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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Seattle, Washington / Renaissance

May 2011, Memorial weekend

Status perks
I did not initially receive any perks as a Gold member. In fact, I did not even receive the corner suite I had reserved until after I inquired about this. When the front desk agent provided our keys and said we had a king room on one of the higher floors, I said, "We have a corner king executive suite, don't we?" She said that there were not any available. I told her that I had booked an executive corner suite; the Seattle Pride Package. She checked the computer again, and then provided keys for a corner suite on the 19th floor, along with a coupon booklet. This was not as high of a floor as we had originally been given; however, it was a suite.

The agent did not code our keys for access to the concierge lounge, nor did she mention it. She had talked about how to access the Internet as a Gold member, so I thought that maybe the lounge was not open for the holiday weekend. Later that day, I learned that the concierge lounge was accessible for water and soda even though it was not staffed, so I stopped back at the front desk to inquire about this. The employee at that time, apologized that we had not been given access at check-in, and she coded our keys for lounge access.

Guestroom
facing entrance &
connecting guestroom
The guestroom was comfortable; however, it was not as impressive as I had expected. The room description on the website and on our reservation confirmation listed the room as 497 square feet, and the room we received was NOT 497 square feet. It was more like 350 square feet. When looking at a photo of a king corner suite on the website, the description is 335 square feet, although all the other areas list the suites as 497 sq. ft. I am not sure if there are two different corner suite rooms, or if the description needs to be changed on the website. It is possible we received a king corner suite (335 sq. ft.) instead of the executive king corner suite (497 sq. ft.) that we had reserved since our room was not on the concierge floor. The website only lists five suites though, and I could not find two different suite types. I wish I had been more diligent about the details and differences at the time of our stay, because I would have inquired whether we had been given the correct room type. I did not scrutinize all the details until after we had returned home. My suggestion for guests who reserve an executive king corner suite--bring your printed reservation with you!

facing toward beverage center
across from bathroom
There was a comfortable sitting area when entering the suite, which included a couch, floor lamp, one end table, desk and chair, and flat screen TV. The suite had a connecting door to the guestroom next door. I liked the exterior wall of windows, which made the room look larger.

The bathroom was located between the sitting area and the bedroom, and there was a beverage center and closet across from the bathroom. The small fridge never got cold, and we tried adjusting the thermostat several different ways. The safe in the closet was large enough to hold a laptop. A second smaller flat screen TV was located in the bedroom. It was mounted on the wall in the corner since the bedroom was quite small. There was just enough room to walk around the foot of the bed, with a small nightstand on each side of the bed. Large windows made up both exterior bedroom walls; however, they needed to be cleaned. There was a nice suitcase bench/window seat on one wall. This guestroom did not have any Renaissance bathrobes, which I observed other guests wearing to and from the pool. I missed that because I had packed light this trip, and did not have a warm swimsuit coverup to wear.
bedroom

I had filled out the Virtual Concierge form online a few days before our arrival, requesting turndown service and early check-in at 1 p.m. Since our key packet had not been prepared, and we were initially given the incorrect room type when we checked in at 1 p.m., I was not too confident that we would receive turndown service that evening. When we returned from dinner, turndown service had been provided. Amenities included two local chocolates, and two bottles of water. Our room had not been refreshed. I'm not sure if the bottled water was part of turndown service, or if those had been delivered to the room because of my Gold status. The water bottles were not left next to the chocolates.

Food & Beverage
view from lounge/dinner
Marriott had an online offer for a free entree for Gold members--buy one, get one free. We dined in the R View restaurant/lounge on the top floor that evening. The food was excellent quality, and this was an excellent value with our coupons. The only disappointment was that I ordered the Seafood Cioppino, and the restaurant did not have any mussels. Extra fish was included in the dish to make up for this. My husband ordered the Halibut, and we had two Happy Hour beverages. We also had a free appetizer coupon with the Seattle Pride package we had booked. Since the restaurant was not open for lunch the next day, our server let us use the coupon for the Slider Sampler to-go. The Slider Sampler included two each of the following sliders: salmon, chicken, and beef. They were delicious! Seating in the lounge was self-seating, and we chose a table on the highest level with corner windows. We had an excellent view. The windows were much cleaner than the windows in our guestroom.

Pool
The pool and hot tub were located on the top floor just down the hall from the restaurant/lounge. The exterior walls were all windows with another great view. We did not stay long because the hot tub was not very warm. We were fortunate that we had been able to enjoy the view without a lot of commotion while we were there. There was only one guest/child in the pool area when we first arrived. We observed several families and children heading to the pool area while we dined. I had noticed when we reserved our room at this hotel, that not many hotels in downtown Seattle have a pool or hot tub.

Business center and Concierge lounge
I was finishing up some business at the start of this leisure trip and needed to print several documents. First, I tried to print them in the concierge lounge. The desk computer required a signon, and I did not notice the computer for guest use, which was turned off against the wall. I then tried the business center on the bottom floor, and found there was a charge for printing documents. I stopped at the Concierge stand in the lobby to ask if he knew the signon for the concierge lounge computer, so I could print from there. He told me about the guest computer in that room that was against the wall, and he also showed me a computer in the lobby near the front desk. I was surprised to learn I could print as much as I wanted from the lobby computer for no charge! I used that computer and did not try the one in the concierge lounge.

When I first checked the fridge in the lounge after the Front Desk agent coded my key for access, it was empty. Later that day and the next morning, it was stocked with bottled water and soda. I was happy to be able to get a couple bottles of water during our stay. The room looked comfortable, and there was also a table and seats outside. We had thought we might take advantage of the sitting areas to relax that evening; however, we ran out of time.

Overall
I was happy with our room for the price we paid. I was glad I had not paid full price because I would have been seriously disappointed. Before I discovered the Seattle Pride Package, all the room rates I found at this hotel were over $200, and the corner executive suites were over $250. My husband always likes to have a pool, so I booked this hotel mainly because of the pool--and, because I am a Marriott Gold member.

Our room rate with the package was $151, which made this stay a good value. Other than the free appetizer coupon that we used in R View, our package did not include much of anything except a better room rate. The coupon booklet we were given with the appetizer coupon contained mostly ads for Happy Hour specials, and a couple small discounts. We used only one of the discounts; 15% off at Sazerac. Since we only stayed at the Renaissance one night, we used our coupon after we checked out because we stayed at a different hotel for two nights after this stay. That review will be next!