ll automatically receive free wi-fi as a perk. Some resort properties charge an extra fee for wi-fi, but the list of hold-outs continues to shrink each year.
Other amenities vary by property and package booked. Basic gym equipment seems to be standard across the brand, and hotels with the option tend to have at least an outdoor pool. Spas are another common feature, and some hotels offer hotel packages that include a spa service in the room rate.
Expect to pay a resort fee at many beachfront properties and for additional services like private cabanas to demand an additional fee.
Breakfast isn’t included in Marriott properties, including the Renaissance unless you book a bed and breakfast rate. Frequent travelers who stay 50 nights per more in a Marriott property per year secure a minimum of Gold elite status Marriott Rewards membership and thus get breakfast for two included.
For everyone else, all breakfast costs are a la carte charge.
Does Renaissance Offer a Loyalty Program?
Renaissance Hotels is a global chain of luxury hotels and resorts operating under the Marriott International umbrella. Some properties are managed and operated by Marriott, but some also function with a franchise license and have independent operations.
Being under the Marriott umbrella means that the brand participates in the Marriott Rewards hotel loyalty scheme.
You’ll earn 10 Marriott Rewards points for all qualifying charges at Renaissance Hotels when you have a Marriott Rewards account.
Spending Marriott Rewards points at Renaissance Hotels is possible. However, most of these upscale hotels sit in Marriott’s top-tier categories in Category 7 or higher, and the minimum cost of a room in points is 30,000.
Where Are the Renaissance Hotels in the Caribbean?
There are five Renaissance properties in the Caribbean region including:
What Makes Renaissance Hotels Unique
Renaissance Hotel’s dedication to not only upholding but celebrating the local flavor of each location sets it apart from its competitors.
Every Renaissance Hotel hosts a local navigator as part of its Navigator Program.
The Navigator is like a concierge, but they go further than holding bags and making restaurant reservations. Navigators attempt to bring the beating heart of the city into the hotel lobby. Renaissance tasks its local Navigators with knowing not only the best restaurants and attractions but the hidden secrets of the locale for guests who want to feel as though they’re at home for the day.
Is there an art gallery popup in the neighborhood? Your Navigator will know. Is there a secret menu at the local espresso bar? They have the details.
A Navigator provides recommendations for:
You’ll find the hotel’s Navigator in the lobby during working hours, but each hotel also introduces their Navigator on their website. Take a look at your hotel’s site to read the Navigator’s profile and get in touch before you arrive if you have any burning questions.
Other aspects of the stay that make Renaissance properties unique are its ability to blend into the local community and make the most of the space provided. The downtown Denver location blends into its cosmopolitan surrounds with a high-rise, but the Amsterdam location is carefully tucked away on the canals of the city and embraces the quirkiness of Dutch architecture.
Pricing varies dramatically according to where you book, the local market, and the time of the year. It also varies according to the hotel because despite being a unified brand, service delivery is inconsistent, particularly between Marriott-operated properties and independent licensees.
Renaissance properties may reach sky-high prices in in-demand markets and at peak periods, but there are deals to be had.
What People Think
Renaissance Hotels don’t yet command the brand recognition that older and more established brands often do. Moreover, they don’t fall into the ultra-luxury property box, like the Ritz Carlton, or the all-work-no-play properties like Marriott. So, what do people think of Renaissance Hotels?
A turn through reviews of the hotels shows that there are three things people love when they stay at a Renaissance Hotel.
First, many find they have unique experiences compared to stays at other hotels. Whether it’s a Navigator recommendation, a perk of the location, or one of the built-in experiences provided by the hotel.
For example, the Renaissance Hotel in Aruba offers a boat to a private beach owned by the hotel where guests can escape the pool and sunbathe in the warm waters of the Caribbean. But it’s no ordinary beach: it’s also home to some of Aruba’s famous flamingos.
On a similar note, guests love the location of the hotels. Whether it’s a beachfront property or a city hotel, the hotels almost always boast an address that is more than merely convenient—it’s also exciting. Hotels tend to pop up only a minute away from the action of the neighborhood so that guests can enjoy the quiet without missing a beat.
Guests also love the cleanliness of the hotels and the housekeeping service. Rooms may vary between hotels themselves, but they are always spotless. If you stay more than a night or two, housekeeping almost always honors requests from guests.
It’s rare that guests in a large hotel have any relationship with those who care for their rooms, but Renaissance staff seem to go an extra mile across the board.
Finally, the food at Renaissance hotels is excellent. Hotel chain breakfasts are hit and miss across the board. Some corporate cut-out versions charge upwards of $20 for an inedible buffet breakfast. However, Renaissance Hotels often tailor their menus to local cuisine while also offering both traditional American favorites and local takes on the same dishes.
What to Look Out for at a Renaissance Hotel
Room size is one of the issues that come up regularly.
Because Renaissance Hotels often work their way into the existing architecture of a destination, you never know what size room you’ll get. While Renaissance lists the square footage of the room on the booking page, a number means little to most guests.
Some people find that guest rooms that sleep four people are nowhere near large enough for four people. Others argue that some hotels offer rooms that are too large and feel almost devoid of personality.
Keep the date of construction in mind. Like all hotels, older hotels may feel more dated, or classic if you prefer. Newly built Renaissance properties are brighter, hipper, and often offer smarter options like USB ports in electrical sockets, Nespresso machines, and other updated amenities.
How Renaissance Hotels Compare
If you’ve never stayed at a Renaissance, but you’re familiar with the category, then you might find them comparable to the Le Meridien hotels offered by the Starwood Hotels chain. The two brands compete head-to-head for the same type of traveler: the creative professional.
Both serve up local neighborhood culture to an upscale market without the pretentiousness of established luxury hotels.
If a Marriott is often more your style, then you’ll find similar levels of service and amenities at the Renaissance. The most significant difference between the two is in the individuality of each property. Marriott tends to use a “cookie-cutter” method that keeps room layouts, furniture, and amenities roughly the same between properties.
The price difference between a Renaissance Hotel, Marriott, or Le Meridien is hardly discernible in terms of real value. Instead, it’s more likely to depend on whatever algorithm is used to set the price for the day.
What We Think
If you find the standard sameness offered by Marriott or another hotel brand deviates from your taste or is even boring, then the Renaissance Hotel group provides a value proposition worth considering.
For the same price as a Marriott, you check into a bit more luxury and culture while still relying on the parts of an international brand you that you love to rely on.
Renaissance Hotels offer fantastic locations even in off-the-beaten-track destinations that keep you in the center of things. They have consistently better-quality hotel breakfasts and dinners when you’re not yet ready to venture out into the world, and their linens and toiletries are of such a superior standard that some guests choose to bring them home.
Ultimately, we like Renaissance Hotels because they add the local element through the Navigator program. We appreciate that the Navigator makes a fantastic concierge service available to everyone, and you’re bound to find something that would have otherwise gone undiscovered by merely asking the desk.
If you prefer to book direct, sign up for a Marriott Rewards account and book directly with Marriott for an automatic discount on the nightly rack rate. Book directly as a Marriott Rewards member to also qualify for free in-room wifi throughout your stay.