Monday, June 27, 2011

Return to the Renaissance New York City Times Square

When I arrived today, the hotel was under some exterior work with
the ground floor surrounded by scaffolding. 
The facade as it normally appears sans scaffolding in June 2008.
A description of the Renaissance New York City Times Square from the hotel's magazine: Rising 26 stories above the lights and sights of Times Square, the hotel boasts luxuriously chic interiors by renowned designer Jordan Mozer and completely updated guest rooms with hardwood furniture, spacious bathrooms, and the latest technology. A stay here puts you within steps of Broadway's famed theaters, Rockefeller Center, and world-renowned shopping and dining. But the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel is a destination unto itself: Head to the R Lounge for a panoramic view of Times Square and enjoy cocktails or a snack. With a AAA Four-Diamond rating combined with a hip, modern look, this Renaissance New York City hotel is the epitome of a quiet, sophisticated urban oasis. Here you can be part of the energy of Times Square without all of its noisy hustle and bustle. It's also the perfect front row seat to the best show in town every New Year's Eve.

Anyone who who has traveled only to Las Vegas will be sticker-shocked by the sky-high rates of New York City Hotels. Location, location, location is the saying and the more convenient the hotel is to Times Square, the likelihood there will be a high rate that goes with it. Click HERE to read my thoughts about choosing a hotel in Manhattan.

The south side of the hotel faces Times Square and is covered with
video billboards including the Coca-Cola sign (2009 photo)
The video billboards at night (2009)
With that brief statement I will make no excuses for choosing the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel. Located in the heart of Times Square it's convenient to Broadway theaters, attractions and shopping in midtown Manhattan. A Subway station runs right below it's sidewalk and with 305 rooms, the property doesn't feel like a traffic jam such as times when many are leaving or returning from a night at the theatre. The rooms feel modern, comfortable and clean and offers spectacular views of 7th Ave and Broadway.

The Renaissance Times Square is part of the Marriott brands of hotels. Marriott has classified this boutique hotel under category "8" in its rewards program. That is the highest tier and comprised of an elite group of 12 hotels. The category ranking is for the location, popularity and the luxurious feel of the hotel. Unfortunately service does waiver at Marriott's New York City hotels regardless of the rewards category and it is no different at the this property.

I first stayed at the Renaissance back in November 2001 and didn't return until 2008 after the hotel underwent a major renovation. In between I've tried other hotels in midtown. The hotel interiors today bears absolutely no resemblance at all to how it looked ten years ago. An interior that used to be indistinctive is now unique and modern. The exterior has not changed. The hotel is a shining black monolith occupying an area of a small city block created by the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue. Almost any tourist who takes photos of Times Square will invariably capture an image of the side of the Renaissance that faces Times Square. If you see the Coca Cola video billboard from a Times Square photo, that's the Renaissance hotel behind it.

Upcoming posts will offer information about other aspects of the hotel such as the room assigned to me for this stay. In the meantime after the long flying time from Honolulu, it's time to take a quick rest, unpack, shower and get something to eat. As excited as I am to be back in the Theatre District, I've learned that taking these simple steps will help get my head into the Eastern Time Zone (there's a six hour difference between Honolulu and New York). Let another vacation of marathon theatre going begin.

Times Square in the background in this July 2009 photo
near the entrance to the Renaissance.


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