Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A convention center hotel that offers plenty of business perks, but the rooms are ready for a makeover
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.
Friendly, attentive staff, but limited room service hours
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.
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.
Clean, functional, and stylish
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.
One of the best gyms in the city and extensive business facilities
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.
Very clean and bright
The hotel revealed a renovated lobby space in 2011 and new rooms in 2013.
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.
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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