It was also a day of nostalgia for Surinder Arora, the founder and CEO of operator, the Arora Group, who admitted that he had a soft spot for the hotel after working there as a wine waiter when he was 18 years old.
He said: “This property is very special to me for a number of reasons. Firstly, because when I was 18 and doing my day job at British Airways, I used to do some wine waiting in the Wessex Ballroom for a number of years.
“The hotel was also the grandest building when it opened in 1972/3 and has always been special to me, so when we took it over I was determined to work with Marriott to make it something to be proud of again."
He added the revamp had included a touch of magic as well as it had 649 bedrooms when his company took it over and it has 710 today, despite no new extensions or additional infrastructure.
Amy McPherson, Marriott International’s president and managing director of Europe, was as equally buoyant about the extensive refurbishment to the hotel, which she claimed marked the “rebirth of a great asset”.
“Renaissance means rebirth and today the hotel is reborn,” she told guests, noting that the facilities now provided were the result of two years of painstaking work to improve and enhance the entire facility.
“We are amazed at the results and the guests seem to love it, as our TripAdvisor scores have soared and almost overnight we have gone from being rated the 18th best hotel in the Heathrow area to the fourth.
“I am also proud to say that this hotel has the most improved guest satisfaction scores for any Marriott Hotel in Europe, which is really a tribute to Surinder Arora and his commitment, vision and promise to make this hotel better.”
She also readily admitted that the revamp was needed, stating that the 43-year old hotel perhaps hadn’t received “the loving care and investment” it needed from its previous owners.
The full refurb, said Arora, included upgrades to all the bedrooms, bathrooms, lifts and public areas as well as the 4-star hotel’s “electrics and mechanics”.
He also heaped praise on the hotel’s staff, saying their “fantastic efforts” had been recognised by guests on TripAdvisor.
HRH The Duke of York remarked that a friendly welcome and welcoming facilities at any hotel cannot be underestimated.
Opened in 1973, the Renaissance was and remains one of the most high profile hotels due to its size and Bath Road location just a few hundred metres from Heathrow’s runways.