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“Excellent Stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel

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Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   425 Water Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704   |  
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Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Portsmouth
San Diego, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Excellent Stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2011

This is a beautiful hotel overlooking the Elizabeth River. The front desk was extremely helpful and courteous. I really enjoyed my two week stay at this hotel. Be sure to try a restaurant by the name of 'Still' on the corner of Court and Queen streets. Delicious small plates and a great atmophere. You will not regret choosing this property for your stay in Portsmouth..

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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347 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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
New Jersey
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2011

We recently returned from a one-night stay at the Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel. Overall, we had a great stay. The hotel is in a lovely location, right on the Elizabeth River, overlooking downtown Norfolk. Portsmouth is a very charming little town, but there was very little activity while we were there. This may be due to the fact that we were there right after a large snowstorm, but there were very few people in the town when we were walking around. The historic area of Portsmouth is only a couple of blocks from the hotel, with many charming colonial homes to walk around and see. About 5 minutes walk from the hotel is the main commercial thoroughfare of the town, which features just a few small restaurants and shops. There isn’t all that much in Portsmouth itself, in terms of things to do, but we managed to pass an afternoon walking around the town. It was a very peaceful and pretty little town, so I would recommend staying here: just realize that the Renaissance isn’t necessarily in a particularly active area. It is easily accessible to Norfolk by ferry—there is a ferry dock right next to the hotel, and the ferries appeared to leave relatively frequently to cross the river.

My basic comment about the hotel is that it is very lovely. The structure is positioned beautifully on the river, and the common areas are very beautiful. The lobby had very high ceilings, with several pleasant seating areas overlooking the river. One weird thing that we noted about its design is how long the walk is from the entrance/parking garage to the elevators to the rooms. Walking from the hotel entrance to the elevator involved walking down one very long hallway, then down another past the front desk, past the ballrooms, to the elevator bank. It wasn’t a big deal for us, but I noticed that it would be very difficult for someone with mobility issues to simply get from the front of the hotel to the elevators.

Hotel parking is in an adjacent garage, which does not have an indoor attachment to the hotel, but is right by the hotel entrance. Parking is $10 per night, which I think is a little bit ridiculous, given that parking is not really at a premium in Portsmouth. The garage itself is operated by the city, and it was actually a bit gross while we were there, with trash strewn around. The elevators in the parking garage were equally filthy, with ketchup splattered around. We didn’t really investigate to see if there were any other parking options in the area, but I would in the future.

We were in the area for just the one night, and arrived at the hotel around 1:00 pm. We had requested an early-check in ahead of time, and based on the fact that the hotel was quite empty when we were there, I didn’t think it was unreasonable to expect to get into the room a little early. We had booked a club level room, and were told upon check-in that there were no rooms clean yet on the club level, but that we could have a regular room immediately if we wanted it. Knowing that we wanted the club level amenities, we decided to wait for the club level room, and walked around Portsmouth for a couple of hours in the meantime. The front desk staff said they would call housekeeping immediately to get the room cleaned as quickly as possible. We returned to the hotel after 3:00, hoping that the room would be ready. It still was not. Granted, we were still early for normal check-in, but at an empty hotel, it should not be hard to get rooms ready early. We ended up waiting in the lobby until the room was ready. The front desk staff was very nice, and offered us drinks and food while we were waiting, and genuinely seemed to be doing everything they could to get our room ready as quickly as possible. We attribute the problems in this situation to the housekeeping staff. It simply seemed that whoever was upstairs cleaning was lazy and/or overly slow in getting rooms cleaned. It almost seemed as if the housekeeping staff was purposely defying the request to get the room cleaned.
However, after the minor annoyance of waiting for the room, our stay was absolutely excellent. The room was beautiful (and luckily very clean after the wait!). We had a room on the 16th floor, overlooking the river and the Norfolk skyline. The view was perfect. We really enjoyed looking at Norfolk and watching barges go by in the river. The rooms have recently been renovated, and are a nice size with a blue/yellow somewhat nautical look. The windows are large, and I think most rooms have a view of the river, some on the Norfolk side, some not.

We were on the club level, and the club lounge here was one of the best we’ve had in a hotel. The food offerings were great-actually something substantial for a change. There were several items available for appetizers at night, including very good fajitas and taco wraps that we could have made into a full dinner. In particular we’d also like to compliment the nighttime club lounge staff member. We didn’t get her name, but she was very friendly and gave very good recommendations about the local area. The club lounge breakfast in the morning was also very good, with a couple of hot items in addition to the usual continental offerings.

Overall, we had an excellent stay at this hotel. I would definitely recommend it. The only annoyance was in the wait for check-in, but the rest of the stay was great, so it wasn’t a big deal. I’m not sure what the hotel options are like in Norfolk, but I think the Renaissance Portsmouth is a great, quieter option, right across the river with beautiful views.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Lynchburg, Virginia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2010

This is a very nice hotel but I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a microwave or mini frig in the room. The location of this hotel is right on the water which makes for a very nice scenery during the day time and at night. The staff was very cordial and helpful with information about local attractions and services. There are plenty of places that you can walk to for lunch and dinner if you chose not to eat at the hotel. Overall a nice stay but besides the bed I had knowother place to sit in my room considereing the chairs that were in the room had white stains on them which grossed me out. This is fixeable and I hope the hotel will take care of that issue.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2010

