Monday, March 19, 2012

Hotel Review-Cleveland Renaissance

The Marriott hotel chain has three of its brands in downtown Cleveland, Ohio (Residence Inn, Marriott, and Renaissance) and on our recent trip, we stayed at the Renaissance. If you've ever stayed at a Renaissance hotel you know that they're slightly more upscale than some of Marriott's other brands and some are located in historic buildings.



Situated on the city's Public Square, the hotel is within walking distance to the city's basketball, baseball, and football stadiums, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the popular East Fourth Street dining and entertainment district.

The one major negative of our stay was that it happened to be the same weekend that a young girls' dance championship was taking place at the hotel; hundreds of (loud) young girls and their "dance moms" transformed what is most likely a usually quiet and calm place turn into a loud and raucous one. There is an indoor pool in the atrium but each evening it was overrun with the children. I'm sure at any other time it was probably deserted as some indoor pools at hotels are save for the occasional swimmer doing laps. Our room was also located on the same floor as the pool and, with how the hotel is designed, it overlooked it, so when there were dozens of eight to ten year old girls in a swimming pool, their shrieking and yelling was pretty awful at times; the noise definitely carried into our room. Another unfortunate thing related to the little girls' dance convention was that we were unable to have a drink in the hotel's bar on our last night there. It also served as a dining spot for lighter fare and on the Saturday night, some of the children and their families were eating there, or more appropriately parked there while awaiting their child's turn for their child to go on. I realize that large groups such as these provide a lot of revenue for hotels, but I think when they completely overrun the facilities, it's not at all fair to the other hotel guests who would have liked to have a quiet swim or a drink at the bar where they could sit and not have to stand for lack of tables. Obviously we had no way of knowing this prior to going, but I'm sure our experience would have been a lot different had it been a another weekend at the Cleveland Renaissance.

As the hotel is located downtown, there are plenty of parking options available, although the hotel does offer both valet parking ($30 a day) and self-parking in their lot ($24 a day); we opted for the former. We were extremely happy upon checking in to be told that our parking would be comped due to D's Marriott rewards membership; it really does pay to be a rewards member.

The other nicety we were given was an upgraded room upon checking in; so in addition to the bedroom, we also had a living room with a sink area and a small refrigerator. (It was empty as opposed to being completely filled with overpriced alcohol and salted snacks.) Always a nice perk if you have leftovers to bring back from dinner out. The room featured two large, flatscreen TVs, although we only ever watched the one in the living room. Housekeeping also came around in the early evening in addition to their daily service to provide any more towels and take away any trash if needed.


Since our parking ended up being free, I decided we should splurge for room service for breakfast. As room service goes, I thought prices were reasonable especially if you ordered one of the platter dishes. I had the "Clevelander" which consisted of two eggs cooked to order, breakfast potatoes, two pieces of toast, your choice of breakfast meat, a stewed tomato, juice, and either coffee or tea for $16. D ordered a stack of whole wheat pancakes topped with caramelized apples for $14. He had also ordered his own bacon ($6) but it didn't come with the rest of the food; thankfully we weren't charged for it. The food came right at the time range we had selected. While I've certainly had better breakfasts, it did the job and was very nice being able to dine in our room. There is also fare that is served all day, as well as dinner options in the evening.



Outside of the entrance area to the pool is the hotel's fitness center. It wasn't large, but the equipment (treadmills, elliptical, weights) appeared new and featured individual TVs (comparable to the ones found on the backs of airplane seats) which would certainly be nice to have when working out.

We didn't dine there but the hotel's main restaurant, Sans Souci, serves Mediterranean cuisine.

Excluding the dancers and their "entourages," the hotel itself was lovely, and the staff extremely nice and hospitable, and so I would definitely stay there again. However, before making my reservation, I would perhaps call to make sure a contingent of eight year olds would be staying there as well.

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