Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C., United States

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Comfortable, stylish rooms
  • Across from convention center, near Verizon Center
  • Excellent gym and spa
  • Lots of restaurants in the neighborhood
  • Chinatown Metro stop two blocks away
  • Self-service parking is cheap, by DC standards

Cons

  • Daily fee for Wi-Fi
  • Valet parking is pricey

Bottom Line

This 807-room business-oriented hotel has comfortable rooms (completely renovated in 2013), an awesome gym, and a location right next to the convention center. It's a short walk to the hot nightlife of downtown D.C. and Chinatown. The monuments, museums, and major tourist attractions are a bit of a hike, but three Metro stations within blocks of the hotel make getting around easy.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A convention center hotel that offers plenty of business perks, but the rooms are ready for a makeover

The Renaissance Washington DC Hotel
The Renaissance Washington DC Hotel

The 807-room Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel was built in 1982 as part of the Tech World office complex. The convention center is across the street, and the immediate neighborhood is crowded with office buildings and a massive parking lot. Standing in the middle of this corporate no-man's land, it's hard to tell you're in our nation's capital. And that's the hotel in a nutshell.

Business travelers will find everything they need here: a great gym and spa, Wi-Fi in the rooms and lobby (which was renovated in 2011), a FedEx Office center in the basement, large desks with plenty of accessible outlets, and a Starbucks, deli, food court, and sports bar. It's no wonder that laptop-totting, nametag wearing guests fill the lobby atrium. The spacious rooms also deliver, having undergone extensive renovations in 2013. Modern, dark wood furniture is complimented by a sophisticated color palate in hues of khaki and cocoa, with pops of denim blues and reds. Guests also have a large workspace, Aveda toiletries, iPod dockings stations, and the option to book a PURE allergy-free room.

The only hotel near the convention center that competes with the Renaissance on amenities and service is the Hampton Inn, which has a free buffet breakfast and free Wi-Fi but is slightly less convenient to the convention center. Plus, the Renaissance has the decided advantage of the Vida Fitness Center and Spa, a great perk for business travelers who like to unwind after a day of seminaring and glad-handing.

 Service

Friendly, attentive staff, but limited room service hours

The concierge
The concierge

The hotel offers the kind of services you'd expect at a big midlevel hotel -- room service, a concierge, valet parking -- but not the kind you get at a top luxury hotel. Room service, for example, isn't 24 hours, so if you want a post-midnight meal and don't feel like wandering the streets of downtown, you're plumb out of luck. On the other hand the staff is as personable and attentive as at any top-drawer property.

  • Concierge on-site throughout the day
  • Room service available throughout the day
  • Turndown available on request
  • Valet parking is pricey; self-parking is less expensive

 Location

Near the convention center and Verizon Center sports arena

Located in the compact section of the city called Penn Quarter, the Renaissance Washington is a safe, convenient option for both business and leisure travelers -- full of restaurants and shops (well-known franchises, mostly), but still close to the major sights and monuments. In recent decades, this once-seedy section of town has been revamped -- the most notable addition is the Verizon Center sports arena, host to high-profile concerts, the Capitals, and the Wizzards (about a five to 10 minute walk from the hotel). The convention center is across the street. The hotel may seem off the beaten path, but turn the corner and you're in the middle of the bright lights of Chinatown. And lots of great downtown D.C. restaurants, including Oya and Zaytinya, a Middle Eastern foodie fave, are nearby.

  • Across the street from Walter E. Washington Convention Center
  • Closest Metro stop, Gallery Place-Chinatown, is two blocks away; access to Yellow and Green Lines, which drop you off near Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian, and Natural History Museum.
  • About one to two miles from the monuments on the National Mall (Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans, Vietnam Veterans), a seven-minute cab ride
  • Two miles to southwest monuments on the Mall (Jefferson Memorial)
  • The Washington Historical Society is across the street on Mount Vernon Square; historic building that features exhibits about the city's history.
  • Great base for exploring restored historic neighborhoods like the Shaw District and Logan Circle
  • 6.5 miles to Reagan National Airport; 20- to 30-minute cab ride; 30-minute Metro trip
  • 28 miles to Dulles Airport; 45- to 60-minute cab ride
  • Five-minute cab ride to Union Station (served by Amtrak)
  • A word of warning: There is another Renaissance Hotel in town on M street, and cab drivers can get the two confused. Make sure you ask for the convention center Renaissance.

