This is my third visit to this property. Been here before for a conference, and again with Ms. Gardiner and Kiddo. This visit was a 5 night stay on leisure, again with the family. Clarity disclosure: I paid hard dollars for the stay, not points. They know my status with Marriott, as well. And, until I checked out and spoke with the Manager on Duty, they would not have known I post to TripAdvisor.
As in previous stays, this property gets top marks for their people. With only one exception (see below) everyone we interacted with was cheerful, eager to please, and professional. I was particularly pleased with the bellman who brought our bags up… Kiddo walked in, spotted a striking/funky chair in the room, and immediately labeled it the “Lady Gaga Chair”. The bellman clicked his fingers and said “That’s it! We’ve been trying to figure out what to call it!” He came back up a few minutes later with a stuffed Shamu and some other stuff, and thanked Kiddo for “naming the chair for us!”. Whether the Ren needed a name for this particular chair is not the point… it’s making a little girl feel like a rockstar.
As we were visiting family in the area, we didn’t take any meals here. We did, though, enjoy the lobby Starbucks in the morning, and the huge lobby bar in the evenings. I found the prices to be reasonable for an Orlando resort property, and the service was crisp. The Starbucks prices were on par with a regular Starbucks, even though this was a licensee location.
The room (and all other facilities we used) were sparkling clean, and well-maintained. We were upgraded to a junior suite (because of my status with Marriott), and the room was nicely kitted out. Comfortable bed, and the sleeper sofa for Kiddo was also good. They have Aveda toiletries, which are among Mrs. Gardiner’s favourites.
The wifi signal was strong in our room, in the lobby area, in the Starbucks, and (amazingly) by the pool. Bonus points for that!
So, all sounds great… but. (And, as frequent readers know, I never give negative feedback here without sharing my issues with a Manager on Duty)
There were four small hiccups that I was concerned with, two of them having to do with the Ren’s vendors.
ONE: There is a Fedex shop on the Lobby level. Since we hit an outlet mall, we had a couple of things to ship home. We had our own box, and our own Fedex account number, so I hoped to just drop the box and go. Not so fast… This Fedex charges a fee of between $10 and $30 just to drop the box… in addition to the shipping costs. The Ren needs to have a chat with their lessee on this one, as it is gratuitous profiteering. There is no value added, as the box just goes on a rack until the Fedex guy gets there. It’s a gouge, and Ren looks poor for abdicating responsibility for the guest experience, and tolerating this abuse of guests.
TWO: Then, there is the gift shop. Kiddo wanted to send a postcard to one of her friends, so we stopped by the Front Desk for a stamp. “We don’t have them, sir… please check with the gift shop”. So, off to the gift shop. Me: “Do you have stamps?” Polite Cashier: “Why, yes, of course, sir!” Me: “Wonderful… I need one post card stamp.” PC: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir… we only sell them in packs of two.” Me: “Fine, I’ll take two stamps, then.” PC: “Certainly, sir… that’s $2.99, plus tax.” Me: “WHAT? <note clean language, Kiddo was with me> Over $3 for 88c in postage? That’s a 200+% markup!!” Net, this is a second area where the GM has abdicated his responsibility for the guest experience to an outside vendor, without thought about the guests perception and the guests experience.
THREE: My third issue had to do with an employee who was ostensibly monitoring the water slides at the pool, but instead was laboring over her smartphone. I watch Kiddo like a hawk when she’s in a pool, so this was simply an HR issue to me.
FOUR: My final issue was the parking fee. The Ren charges $16 per day for self-parking, and the ticket that spits out of the machine asserts (literally) that you are no better off there, than had you parked on the street. It also essentially states that you waive your right to complain should something happen. I did ask the Valet guy at the porte cochere if there was somewhere I could park for free, and he said “No, sir… no where nearby.” In previous stays here, there was NOT a parking charge, so this is a new and unwelcome item. Do this Mr. GM: Bundle your parking with water bottles, or wifi, or free local calls, or whatever. Call it a resort fee like everyone else. Charging $16, and then giving me a written statement that you’re doing absolutely nothing for the money is not the best way to impress me.
So… am I unhappy here? NO. I’m very happy, and will be happy to return to this property in the future. The positives far outweigh my four issues. I highly recommend this property for families, especially due to the across-the-street/walking-distance proximity to SeaWorld, and the quick/easy I-4 access to the Disney properties. I’ve been here for a conference and they handled things there very smoothly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dive in and discover your perfect Florida vacation at Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld. Welcomed with complimentary champagne or sparkling cider, you’re the king of the sea when you stay at our hotel in Orlando. Among the largest guest rooms in the area, choose a room with one king bed and sofabed or a room with two queen-sized beds. All include a 32-inch plasma TV and oversized bathrooms with double sink vanities topped with Aveda shower products. Conveniently located to awesome theme parks including LEGOLAND. Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld also offers additional coolness for every guest. Caffeine-aholics: there’s a REAL, full-sized Starbucks located lobby level. Luxury-seekers: indulge in the lavish Neu Lotus spa. As night falls, cozy up at one of the fire pits and let your day melt away. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Renaissance Orlando Resort At Seaworld Hotel Orlando
- Renaissance Orlando Hotel
- Orlando Renaissance
- Renaissance Hotel Orlando
- Renaissance Orlando Resort Seaworld