The Renaissance by Marriott is a nice hotel on the beach front in Tel Aviv. I visited Tel Aviv in Israel in September 2017 after a long road trip around the country. I used my Marriott points to book a night at the Renaissance by Marriott on the waterfront for my weekend stay.
I used to work at the Intercontinental Hotels Group in various positions, including “room inspector” which basically entailed checking every housekeepers’ work. I had to walk into a room and do a full-blown check of everything using my special check-list. I really enjoyed doing it but obviously the housekeeping staff didn’t really like me because they would be marked down if I found any mistakes – which happened quite frequently.
Even nowadays when I enter a hotel room, I quickly do some mental checks to see if the hotel would pass the room inspection test. So this is my review of my stay at the hotel and its facilities, including the gym and swimming pool using the same “room inspector” principles.
Finding the Renaissance in Tel Aviv
I arrived in Tel Aviv by car and didn’t want to pay the extortionate parking fees so I parked up at the Reading Car Park near the main bus garage. The hotel is a straight walk from here along the beach so the 35 minute distance should not put you off. I had my rucksack with me and walked it fine, stopping off every now and then to take a break.
The hotel is in a typical beach-side resort type building, basically a box shaped high-rise. It is directly on the beach with a private entrance at the back for direct access to the waves.
There is a bar on the street level so after the beach you can just relax and have a drink. The best is that there are showers almost everywhere along the beach so you can easily rinse yourself off and then have a seat.
When checking in you need to go to the front of the building, the opposite side from the beach as the security guard only lets you in from the back with a card.
The front of the building has a big revolving door and as soon as you enter the noise of the city is shut out.
The reception will be on your right as you enter from street level. There are various desks for busy periods but when I checked in around 3pm there were only two receptionists at the front desk. The lady that checked me in was very friendly and smiling all the time – no wonder her name was Alegra!
At first she couldn’t find my booking because I only made it about an hour earlier using my Marriott app. So I had to show my membership number and the reservation on my phone, after which I got my room card and off I was to the 15th floor!
I am a Marriott Silver Member with my credit card and so I get some basic perks with it. They offer free internet, a free bottle of water, some fruits and snacks on arrival and priority check-in.
I pre-set my special requests online so every time I book I get a room on the highest-possible floor with firm pillows with synthetic filling. I love how they never miss anything, it’s like a well-oiled machine!
The Lobby Area
The lift up to the room was across the lobby past the bar and restaurant. The lobby has a huge window to the beach which I thought was quite stunning. It is also from here where you can access the lower ground floor with the door to the beach and the gym and swimming pool.
Once I got into my room I checked everything out and took lots of photographs. The room even had a balcony so I had some pretty good views over both the city and the beach.
The bed was big and comfortable – the only thing I didn’t like is that there was a huge mirror in front of it and not the TV. The TV was flat screen but to the left of the bed so I would have to lie across the bed to watch it.
The desk was pretty big with the usual things on top, although I couldn’t see very many plugs nearby.
There was a wonky desk chair which I didn’t sit on as it felt like every time I bent backward I was going to fall down. I was meant to let the receptionist know about it but I forgot.
There was a mini bar but I thought it was a bit sneaky how it functioned. Basically, every time you removed something the scale in the mini bar would let the reception know about it and you would be charged straight away. So it doesn’t matter if you replace it, there would still be a charge on your card.
I imagine it is because a lot of people removed drinks then refilled them with water or cheaper drinks from a shop, but if you don’t read the signs you will be in for a big surprise at check-out.
There was also a huge cupboard in the room with hangers, an ironing board, a safe and a suitcase stand.
The bathroom was in front of the cupboard, on the left as you enter the room.
The wall coverings were made of granite and there was a big worktop adjacent to the sink. The bathroom had a shower and a bathtub and the toilet was in between the bathtub and the sink.
Overall it was a very nice room although I had a feeling that nobody stayed in it before me for a while. When I have this sort of suspicion I tend to do the “dust-test” and wipe my finger in areas that people often touch. These are the lamps, around the bedside cabinets, the telephone or the desks. As you can see on the picture I found some dust…!
Wifi in the Room
I checked the internet speed and it was sufficiently fast for a free connection and didn’t require much of a hassle to connect. That’s exactly what I like in the Marriott Hotels: I’ve never had any problems connecting in any of their hotels around the world and I’ve stayed in many!
The Gym and Swimming Pool
Once I checked out the room I went down to the beach to swim a little. On the way back to the room I popped into the gym and swimming pool to see what they were like.
The gym had a reception and only guests with a card could enter. There was a male and female changing room but the lights were out for some reason so they set up a big flash light to brighten up the corridor.
The changing room had lockers, a shower, a toilet and all the usual facilities. The gym wasn’t huge but I suppose it is enough when you are on the go.
The swimming pool was a nice size and there was also a Jacuzzi, a steam room and a sauna plus some more showers.
The water in the pool was perfect and so I did swim a few laps. The length of the pool was OK too, I didn’t have to keep on turning back and forth like in most small pools in hotels.
The best was that the pool had a massive window to the beach so I could enjoy the sunshine without all the sand and wind. This is especially good in the winter, although in the summer I don’t see any point using the indoor swimming pool.
Given that I didn’t need to pay I would say it was great value but otherwise I think the price tag was a little hefty at $289 for a standard room for one night! This doesn’t even include breakfast but I imagine I am not their typical customer that comes here to enjoy the sun and the beaches.
I guess they get a lot of tour companies booking package holidays for people as I saw buses coming and going, so maybe it is slightly “cheaper” as part of a package.