“Wonderful property, location and staff... not a great design”
I came to the Renaissance on a business trip with a conference of over 2,000 people.
Check in was great! They pulled out all the stops! They clearly have done their homework on preparing for the masses. There were 12 people at the front desk - some helping to check you in, others helping to organize the paperwork and others who were working on keys. The system ran extremely smooth (better than I have ever seen!) They also had extra staff on assisting with the elevators, keeping the isles clear of those groups that do not know group waiting manners, and others helping to direct people to the right places.
The staff could not have been more helpful and friendly. We were checked in by "Megan" who kept apologizing that she does not normally work at the front desk but was there helping. I didn't mind the extra time of doing checkin as she was very pleasant and was trying very hard.
The Harborplace is also CONNECTED to the mall which means VERY easy access to the mall for a quick starbucks run (though there is one also on the 1st floor - it was faster to go into the mall with the line in the hotel). Through the mall connection, you are also only a few steps away from the bridge which connects the hotel to the harborplace restaurants and shopping of the inner harbor and Aquarium - HUGE bonus of not needing to cross any busy streets!!
I have no idea who designed this hotel, but it is about a 1/4 mile walk from the elevator to my room! If you have ANY mobility issues, or do not want to walk 1/4 mile to your room , you will need to make that request ahead of time. The halls are VERY long and there is only 1 set of elevators in one corner of the hotel. So if you are not there, plan on adding about 5 mintues walk from your room to the elevators. If I were staying here for pleasure you'd be assured that I would have asked for a better room assignment (my room was 11060). 11th floor was great - but once you start getting up in numbers, you are at the BACK of the hotel with a beautiful view of parking garages that you can enjoy once you make it there. Ask for a map with your room location at checkin!
The rooms are fairly standard of a Marriott - nice furniture, comfy chair and foot rest with table, flat screen TV, marble counterspace in the room - though I swear I've stayed in beds that were more "wecloming" at Marriotts - not bad, just not amazing. The rooms are relatively clean, though if you have allergies, you may want to recall housekeeping to visit as it appears that they don't clean their window treatments that have dust that is faily thick above 5 ft.
Only other "con" which really isn't one - but was an annoyance was that we had quite a lot of stuff to bring up from our car and asked to use the luggage cart. Because they are a "full service" hotel, you have to have a bellman come and bring up your stuff if you want to use a cart. Not horrible, but when you COULD have dont it yourself, the $5 tip you give them is a little annoying - not horrible - just blah!.
All in all I would definitely stay here again - but I would call ahead to see if there are massive groups having a conference and might rethink it because of the elevator issue. But otherwise, great location, nice staff and standard Marriott expectations have been met!
Get a room with a low number (any floor)... so 707 or 11015. The higher the end numbers - like mine...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.