Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Stylish business hotel beside the Las Vegas Convention Center
For a business hotel, this 548-room Marriott property is a stylish one. Located right beside the Las Vegas Convention Center and at the foot of the Monorail, the hotel could easily have gone with a bland and boring design meant to appeal to the requisite professional (see sister property Marriott Suites). Instead, the hotel went with bold design choices. Candy-colored furniture, geometric shapes and shiny, reflective surfaces dominate the lobby, giving the impression of a cocktail lounge. It's young and quirky, unlike most of the guests I saw.
If you're not attending a convention, this isn't the best choice for a Vegas vacation. The newly-renovated pool area looks sleek, but the pool itself is small and shallow. Plus, it's awkwardly situated in the middle of the hotel, in full view of the lobby and meeting rooms. The rooms are standard, nothing exceptional. The gym, though, is fantastic --large, sunny, and with lots of modern equipment-- and it overlooks the pool. Besides that, there's a very good restaurant called Envy, which Wine Spectator magazine has consistently chosen as one of the best steakhouses in Vegas.
It's a nice hotel with good amenities, but there are better options for leisure travelers. This is a hotel full of suits who attend meetings from 9-5 and unwind with a fancy dinner at the end of the day. If you're part of Marriott Rewards program and don't mind the distance from the Strip (or a good pool scene), I recommend this hotel. Otherwise, you're better off finding a deal with the bigger Strip properties like the Wynn, which have special weekday rates.
Wonderful staff. Very friendly and polite.
The staff is very friendly and polite. The bellmen are engaging --they chatted me up a few times when I was waiting for a taxi or just hanging out in the lobby. Most of Vegas hotel staff I've encountered have been great, especially in small to mid-size hotels. This one was no different.
Check-in and check-out were both fast and efficient. Upon checking in, the receptionist hands guests a chocolate-covered olive as a welcome treat. It's a nice touch, though I personally don't think sour fruit goes with a sweet confectionary glaze. There's a concierge in the lobby who can help with booking tours, tee times and theater tickets.
Located on Paradise Road, Renaissance is an off-the-Strip property that capitalizes more on its proximity to the Las Vegas Convention Center than to the Strip. The Convention Center is right next door, in fact you just have to walk through a parking lot to get there. Add to that the Monorail station, which gives access to the Las Vegas Strip, and this makes the perfect location for conventioneers. For everyone else, well, there are a few things to consider.
There are no attractions within reasonable walking distance (15 minutes in desert heat amidst heavy traffic is no fun, trust me), so you would need a car to get around. It costs around $7 to get to the heart of the Strip, where the Fashion Show Mall and iconic hotels like the Venetian are located. There are destination hotels along Paradise Road, such as the Hard Rock where every Sunday they have a crazy pool part called Rehab. Though they're on the same road, still opt for a taxi. Places are farther than they look in Vegas.
The hotel is 2.5 miles from McCarran airport, about a $10 cab ride.
The newly renovated pool looks stylish and sexy, what with the tall reflective windows surrounding it and the palm trees leaning over it. It may look enticing, but the actual experience of swimming in it is awkward. The pool is small (compared to other pools in Vegas) and shallow --just 3 feet deep all around. It may look long, but if one person were to swim laps, everyone else would have to stay at the edges. This would all be fine, but the pool is in the most uncomfortable location in the entire hotel --right smack in the middle, where the lobby, meeting rooms and gym all look out into the pool. Those pretty glass windows that surround the pool are like voyeuristic panels from which business professionals can casually check out the few random guests actually using the hotel pool. In a hotel full of suits, I was the only person in a bikini lounging on a deck chair, and it was very very awkward.
Besides being too small for actual swimming, this pool is meant as a design element more than a functional pool. Kind of like a lobby fountain.
The rooms are disappointing after seeing the lobby. I expected the rooms to have a more fun, quirky design like the lobby, but instead they're quite standard and boring. The furniture is dull (what is up with this chair?), though everything is clean and well-maintained.
I was booked in a Deluxe Standard room, which is the most basic of the hotel's accommodations, which include four different types of suites.The bed is very comfortable --and good for you, since it's a Sealy Posturepedic mattress. It has 300 thread-count Egyptian linens and a down comforter and duvet.
Facing the bed is a flat-screen TV with premium cable channels. Beneath it is a mini-fridge and a safe. The work desk has a dual-line telephone, an Ethernet cable, and an ergonomic chair. Internet costs $12.95 for 24 hours. There is no Wi-Fi in the rooms.
