Review: Renaissance Hotel and Spa – Montgomery

I am catching up on past reviews that were put on hold due to the pandemic. This visit occurred in October 2019, a few months prior to the world entering lockdown

In October 2019. I had to be in Montgomery, Alabama for some military training. The training was scheduled to last five weeks so I needed my car to get around as opposed to bumming a ride from a classmate or using an Uber or Lyft. I made the 12 hour drive to Montgomery on the Saturday prior to class starting so I would have a day to rest. 

Even though I was arriving in LA (Lower Alabama) late at night, I ensured that I visited the Edmunds Pettis Bridge. The bridge was the site of one of the most horrific events of the Civil Rights Movement, Bloody Sunday. I felt chills and a calm come over me as I crossed the bridge. The monument, while smaller than I imagined, had a great power connected to it. I visited the Edmunds Pettis Bridge a few times during my stay in Montgomery. I took the following video on way back to Texas.

Booking

I booked a standard king room at the hotel for approximately $113 USD/per night at the regular rate.  As a Bonvoy Platinum Member, I earned 7,579 total points (4,386 base, 2,193 elite bonus, and 1,000 extra points).  I used my Marriott Bonvoy Premier credit card which earned me 5X points per $1 spent at Marriott properties. 

Arrival

The Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center is located in the heart of downtown. It is located adjacent to the Montgomery Performing Arts Center. The Mellow Mushroom was directly across from the hotel. The parking situation was hard for me to figure out in the middle of the night. I ended up using the self-parking, on the third level, which was $18 USD daily. I found out the next morning that valet was available. The price to use the service was $23 USD. The valet stand was around the corner from self parking, near the front of the hotel. 

Check-in

Checking into to the property ended up being a small hassle. I did not follow the legend outside of the elevator but eventually ended up on floor 2 looking for the lobby. You see, I went to the 1st floor, but the doors to the main part of the hotel were locked and there were not any signs informing me how to proceed. I mean, who goes to the second floor looking for the lobby? After a few minutes of walking past meeting rooms and other open spaces on the second floor, I made my way to the opposite end where there were stairs to take down to the front desk. I even managed to find the laundry room.

 

I was welcomed to the hotel by the friendly agent. After providing my military identification, I was thanked for being a Bonvoy platinum member. As check in continued, I asked if room service was available because I was hungry and all of the nearby restaurants were closed or closing soon. After being initially told no, the agent told me that I had 10 minutes to place an order. I then requested to order at the front desk and was met with the following, “I wished I had menus here, but I do not”. Too easy, I have visited enough Marriott properties to know the menu always includes hot wings and a burger of some sorts. I ordered the hot wings and two Bud Light beers.

 

She said well, I guess you do visit a lot of Marriott properties. Yeah, I guess. I was offered a welcome amenity of points or $10 food/drink credit. I took the credit because I needed some water after not drinking enough during the drive. I needed all of the energy drinks and sunflower seeds I could buy for the long journey. The agent then wished me a good night. Before walking away, I asked about breakfast. To which she replied, “oh, it is on the 12th floor, here is the card for it”. Thanks.

I decided to check out the lobby, especially the area where the doors were locked. The entire area was quite spacious. it included multiple ballrooms and what appeared to be the box office for the Performing Arts Center.

Room

After looking around the lower level, I quickly made my way to the room on the 11th floor. I needed to get some pictures and a video before room service arrived. I exited the elevator and made a left towards the room. The room, numbered 1111, happened to be facing the river and unbeknownst to me at the time, a train depot.

The bathroom was directly to the left after I entered the room. The room felt crowded but this was due to the fact it included a huge walk in shower and a sit down tub. The toiletries were from Aveda. Aveda products are decent, vegan toiletries.

There was a Keurig machine and complimentary water bottles opposite the bathroom. Ugh, I would have requested the points if I knew water was in the room. Rookie move, but I called the front desk to request the points and have the water added to my bill.

I came to the closet next, on the left side. There was an iron, ironing board, bag holder and dry cleaning bag. It was the standard hotel closet.

The main part of the room really surprised me. It all began with the art above the big, comfortable bed. I appreciated the design because it gave the room some pop without drowning out the other accents. The bed was one of the most comfortable hotel beds I have ever slept in. As soon as my head touched the pillow, I was out for the night.

The chaise lounge provided the perfect place for me to read and catch up on the news when I rose the nest morning. It was sturdy, which felt great to my back.

There was a desk and television at the foot of the bed. A notepad and housekeeper card were waiting on the desk.

The room was really nice. I did not appreciate the trains blaring their horns every three hours. This occurred like clockwork throughout the night and was my only complaint during the stay. I guess the conductor felt if they could not sleep then no one was going to sleep. The following view greeted me the next morning.

Dining

In addition to the room service ordered from the front desk, The property boasted quite the selection of places to grab a bite. The selections included the concierge lounge, Wintzel Oyster House, The House, The Exchange Pub and Refresh near the front desk.

Concierge Lounge. I decided to sleep in which made me miss the breakfast. I did go up later to print some documents for my class. The lounge was beautiful. It was a cozy place to have a snack and drink before winding down for the night. There were complimentary drinks, chips, and fruit available. A business center was located near the back of the room as well.

Wintzel Oyster House. Wintzel was located on the first  floor, across from the garage elevators…near the double doors I could not access the night prior. I was not particularly interested in oysters or the like, but I did swing by to take a few pics. 

The House. The House was located on the first floor, near the lobby. There was a coffee bar, which doubled as a regular bar. There was also a huge seating area with numerous tables. I think this was all the same restaurant? I grabbed a cobb salad as I wanted something light after eating the greasy chicken from room service. The salad was a bit different than the usual cobb salads. In addition to the regular accoutrements, it included gulf shrimp and salami. The dish was 🔥.

The Exchange Pub: I did not visit the pub this time as it was closed when I arrived the night prior and did not open before I checked out. The pub apparently has a happy hour though.

Refresh. The Refresh was located next to the lobby and included small snacks, drinks and a few toiletries.

Fitness

The fitness area, with the pool, gym and spa, was located on the eighth level.  To access this area, I took the elevator down to the second floor, walked towards the parking garage and then took the elevator up. Kind of a weird set up, but whatever.

Spa

The spa was closed when I visited the area. I could have used a massage.

Pool

The pool was located opposite the spa, through a set of double doors.  While it was the middle of October, the weather was still amazing. I did not see another guest visit the pool area.

Fitness Center

The fitness center had a great set up.  There was an assortment of free weights, cardio machines and other exercise equipment. The room was colder than other hotel gyms, which was something I appreciated. I hate working out in a hot room.

Final Word

I enjoyed my quick overnight stay the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Montgomery. The entire property was larger than life itself. While it could double as a mall, I appreciated the cosy feel of the room. It definitely made me feel at peace during the stay. My only regret, not being able to stay at the property longer. I hope to make it to Montgomery again in the near future. A stay at this Marriott property will be at the top of my to do list.

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