Last week, we hit up Renaissance Hotels’ official brand “re-launch” at the Hotel 57 in Manhattan (which is now a Renaissance property). Across the pond, plenty of folks were partying in Paris at the Renaissance Arc de Triomphe several hours earlier to celebrate the new look of the Marriott-owned chain the same way.
So: when a not-too-trendy hotel chain like Renaissance gets the word out about a total image revamp by throwing much-hyped, almost-simultaneous parties on two different continents, what kind of vibe might we expect the newly-refreshed brand to deliver? From what we saw at the Hotel 57 party, Renaissance is going for trendy, chic, and modern — and according to David Marriott (Regional Vice President of hotel operations for NYC, Baltimore, and Philly), the brand is aiming to compete with W Hotels.
Renaissance, listen: we’ve gotta be honest. We never knew you had it in you to pull off a W-ish vibe, but we’d be inclined to believe you’ve got the goods to go head-to-head with Starwood’s trendiest brand after this party. At the soiree, we mingled with (er, “mingled with” is a little strong — let’s go with “followed around”) Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley and the beautiful Brooke Shields while sipping on Absolut cocktails among the funky, fresh, inventive decor. There were sparkly dresses a-plenty, a few A and B-list celebs, DJ’s, drunk people, and contemporary light fixtures. If we squinted real hard, we would have thought we were hanging out at one of W’s Living Room bars.
As the party wound down, we pulled aside David Marriott to chit-chat about the new face of Renaissance. He seemed totally psyched about the new look and the trendier, swankier vibe of the chain, mentioning more than once that he’s confident the newly-revamped Renaissance is poised to compete with Starwood’s W brand. And, um, if this party was any indication of what’s to come, we’re certainly going to be keeping an eye on Reniassance’s new look and feel as the upgrades roll out across the properties.
Check out a few more shots of the Hotel 57 party below; compare the new look with shots of the pre-renovation spaces on the right.