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“Not what I expected...”

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Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 18, 2013

First off, the experience getting to the hotel that Saturday was horrible. We phoned the hotel and had wonderful directions to get us around the construction and closed roads. The detours took 90 minutes extra driving and 3 calls to the hotel but we got there. We had thought of turning back home but, the wonderful lady on the phone was VERY helpful and sympathetic. She even offered "something special" when we arrived! Now when we got there the front desk clerk was very sloppy--no tie, shirt not buttoned, jacket open. He appeared to have just been woken up from a break and thrust into the front desk. Poor first image for us. He gave us our room assignment and walked away. No bellman was offered or in sight. We proceeded to take our bags to our room. The room was clean but well-worn and the 'something special' was not there. I looked for hotel information, comment cards, or stationary to find none. Then I remembered our room came with breakfast and the desk clerk never mentioned anything when he gave us our key. I went back to the front desk and was told the reservation I had did not come with breakfast. I returned to my room, got my confirmation sheet-- stating breakfast for two, and went back to the front desk. The desk clerk said "Oh'" and gave me a coupon for breakfast.
The next morning I went to our in-room coffee pot to discover only one coffee serving to split with my wife and myself. We left the room and went to the restaurant for our "included breakfast for two" only to be told the coupon was only for one and we would have to pay for the other person. Back to the front desk with confirmation letter, another "Oh" and I got another breakfast coupon. The meal tasted great and my wife commented they had smoked salmon which is a favorite of mine, not hers. We ate, had coffee and started on to our meeting. This was cut short for me as the salmon had me rushing to the men's room for the rest of the morning. I called the front desk and asked if we could have a late check out of 1:30 as I was not feeling well. I was assured this was fine as the hotel was not too busy. At 11:45, housekeeping was knocking at our door needing to clean the room as the check out was noon. I relayed the late checkout request had been made and was told "Oh." We gathered our things--no bellman, and left the hotel.
The view was nice and the bed was comfortable; but, we will not be back. It is amazing how the little things add up and can really make or break your day. Or in this case, the weekend. So much for a nice get away!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank SCPhotoCulpeper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChrisJ537, General Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 28, 2013

Dear SCPhotoCulpeper,

The tunnel detour can be trying. We try to issue the best directions as possible to get around the tunnel but unfortunately it will add at least 30 minutes to your trip. For future guest that is reading this response the tunnel closing is every weekend until April 2014. Virginia Department of Transportation is refurbishing and repairing the tunnel. So please plan accordingly. I apologize that our desk associate did no met your expectation and I will research his attire. I apologize that your included breakfast was not presented to you at check in and you had to “prove” it to my staff. I apologize for the lack of communication between the desk and housekeeping staff on your late checkout. I will review the issue with the managers of this department. I will be sharing your experience with my managers and associates so we can continue training on troubled areas.
I apologize that you had a bad experience our location we are so much better than your experience. Please visit us again, let me know ahead of time so we can deliver on all of our promises from the “something special” to great service.

My direct office number is 575-673-3001.

Chris Johnson
General Manager

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439 - 445 of 684 reviews

Reviewed September 17, 2013

This hotel is located on the Portsmouth Waterfront, which offers amazing views of the Elizabeth River. The views were nice and the large coast guard ships were nice to watch. The staff was even nice and accommodating. HOWEVER, the hotel rooms left a lot to be desired. The furniture was old, the cloth chairs were stained, and the room had a musty odor. I felt very uncomfortable with my two young children playing on the floor and climbing up in the chairs because I did not feel the room wa svery clean. The indoor swimming pool was very disappointing as well. There were dead black bugs floating all over the pool. My kids started screaming and I had to remove six of them before we could even enter the pool. The hot tub was equally as bad. I thought I had found my comfort zone in the hot tub, but then the water stopped bubbling and I saw the disgusting floor of the hot tub and all of the rust in the hot tub made me cringe.

The Foggy Point restaurant had a nice breakfast buffet that we enjoyed. It was quite pricey, $15.95, but very filling with an array of breakfast foods and made to order omelets and waffles. The lobby areas and conference rooms were also very nice and well taken care of. My only wish is that the staff would put as much effort into the rooms as they do into the lobby and public areas. I expect excellence from the Marriott brand and unfortunately, I did not receive it here.

Also, avoid the hotel's market! $4 for Altoids... Just take a quick walk down the street and save youself the trouble.

Room Tip: All rooms have a view of the Elizabeth River, but ask for a view of the Norfolk skyline. It's an...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank 757jewell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChrisJ537, General Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2013

Dear 757jewell,

Thank you for your review and your business. I am glad you enjoyed the views and our breakfast buffet. I apologize that we fell short in the guest room and pool areas. I have shared your review with our management staff so we can take corrective measures. Our rooms are much better shape than the one you experienced. We have started the inspection process to locate your room so we can take care of the maintenance issues. Our certified pool operator (CPO) takes so much pride in “his” pool. When I reviewed your experience with him he did mention he has had some trouble with flying insects due to the door being left open from the deck. Not an excuse, just explaining what had happened.

I am glad you shared your experience with us so can make some corrections to serve our future guest better.

Travel safe,
Chris Johnson
General Manager

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Reviewed September 11, 2013

Location is excellent. Reasonable rate. Nice staffs. That is all I need from a hotel. The pool has a beautiful view as well. I would recommend this hotel.
Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel & Waterfront Conference Center
425 Water Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank huey c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChrisJ537, General Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 13, 2013

Dear Huey c,

Thank you for your review. I appreciate your business and we hope to see you soon.

