Radisson Revamping Existing Hotels and Building Exciting New Properties

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A few weeks ago I was invited to a Radisson conference being today held in Orlando that was supposed to coincide with some fun announcements from Radisson. I couldn’t make the dates work with my calendar to be there in person, but I’ve been following along online, and we have now learned some of the exciting Radisson announcements that are coming on the heels of recent updates to the Radisson loyalty program and co-branded credit card.


As you may recall, the loyalty program has recently been re-branded from Club Carlson to Radisson Rewards. Additionally, the co-branded credit card will now issue an award night that you can use at any Radisson Hotel Group property in the United States for each $10,000 you charge annually, up to a maximum of three award nights for $30,000 charged to the card. This is on top of the 40,000 points per night that the card awards at each anniversary just for being a cardmember and paying the $75 annual fee. While an added perk of earning award nights is a great thing, I know many people aren’t overly excited about this addition because of the somewhat limited and at times uninspiring line-up of Radisson Rewards properties within the United States…though they have great properties beyond our borders.

New Radisson Blu Hotels Coming to the United States

However, that may be changing at least a little based on today’s announcements. At today’s conference, Radisson announced the signing of two new-build hotels within the United States! There will be a new Radisson Blu property in Anaheim, California and a new Radisson in New York City! Beyond that, they have identified 21 key target markets where they plan to be aggressive with expanding their footprint, particularly in the United States with their upscale Radisson Blu brand.

In a week that has thus far been filled with bad miles and points news, this is a total breath of fresh air. There are currently only three upscale Radisson Blu properties in the United States located in Chicago, the Mall of America, and Downtown Minneapolis. Getting one in the family-friendly destination of Anaheim is truly great news!

The Radisson Blu Anaheim will be located just a 1/2 mile from Disneyland and is expected to open in 2020 with 326 guestrooms. When finished, it will stand 12 stories tall, have a ground-floor family activity space (yes!), rooftop pool and bar, 353 parking spaces, a 6,700 square foot restaurant, and will be positioned as a family-friendly upscale hotel…which is my very favorite type of property. Go ahead and put us on the opening guest list now!

The new Radisson Hotel in New York City will be located at 525 8th Avenue, which puts it within walking distance to Times Square and so much more in the Midtown part of the city. It will be a new-build hotel estimated to open Spring 2019, with 320 guestrooms, a restaurant, and a fitness center. This one will cater to both leisure and business travelers. The idea of a new-build points-friendly hotel in the middle of New York City is also great news to my ears. These hotels help the Radisson Hotel Group work towards their goal of adding tens of thousands of rooms across the globe by 2022.

Revamp of Existing Radisson Hotels

It is not just new construction hotels that have the attention of the Radisson Hotels Group, but also a revamp of more than 160 existing Radisson Hotels. The overhaul of many existing Radisson properties includes a new design aesthetic, tagline, and color palette.

This initiative also anticipates the removal of 10 to 15 percent of non-compliant hotels in the current Radisson hotel brand portfolio to improve brand consistency and guest service. If you have stepped foot in some of the less desireable Radisson properties, you will probably agree this is a good thing. 

I love that their press release states that “at the heart of the new Radisson brand is natural balance and harmony of the Scandinavian way of life” because that minimalistic design is a pretty pleasing aesthetic within a hotel. If only my house full of dogs and children could be so streamlined. 

Incorporating some elements of wellness to the brand is also a welcome change and smart move. For those not familiar, the Radisson brand is actually quite strong in Scandinavia, and some of my very favorite Radisson properties are located in that part of the world. Bring a bit of that aesthetic and philosophy to the United States is a really exciting concept that I look forward to seeing in person.

Hopefully, if this all comes to pass, then in a year or two we will all have many new and exciting ways to use our Radisson Rewards points without leaving the United States! 

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

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    • Not an ad – but certainly a lot is sourced from press releases since that is all we have to go on at the moment. As someone with Radisson Reward points to use, I’m pretty pumped!

  1. They are building a property in St Kitts on the opposite end of the island from the Park Hyatt. Similar in that it will be the lone resort.

  2. Revamping Radisson Hotels and shedding hotels in the USA has been their plan since 2010. Expanding Radisson Blu in USA has been in the works for years too.

    Radisson Red seems to be the one area where the chain is making real progress.

    • It has been slow going for sure, but maybe it can pick up a little bit of steam. Honestly, even just one new Radisson Blu in a family-friendly spot is enough to make me excited.

  3. Glad to see they are upgrading US properties. Some were not too nice. Loved the Radisson Blu in Chicago. A new Radisson Blu in Florida would be great! (Hint, Hint, Radisson)

  4. Didn’t lose all of the Carribean locations. Losing the Radisson in Aruba to Hilton was a bummer, so we found a Radisson in Grenada on Grand Anse beach, one of the top rated beaches in the world. Stayed there a year ago in January for a week. Hotel is a little dated, but grounds were beautiful and great location on the beach. We were upgraded to the executive beachfront room – beautiful view 100′ from the beach. Grenadas tourism is booming with many new resorts in the process of being built. We have almost half a million Radisson points and plan on using them there in the near future. Hope they don’t sell this one!

    • Shouldn’t have said all – but was a lot all roughly at once with losses like Aruba and St. Martin. Happy to hear you found a good alternative. Will have to look into that!

  5. Are you sure the new free night is “on top of the 40,000 points per night that the card awards at each anniversary”? This is from the current page on clubcarlsonvisa.com.

    10 Gold Points per $1 at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide
    5 Gold Points per $1 everywhere else
    Up to 85,000 Bonus Gold Points to start
    Club Carlson Gold Status after you activate!
    Earn one free night when you charge $10,000 then renew your Card.
    $75 annual fee

  6. I just can’t get too excited about Radisson. The following excerpt from this article is disturbing…”This initiative also anticipates the removal of 10 to 15 percent of non-compliant hotels in the current Radisson hotel brand portfolio to improve brand consistency and guest service.” This would decrease, not increase an already anemic footprint from their U.S. location list.
    Just my opinion, but the only way this company could improve would be by merger with another hotel company with a larger presence.

  7. I’ve stayed at a couple of Radisson Blu properties in Europe that we were pretty dated and not worth the # of points – Amsterdam a few years ago and Brussels last week.

    Dusseldorf and Milan were nicer hotels, but far from everything.

    The Radisson Blu Chicago is lovely and a great location.

    I just cancelled my Club Carlson card after I got back from Brussels. Having status with the card used to get free breakfast in Europe, but no more. (The breakfast buffet was >20 Euros) I’ve watched Radisson properties in cities where I want to travel when I want to be there to plan ahead (e.g. Edinburgh for the Military Tattoo in August). Points rooms are non-existent.

    Maybe if they make the changes they promise, it will be worth a look again. But not right now.

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