Review: Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel

renaissance new york midtown hotel review featured image

The Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel is in an excellent location close to major attractions such as Madison Square Garden, Times Square, and the Empire State Building. We chose to stay here after flying Singapore Airlines Business Class on the longest flight in the world. 

Our time at the Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel was a solid stay, with good elite recognition and an exceptionally comfortable mattress. This was our first time staying at a Renaissance property, and I don’t think it will be our last!

Booking

For this stay, I used my Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Certificate worth 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points which I selected as my annual choice benefit as a perk of earning Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status. I had to top up this certificate with an additional 13,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to make this redemption, which was acceptable as this hotel is priced out of the 35,000 and 40,000 free night certificate range more often than not. 

If you didn’t know, you can only add a maximum of 15,000 points to a Marriott Free Night, so anything priced higher than 50,000 or 55,000 points per night respectively is unavailable to book with these lower-end certificates.

Cash prices for flexible rates are at least $675 CAD with taxes and fees, so using essentially 53,000 points for my stay resulted in 1.2 Cents Per Point value, above the average of 1 cent per Marriott Bonvoy Point.

If you are looking for an easy way to earn a Marriott Bonvoy free night certificate worth 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for a stay like this, consider applying for the American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card that earns a free night certificate upon every cardholder anniversary.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Card

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy card earns Bonvoy points and offers cardholders benefits including an annual free night and 15 qualifying nights towards elite status.

Check out our American Express Marriott Bonvoy card review for more details.

BONUS
50,000 Marriott Bonvoy
MINSPEND
$1,500
NET VALUE
$330+
ANNUAL FEE
$120
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

Check-In

We arrived pretty late due to a lengthy baggage claim delay at JFK. The hotel was under construction, so arriving at night made it difficult to spot it initially.

renaissance new york midtown hotel exterior

Once inside, a helpful porter informed us that check-in was on the 6th floor and showed us how to use the elevators. The interior entryway is aesthetically pleasing and features an art piece made entirely from red buttons, as we are in the Garment District.

The elevators are just beyond the art piece; they were quick and never took too long to arrive. Having four is helpful, especially when the hotel has 348 guest rooms spread over 39 floors!

renaissance new york midtown hotel elevators

The elevators have no buttons inside. Instead, you choose the floor you want to go to, and the touch screen shows you which elevator to wait in front of. It took a bit of getting used to, but I think it’s more convenient than the traditional design.

Stepping out of the elevator into the lobby, you’re greeted with a well-designed space with two check-in counters and the Navigator desk. The Navigator is what Renaissance has branded their concierge.

During check-in, we didn’t receive any upgrade, were given 1,000 points as a welcome gift, informed elite breakfast would take place in the Club Lounge next to the lobby, and were granted a 4 PM late checkout. However around 12:30 PM the next day, a staff member did knock on my door asking what time I would be leaving. 

A small market with essentials is next to the Navigator desk and check-in area.

renaissance new york midtown hotel market essentials

Location

The Renaissance New York Midtown is in an excellent location nearby many attractions and popular restaurants.

As we arrived so late, room service had already closed for the evening, and a quick Google search showed a Shake Shack 5 minutes away. Using up my $10 Monthly Dining Credit on the American Express Gold card (US), I zipped over there, but on my way, I ran into not only the Empire State Building but also Times Square down the street!

This was one of those moments that hit differently. Before entering the world of Miles and Points, I would never have stayed in a location this close to major attractions in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Here I was, rushing to get some food and stumbling into international icons. It was a pretty cool moment!

Parking

Both valet parking and self-parking are available at the Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel.

Valet parking costs $95 per 24 hours and self-parking is located offsite and costs $65 per 24 hours. Oversize vehicles are charged $105 per 24-hour period.

Room – Midtown Standard 1 King

For our stay, we were situated in the middle of the hotel on floor 19 in a Midtown Standard 1 King room. It would have been nice to be higher up, but I was fine with the location as it was only a one-night stay.

renaissance new york midtown hotel standard 1 king room exterior

Walking into the room, you’re met with a narrow hallway. The bathroom is immediately to your right, the closet to the left, and the room opens up with the bed at the end of the hall.

renaissance new york midtown hotel standard 1 king room entrance hallway

The bathroom and the rest of the room are compact. It’s one of the smaller luxury hotel rooms we’ve stayed in, but not nearly as small as Galleria Vik Milano. Aveda provided the amenities which I thought fit the Renaissance brand well. The shower was the main attraction in the room, literally, as it had a glass wall into the bedroom!