 Rooms

Clean, functional, and stylish

A standard room (pre-renovation)
A standard room (pre-renovation)

At around 300 square feet, the standard room is about average for D.C and feels quite spacious. Renovated in 2013, they are clean and stylish, sporting modern, streamlined design. Dark wood furniture is complimented by a sophisticated color palate in hues of khaki and cocoa, with pops of denim blues and reds. Guests also have a large workspace, Aveda toiletries, iPod dockings stations, and the option to book a PURE allergy-free room. Bathrooms are similarly stylish, with rainforest shower heads, backlit mirrors, and funky artwork that shows off DC's rich history.

  • Standard rooms come with either a king-size bed or two doubles; firm and comfortable mattress, 250-thread-count sheets, a down comforter, and two down and two polyfill pillows.
  • 37-inch LG flat-screen TV with premium channels like HBO and on-demand movies
  • iPod docking station
  • Nice array of Aveda bath products
  • No minibar
  • Wired and wireless Internet are charged per day

 Features

One of the best gyms in the city and extensive business facilities

The "endless" pool
The "endless" pool
  • The sweetest amenity is the Vida Fitness Club on the 3rd floor, open throughout the day; The club is owned separately, but hotel guests have free access.
  • Fitness center has sauna, steam room, "endless pool" (a one-person pool with moving water that lets you swim against the current), and new exercise equipment, including stationary bikes, stair steppers, treadmills, an elliptical trainer, and free weights.
  • The club's AuraSpa/Zen Spa offers massage therapy, Thai bodywork, private yoga instruction, beauty treatments, and tanning; in-room services also available.
  • Business center is a full-service FedEx shop; pricey services for non-Internet computer use, Internet access, and notary public services.
  • Daily fee for lobby Wi-Fi.
  • Indoor garage, charge per day for self-parking; valet also available
  • Airline boarding pass kiosk in lobby
  • U.S. Post Office in the basement
  • Business facilities include a ballroom and 30 meeting rooms.
  • Concierge lounge for guests in the VIP Renaissance Club Tower's 156 rooms and 13 suites; cash bar and free hors d'oeuvres and desserts

 Family

With small rooms, the hotel is not really a family affair.

The Renaissance sits in the heart of the business district, right next to the convention center, so it tends to be filled with business travelers, even on the weekends when a big convention is in town. The hotel has little to offer families -- no pool, for example, and the 200-square-foot rooms would feel crowded with a group. The basement food court, however, could keep the kids well fed. A better bet for the family in the immediate area is the Embassy Suites hotel on New York Avenue, where the rooms are bigger and the price is lower.

  • Free rollaway beds
  • No cribs
  • Kids' choices on room service menu

 Cleanliness

Very clean and bright

The hotel revealed a renovated lobby space in 2011 and new rooms in 2013.

 Food

A decent restaurant and acceptable sports bar

President's Sports Bar
President's Sports Bar

The hotel restaurant is called Fifteen Squares, apparently named for the city's 15 squares, including Mount Vernon Square next door. The restaurant is open only for the breakfast buffet and lunch.

  • Liberty Market in the lobby offers takeout soup, salad, sandwiches, and yogurt.
  • At President's Sports Bar, sandwiches, burgers, and pizza served.
  • Starbucks in the lobby lets you bill that double mocha skim macchiato to your room.
  • Room service menu available throughout the day
  • A food court in the basement has a deli, diner, pizza parlor, gyro stand, and ice cream parlor.
  • Lots of great restaurants nearby in Chinatown and around the Verizon Center, from a chic sushi den Oya to a Middle Eastern foodie fave Zaytinya

 Bottom Line

This 807-room business-oriented hotel has comfortable rooms (completely renovated in 2013), an awesome gym, and a location right next to the convention center. It's a short walk to the hot nightlife of downtown D.C. and Chinatown. The monuments, museums, and major tourist attractions are a bit of a hike, but three Metro stations within blocks of the hotel make getting around easy.

Things You Should Know About Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel

Address

  • 999 Ninth Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Renaissance Hotel Washington Dc
  • Renaissance Washington Dc
  • Renaissance Washington Dc Hotel
  • Washington Dc Renaissance

Room Types

  • Club Level Larger Guest Room
  • Club Room
  • Concierge Level Room
  • Guest Room
  • Larger Guest Room
  • One Bedroom Executive Suite
  • One Bedroom Presidential Suite
  • Vice Presidential One Bedroom Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 807
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C.
Address: 999 Ninth Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001
(See Map)
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