sojourneys


The Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa
January 11, 2014, 2:58 pm
Filed under: hotels, Phuket, Renaissance, Thailand | Tags: , , ,

Located on the picturesque Mai Khao beach far from the maddening crowd yet mere minutes from the airport, the Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa is everything that its neighboring JW Marriott Phuket is not. The Renaissance Phuket is boutique with less than 200 rooms exuding tranquility and intimacy, while its sister property bearing the seemingly more glamorous JW Marriott badge is a sprawling complex replete with omnipresent sales staff selling timeshare units that screams mass.

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Guestrooms are spacious, and are decked in neutral palettes promoting relaxation. Its large, comfortable bed with pillow options and adjacent divan are perfect for that much needed postprandial siesta.

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But why spend too much time in the room when other stars of the property include two beautiful pools including one with direct access to the magnificent Mai Khao beach?

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Dining is great, and one of the more interesting options is Sand Box, which besides being literally next to the beach has soft white sand as its flooring. The Lounge, a pub adjacent to the lobby that also serves light fare during the day takes on a different vibe at night with the hanging seagulls creating surreal silhouettes against projected colored lights.

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For the health conscious, breakfast includes a juicing bar with a wide variety of local and imported fruits and vegetables, as well as a small fitness room with hot jacuzzi facilities in the shower room.

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All-in-all, the Renaissance Phuket with its warm and friendly service, boutique vibe, contemporary decor, and direct beach access, makes for a relaxing getaway.

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The Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel

Even though Marriott has been trying to reposition its Renaissance group of hotels as an upmarket boutique brand, wayfarers thinking about making the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel their abode should be aware that at this property, housekeeping means precious little beyond tucking up the bedsheets and changing used towels.

This was the state of the room I returned to after a day trekking about town.  The toiletries, which had been nearly depleted, were not replenished.  Used disposable cups were not replaced.  The ironing board and iron remain oodly placed next to the bed where they were left in the morning.  Even the stray TV remote control, which was thrown on the edge of the bed, remained in its precarious position after so-called housekeeping service.  In short, practically nothing seemed to have been tidied beyond literally tucking up the bedsheets and changing the towels.

This is such a shame because the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, set in the foothills of the majestic San Jacinto Mountains, enjoys a prime location in downtown Palm Springs, has a great pool and lively pool scene, a gym with an array of machines that cover the core, and is well-connected to the charming and eclectic city with a glamorous history as a retreat of choice for the Hollywood jetset.



The Renaissance Agoura Hills
December 29, 2010, 7:01 am
Filed under: California, hotels, Renaissance | Tags: , ,

The Renaissance Agoura Hills Hotel is described by Marriott on its website as “lavishly appointed.”  While I think the adjective is a bit of a hyperbole, the hotel is indeed comfortable, with all the amenities one would expect of a four-star property.  The location is excellent, near large multinationals and colossal malls (The Oaks and Camarillo Premium Outlets) alike.

The lobby is spacious, and leads to an outdoor swimming pool (the weather was too wet and frigid to permit a dip) as well as an adequately-equipped fitness center that was divided into two rooms (one for cardio equipments such as treadmills and ellipticals, and the other for weight resistance machines).  The rooms view out into the hills that form the base of the Santa Monica mountains, drawing in peaceful serenity.

The sheets were clean and comfortable, and front desk staff friendly and efficient.  All-in-all, the Renaissance Agoura Hills would make a great springboard to Los Angeles’ constellation of attractions.