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“Good Marriott hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

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Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   400 Renaissance Dr, Detroit, MI 48243   |  
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Ranked #15 of 34 Hotels in Detroit
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Good Marriott hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

Goods are as always: nice spacious room, nice bedding, nice bathroom and very good breakfast.
Bads: Furniture a bit old for a Marriott chain, but hey, this is Detroit! I suspect once, when GM was booming, this was a top notch location; now it is a bit of deserted area as most of the downtown Detroit. Nice good experience though.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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966 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Toronto, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

This hotel is quite the complex. It feels like the Blade Runner towers as you approach it as it very Modern and the tallest buildings in the area. The staff here is incredibly friendly... from the valet, to the bar staff to room service... we have no complaints. The hotel is on the waterfront and we were lucky enough to be there when there was a festival going on. For the summer months it has rows of patios looking over the river. Great experience! ` the only negative thing is there wasn't a fridge in the room.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Charleston, WV
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

This Marriott is part of the large Renaissance Center complex that also houses GM offices, as well as shops, banks, restaurants, even a car showroom. The hotel is in the central circular building, and floor-to-ceiling windows offer impressive views, at least on our (38th) floor. The hotel is flanked by 4 other buildings, towers referred to as 100, 200, 300, and 400. There are 2 related structures that are connected, but not part of the geometry around the hotel; these are the 500-600 towers.

As others have noted, the layout is a bit confusing. There are one-hour tours at noon and 2pm on weekdays. The tour includes a trip to the 71st floor to enjoy the view from the Coach Insignia restaurant (which is not open for lunch). It also provides a nice orientation to the layout. This might be one way to get a handle on the building arrangements. Ground level is "A" on the side facing the river, but up a flight to "1" on the "motor lobby" side (I think it opened to Renaissance Drive). Elevators don't stop on 2, and the 3rd floor actually feels a bit more like the main entrance, with registration, the Volt bar, and the 42N Restaurant. Access to 2 must be by escalator from 1 or 3. Elevators are in the center of the central Marriott tower.

OK, that was my attempt to map it for you. As far as our experience, there is good and bad.

The good: registration and restaurant staff have been uniformly courteous, above average. Food in the Volt bar has been very good (we are vegetarian and they include a couscous dish and a veggie burger; the latter was very good accompanied by sweet potato fries). The physical layout of the room is fine, the view is impressive. I think the TV is 37" and the image on cable was fine; channel selection a little limited. Proximity to the reasonably priced "people mover" is very convenient ($0.75 each time you enter the system). The surrounding area was suitable for daytime walking, with restaurants handy on foot or by "people mover." The tunnel to Canada is very close by, although we are told that the crossing must be done by vehicle. We brought our car, but also saw a bus trip advertised.

The "challenges:" There were hair strands in the bathtub, sink, and floor when we arrived. It was late, and I didn't want to start out by antagonizing the folks that have the key to my room, so I cleaned with tissue. We always wear shower shoes in hotels, and this is why. Noticed that bathroom tissue had rusty marks on edge of roll, easily visible from bathroom door. Just . . . eww. But there was a packaged roll, so I traded out.

First day, housekeeping picked up the dirty hand towels we put on floor, but did not replace. Also hung dirty bathmat on side of tub. I requested hand towels & mat. They explained about having to leave stuff on floor (we had), but did give us towels. No mats on cart (that explains the attempt to recycle the dirty one). They later did bring us a clean mat.

Next day we did get replacement towels for the soiled ones on the floor. But apparently the bath tissue had run low, so they traded it, installing the dirty roll that I'd foolishly set aside (note to self: put nasty tp rolls down laundry chutes). But this time, they put it on backwards, so the soil would not be visible from the door. That's pretty much a deal breaker for me. Missing a problem that might have been left by a previous guest is bad, but concealing it, totally unacceptable. And no fresh packaged roll this time, so I had to call for fresh.

Internet is $12.95 per 24 hours, reportedly based on clock time, not registration day. Started out at 0.99Mbps, could not stream a video. Called to inquire. They denied throttling, but were immediately able to bump it up to 2.0 Mbps. Still could not stream video. Perhaps it is my hdmi cable, but I don't trust the console setup that you must use to connect to TV. Movies run $18 & up, so we skipped that. This was my first attempt at streaming from laptop to hotel TV, so maybe it just cannot be done. Might try one more time.

