Hotel Review – The Detroit Marriott at the RenCen Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

Don’t want to read the whole review? Click here to get my final score!

2020 is off to a great start and work is busy. I am getting to partner with some amazing clients on some unique and interesting challenges. As always, I feel like the luckiest person I know to do what I do and do it remotely, save for the rare occurrence of travel for a client.

For one such client, I had the chance to travel for some strategy sessions and found myself booked in at the “RenCen” Marriott – in Detroit – in winter. It was surprisingly mild, only about 17 degrees with a slight breeze. But I digress….this is a review of the hotel and there is a lot to report.


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Officially called the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, the hotel is located downtown along the River Walk, making it easy to get outside and stretch your legs while you enjoy the city lights of Windsor, Canada across the Detroit River. Conveniently located near Ford Field, and the TCF Center, the “RenCen” is in the same complex as General Motors HQ and is almost a self-contained circular city. Designed by architect John C. Portman, the hotel was built in several stages during the 1970s. The unique design is a series of seven towers clustered in rosette fashion. Walking around inside is a bit trippy with rampways and runways and spirals and meeting pods jutting out over nothing. My eyes were agog at all the cool camera angles!

copyright JavaAndJunket 2020
copyright JavaAndJunket 2020
copyright JavaAndJunket 2020
copyright JavaAndJunket 2020
copyright JavaAndJunket 2020
copyright JavaAndJunket 2020

Once inside the complex, I suspect one could hole up for months without leaving, taking advantage of the Starbucks, Panera, and CVS not to mention jumping on the PeopleMover or taking the pedestrian skyway over Jefferson Avenue to the Millender Center. Maybe a great place to go in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

Enough background, let’s get to the specifics of my stay.

NOISE: There wasn’t any. My room was on the 54th floor and once the elevator got me passed the lobby construction, it was quiet. Mausoleum quiet, which was amazing. The carpets were so thick even the air exchange and ice machines were muffled. Once inside my room, the only noise was the creaking of the gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows which was no bothersome at all.

CLEANLINESS/SAFETY: My room was clean and passed my slightly obsessive routine of checking. No white glove here, but I do check in random places that you may not (behind/under the sink, top of picture frames, behind curtains, etc.) and nothing made me cringe. The only thing I found amiss were the state of the washcloths and towels. Each one seemed to have staining on it as though make-up from another guest was left over. It was icky but since I always take a washcloth and towel, I was prepared. The other issue was that there were dishes left on the credenza outside my hotel room door. There were plates and glasses on that credenza when I checked in at 5:20pm and were still there when I checked out the next day at 10:30am. Not a huge issue but enough to file away as “not Marriott level” clean.

AMENITIES: As I stated above, there are a ton of options for food, given the location of the hotel and proximity to downtown, the bed was super comfortable, the view amazing, the WiFi fast, and the front desk staff accommodating.

copyright JavaAndJunket 2020
copyright JavaAndJunket 2020
copyright JavaAndJunket 2020
copyright JavaAndJunket 2020
copyright JavaAndJunket 2020
My Final Score

Score: 8 out of 10. Great architecture, friendly staff, comfortable bed and the hope that the housekeeping issues were one-offs.

Would I stay here again?: Yes! Even with the issues stated above, I would absolutely stay here again. When I checked out I provided my concerns of cleanliness to Medash and Ryan (the front desk associate and the manager). They were both gracious and great examples of Marriott values.

High points: The décor (great automotive-themed photographs and prints),the bed, the ability to walk along the riverfront, and the location.

Low points: A few missteps in cleanliness

Have you stayed at the Marriott RenCen before? Let me know in the comments and thanks for stopping by!

Renaissance_Center,_Crisco 1492 [CC BY-SA (httpscreativecommons.orglicensesby-sa4.0)]
copyright Crisco 1492

 Here is a video of ice flowing and cracking in the Detroit River. You are welcome, ASMR lovers!