From Lucerne, my intention was to head direct to Lech am Arlberg where I had made reservations for 4 nights. However a heavy snowfall closed the Arlbergpass and the train station as well. Since I was in the midst of changing trains in Zurich, I went on to find last minute lodging in the city. The Renaissance in town was surprisingly one of the cheaper options amongst the other Marriott hotels and is located near the newer Sheraton where I enjoyed my stay in Zurich the last time I was in the city.
Being located in the newer commercial district, this hotel stands out in the area as one of the taller buildings and it is reflected in the ‘Tower’ name added to the hotel. Inside, guests would find a tall lobby that looks modern and smart with the check-in counters located on the right side. Arriving on a Sunday afternoon, the lobby was quiet since there was no activity in the commercial centre.
Check-in was thus a very quick affair with the guest noting I would only be staying for one night. On the check-in desks, guests could find some delicious Lindt chocolates and I always take a couple when I pass by the lobby. Due to my stay on a Sunday, the lounge was not open for evening snacks as mentioned by the front desk agent.
While my original intent was just to stay one night and leave for Lech am Arlberg the next day, I ended up staying an additional night due to the closure of the railway tracks in Austria from excessive snowfall. But as I had already checked out of the first suite I was assigned, I had the opportunity to review a standard room in the hotel as well.
Room No: 616 Category: Comfort King Room
The standard room on my second stay has a basic room layout but it was interesting to see the toilet in its own partition with a small washbasin. Having a separate toilet compartment was definitely a plus in a standard room.
Next section of the room houses the shower which features a walk-in shower instead of the bathtub and shower combination.
Like some modern hotel rooms, this bathroom features 2 sliding doors allowing it to be opened from the doorway or from beside the bed. I liked the fact that there was plenty of hooks to hang your clothes and towels on the walls as well. Amenities in the bathroom was the standard Tokyo Milk brand that was found in the Renaissance Lucerne as well.
Inside the bedroom was a standard King sized bed with an abstract motif by the headboard. On both sides of the bed was a floating night stand. If anything, the night stand was a bit small but being a new hotel, there was convenient power outlets and light switches beside the bed.
Across from the bed was a work desk with a swivelling chair. There was more easily accessible power outlets on the desk with a table lamp for working. Connection ports were provided as well so guests could connect devices to the flatscreen TV located above the desk.
At the end of the room, there was an armchair and a small side table for lounging in the room. With a nice view even from the lower floors, the armchair is comfortable for a cup of morning coffee by the window as well.
Room No: 1425 Category: Junior Suite
On my first night, I was surprised to have snagged a Junior Suite upon reaching my room. By the entrance, the first thing I noticed was the bright space by the desk. Behind the desk lies the closet, minibar and an open coat hanger. The desk itself has power outlets placed on the side of the desk.
Along the room, there was a luggage bench in the section where there was no window. The length of the room made the suite spacious and felt more like a studio apartment.
Diagonally across the work desk was a powder room with the toilet that was housed separate from the shower and bathtub in the adjacent space.
The bathroom was fitted with a bathtub and shower combination and that was the part of the suite I did not really like. In addition, both bathrooms do not have a rainshower as there was only a handheld shower head fitted. Otherwise I was pleased with the provision of Bvlgari bath amenities in a Renaissance hotel.
In the bedroom itself, there was a King bed and the corner location of this suite meant the bedroom occupies the end of with wrap-around windows, making it very bright and inviting in the morning. That would help in getting up early!
There was a set of armchairs with a coffee table at the end of the bed and it was a nice place to sit down for coffee while enjoying the city views. Beside the armchair was a TV console with an ambient light tower at the side. The addition of this light tower made the room brighter at night.
While the suite was located high up, there was some construction going on so the views are not exactly the best. Moreover, there was no welcome amenity in the suite either, though I felt it could be due to me making a last minute booking just hours before I checked in at the hotel.
Breakfast is served from 6:30am to 10:30am on weekdays while guests are asked to head to the main restaurant for breakfast on the weekends. On weekends, there does not seem to be evening snacks though guests could get soft drinks, pretzel snacks and nuts in the lounge. The club lounge is split into 2 levels with a small staircase leading to the basement floor.
On the main floor, there was a communal table with a couple of tables. The best seats are those by the windows while the least desirable ones are the 2 sets of tall tables right by the entryway.
In the lower floor, guests could find a TV lounge with more casual seating spaces. There was also a couple of private work cubicles for guests requiring a quiet space to work in aside from their room.
Breakfast served in the lounge was decent and consistent with those served in European hotels. A highlight was the chocolate croissants catered from Maison Cailler, a Swiss chocolate company. This was served alongside other pastries and comes in its own sleeve making it easy for a quick bite to go.
Hot food served on the buffet includes bacon and sausages. Potatoes and scrambled eggs were served alongside.
Cold cuts was also served in the temperature controlled storage. There was smoked salmon with the various toppings served there as well.
Fruits like watermelon, honeydew and grapes are served from the bowls and placed in the cabinet. There was packed yogurts and cheese inside as well.
Next to the temperature controlled food cabinet, guests could find cornflakes and other grains in jars. There was also freshly cooked waffles that was cut into halves with maple syrup, honey and jams available. Small packets of Nutella or Ovomaltine is available as condiments too.
In the evening from Monday to Saturday, the club lounge serves hors d’oevres between 6 and 8pm, with wines served from 5 till 10pm. On the second night I stayed, I managed to check out the various snacks offered in the lounge and it was good enough for a light dinner.
There was four kinds of salads, with a simple garden salad, an avocado salad, a beetroot salad and an Asian noodle salad. Mini brownies, and puddings are served below the salad for desserts.
A pasta dish was also offered and it was some ravioli served with pomodoro sauce. Alongside it was a chicken drumlet dish with some BBQ sauce, as well as brussel sprout being the vegetable on offer.
The variety of dishes served in the lounge was not too bad and guests could also help themselves to red or white wines from the bar. Soft drinks, coffee and tea are available all day as well per the usual.
Restaurants & Bars
Aside from the Club lounge, hotel guests can find the Equinox restaurant located in the ground floor that functions as an all-day restaurant. However the restaurant is open only for breakfast on Sundays.
Beside the restaurant is the Lucid bar and lounge which is lit up nicely in the evening. The space has plenty of bar seats and lounge chairs that extends into the lobby, making this a focal socializing venue in the hotel.
Fitness Centre & Spa
Located at the 15th floor of the hotel, guests can find the meeting rooms, fitness centre and the spa/sauna facilities. For a city hotel, the fitness centre was average but it has a great view being located higher up in the building.
There was a weight bench with a couple of treadmills. Further in, there was several cycling machines.
What it lacked for in the fitness centre, the hotel made up by having a nice steam room and sauna area.
There was a couple of relaxation chairs outside the sauna with an open shower and some private shower rooms. Lockers are also available for guests using the sauna.
One night stay here during the winter season can range from between CHF180-230 (~$180-230) per night for a standard room inclusive of taxes. For a stay in Zurich, this was on the lower end since the location was not in the town centre.
While staying in the area can be boring on the weekends, the hotel is close to the Schiffbau theatre where several restaurants can be found. This makes it a nice place to relax in the evenings. SPG Platinum guests could also get access to the numerous Junior Suites in the upgrade pool and the rooms generally have a nice view. When I am ever back in Zurich, I would certainly consider staying here again.