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“Expectations - UPDATED” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel

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Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level Contributor
42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Expectations - UPDATED”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013

I had previously written a review about my expectations for a visit to this Renaissance property, but when I went to update the review I found I would need to withdraw the first posting to update it. – The initial post is below, followed by the update:

(Initial Posting under Expectations) - Will be attending a family reunion based at this property this coming weekend. Thus far, we have been pleased with the attention we have received from the staff, especially regarding the adjoining rooms we have requested so that we can share baby watching duties with the parents of our grand daughter. As a lifetime Gold member, I have requested an upper floor location with a river view - I'll let you know how we made out. I'm a little concerned about some of the issues addressed in previous reviews, especially the cleanliness issues. I will be taking note of some of the concerns and report back.

UPDATE:
The hotel let me down in any of a number of ways, but try as I might; I was not able to hate this location. The first let down was the adjoining rooms, which we had confirmed as recently as the day before our arrival. At first, they apologized profusely, but the hotel was very full for the weekend and nothing could be done. We ended up on the top floor (floor 17), water side, in two very nice but separated rooms with an occupied room in between. As others have posted, the views are fantastic but we wanted the adjoining rooms to share baby sitting duties for our 21 month old grand daughter. We had dinner with 25 other family members in the Foggy Bottom restaurant at the hotel – we had a separate little area for our group, the service was admirable for such a large group ordering a la carte and while the food was nothing spectacular, there were some hits and we were all well satisfied. The prices were a little high (especially the drinks), but I felt we received good value for the price and our server was a real trooper.

The next morning, we had the buffet breakfast, and if you are a big breakfast eater, you could certainly get your money’s worth at the well presented buffet. I ordered off of the menu and that was probably a mistake (the buffet plates looked much better). My biggest issue was the cheese grits – the grits from the buffet looked fine but my plate from the kitchen was very runny – inedible actually which was too bad since I enjoy this dish whenever I’m in the southern part of the country.

We spent the morning at the Children’s Museum in Portsmouth – great family place – I’ll have to do a separate review and then had lunch downtown at the New York Deli – not as big of a hit but it was fine(Katz's Deli it's not). We returned to the hotel so the little one could nap, but the second let down appeared, our daughter and son-in-law’s room wasn’t made up (at 2:30 PM!) Down to the front desk I went, they once again apologized and would have it resolved immediately. Oh, by the way, they had been trying to reach me they said, and to make up for not meeting our adjoining rooms request, they wanted us to move into the Presidential Suite. That was a nice gesture and we certainly appreciated it, but since we were checking out the next morning, we didn’t want to have to pack up and move for just the one night, but it was a nice thing to offer us.

The final disappointment was the next morning at breakfast – we again met with family for the buffet, had a very nice breakfast, paid the bill and started to say our goodbyes. One of my brothers asked why I paid for the breakfast – didn’t I get the coupons for being an Elite Marriott member? What coupons? No one had offered us coupons. Back to the front desk – the woman at the desk also happened to be the night auditor and when I related my concerns to her, she at first apologized, and then she took care of it. Redid our bill from the previous morning and promised to track down the Amex bill for this morning’s breakfast and cancel that. Fantastic (wish I had written down her name, she was super nice and very efficient).

So, the summary of this long review – they are not perfect and, perhaps, had to apologize too often, but in the end they did try to make things right and they pretty much succeeded. It’s a very nice property (we did not find the walks overwhelming, cleanliness was not an issue, and the location is terrific) and despite the rain all weekend, the two weddings on Saturday, and the what seemed like 1,000 partiers from the local high school’s 100th anniversary celebration (the place was packed all weekend), we would recommend this hotel. I’m sure we’ll be back some day to visit relatives in the Tidewater area and I would not hesitate to book here again.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank meh911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ren_Portsmouth, Front Office Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this review, 12 November 2013
Thank you for your repost and for the candid feedback. We apologize for the hiccups and inconveniences that you faced within your stay. However, I am happy to know that your overall impression of the hotel was positive. Our staff takes pride in the hotel and the level of service that we provide, and always try to find quick resolution to guest concerns. We would be delighted to have you and your family back as our guests and exceed your expectations for the next time.