Chris Johnson
General Manager

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Reviewed September 1, 2013

Staff was very professional and helpful. Hotel was clean and conveniently located near great restaurants and a concert pavilion (saw Hank Jr. last night in concert!). Our 8th floor water view room was roomy, cool, and comfortable. Concierge recommendation of Roger Browns restaurant (http://www.rogerbrowns.com/ordereze/splash.aspx ) was spot on. Roger Browns serves up some of the freshest seafood we've had in awhile. Their draft beer selection was great too!

Thanks Renaissance staff for making our weekend getaway a great one!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank FamMan123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChrisJ537, General Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

Dear FamMan123,
Thank you for staying with us. Jr did a great job! I attended the concert as well and had a great time. Our views are great and we are just a short walk to many great places to eat.

Come back soon and travel safe,

Chris Johnson
General Manager

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Reviewed September 1, 2013

I was not impressed with this hotel, it is clean and sufficiently large, however, the staff wasn't that helpful. Other have commented on the distance the registration desk is from the entrance...wow they are right. Wear sneakers (even if you are a business traveler)...and there was no bell staff to assist when I arrived.
I asked for, and received, a high floor (that is a nice view, see the pictures).
The lobby bar is large and clean, the bartender wasn't very attentive to the group i was with...either checking her phone, or splitting time between the restaurant and the bar area....perhaps hire a second bartender.

The area is rather far from the town...prepare to walk a lot.

I wish i could say better things but in the end it was only a average stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor and water view...its worth it
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank ChiefJack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChrisJ537, General Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 2, 2013

Dear ChiefJack,
Thank you for your review. I apologize for the lack of attention from the bartender during your visit. The hotel is clean and has lots of space to enjoy. When the property was built I guess the architect did not think about the distance from the front doors to the front desk. I guess it is kind of like airports and concourses. The only difference is our walk is only 30 yards and a concourse sometimes feels like a mile especially when you are pulling your luggage without help.
I do apologize that you did not have a fantastic experience in Portsmouth. I hope if you are back in the area you give us a second chance.

Chris Johnson
General Manger

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Reviewed August 30, 2013

I recently completed a 15-night stay here and in eight months of business travel, it felt like it was the shortest stay. I enjoyed everything about my stay at the Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel: the caring staff, the 17th floor view of the waterfront, the concierge lounge, the breakfast buffet, the exercise room, and the location, to name a few.

It took me about five hours to drive down from Alexandria, VA on a Friday afternoon, but most of my traffic-induced stress was lifted as soon as I checked in. The lobby area made me feel like I was inside a luxury liner. The front desk staff was efficient and cheerful, check in was fast, and I got a 17th floor room with a gorgeous view of the waterfront. I also got assistance with my luggage from a knowledgeable concierge who happily shared the history of the hotel.

The breakfast buffet at the Foggy Point Grill had a good variety of hot and cold items. There was always bacon, eggs (with or without cheese), home fries, and sausage. Breakfast starts at 6:30 a.m., so I was really glad I had access to the Concierge Lounge, which had breakfast items beginning at 6:00 a.m., because I had to be at work by 7:00 a.m. Access to the Concierge Lounge was one of the high points of my stay. Breakfast, afternoon refreshments, and evening desserts were served from Sunday evening to Friday morning. There was ample rotation of the menu that during my two-week stay, I did not see a repeat in any of the hors d’oeuvres served.

The fitness center is awesome. If you get there early in the morning, you’ll have fresh towels at each machine. Most of the machines had a tiny TV monitor, and if you forgot your headphones, there are some available to use. I loved having the automatic fan on the elliptical machine!

The hotel location can't be beat. My work commute was less than 2 miles. Olde Towne, its museums and restaurants were an easy walk away. The two ferry stops (North Landing and High Street) are equidistant to the hotel. Norfolk Waterside is a short 10-minute ferry ride over.

The staff made me feel like I was on vacation rather than a business trip. This Renaissance currently does not have a business center, but I was still able to print some documents and fax from the front desk, and they even hand-delivered my fax confirmation to my room.
I really enjoyed my stay here and hope to be back again before too long.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled on business
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Thank CCC_wanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChrisJ537, General Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 31, 2013

Dear Carmel C,
I am glad we had a chance to “take you away” for a brief moment from your business travel. Thank you for all of your great comments and your appreciation of the location and the property. The hotel is great and the location can’t be beat. I apologize for the business center which is on order. We wanted to update our technology in this area. We had an opportunity to do so but computers had to be ordered. Should be here any day!!! I am glad my staff was able to help you print your necessary items.

Thank you for staying with us and please come back soon!! Travel Safe,

Chris Johnson
General Manager

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Reviewed August 28, 2013

This was my 2nd time to stay in this hotel. Comparing with 4-5 years before, the decoration of the lobby is not maintained very well. Except with this, it has wonderful front desk staff(i.e Alisha), she is friendly and helpful. The breakfast buffet is also above average standard compared with many hotel I visited before. The hotel view is beautiful. I think I will go back this hotel again.

Room Tip: stay in higher floor
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank SimC0913
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChrisJ537, General Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2013

Dear SimC0913,
Thank you for being a return guest. We have notice as well some of furniture needs a visit from the "furniture doctor" for some touch up. We are planning for this at the end of October. The lobby is clean and maintained. Thank you for recognizing our hot buffet and our wonderful staff. We do try to make you feel like one of the family.

Come back soon and travel safe. Thank you for your business,

Chris Johnson
General Manager

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Additional Information about Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel

Address: 425 Water St, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3801
Phone Number:
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 5 Hotels in Portsmouth
Price Range: $130 - $197 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 And Waterfront Conference Center
Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel & Waterfront Portsmouth

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