The bathroom has a separate shower and tub, which I suppose is the one non-standard feature of this room. Underneath the marble sink counter is a coffee maker with complimentary Starbucks coffee packets. Bath products are from LATHER, and they include mint-thyme shampoo and conditioner, yuzu-bergamot moisturizer, and lemongrass bar soap.
The Deluxe Suite is one step up, but it's a significant step. The room is much larger, with a separate living room that can supposedly accommodate 25 visitors at a time (to hang out, not sleep). For information on the Suites, check out the hotel website.
The fitness center at this hotel is one of the best I've seen in Vegas. Plus, it's free to use (the larger hotels charge for gym use). Set on the 2nd floor, this window-filled space gets a lot of sunlight and a great view of the pool. The equipment's modern and from high-tech brands such as Precor, Matrix and Paramount. The cardio machines all face the window and kept separate from the weight-training machines and free weights. There are treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and step machines. Flat-screen TV's are spread out around the gym, and there are complimentary lockers, towels, fruit, juice and water. Open 24 hours.
The 24-hour business center features individual cubicles. Each work space has a desktop PC and a printer/copier/fax machine. There are also two heavy-duty copy machines for large copy and print jobs. An attendant is available on Mondays to Fridays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There's a fee for every service, including Internet use ($5 for 5 minutes, $1 after that). Wi-Fi in the lobby and the 2nd floor costs $12.95 for noon-to-noon use. You can print your boarding pass for free in the lobby, but that's about it.
There are 14 meeting rooms and a grand ballroom for conferences and events.
Your kids will get bored quickly.
Nothing about this hotel caters towards children, though the hotel website says the Renaissance is "the most family-friendly hotel in Vegas." True, it's a non-gaming and smoke-free property, but other than that there's nothing family-friendly about it. There's no kids club or kids activities onsite or nearby, and the restaurant has a stuffy atmosphere that wouldn't be forgiving of screaming babies or rambunctious children. Also, there's no kids' menu. One kid-friendly feature is the selection of kids' movies for in-room viewing. Movie prices range from $9.99 to 14.99.
If you're attending a conference and would like to bring your family, this hotel is more suited to older children who can get around on their own --the Monorail is a two-minute walk away, right by the Convention Center. Younger children will quickly be bored by this business-oriented hotel, including its small pool that's surrounded by businessmen chatting away on their cellphones.
Very clean, except for one mildewed showerhead.
This newly renovated hotel is kept very clean. Hallways are kept in tip-top condition, and the tiles in the lobby shine so bright, they could hurt your eyes. Rooms are tidy and neat, though the showerhead in my bathroom had acquired some mildew. Nothing major and perhaps just an oversight.
The hotel restaurant, Envy, has its own reputation and it's a stellar one. Wine Spectator magazine has consistently awarded it an "Award of Excellence" for its staggering 1,500 wines housed in its cellar. The food is impressive as well. If you've only got one night, as I did, then you can't say no to the Envy Signature Tasting. For $40, you'll get a sampling of Envy's best: a 4 oz. filet mignon, braised beef cheeks, sea bass and crab meat Victoria. Paired with a glass of wine and a side of truffle fries, it was one of the best meals I've had in Las Vegas. Absolutely delicious --full of delicate flavors and not overly filling, but just the right amount. I still dream of those truffle fries.
(On an interesting note, Envy's menu says "We proudly serve mid-western corn-fed beef." Not the environmentally-conscious choice that usually gets touted in fine-dining restaurants, but a bold statement nonetheless.)
Envy is open for lunch and dinner, with a limited (and more affordable) lunch menu. If you don't want to deal with the white-tablecloth service, there's the Envy Lounge, a more casual setting to the side of the restaurant which serves the same appetizers, salads and sandwiches as Envy. There's also e-Go Cafe on the other side of the lobby. Food options are limited to packaged sandwiches and salads, but sometimes that's all you need. The cafe also serves Starbucks coffee and pastries. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In-room dining is available all day. The breakfast menu includes American and Continental breakfast choices, including a custom omelet or frittata, a selection of breakfast meats, and fruit. The all-day dining menu consists of salads and sandwiches (average: $12). The Envy menu is only available for dinner up until 10 p.m.
A business hotel beside the Convention Center with sleek interiors, a great gym and an excellent steakhouse. Rooms are standard and boring; suites can accommodate large parties and families. The scene at this non-gaming, off-the-Strip Marriott property is mostly conventioneers, and wouldn't be fun for leisure travelers.
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