I was a little apprehensive about staying at the Renaissance Portsmouth after reading many negative reviews. We booked this hotel because of the views and location and we were very pleased with our stay. Check-in was quick, customer service rep was polite, and the room was spotless (17th floor with excellent views!), thanks to Jodi Ann in housekeeping! Our meals at the hotel were great and the service was excellent! The bar and computer/common areas were also first rate! We are Marriott rewards members and are never disappointed with any Marriott property. Everyone at the hotel was also very friendly. We will definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MeganB-ExAsst-to-GM, Executive Assistant at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this review, September 28, 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us at the Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel & Waterfront Conference Center. Giving our guests an exceptional experience is what we strive for and with so many competitors out there, your comments made us feel really good. I have passed on your comments to the appropriate staff that took part in making your stay comfortable. We are truly pleased with your experience and we look forward to exceeding your expectations in the future. Thanks again!!
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VA
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2010

I stayed here 9/17-9/19 for a wedding. Check-in was pretty quiet and the front desk was courteous. My room was on the 14th floor. The view was amazing. It faced the water and you could see the ferries and ships coming in. Beautiful.

Room was clean. Beds were very comfortable. I'm a sports lover and found it great that there were several ESPN channels on the TV. Our hall was pretty quiet.

Minor issues...We had trouble using the business center computers/printers to print a document containing images. We asked the front desk staff for aid and one young woman came over and tried to help. She told us that the system wasn't really her expertise. We appreciated her honesty and she went to get the "expert". The expert never came over even when there was no activity at the desk and actually sent the other woman back over with information instead of coming herself. The guidance didn't work and we ended up not being able to print the document at all. But we didn't move from the location for about 20 minutes before finally giving up and seeking alternative means. Not a big deal but it would have been nice if the business center were actually able to do the business at hand.

Food was amazing! The food for the wedding and in-room dining had everyone raving.

Overall, the hotel itself was wonderful. The front desk staff was helpful minus the one incident. I am planning on returning for another visit.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Washington, DC
Top Contributor
292 reviews 292 reviews
134 hotel reviews
Reviews in 125 cities Reviews in 125 cities
2,360 helpful votes 2,360 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2010

This was my second stay at the Renaissance, which I chose over the Waterside Marriott because I think the location (views) and facility itself is just outstanding. However, on this stay there were lots of little problems that ruined what would have been an otherwise enjoyable stay. First, housekeeping failed to leave decaf coffee in the room and there were no tissues, resulting in my having a call the front desk a couple times to have these standard items delivered. Then, I discovered that the previous guest had disconnected several cords and cables on the TV (apparently to connect their own stuff) which left the TV inoperable. Although I tried reconnecting them, I still wasn't able to get the TV to work, so I ended up having to call the front desk twice to have the engineer come, waiting more than 30 minutes before he showed up. It was only after I called the second time and asked if I could be moved because I was tired of waiting that they finally sent him. So, it seems, that the combination of posts about the beauty of the property and the poor customer service are spot on. Just keep that in mind when/if you book here.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2010 via mobile

My husband and I just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary and we decided to stay at this hotel. When we first arrived, we were amazed at how beautiful it was. That was short lived. The lady at the fd treated us as if we should have know the answers to the questions we were asking! She worked there not us. I work in customer service as well, and the way she acted was inappropriate. But we didnt let that bother us. When we reached our room we were pleased. It was clean, comfortable, and the view was breath-taking. Later on at the restaurant the service sucked again, same thing at breakfast! Customer service is very important with any company. Maybe management should retrain there staff. NO place is too good to give outstanding service.

  • Stayed September 2010
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MeganB-ExAsst-to-GM, Executive Assistant at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this review, September 13, 2010
Dear Guest,
We would like to start off by congratulating you and your spouse on your 2nd Wedding Anniversary. We are very pleased that you chose our hotel for such an important event. Thank you for your great comments about our rooms and views. We do pride ourselves on our location and breathtaking views of the Elizabeth River and city skyline. We also pride ourselves on Customer Service and would like to apologize for the experience that you and your spouse had with our Front Desk and Restaurant staff. We take these comments seriously and welcome any feedback, especially when it comes to making improvements. We want nothing but the best for our guests and feeling comfortable and excited about your choice in hotels is very important. Please know that these comments were passed on to both Supervisors and will be brought to their staff's attention. Thank you again for choosing our hotel and we hope you will be back soon!
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Additional Information about Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel

Address: 425 Water Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
Location: United States > Virginia > Portsmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Portsmouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 249
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blending traditional elegance and modern style, our waterside Norfolk, VA area hotel in the historic downtown district of Olde Towne Portsmouth provides calming comfort and soothing relaxation. The Renaissance Portsmouth hotel boasts a hip location overlooking the vibrant, revitalized waterfront and offers stunning views of the Elizabeth River. Set above the harbor, the Portsmouth Ballroom's unique outdoor terrace, part of the 24,000 square feet of Norfolk area hotel meeting space, provides a stunning reception area sure to draw rave reviews from your guests. This updated luxurious Norfolk, Virginia area hotel also features 23 meeting rooms including a 70-seat Amphitheater. Savor the atmosphere of this waterside hotel in Portsmouth at Foggy Point Bar & Grill, presenting a selection of fresh seafood. Visitors to the area can enjoy the unique experience of taking the nearby water taxi across to many of the Norfolk business and visitor destinations including the Norfolk Naval facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel & Waterfront Portsmouth
Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel And Waterfront Conference Center

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