Review: Renaissance Naples Mediterraneo

Introduction: Montreal To New York, With A Stop In Italy
Review: Sheraton Montreal Airport
Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Montreal Airport
Review: Lufthansa Business Class A330 Montreal To Munich
Review: Renaissance Naples Mediterraneo
Review: VIP Caruso Lounge Naples Airport
Review: Meridiana Business Class 767 Naples To New York
Review: Hyatt Herald Square New York
Review: The New York EDITION Hotel


I had just one night in Naples, as I landed from Munich at 12:10PM, and departed for New York the next day at 8:50AM. The city of Naples as such isn’t much of a tourist hotspot, but rather the airport is largely used as a gateway to the Amalfi Coast, which isn’t far away.

Naples isn’t a terribly exciting hotel market, with very few luxury and/or chain hotels. As a Hyatt and Starwood loyalist, there are no options in Naples. The next best option was the Renaissance Naples Mediterraneo, where I’d at least receive some benefits as a Marriott Platinum member. The rate for my one night stay was a reasonable 120EUR, so that’s what I decided to book.

Upon arrival in Naples I took a taxi to the Renaissance. The ride took about 20 minutes, and cost 25EUR. The hotel has a pretty simple exterior — for that matter, I found Naples to be one of the less charming cities I’ve visited in Italy, and much of the architecture wasn’t especially inspiring.


Renaissance Naples Hotel exterior


Renaissance Naples Hotel entryway

The hotel has a spacious lobby that was clearly recently renovated, and was the highlight of the hotel.


Renaissance Naples Hotel lobby


Renaissance Naples Hotel lobby


Renaissance Naples Hotel lobby

The check-in process was efficient, and as a Platinum member I was given the choice of a welcome amenity. I selected the 500 Marriott Rewards points. The associate also informed me I’d receive complimentary breakfast, though unfortunately it only started at 6:30AM, which was after I was planning on leaving for the airport the next morning. Oh well.


Renaissance Naples Hotel Platinum welcome gift

She also informed me that I had been upgraded to a “nice room,” but warned me that it was on the floor immediately below the deck where there would be a party that night, starting at 7:30PM. She said that I was invited as well, and that the cover charge was 20EUR. She warned me that there may be some noise and asked if that was okay, or if I wanted to switch rooms. Against my better judgment I agreed.


Renaissance Naples Hotel party

The elevators were immediately across from reception, and the style where you key in the floor number you want to go to, and then it tells you which elevator to use. The elevators were tiny.


Renaissance Naples Hotel elevator buttons


Renaissance Naples hallway

I was assigned room 1012, located at the far end of the hallway on the 10th floor. The hallways were rather uninspiring, and reminded me of a cruise ship. While the lobby felt fresh and recently renovated, the floors with guest rooms didn’t — as you can see, the wallpaper was “bubbling” all over, and there were marks everywhere.


Renaissance Naples hallway


Renaissance Naples floorplan

My room wasn’t much better, unfortunately. There was an entryway with the bathroom to the right, and then the rest of the room straight ahead.


Renaissance Naples room entryway

The room featured a king size bed, which was reasonably comfortable.


Renaissance Naples king bed room


Renaissance Naples room

Placed rather awkwardly in the corner of the room was a chair.


Renaissance Naples room seat

Across from the bed was a closet and a luggage rack.


Renaissance Naples room closet

Under the rack was the sparsely filled minibar.


Renaissance Naples room minibar

Then back by the wall closest to the entrance was a desk. The chair next to it wasn’t especially comfortable for working.


Renaissance Naples room desk

On the desk was a selection of Twinnings tea, instant coffee, and a kettle.


Renaissance Naples in-room coffee, tea, and kettle

Unfortunately I didn’t really luck out with views. While the hotel has some great views of the waterfront from the other side, my view was just of nearby apartment buildings.


Renaissance Naples room view


Renaissance Naples room view

Back by the entrance was the bathroom, which featured a sink, toilet, bidet, and shower/tub combo.


Renaissance Naples bathroom


Renaissance Naples toilet & bidet


Renaissance Naples shower

Toiletries were Renaissance branded, as you’d expect.


Renaissance Naples toiletries

Okay, so the room was perfectly serviceable, but hardly anything to get excited over. However, I do have a few issues.

First of all, I wish they would have at least had a bottle of complimentary still or sparkling water. I know many in Europe drink tap water, though based on Googling, it looks like Naples doesn’t have the best tap water, and I saw quite a few warnings about it. That’s not to say I would have died if I drank it, or anything, but there was absolutely no bottled water to be had anywhere in the hotel except in the bar.

Second of all, the shower didn’t drain. That’s not a huge deal as I just showered in the morning before my flight, so I left the room with a few gallons of water in the tub.

Next, the internet was spotty. It worked relatively okay most of the time, but also cut out frequently.

