We hadn't been to the inner harbor for at least 15 years and thought it would be nice to take a quick overnight getaway to see some sites, in particular, the Nat'l Aquarium. We were looking forward to showing our son the sites.
So we booked at the Renaissance Harborplace for one night, purchasing the Nat'l Aquarium package, which advertised including free parking, 2 tickets to the aquarium, and free breakfast in the brand new 'Watertable" restaurant.
Check-in was fine, albeit chaotic, but to be expected for a bright, sunny Memorial Day weekend. We requested early check-in and our room was ready early, so it was nice to unload luggage and park the car, and get settled in.
We also requested an extra Aquarium child ticket and the front desk was able to accommodate us, which was great. I recommend a hotel package (several offer packages) or buying your aquarium tickets online ahead...do not wait in line to buy. You'll only get tired and frustrated. We had our tickets from the hotel and walked right into the aquarium. Lots of people and street performers on the inner harbor. In the afternoon, we thought we'd try out the pool at the hotel. It was fine, but small, and even at the dinner hour, was quite crowded. After swimming, we selected M&S for dinner, only because the wait wasn't so long. But while it was very pricey...most reasonably priced entree was meatloaf for $16, to NY strip steak for $32, the food was terrific. We had the mahi mahi blackened and the fried shrimp dinner, and both were excellent! We recommend the twice-baked apple pie for dessert. The wait staff were accommodating and friendly and kept our iced tea glasses filled. Nice atmosphere for couples as well as families with children. We recommend it.
The hotel is not on the water as it is portrayed in its advertising, but it is a close walking distance to everything. Not the clean, shiny harbor place it used to be though....lots of trash, and loiterers (be prepared for all kinds of people), and the faint smell of stale water everywhere you walk. We did request a harbor view room, but we didn't get one. Instead, we got a view of the inside of the attached Harbor Gallery Shops mall. No big deal as the room was comfortable and clean. Beds very comfy. Bathroom very clean.
However, the night of our stay, there was a wedding one floor down and rooms facing the shops could hear the blaring music. I called the front desk once to ask when the music was going to stop as we had children trying to sleep. Music stopped at midnight and we finally settled in for the night. But we were awoken again at 3:35 AM by the fire alarm, and that scared our 9-yr-old. Thirty minutes later, after some confusion, it was determined that a guest had pulled the alarm, and no need to leave the hotel. Needless to say, it wasn't a very restful night after a day of walking and site-seeing.
The next morning, we woke up and looked forward to a nice, free breakfast in the brand new Watertable restaurant. But when we went down to breakfast, it appeared as if only one item was on the menu for breakfast, only one cashier/order taker at the counter, and only one family having breakfast. We opted to check the shops or eateries at inner harbor; however, none were open for breakfast at 9 AM Sunday morning. Cheesecake Factory would have been a good choice, but they don't open until 10 on Sundays.
We opted to have the valet bring our car, packed up, checked out, and drove to another breakfast restaurant on the way home.
All in all , we don't think we got what we paid for, and we probably won't stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Explore Baltimore, Maryland's vibrant Inner Harbor with us! The top-rated Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel is steps away from the city's storied waterfront, placing guests at the center of downtown Baltimore's most exciting district. Our hotel is close to local attractions like Camden Yards, the National Aquarium, and Harborplace shopping, plus a range of fine dining and nightlife opportunities. Hotel guests can enjoy superior in-room amenities like deluxe marble bathrooms, 37-inch LCD TVs, and amazing water views. We invite you to stay active at our 24-hour fitness center, take a dip in our year-round indoor pool, or enjoy fresh, seasonal cuisine and spectacular harbor vistas at our Watertable restaurant. With over 31,000 square feet of event space, we're also an ideal option for hosting a special event or business convention here in downtown Baltimore. Whether you're visiting for business or pleasure, we'll make sure that your trip to the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel is a success. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Renaissance Baltimore
- Baltimore Renaissance