I was Gold member in Marriott Rewards program when I stayed at this hotel
In our recent Switzerland trip we chose Lucerne to be our base for exploring the country, primarily due to its central location, short driving distances to Berne, Zurich and other places, as well as for beautiful scenery. As I had some Marriott points to spend, we chose Renaissance Lucerne hotel. This hotel is not cheap - it required 35,000 points per night, as well as cash co-pay of CHF 100 to be upgraded into junior suite, as normal room can only accommodate 2 adults (we needed 3). Our stay was for 3 nights.
Although hotel is located in centre of Lucerne, it is not easy to find, as the only signs advertising hotel name were on the wall that faces side street. Moreover, when we arrived there was the tour bus blocking the entrance, so we had to drive several circles around before we found the hotel. Although hotel's address says "Pilatusstrasse", the actual entrance is from the unnamed side street (here are GPS coordinates of the entrance: 47.048959, 8.307213).
The biggest disadvantage of this hotel for people arriving by car, is that the hotel does not have it's own parking - they sell parking tickets for public parking spaces at the streets adjacent to the hotel for CHF 20, but if these spaces are full, you are out of luck and have to park at one of the parking garages and walk back to the hotel. Tickets hotel sells are only available for 24 hours, so one has to buy a new ticket every day - annoying.
Apart of the parking issue, hotel is located very centrally with railway station, Lucerne bridge and Lake are all short walking distance away. It is rather small hotel - upon the check-in they will probably tell you that the hotel is smallest Renaissance hotel in the world. Interesting fact in itself, but for the rest of the stay they will probably be using it as an excuse: "smallest renaissance in the world, so no parking"... "oh, no lounge either", "limited gym facilities because we are smallest..." ad nauseam.
Our room was ready when we arrived around 5pm so we were promptly checked in. As there is no executive lounge, we were told that we'll have breakfast in the restaurant for all. We also had free internet.
We were given "Junior Suite", which, I guess, can be considered as such as it has large separate sitting area, but honestly it was just large room with one bathroom. Room was on 4th floor and I believe it is only one room on the floor that had a balcony. There was king size bed, writing desk with the chair, sitting area with sofa, easy chairs and journal table. There was Nespresso coffee machine with selection of coffee options (lungo, ristretto, decaf). Bathroom was really large with rain shower, no bath, toilet, and washbasin with the mirror. Toiletries were of usual Renaissance kind (Peckniff's). Bathrobes and slippers were provided for everyone (3 sets).
Minibar existed but had very poor choice of options available - there was water (still and sparkling), toblerone chocolate and waffles. Each for CHF6 which is plain robbery. It however can be emptied and used as a fridge for chocolates and cheeses (we did exactly that).
Internet was free for us as Marriott Gold members - was fast but was disconnecting quite often.
We were given free breakfast in the restaurant for everyone as a part of Marriott Gold benefit. As far as I understand, breakfast is usually served at the lounge area on 1st floor, but at the time we visited, breakfast was served in the main restaurant (Pacifico). It was actually very good with varied buffet and eggs to order. Regular price of the breakfast is CHF 30 per day which is quite expensive in my opinion. We didn't dine in the restaurant as it was Mexico-themed and we wanted to try local food.
Gym was rather small and consisted of 3 machines (treadmill, bike and elliptic) and some weights. It seem to be located in repurposed small guest room. Most of the time it was empty but I would imagine it can become quite crowded if in demand.
When we were in the hotel there was large tour group staying in the hotel - when this happens reception area and breakfast spaces can become quite crowded.
Bottom line - one of viable options in downtown Lucerne if you have status with Marriott or want to stay on points. If possible, I'd avoid using car as sometimes there's nowhere to park.
If anyone has any questions related to this hotel I will be glad to answer (if I know the answer) - just ask.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
September 14, 2013
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We thank you for choosing us for your vacation in Switzerland and hope you enjoyed it.
Also, many thanks for taking the time to write such an extensive review that serves not only to other Marriott Elite members but also to other Lucerne visitors.
Yes, we are the smallest Renaissance in the world, however this is not meant as an excuse for missing amenities. The facilities like a gym are just a bit smaller, according to out hotel's size. Our location in the heart of Lucerne does not leave us plenty of parking options, so at least we assist with the parking tickets. In Switzerland it is indeed recommended to travel by train, that is fast, clean, safe and relaxing.
Looking forward to welcoming you back one day
on behalf of the Renaissance Lucerne team
Jana Jeschek, General Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.