Free internet in Volt bar, Starbucks, I suspect in some of the conference areas. The at-your-service person was very helpful in addressing my frustration with the paid in-room internet, ultimately removing the charge, but I never succeeded in being able to stream content.

Sunday night, I heard popping noises like fireworks. I noted the time was 1:07 a.m. Checked the news the next day. You can google "Detroit Princess shooting August 2012" and likely find what I heard. This appeared to be a domestic dispute, not generalized violence, but it was startling to realize that I had heard it take place from my bed.

Summary: The complex is a landmark, easy to see from most of downtown. The "people mover" and walking are handy ways to access nearby locations during the day; I will remain inside the premises for the 2 nights remaining in this trip, as I am not used to major cities. The building's architecture is unique and interesting, but can make navigation confusing; the tour was useful and is free. Internet should be free in rooms, period. If the TV console is configured to make streaming cumbersome, shame on Marriott. Movie prices are too high, but perhaps they are industry standard. Food service and quality was above average, registration was very helpful. Housekeeping was sufficiently bad that I would not stay here again. It is one thing to "miss" something. It is quite another to try and pawn soiled material off on a guest by hiding the soiled area. When the material is bath tissue . . . just eww.

Room Tip: Higher floors have nice views.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
348 reviews 348 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 162 cities Reviews in 162 cities
162 helpful votes 162 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

We spent five nights at the Marriott Renaissance. The plusses: Nice (standard) rooms, great and friendly staff, excellent views of the river and Canada if you are lucky to be in a room on the upper floors (we were on the 64th floor and had a magnificent view). This hotel is part of GM World HQ and the center has anything and everything you might need: restaurants, movie theater, CVS, small market (limited hours on Sunday). Just a step across the street to the Riverwalk. Hop the people mover (75¢ a ride or you can buy a pass) and you can visit Greektown (excellent food found there!) and a few other places of interest. You will need to cab it to the Detroit Institute of Arts (about $20 r/t) but that is very much worth it. The Marriott is right next door to the Detroit-Windsor tunnel and for $4 each way you can go under the Detroit River and visit Windsor.

I read other reviews and found that our beds and pillows were very comfortable, had no problems with the TV or the remote, and definitely did not find any unwanted critters in the sheets.

The minuses: the complex is huge and a bit confusing. We almost knew our way around by the end of our stay. However, we never really did get lost! Also, the construction of the complex must have something in it that repels a lot of signals because most of our group had problems making and receiving calls and texts. Not all the time, just a random moments. You need to watch your connection because unbeknownst to me, my service from T-Mobile switched to a Canadian one and I almost had some charges that I did not want. It should be noted that there were three different cell carriers that had problems, and two of us have very nice phones. No free wi-fi except in the lobby area. American hotels really need to get with it and provide free wi-fi in the rooms.

There was a huge teacher convention in town (I was part of it), a gymnastics event and lots of people around. I didn't find too many problems with larger numbers of people.

Room Tip: Ask for one with a great view of the river - above the 50th floor.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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East Lansing, Michigan
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

We stayed here and were provided a special rate as part of a wedding group. We were given a nice room with a king-size bed on the 52nd floor that had a spectacular view of both downtown Detroit and the Detroit River. When using the elevator, you do need to insert your room key which provides extra safety from people wandering the hotel floors who are not guests. The drawbacks were that the room did not have a fridge or microwave and we would have been charged to use wi-fi in our room along with a $25 parking fee was added to our final bill. The hotel is within the Ren Center which is a little confusing. We tried to access the food court to have a quick breakfast on Sunday morning but nothing opened until 8 AM so we did eat in the hotel restaurant which only served buffet style which was pretty expensive for a light eater like myself.
Unfortunately, we did not have time to wander the city as this hotel is in a great location.

Room Tip: Request a higher floor room so you can see the beautiful view.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

The idea of the Detroit Ren Cen is that it is a romantic business hotel with beautiful views of the river and lots of great restaurants. A safe haven in a city full of chaos. Easily accessible from anywhere you may want to go in the city. At first glance, all of that is true, but after spending a considerable amount of time in the hotel, you would have wished you stayed somewhere else, possibly even the flea bag motor court down the street.

Don't get me wrong the views our great. In 2011 we had a riverview room on one of the top floors that faced Canada, beautiful, I sat staring out the window whichever chance I got. This year we had a view of downtown, which I requested to see the city, and was not disappointed.

