More about Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel
Renaissance -- weak pool, weak concierges
My wife, two kids (under 12) and I stayed three nights at the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel during the week of August 8, 2006. We paid $135 per night, which was very competitive for a Downtown Washington hotel during spring break. The place was very clean, safe, and conveniently located near the Verizon Center, Chinatown, and Gallery Place Metro Station. Except as noted below, the staff was excellent.
The Renaissance is conveniently located right at the intersection of two of the three new "Circulator" public bus routes. These busses run every five minutes for $1 per person. If you get a transfer when you board, you can ride other Circulators for the next few hours. --- These busses are every bit as clean and safe as Metro, they cost less, and go right to most of the places tourists want to visit. The concierges, unfortunately, seemed reluctant to explain how the Circulator busses worked, and couldn't even tell us where the nearest stop was (it is across the street from the hotel's front door). They instead seemed eager to push the very high-cost commercial tram tours, giving the impression that they receive commissions for signing people up for those.
In addition, two different concierges gave us incorrect information regarding the Bureau of Engraving and Printing tours. As a result, we made a trip across town to the Bureau but were not able to enter.
We only considered hotels with pools. Had we known the truth about the pool at this hotel, we would have gone elsewhere. The pool was cold, shared with a fitness club, and included very little seating space for non-bathers (five chairs total, I believe) and no place for towels. Signs said that non-bathers weren't allowed around the pool. Because the pool was "full" we were denied access several times on Thursday, April 13. On the other hand, we had no trouble getting in the next day. The pool staff, probably employed by the health club, were less professional than the rest of the hotel staff.
Since we paid so little per night, I was not disappointed by our stay. As a former hotel manager, I was indeed disappointed that such an excellent hotel would have the glaring problems I have mentioned.
OK with a few problems
We just got back from 4 days and 3 nights at the Renaissance Washington DC and was a little disapointed in our stay. The hotel is OK... but only OK. I think the hotel would be good for business travelers, traveling alone. We went as a family and experienced several problems. First, when we checked in only one room was ready and we were told that the other room would be ready in a few minutes and we would be called when it was complete. We were never called. After a couple of hours we checked with the front desk and the room was still not ready. Again, we were told that it would be just a few minutes. One hour later, I stopped by the front desk and was able to get a key. This was at 6:30 in the evening. The valets were a consistent problem throughout our stay. It took close to an hour to get our car when they were not that busy. Also, the staff in the fitness area were very rude and not welcoming to myself and my children. The Concierge staff was not very helpful. I asked about the Cherry Blossom festival and was told that it had been going on for a month, (even though it actually started that weekend) and the staff had NO information. Kind of suprised that a Concierge staff for such a large hotel would not have written information about events associated with the festival. It was reported that several thousand visitors came to Washington for the event. Also, I asked the Concierge for dining recommendations and was told that Tony & Joes was a great place for a family. How wrong they were. They had no childrens menu. We were forced to pay between 20 & 30 dollars a piece for a 7 and 10 year old. Not so bad but the food was sub par. I would definately not recommend Tony and Joes for ANYBODY and especially not a family.
I would recomend that the hotel purchase a computer for the Concierge desk and allow for quick printing of directions and recomendations.
We chose this hotel from previous reviews of service. Unfortunately we did not receive such service. It was a busy weekend but the staff was not interested in our satisfaction.
On the good side,... the breakfast buffet was great and reasonably priced. The maid service was always friendly and competent. The rooms were very clean... just small. The Starbucks was very convenient.
All in all the trip was great as DC is a great place to spend a few days seeing the sites and having fun with the family. However, we will not be going back to the Renaissance Washington DC. Not a terrible place but not worth spending hard earned money on.
I've just stayed in the Renaissance DC, arriving in Oct 26, for 3 nights, I payed 140 at priceline, wich comparing to the prices for that week, was a bargain. The Hotel is very impressive...I was meeting my father who doesn't speaks english and was coming from abroad, and the receptionist helped him to check in...When I arrived at the Hotel, I was surprised and amazed by the beauty of the lobby, It's very modern and luxourious. The bell boys and front desk staff could have been mistaken by the ones in a 5 star hotel. Very helpful and would great us whenever we came back from the street. The carpet from the corridor looked and smelled like brand new. The room was great, brand new furniture, fabulous bathroom ( the bathroom kit was fabulous!!), cofee maker, tea, but I missed a refrigerator and microwave ( I heard you can ask for one, but I didn't)..that's ok, since this is not a kind of hotel that would have a kitchen to start with (i't's more upscale). There is a nice starbucks in the lobby, wich also sells some salads and one or two diferent subs. Location is not 100% but it's pretty good ( I would say 90%), close to chinatown, Fords Theatre, Smithsonians are a 15 min walk, there's a metro pretty close (2 blocks).
The concierge desk was pretty helpful, except for this girl that stays there at night (a pretty,tall, african american, I did not get her name...), she was rude and snobish. A ride from Dulles is about 55 dolars or 26 each at the supershuttle (always ask twice for the price to the cab drivers, they always want to charge you more when they get there!) So, I would suggest you arrived at Reagan National.
Overall, an excelent choice!!
Nothing was a problem - great hotel
My husband, parents, mother-in-law, 6-month old baby and I have just returned to the UK from the US, including a 3-night stay at the Renaissance.
When we arrived in DC, we were booked into a B&B, but as the owner did not show up to let us in (!) were stuck without anywhere to stay at 7pm in the evening with a 6-month old baby. We called the Renaissance and they cme to our rescue. Not only did they provide us with 2 adjacent rooms, but they also charged us the lower rate for all 4 nights (the price was due to double on day 2 and 3). In addition, once we got to our room and realised there was no fridge, we phones reception and they sent up not only a fridge but a microwave too (invaluable with a baby!) They also sent up a crib and asked whether we had a little boy or little girl so that they could send up the correct coloured bedding! In fact, the staff could not do enough to help - they were fantastic.
We did not eat in the hotel at night, but did take breakfast every day - again the staff were wonderful and the food fantastic.
Location-wise the hotel is also great and either walkable or a short taxi ride from all points of interest.
A great find - will def stay again!
Great hotel in good location
Great hotel in a good location. The staff on reception where excellent and very helpful! Rooms were fine but nothing exceptional. Very clean. Do think that a refrigerator/mini bar would have been good. Would definately stay again and got a great deal through the hotels own website.
very good stay
Just returned from washington today.This hotel was centrally located with a very friendly staff and most helpful concierge.We were given a larger room because there were three females and needed a sofa sleeper.We asked for and received a refrigerator.Rooms were tastefully redecorated and the lighting was very good in the rooms.All in all was a very pleasant stay.
World Class Service
My wife and I planned a long relaxing weekend at the Renaissance in mid October. Unfortunately, due to a business commitment, I just missed the morning flight that she was already on. I called the concierge at the hotel who arranged to have a car service pick up my wife (and all our luggage) at the airport and an afternoon massage for my wife. In addition, and at no charge, she upgraded our room and had fresh flowers in the room when my wife arrived. Incredible service.
In addition to the great service, the bedding was by far the most comfortable I have ever slept in at any hotel. For the location and service, the hotel was very favorably priced. I have paid much more for a room where I received much less value than here.
Nice hotel for a short stay
This is a nice hotel. The rooms are well maintained and comfortable. The gym and pool are excellent. It is right around the corner from Chinatown, so if you like Chinese, you have hit the jackpot! The staff are friendly and helpful.