But now the biggest issue — the air conditioning in my room didn’t work, and it was unbearably hot. Like it was so hot that I couldn’t sleep at night. The worst part? I didn’t bring this to the hotel’s attention, so I’m not sure whether it’s specific to my room or not. How could I let this slide?

  • When I first got to the room I figured that the issue was that the thermostat hadn’t been set to cool, so I set it to cool and I managed to take a nap, despite it being unbearably hot, since I was so exhausted
  • When I woke up it was even hotter (somehow), but at this point I had all my stuff all over the room, and figured it would cool down naturally when it got dark, so figured it wasn’t worth asking to switch rooms, and for that matter figured that the whole hotel maybe didn’t have AC
  • I did some sightseeing and wanted to go back to sleep at around 11PM, and somehow it was even freaking hotter; at this point I’d be leaving the hotel in just six hours and didn’t want to move rooms

The conclusion here is that jetlag makes us do crazy stuff. This is something I should have handled from the beginning, but I didn’t. I’m an idiot. However, I’m not actually convinced that the problem was with my AC, rather than the hotel as a whole.

It was so hot that I couldn’t sleep, though. I think this lady sums up how I felt pretty well (there’s some colorful language, so if you’re offended by that I recommend not watching):

In terms of the hotel’s other features, there’s a nice enough bar just off the lobby.


Renaissance Naples Hotel lobby bar


Renaissance Naples Hotel lobby bar

The hotel also has a nice deck on the 11th floor, which I imagine is where the party was that night. On the plus side, it wasn’t noisy at all.


Renaissance Naples deck


Renaissance Naples deck

There was also a nice hot tub on the rooftop.


Renaissance Naples deck

The views of Castel Nuovo and the water in the distance were quite nice; I wish my room had faced that direction.


Renaissance Naples deck view

The hotel also has a tiny gym, which is open 24 hours.


Renaissance Naples fitness center

It was tiny, though, with limited equipment.


Renaissance Naples fitness center


Renaissance Naples fitness center

While I wasn’t told anything about this and didn’t ask, there was an advertisement in the elevator indicating that hotel guests have access to a rather impressive-looking nearby gym.


Renaissance Naples fitness center partnership

In the morning I left to the airport shortly after 5AM, because sitting in the airport seemed more pleasant than sitting in my hot-as-could-be hotel room.

Renaissance Naples bottom line

Unfortunately I don’t have much good to say about the Renaissance, though I’m also not sure there are much better hotels in Naples. I take full responsibility for not at least inquiring about switching rooms, so I’ll give the hotel the benefit of the doubt and assume that the temperature issue was specific to my room, and not the hotel as a whole.

Even so, I feel like this hotel is probably misbranded as a Renaissance, which I always thought was one of Marriott’s more premium brands. Then again, the major hotel chains have always struggled with branding hotels, given the inconsistencies between properties.

So I guess I’d reevaluate the options if I returned to Naples, though I’m also not sure I’d return. If I were going to the Amalfi Coast I’d try to just get a same day airport transfer.

Does anyone have a favorite hotel in Naples that’s better than the Renaissance?

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Comments

  1. Great timing on your article. My wife and I are considering a trip to Italy over New Years and were thinking of visiting Naples and staying at the Renaissance for a couple of nights. Your article makes me rethink both. Looks like we will stick with Florence and another “to be determined” location.

  2. The lobby looks very nice, but the rest of the hotel doesn’t really fit Marriott’s Renaissance brand. I have always perceived the Renaissance brand to be modern, this hotel is the opposite. The Renaissance hotels at Edmonton Airport and in Dusseldorf that I have stayed at are a better representation of the Renaissance brand than this hotel and both are quite nice. They either need to renovate the entire hotel in Naples or rebrand it.

  3. For sure your best bet would have been Hotel Piazza Bellini. We stayed there 2 years ago and it was top notch. It was perfect! Also, I find that Napoli is one of my favorite cities in Italy!

  4. I was scheduled to visit this hotel in March, but had to make a last minute trip cancellation. I’m glad I did now!
    I’ve been in the same situation where my room was unbearably hot and I was jetlagged and didn’t want the hassle of waiting for engineering or another room when all I wanted to do is go to sleep. (Courtyard Istanbul Airport)
    I actually woke up in a puddle of sweat the next morning (after taking an Ambien to get some sleep)

  5. Italy has got a very competitive local hotels market. Big chains are never the best choices, except perhaps in Rome and Milan. However, I understand your job is to review hotels where you got benefits and points, and this is a big disadvantage in most of Italy, where the best accomodations are actually the luxury farmhouses (agriturismi), all of which are much more modern than city center hotels. Indeed, city hotels are probably the area where Italy lags the most, in terms of touristic offer. But if someone doesn’t necessarily have to use international hotels, getting a room at a luxury farmhouse in the countryside is a remarkably better experience.
    Also, no pun intended, but cities in the south of Italy are rather ugly, with few exceptions (such as Lecce or Ragusa), while others like Naples and Palermo alternate wonderful spots and areas which resemble big dumps. In the central and northern Italy, you’ll have a definitely different experience of cities.