Thank you.
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603 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    257
    194
    80
    37
    35
See reviews for
124
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219
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (185)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2013

Recently visited the Renaissance Portsmouth for business. The auditorium where I taught in was the perfect setting for us. Small enough to be cozy but large enough to hold us and our equipment.

The staff couldn't do enough for us. Need a trash can - no problem. Need it cooler - no problem. Our lunch was tasty and the afternoon snacks of popcorn and pretzels were tasty and fun.

Loved the view of the harbor, the battle ships and the barge traffic.

Since it was raining couldn't enjoy the walkway outside.

Room Tip: Ask for high room with a view of the river
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Carol232b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ren_Portsmouth, Front Office Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this review, 12 November 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay with us and for sharing your review on Trip Advisor. We are proud to offer such versatile banquet and meeting space. I am glad our staff was able make your teaching course a seamless one.

We appreciate you as our guest and hope to see you during your next course.
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Powhatan, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2013

We have stayed at the Renaissance Portsmouth three times in the last two years. Once was to attend the opera at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, another time to celebrate a wedding anniversary and a third time, just for a romantic get-away. We were shocked by the negative reviews and found it hard to believe they were talking about the same property. The hotel is modern, elegant and tastefully decorated. The views are spectacular. The staff were all extremely polite, friendly, and helpful. I once saw the hotel representative deal with a very difficult guest in front of us in a very professional manner and when it was our turn, she had a warm smile for us despite the obviously stressful situation.

The Sunday brunch buffet in the Foggy Point Grill was delicious and beautiful presented. The ladies who work in the concierge lounge are so sweet and thoughtful and the hot hors' d'oeuvres and desserts are such a nice touch! The views from the concierge lounge are also spectacular.

I must add that the entry to the hotel is lovely with the views on one side and the historic photo gallery on the other. The garage is attached to the hotel and very secure. We actually enjoy the walk and often stop to take a closer look at the photos. They have even given us ideas of places to visit.

I am especially grateful that they always remember to avoid the feather pillows in my room due to my asthma. I often have difficulty with that at other hotels and it results in a lost hour as they prepare the room again or move us to another, sometimes making us run late to an evening event. At the Portsmouth Renaissance, it is ALWAYS right! I have severe asthma and never have trouble here. The rooms are so clean and well-maintained.

When life gets stressful, we start thinking it's time to go back to "our" Renaissance! Thank you all for the three wonderful stays we have enjoyed with you!!

Room Tip: All three rooms we had were great. One side faces directly on the river, the other faces upriver and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Michele D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ren_Portsmouth, Front Office Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this review, 12 November 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience at our hotel and for spending such momentous occaissions with us. The staff and I are so happy that we can provide a relaxing getaway for you.

We are so grateful to have you as our guests. Hope to see you soon.

Jeff Corcoran
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Virgina
Level Contributor
128 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2013

Stayed here for a business trip. Great views of Norfolk skyline. That's about it. Staff are very pleasant and helpful, but this property has significant senior management issues evident in the operation of the hotel and how it affects the guests.

Regarding the facilities:
- Nice lobby decorations
- Hotel designed primarily for conventions
- Guest rooms Rooms are VERY basic. Bathrooms are primitive; nothing special.

Here's why this hotel has a "poor" rating. The hotel takes advantage of guests and offers nothing special to the guests. Hotel amenities are really expensive: Bottle of water $3, alcoholic drink at bar ~ $12. No coffee in AM for early risers. Restaurant food is poor-average at best. Mediocrity permeates the entire property. Where are the managers???

Unusually poor consideration for business travelers given it's a Marriott. Corporate intervention required.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank VETTRAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ren_Portsmouth, Front Office Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this review, 12 November 2013
Thank you for taking the time to give your feedback. I am disappointed that our hotel did not meet your expectations as we always strive to exceed our guests expectations. We take guest feedback and concerns very seriously and always discuss them in our daily manager meetings. Thank you so much for letting me know your concerns.

