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.
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.
- 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