- Good, not great service
- Area is slightly remote and dead at night.
- Fee for in-room Internet (wired and wireless)
- Pricey valet parking
- Room service only available during the day, a bit limited for a business hotel
Quite affordable spot on the waterfront
The Renaissance Boston is on the Waterfront, a picturesque area just outside of the downtown bustle. This 450-room property caters largely to business travelers headed to the Boston Convention Center or who want easy access to the airport and regional train station. The hotel has a fresher-than-usual style -- the bright, modern lobby with sleek furnishings opens onto a popular bar where locals come to watch the big game on Sunday and where business travelers, looking to mix business and leisure, plug in their laptops at one of the handy outlet stations.
At 325 square feet, the Renaissance's standard rooms are about average for Boston, and have some nice upscale features, like Aveda toiletries, mini-refrigerators for guest use, and 37-inch LG flat-screen televisions. This is a distinctly midlevel chain hotel, however, and the finishing aren't always top quality. In fact, one of the headboards in my room had a loose piece, and the privacy lock on the door was broken.
The amenities are modestly impressive. The Renaissance has a surprisingly delicious restaurant, 606 Congress, overseen by noted chef Michael Schlow, who's appeared on Top Chef Masters, a Starbucks on-site, and a popular bar, Capiz, that also serves delicious food. The hotel also has a large indoor pool and fitness center.
The service is what you'd expect at a midlevel chain. If you ask, you'll get help with your bags and hailing cabs. The concierge is competent but not capable of any great feats. And room service trays tend to linger in hallways, as if to remind guests that, well, this is a large, reasonably priced hotel.
Still, even with those dirty room service trays, the hotel is a solid value and a good option for the area. It's also more stylish than the nearby and comparably priced Seaport Hotel -- though the Seaport has some nice features the Renaissance doesn't (including turndown service, a pillow menu, a no tipping policy, and free wireless). To decide between the two, it's worth comparing prices for your dates and taking a closer look at the features that are most important to you.
Removed from the bustle of downtown, a block from the picturesque waterfront, and close to the Boston Convention Center
Smack in the middle of the rapidly developing waterfront district, a block from the water, and closer to the airport and the South Street train station than hotels in central Boston, the Renaissance is ideally located for business travelers. The Boston Convention Center, connected to the more expensive Westin Boston Waterfront, is a seven- to 10-minute walk. With a focus on business and large residential condominiums, the area isn't filled with tourist attractions, but there are a few. Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art is just five blocks away, and the Children's Museum is nearby. Still, the area feels a bit remote, and it's dead at night, though it has a small handful of notable bars and restaurants like the Legal Test Kitchen (one block away) and Drink (five blocks away), a cocktail lounge from Boston restaurant maven Barbara Lynch.
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