  6. We went to Rome a couple a year’s ago. From there we spend a day riding the 200 mph high speed train back and forth to Naples. The sole purpose of going to Naples was not the city itself, but to visit Pompeii, the ancient city that was “buried alive” in an eruption from nearby volcano Vesuvius 2.000 years ago. The entire destroyed city functions today as one big museum and archeological work ground. The little we saw of Naples matches the impressions of Lucky, but do consider the 1-day trip to Pompeii.

  7. Most of Italy (particularly south of Milan) is a dysfunctional toilet – and Naples is particularly filthy. I worked in Rome 5 nightmarish years and the best view of the country was seeing it disappear as I entered French airspace.

  8. Ha, must have passed you on the streets. We took a day trip to Naples yesterday. It was hot and the traffic was stifling…like much of Italy, Did the Pizzeria Brandi while in Naples thing. Not a bad city, but we needed more time.

  9. SPG Luxury Collection used to have a property in Naples as of a few years ago but they rebranded — I believe it is now the Eurostars Hotel Excelsior. It’s a very nice hotel in the grand palace style of many nicer European hotels, like the Westin Madrid. There are also a couple of other grand hotels next to it that looked similarly nice.

    I really enjoyed Naples, in that it felt more “real” than anywhere else I’ve visited in Italy — it was not just a tourist attraction like Rome or Florence or Venice. That said, it does have a reputation for being on the unsafe side (though we had no problems during a short stay and using basic common sense precautions), and there isn’t as much to do as in some of the other major Italian destinations. But it could still be worth a visit if you’ll be in the area; the street food and the pizza are excellent.

    (We also stayed a night in Pompei, the modern city surrounding the ruins of Pompeii, before going to the ruins, and that town is a real dump. If you want to do the ruins I would strongly recommend finding somewhere decent to stay in Naples rather than trying to stay in Pompei. We were advised that we would be able to beat the rush when the ruins opened by staying nearby, but in our experience the earliest trains from Naples arrive in plenty of time to make the opening of the ruins.)

  10. Just left the hotel and had the same impression as you did. Wish your review came out a few days earlier then we would definitely not paid the $215 per night for this place. We didn’t have the ac problem though. I’d pay closer to $100 and consider it a 3.5 star hotel. Nice lobby and breakfast room has a great view. Location is good for the ferry going to the rest almalfi coast (10min walk). However, breakfast was underwhelming. The “clean dishes” were dirty and no toiletries when we first got to the room. Room looked into a stairway of a dark courtyard. Maybe our most disappointing chain experience among Marriott/SPG/Hilton in the world.

  11. This is an embarrassment for Renaissance. At best, it’s 2 1/2-3 stars. The coffeemaker, lack of complimentary water, no bathrobe, no slippers and the general decor. I’d expect this from a Holiday Inn, but not a Marriott Renaissance, which are almost always nicer abroad than back in the United States and Canada.

    By the way, the room and hallway–especially the bathroom–look like a college dormitory.

    I’ve also never seen Renaissance-branded toiletries.

  12. Unfortunately hotel chains arent the best option for Italy. The local boutique hotels are the best option.

    Also Ben, youre too nice. I wouldve called someone immediately and reported the hot stuffy room.

  13. Holliday Inn in Cava de’ Tirreni (just outside of Salerno) is 10x better, and even cheaper. Plus, Cava de’ Tirreni has very charming main street and it is perfectly safe (but do bring Italian phrase book, not too many English-speaking folks there).

  14. I think Pierre went too far with his comments about southern Italy! Naples is a big city with a struggling economy but the cultural patrimony and natural surroundings are second to none! Il Museo Archeologico, Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, Caserta … moving north, every region has its enviable sites: Rome, Assisi, Florence, and so on. No fancy hotels but agriturismo to truly enjoy nature and the superb food. The term “toilet” may belong elsewhere… a while back my friends and I cut short our stay in Paris due to the unfriendly welcome…and yet it is southern Italy that saves lives in the Mediterranean while the Northern countries close their ports!

  15. There are plenty of gorgeous hotels in Naples – the above is what happens when if one becomes a slave to points schemes…

  16. I had a completely different experience when I stayed at the same hotel with my family last summer. I had reserved a room for 4 people (2 adults and 2 kids) and we got a huge suite with an amazing view. The room was gigantic and the bathroom was way nicer than yours. The breakfast was pretty good and the views of Mt. Vesuvius were breathtaking. The staff on the hotel was amazing, location was perfect and I would definitely stay there again. However, I believe the top hotels are the Grand Vesuvio and the Romeo Hotel.

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