A pretty poor Marriott example!
Seriously! Do NOT stay here
Now first I must say that I don’t as a rule write terribly negative reviews, and that usually even in the less then perfect hotel I can find something nice to say, but here’s the exception.
I booked a stay in Reading as I had a £100 voucher to use and we fancied a couple of nights away somewhere with a pool where we wouldn’t have much to pay on top of the £100. So at £70 per room per night the Reading hotel seemed a good deal, and never having been to Reading we thought it might offer the opportunity to dine out on both nights within walking distance of the hotel. We stayed for a similar reason last year at the Slough Windsor Marriott paying £75 a night, but thought we’d have a change – what a mistake.
For a start finding the hotel is a challenge. The concrete monstrosity that is Reading nicely hid the hotel away and then you have to find the hotel from the complimentary shopping centre car park. You come out of the dingy stairs of the car park and a small sign points you in the general direction, and it is far from salubrious – rather nasty approach. When you eventually find the hotel the lobby strikes you as a blast from the past – never been in a Marriott hotel that bad. Even the cheap ones usually manage to look OK. This is definitely in need of a refit. The check in staff were efficient, pleasant and helpful. I’m afraid that’s my one and only positive comment, so savour it.
The room was nasty. OK size wise with 2 double beds but the carpet was a dated horrible green zigzag affair, very faded and unpleasant. Bedcovers and curtains similarly offensive and a total mismatch to the carpet. The furniture just OK, not even to the ubiquitous Marriott standard. To think we used to criticise Marriott rooms for all looking the same – ‘if only’ on this occasion. The bathroom was small and awkward, and for the first time I felt it hadn’t even been cleaned properly. The sanitary ware had watermarks all over it. The towels were greying, thin and scratchy – looks like the Renaissance Reading gets the Marriott cast-offs. Our window catch was broken so just a push opened it – impossible to lock shut. It was actually not a nice place to be. Having recently stayed at theCrowne Plaza in Geneva, when the room was a little dated, this struck me as in a totally different category – I couldn’t have enjoyed room service relaxing in this room – it was just depressing. For the first time ever I found the bed uncomfortable, horrible and lumpy.
The pool was OK – pool itself nice and warm and fairly child friendly. The changing rooms again quite unpleasant, cold and tired looking. Tiles around pool coming away in places – not really acceptable.
One thing you can always rely on though is the Marriott breakfast – the vast selection good quality etc etc. Forget it – they even get that wrong here. The restaurant is also dated and nasty with old tables and chairs. The cooked breakfast selection was poor, not that much choice and very little quantity of that. They only seemed to put out a little bit at a time, and so you were picking off the scraps that were left – it felt like a canteen. Some things were also inedible. The bacon looked like it had been sitting around for hours in the kitchen – it was so hard and leathery impossible to eat. Even the cold selection was very poor in comparison to other Marriotts, even those in a similar price bracket.
In short I cannot think of any reason why you should stay here. If you want a cheap hotel in the centre of Reading, then you might as well book the Travelodge across the road or the Ibis/Novotel a couple of streets away, they may lack the pool etc but at least you can be pretty sure that the fittings won’t be as tired. If you are looking for a hotel with a pool in this area, then you’d be better off at the nearby Crowne Plaza which is in a nice picturesque location and from the website the inside looks lovely. If like us you just want a reasonably priced Marriott to use points at etc, then go anywhere else. I wish we’d gone back to Slough Windsor where the hotel is really nice and it’s great for kids and there are restaurants just down the road. Reading itself is unpleasant and I found quite threatening, nowhere to eat that’s decent – everywhere feels neglected.
I complained to Marriott, but my letter appears just to have been passed on to the hotel itself, the Manager then offered us a complimentary night stay. Considering my complaint was about the total neglect to the hotel, I am baffled how another night there would make me feel any more positive (not unless they’re going to knock it down and start again and move it somewhere else before I stay again!).
Just a final comment – we rate all the hotels we stay in and this one came 71st out of 75!
An excellent weekend !
My husband and I stayed at the Renaissance for a weekend shopping break. We booked through the Marriott web site and got a Winter Warmer deal. £80 per night B&B plus £50 credit towards anything spent on food and drink in the hotel.
We were a little worried after seeing the previous reviews but decided to take a chance. We were pleasantly surprised.
Check in was quick and easy, we asked for valet parking and the door man parked our car right outside the hotel for no charge. We had an executive room (322) which was spacious, clean and well equipped. The bathroom looked fairly new and was clean. The towels were nice and big and the toiletries lovely with lots of extras like a shaving kit, comb and nail file. The bedroom window opened.