If you’re a bit shy, there is a privacy shade that fits the room’s design quite nicely.

The king bed was sublime, and since this was our first time with the brand, we breathed a sigh of relief. While all hotel beds are good, there are ranks within the Marriott portfolio. The headboard featured an elegant design that provided some extra character.

The side tables continued to add to the room’s character with a vintage sewing machine and an oversized button on the shower side.

The window side of the bed had probably the weirdest decoration we’ve ever seen. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

The TV, a makeshift desk, and a bench were at the foot of the bed. The bench was handy, as this is where we enjoyed our late-night Shake Shack. To your left is the hallway back to the entrance and closet, with the usual suspects.

You’ll also find a full-length mirror in the closet, which is useful as this is the only place in the room where one exists.

The views were pretty good out of the floor-to-ceiling windows, but I’m sure the higher floors enjoy spectacular views of Manhatten.

Restaurants

Club Lounge – Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite Breakfast

Located on Level 6, the same level as the lobby, is the Club Lounge with one of the more dramatic entrances.

renaissance new york midtown hotel club lounge entrance

Unlike The Renaissance Seattle, the breakfast served here is continental in its truest form. The only hot dish available was a quesadilla with mushroom, spinach, and cheese, which was not exactly what I had in mind for breakfast. 

The rest of the breakfast was fine, but I feel there’s a missed opportunity to showcase New York’s famous bagel culture. Even Maple Leafs Lounges at YYZ have Kettlemans branded bagels during breakfast. The Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite breakfast offering was a letdown for a hotel that charges such high cash rates and wants to be considered a luxury property.

A positive about this property is that it does a good job of incorporating the history of the Garment District. Even the club lounge was fully decked out with fabric rolls, coffee table fashion books, and fashion-forward artwork.

In the corner of the club lounge, there’s a small “business center” with computers and a printer.

renaissance new york midtown hotel club lounge business center

Thread Bar

The Thread Bar is open daily for evening cocktails on the 6th floor next to the lobby. The website lists a complimentary evening cocktail ritual, but we arrived late and didn’t experience it. From what I gathered online, this is a punchbowl available for all guests around 5:30 pm. 

The bar was extremely lively, in a good way, for our Monday night stay. We probably would have joined for a cocktail if we hadn’t just had the longest travel day possible.

The bar also has a good-sized terrace that overlooks VERSA, the flagship restaurant with a retractable roof.

VERSA

Versa is the main restaurant at the property, and sadly, we didn’t get a chance to dine here. It looks fabulous, though, and I would rate this property much higher if the elite breakfast was served here. VERSA is open daily from 7:30 am to 11:00 pm and midnight on weekends.

Facilities

Fitness Center

The fitness center is on the ground floor and partners with Planet Fitness. I think it’s brilliant to incorporate existing fitness facilities rather than create a sub-par, often “dungeon-like” room you find at some hotels. To use Planet Fitness, just get in touch with the Navigator or Reception, and they’ll issue a pass.

Evenings at Renaissance

On Wednesdays or Thursdays, the hotel organizes live music or events to showcase the neighborhood’s soul. While it’s not likely something you can plan to attend, keep an eye out for the schedule posted around the property.

renaissance new york midtown hotel evenings at renaissance signage

Surrounding Areas

The Renaissance is a New York City hotel in one of the best locations. Being so, I was happy to fill up after the disappointing Club Lounge with a bacon, egg and cheese from Best Bagel & Coffee. This is one of the quintessential NYC bagel spots, with over 5,000 Google reviews, and it’s literally across the street from the hotel!

Madison Square Garden is also steps away. If you’re coming into the city for an event at this iconic arena, I don’t think there’s a closer option than The Renaissance Midtown.

renaissance new york midtown hotel madison square garden view from room
MSG Views from Renaissance Midtown Guest Rooms (Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Conclusion

The Renaissance Midtown is a luxury property in a perfect location to explore New York City. Elite recognition is average due to a lackluster breakfast offering and lack of a complimentary room upgrade. Overall, you will enjoy your time at the Renaissance Midtown, but the stay didn’t wow me enough to return in a hurry.

Daniel Burkett

Daniel Burkett

Contributor at Frugal Flyer
Daniel entered the Miles and Points game in 2021 and has taken the “make up for lost time” mentality. After spending five years travelling for work and paying no attention to loyalty programs, some say Daniel is out for Points Revenge. With his desire to maximize every point available, he hopes to share the knowledge gained with more travellers to prevent the same mistakes he made.

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