Thank you for your kind words about the staff service. We hope to have the oppurtunity to host you again should your travels bring you Portsmouth/Norfolk area.
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Gales Ferry, CT
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2013

This hotel is awesome. It seems every room has a view of the river. I had a room on the 15th floor and the view was fantastic. The hotel staff is some of the most accommodating around. The bar is really nice, though it is a little pricey. There are great restaurants, all within walking distance. There is also a convenient ferry that will take you over to Norfolk. I highly recommend this hotel if you have business in the Portsmouth/Norfolk area, especially if you have business with the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GasCan328
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ren_Portsmouth, Front Office Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this review, 12 November 2013
We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. Our staff is very proud to read your nice comments about the service you experienced. We are also very proud of the river views that our hotel offers along with the Olde Towne district which offers unique and locally owned restaurants within walking distance. Hope to see you back soon!!

Jeff Corcoran
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2013

This was a perfect location for a family vacation, conference, business meeting or just a getaway. The view was amazing, watching the sun rise and set on the water. Someone got married out by the water while we were there. The hotel was in walking distance of restaurants and local shopping. The area was too crowded or noisy. The customer service was good as well. Everyone was friendly. We plan on coming back to the area and staying at this hotel again.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sheila3940
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChrisJ537, General Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this review, 28 September 2013
Dear Sheila3940,
Thank you for your review and staying with us. The Renaissance has much to offer. We do have a great location and very close to downtown and many restaurants. We do have a great staff and views are outstanding.
Thank you again for staying with us.

Come back soon and travel safe,

Chris Johnson
General Manager
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Allentown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
149 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 September 2013

We use this hotel as a weekend way station on our way to Myrtle Beach. The weekend rates are reasonable for a hotel this nice with these kind of views. The front desk staff have been courteous and engaging when we checked in, The views from the hotel really are worth checking out. Ask for a room on some of the upper floors for the best view. My only complaint is that it is a long walk from the parking garage to the front desk.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LVWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChrisJ537, General Manager at Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel, responded to this review, 28 September 2013
Dear jeff h,

Thank you for your comments and taking the time out of your day to write the review. We do have great views and great people that work for us. The walk to the desk is not your traditional walk, I agree. I have to field this comment from time to time. This is not your traditional hotel lay out. The hotel is beautiful and unique. The hallway leading to the front desk has water views and over looks where the ferries run on one side and the other are photos from Portsmouth's past. It is about 30 yards long. Jeff h I have to put things in perspective because what is a “long walk” to some may not be to others. When some readers see “long walk” the measurement is different for each person. I am not attacking your review, just trying to make sure future guest doesn’t get turned off before they get here.

Thank you for your review and your business.
Travel safe and hope to see you soon,

Chris Johnson
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel

Property: Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel
Address: 425 Water St, Portsmouth, VA 23704-3801
Region: United States > Virginia > Portsmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Portsmouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 249
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blending traditional elegance and modern style, our waterside Norfolk, VA area hotel in the historic downtown district of Olde Towne Portsmouth provides calming comfort and soothing relaxation. The Renaissance Portsmouth hotel boasts a hip location overlooking the vibrant, revitalized waterfront and offers stunning views of the Elizabeth River. Set above the harbor, the Portsmouth Ballroom's unique outdoor terrace, part of the 24,000 square feet of Norfolk area hotel meeting space, provides a stunning reception area sure to draw rave reviews from your guests. This updated luxurious Norfolk, Virginia area hotel also features 23 meeting rooms including a 70-seat Amphitheater. Savor the atmosphere of this waterside hotel in Portsmouth at Foggy Point Bar & Grill, presenting a selection of fresh seafood. Visitors to the area can enjoy the unique experience of taking the nearby water taxi across to many of the Norfolk business and visitor destinations including the Norfolk Naval facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel & Waterfront Portsmouth
Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel And Waterfront Conference Center

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