|Interior, Room 722|
Everything in my room was so new, I even had to take the guard off the hair dryer’s plug. In addition, everything else is fresh and bright: bed linens are crisp and white, the flat-screen TV, while not the biggest I’ve encountered in hotels, is state of the art, and the carpet is neither worn nor stained.
|TV and work station|
Internet speed, which is vital in today’s wired world, was fairly impressive compared to most of the hotels at which I’ve stayed recently: 4.8 MBPS as measured by speakeasy.net/speedtest. Most of the other hotels have been around 1 MPBS, with a few as high as 2 MPBS. However, the only access available in most rooms is wireless, at $12.95 plus tax. Wired access is available in the meeting space and in a limited number of guest rooms.
|Bath with historic photos|
The cartoon, which appeared to be from The New Yorker magazine hanging above the work station, showed a man behind what was obviously a desk in D.C., speaking to two people who looked to be constituents. “We used to feel your pain, but that’s no longer our policy,” read the caption.
Would that the rest were perfect as well. Unfortunately, as have been my previous experiences, I found service at the property to be so-so.
When I attend a conference, I often work from my room between sessions and I hate returning to an unmade room. Accordingly, I call each morning and ask that my room be made up early. During this visit, housekeeping honored my request two out of three mornings. On one morning, however, despite my 7:00 a.m. request, the room was not made up until nearly 11 a.m. While Meatloaf may have sung about how “Two out of three ain’t bad,” I was not impressed. (Baby Boomers will get the reference; others may have to look it up...)
On one occasion, I found myself working in my room through lunch. Because I could not locate a menu for in-room dining, I called the front desk and was told one would be sent up. It never arrived.
Other guests, however, apparently had no problem getting room service. Numerous room service trays and carts from the previous evening were still sitting in the hallways at 10 a.m. the following morning. That is unacceptable.
On two occasions, other guests and I crowded into an elevator with members of the housekeeping staff and their rather large carts. Why they didn’t use the service elevator was a mystery to all of us.
Finally, few staffers on the property bothered to greet the guests they encountered. Bidding your guests “good morning,” saying hello, or offering some other sort of greeting as they pass in the hall or lobby is a basic in the hospitality industry, and an excellent way to make your guests feel welcome. Or not, if it doesn’t happen.
The hotel features the Vida Fitness Center and Aura Spa, with complimentary access to the fitness center for hotel guests. Spa services are at additional cost.
Hotel personnel tell me the conference space, which is well maintained but starting to look a bit dated from a style perspective, is next in line and will be redone soon in a style similar to the guest rooms.
Located just a few blocks from ChinaTown, two Metro stations, several restaurants, and many D.C. attractions, the Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown hotel definitely needs to polish its service but generally is a pretty good, if not great, place to stay.
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Photos by Carl Dombek
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