I stayed at the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel for a one day conference arriving the night before.
The upside: the hotel is close to the airport, saving me the expense of renting a car. The complimentary shuttle makes airport runs every 20 minutes convenient for guests between the hours of 0420A and 0140A each day. The hotel van does not travel within a 5 mile radius as most other hotels offer, but the property is located within walking distance of several eateries. I had a nice room with a great view of the International runways from the Delta Concourse. So, I was able to look out of my window or from my balcony if I wanted to step outside for some fresh air and sunshine to watch the planes take off and land. I love airports and never tire of them unless I am stuck. Then it gets old. The check-in went smoothly, and the staff was friendly and informative. I had a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed with pillows that I hope to acquire when I return home. There is some noise from the airport, so if you are a light sleeper this may not be the room for you. The food in the Concorde Bar & Grill, the hotel’s resident restaurant, was delicious. My favorite dish was the sweet potato corn chowder. The breakfast buffet had good variety including cooked-to-order omelets. I always love the chance to eat grits prepared in the south and so I did, covered in butter and sugar, just the way I like them. The indoor pool, spa and gym offered a great getaway for my family to enjoy while I attended to my business of the day.
The downside: When I awakened the next morning, I discovered a soiled top sheet that had gone unnoticed before. The restaurant is a la carte which translates to expensive and did not seem equipped to handle even the smallest group attending a conference. I am not sure if all the attention was towards the large company holding their conference starting on Monday morning or if the weekend staff was not up to par. Either way, as a meeting planner, I was less than impressed. The slow service pushed the conference back 1-1/2 hours which is not acceptable when you are on a set schedule. Some meals had to be returned because they were not prepared as ordered. Settling the bill was even more painful. The poor gentlemen taking our payments, was too senior to think quickly on his feet and change gears. No flexibility there. One man in our group paid for our entire table just to speed things along. On Monday, I did a site visit with one of the Sales Managers to see the parts of the property that I had not seen during my weekend stay. While the hotel has great meeting space and the Manager was professional, I was not impressed. His enthusiasm to gain my business was underwhelming and I would not be running to hold a meeting here.
I was reminded of the southern hospitality that I have grown accustomed to, when I arrived at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport. People saying or nodding hello as they pass you by; the wonderful respect given when someone answers with a “yes ma’am, no ma’am” response, and the general gladness to have you in their state. Unfortunately, that southern hospitality did not translate to this Atlanta property. The final straw was when my daughter’s portable game was stolen out of her backpack along with some other items. Security handled this with care and sensitivity and I am hopeful that a clear resolution will be forthcoming. I have already heard from Marriott National Claims Office.
I give this property 3 out of 5 because it has the potential to be a great hotel if given a customer service upgrade to go along with its recent renovation.