The breakfast was good with all the usual hot food (very tasty sausages) the fresh fruit wasn't so good but the pastries were delicious. Both mornings we were seated immediately.
The only problem we had was with the room service, we were sent the wrong sandwich 3 times. Although when we eventually received the correct sandwich it was accompanied with a complimentary bottle of wine.
All the members of staff that we spoke to were polite and very helpful. The hotel is well placed for shopping and we will certainly go back especially if we get the same deal !
Great Central Haven
Walking through the door you know you've made the right decision. Friendly staff, but very attentive. In the middle of the night I decided our small son was a little too fidgety to share our bed. A quick call to reception and 3 minutes later a pull-down bed complete with fluffy duvet, pillows, slippers & a even a little chocolate presented in a "moses basket" were duly delivered by a young courteous girl who even had time at 3am for a smile. Insincere - maybe, happy customers - you bet!
Clean as you'd expect, efficient and perfectly located for all the area has to offer. Definately, we would go back again, and intend to, soon.
in town Centre, which is good if you're on business, but not much to do at night. Food in hotel is average. Getting a car takes awhile. Rooms are tiny, a bit pricey overall for what you get (even if it is the UK, I've found better deals in Picadilly than this)
For a few quid more, book the Forbury, an amazing hotel.
OK for short business trips
This is a Marriott hotel so you would expect a decent experience. Overall it wasn’t too bad, however it was very expensive for what it was. I stayed in an Executive room on the top (6th) floor and it cost me (the firm I work for) £165 a night; this didn’t include breakfast. If I was paying I’d stay elsewhere.
One nice touch was that I got a free drink (1) voucher and a discounted breakfast (£10) voucher on arrival. There was a good breakfast choice – better than most similar priced UK hotels. I didn't eat in the hotel so I can't comment on that; however, I did eat at an Itlaian called Nino's which was superb - £9.90 for all you can eat. Don't let the price put you off - it really was really nice.
The room was OK but the mattress needed changing – I’m sure I could feel the springs when I sat on the edge. The staff were friendly and helpful although not one of them was English – I think they were Hungarian.
Look for alternatives at a similar price
This is the 2nd time I have stayed in this hotel and it hasn't really changed. The hotel entrance and lobby were nice and welcoming and the staff were friendly and helpful. I parked my car in the car park which is shared with the Broad Street Mall and its not brilliantly signposted and not that convenient. If you knew the area then the walk back to the hotel isn't great, especially if you are on your own or female. I stayed on the "Excutive" 6th floor and after standing outside the room for about 10 minutes because the key card wouldn't work (this happened eveytime) was VERY disappointed by the room. It was tired and needed completely redecorating. The bathroom was was old and tired. I didn't use the restaurant apart from breakfast and it wasn't great. The selection was below average (if you just like cooked breakfast it was OK) but not much in the cold meats, cereal or fruits. Went to the gym in the morning, which was small, not many free weights or any barbells but not too bad for a hotel gym. I may be being a little harsh but I base this on my stay a few months ago at the Crown Plaza, Caversham. For the same price (£70 B&B) the hotel is much better. The rooms were much more modern, bathroom stylish and breakfast choice was ample. In my humble opinion, for the same price, check out the Plaza.
How Marriott continue to be associated with this hotel, we'll never know!
As a treat for my partners birthday, I booked a room at this hotel. I arrived just before 4pm on a Friday and as a Silver Elite Member, I enquired whether there was upgrade availability from the Deluxe (standard) room I had booked to the next level Executive (superior). The receptionist was able to accomodate this.
The entrance lobby and reception were ok, maybe a little tired for a Marriott Renaissance Hotel, but ok. We ventured up to the room and on stepping out of the lift we were a bit alarmed by the dingy hallway that "welcomed" us. We continued to the room and almost had heart failure when we opened the door to what they classed as an Executive Room - after all there was no doubting it, it had a plate on the door saying so!
Inside the room was a standard double bed which looked as if it had seen better days or too much action or maybe both, and it was dressed with less than inviting bedding. The carpet was thread bare, there were stains on the small couch and the rest of the furniture was chipped and marked beyond belief.
We didn't even look in the bathroom, but having now read other reports on this site, it would appear that we wouldn't have found anything encouraging. We discussed briefly about what we should do, we're regular visitors at Marriott (Worldwide) and were less than impressed, so we decided we'd turn straight back round and head home and spend the money on a good meal out instead.
We went to reception and spoke to one of the Receptionists, explained what had happened and her response was "Yes, ok well we are awaiting a refurbishment". On confirming that there would be no charge incurred, we left the hotel and started a 2 hour journey home again.
Our recommendation: Don't even bother thinking about staying here, it's disgusting!