Booking a room at the Renaissance in Aix En Provence was something I’ve been set on since the last time I came to Aix on business. When I last visited France for work, we stayed at a Best Western which is closer to my actual place of business. Best Western does not have the best places to stay in my opinion, though this one was actually fairly nice. Another downside is where the hotel is located, you have to drive and I prefer to take the commuter bus in the morning if at all possible.
Really for sake of being in a nice area, a nice hotel, and having access to the work site by bus… Aix is the logical choice. Once again, we run into the problem of not having a lot of hotels with good loyalty programs available to make use of. That’s where the Renaissance came in. Outside of the hotel, it is fairly easy to recognize that the building is fairly new, with beautiful lighting at night, projecting lettering on the exterior walls. The hotel itself is located very close to much of the best parts of Aix En Provence.
Walking into the hotel, the front desk staff greeted me. At this point I had been driven from Philadelphia to Newark. Flew from Newark to Paris, connected in Paris, then flew to Marseille. Once landing in Marseille, there was another bus ride to Aix and then a walk to the hotel… I was tired from the trip, but it was only 1pm. Luckily Marriott allows you to request an early check in through a notification in the app. Before leaving the US, I had already requested a 1pm early check in. At the front desk they were able to verify that the room was ready to go.
Once they had me checked in, the woman working the front desk escorted me up to my room, which wasn’t very far. She got me inside did a really fast explanation of everything and times things were available… which I promptly forgot, then said goodbye. While I really didn’t need an escort upstair, I do appreciate the gesture and that she didn’t linger. My trip was decently long, I don’t sleep in economy, and I was tired.
Soon after arriving, sleep was required, so I took a quick nap. Just as I was about to sleep, an attendant paid a visit to my room. It took me a moment to wake up and head to the door about then he was coming in. After a quick apology, he handed me a welcome gift of a few chocolates and some water. The water was much needed, long flights with lots of dry air can really dehydrate anyone. Back to sleep I went.
My impressions with the check in were great, a very helpful staff, attentive but not overbearing, they really were a wonderful group.
Not everything was sunshine and rainbows though. At work the next day, I looked over the cost of the hotel to issue a report to my company, immediately I was confused on the expense of the room. Why was I paying way over what I had expected? Quickly it became apparent that there was an extra night tacked on to the stay. Now my first reaction was wondering if the concierge who had booked the stay might have heard me wrong and booked the incorrect stay. Pulling up my email, quickly it was found that the booking had been 100% correct, and no other emails existed to show that things had been modified. The only way this could have happened, was that the front desk added a night.
When I returned to the hotel that night, I requested that the extra night be removed. She promised to do so and I went up to get some sleep. Before sleeping and when I awoke, I once again checked my Marriott account to find that nothing had changed. That morning, one more time I requested the change to the departure date, this time the desk clerk quickly solved the issue.
So while the stay was great, I do wonder about the extra day. Why was it added without informing me? What was the clerk thinking to add another day after verbally confirming 5 nights with me? I don’t know there was any ill intent meant here so I’ll just assume it was an honest mistake, but I kept an eye on my account the remainder of the stay.
At the end of the trip, this is a hotel I would certainly recommend. If you end up in Aix, this is the place I’d suggest you stay.