The disappointments come when you get over the view. First navigating the hotel is like trying to find your way around the Hellraiser's cube. Between the escalators, elevators, and 1/2 floors you can walk a mile without getting to your room, carrying all your luggage. Second, if you get to the hotel after dark, and are on foot forget any easily accessible entrance, except the one for the hotel on the dimly lit westside of the building, it is the only place that you can enter. Don't expect that a hotel security guard will be helpful, they will block the other entrances and tell you to walk around the building. A building that 2 people were shot next to, 20 minutes after I was ordered to walk around the building -- don't be deceived into thinking that you are safe. Third, all the restaurants you see, and the food court downstairs, is really only open on weekday when the building is full of GM office workers. Don't expect to get anything but room service, Burger King and ice cream on a Saturday.

The elevators are a nightmare, especially on Memorial Day weekend, when Detroit hosts the Electronic Music Festival. In 2011 I had frequent e-mails between myself and the hotel urging them to make changes to the way they have guests use the elevators during this event. In 2012 nothing had changed, the elevators were still overfilled with people, and lots of pushing and shoving was going around so that people could get to their floors. I always feel bad for the elderly people I see trying to board the elevators, when the festival gets out. During DEMF security in this hotel tends to be more hostile than helpful, and I wouldn't go to them for any advice.

The rooms have great views, as I said before, but the fun ends there. The television often losses its cable signal, and you really have to hold down the buttons on the remote to change channels. The beds are hard and lumpy, and upon my last stay the sheets had dried blood on them. Finally on the fourth night I ripped all the sheets off the bed and decided to sleep on the floor, and had a better nights stay than the previous three nights. At $300/night I want to be able to sleep on the bed like a queen. Also, the walls can be thin, I didn't mind too much, but I was well aware that the people above us had an excellent sex life.

There are some good things about the hotel, room service is always fast, tasty, and reliable. The people who work room service are very nice, same with the people at the front desk. They will help you with anything you need. It is just that most of the complaints are beyond their control. The problem lies with the hotel itself, and it needs to make some major changes.

We won't be staying at the Ren Cen next Memorial Day, we will take our money elsewhere.

Room Tip: Call Marriott when you book, and ask for a river view room on a high floor.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roseville, Michigan
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

The room had bed bugs. My boyfriend woke up with bites all over his legs. To make matters worse I left my credit card in my hotel room and the cleaning staff stole my info and use my card. The police even linked it back to them. Don't trust the staff, they'll screw you over.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UlrichFranzmann, Manager at Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, responded to this review, August 7, 2012
Dear Guest,

Please allow me to thank you for staying here at the Detroit Marriott Hotel at the Renaissance Center. I read your comments on this web site and I am very concerned that I just learned about these incidents today that occurred in November of 2011. Our housekeeping team took immediate action and identified all rooms from where you might have taken the posted photograph. We thoroughly inspected them and went through our records of the all inspections since November of 2011. We were not able to find any evidence of an insect infestation in any of these rooms, nor have we had any other complaints since your stay.
In addition I would like to cooperate with law enforcement regarding the credit card misuse. We have not been contacted by any police department , but would like to take the initiative ourselves to do so.
Again, thank you very much for being a valued guest and I would love to hear from you directly. Please feel free to contact me via my direct line here at the hotel.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards,

Ulrich Franzmann
Hotel Manager
313-568-8303
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

Address: 400 Renaissance Dr, Detroit, MI 48243
Location: United States > Michigan > Detroit
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Romantic Hotel in Detroit
#10 Business Hotel in Detroit
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center 3.5*
Number of rooms: 1298
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Soaring 73 floors above the Detroit River, the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center is ideally located in downtown Detroit, situated on the RiverWalk and next to Hart Plaza. The hotel is within the GM Renaissance Center, which provides convenient access to shopping, restaurants and entertainment. The Detroit "People Mover" public transportation system enables guests to visit top attractions that surround the hotel. Floor-to-ceiling windows and dramatic views highlight our hotel rooms, while a reinvented lobby boasts functional seating and business friendly amenities in a trendy setting. Delight in the stylishly urban ambiance of Volt, and enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening cocktails. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Detroit Marriott At The Renaissance Hotel Detroit
Detroit Renaissance At Center
Marriott Detroit
Renaissance Detroit

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