I chose this hotel after (1) receiving a glowing report from my friend of her stay last year and (2) my experience of the Renaissance brand from the truly exceptional Phuket property.
There's no doubt that the hotel is fantastically located, within a stones throw of Penn Station, Macy's and 2 subway lines; it is modern and stylish; the lifts are not as horrid as some reviewers claim; the bar and restaurant are pleasant environments; Aveda toiletries are way better than the usual Marriott provisions; rooms are nice enough but typically NYC small; the Club Lounge is an oasis of calm (but note that the usual lounge alcoholic drinks are not offered here, and at the weekend it really is just a coffee machine and a fridge of soft drinks, no food, not even a cookie).
My disappointment stems from a variety of service let-downs and the absence of any real acknowledgement of my Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status. I've raised the multiple issues with Justin Elliott and apparently they are 'being looked in to'.
I chose this hotel over the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott Essex House to splash my hard earned Bonvoy points, as I anticipated that I'd be treated really well - and surely better to be treated brilliantly in a less good hotel than indifferently in a better one. After staying at The Renaissance, I regret my decision, even more so on realising that there are Marriott group hotels in a similar location for a lot less points - it was the worst of both worlds, 'expensive' but without the 'value'. Prior to this stay I would have recommended & chosen Renaissance hotel without hesitation - now I'd not be so confident.
What a shame.......