Hotel giant Carlson is taking its hospitality offerings to a new level of service and luxury.
The Minnetonka-based, family-owned business Tuesday unveiled a new upscale hybrid of its time-tested Radisson brand of hotels and announced that it is forming a “collection” of world-class properties to compete with some of the most prestigious hotels favored by global travelers.
Carlson CEO Trudy Rautio and other company executives presented the two new concepts, known as Radisson Red and the Quorvus Collection, to a gathering of 600 Radisson franchisees in Bloomington at the Radisson Blu, the one-year-old upper-end hotel connected to the Mall of America.
In a statement, Rautio said the new offerings by the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group are “a distinct opportunity … to introduce new experiences as well as exciting and relevant services that uniquely differentiate our brands.”
The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which includes Country Inns and Suites by Carlson as well as the Park Plaza and Park Inn brands, will introduce its first members of the Quorvus Collection later this year.
The hotel group also will “simultaneously” launch the Radisson Red concept in 2015 in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, with the goal of 60 Red hotels and 20 in the Quorvus Collection by 2020. Rautio told the conference that revenues for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group totaled $7.5 billion in 2013, up slightly from 2012.
Aiming for millennials
Radisson Red, with an aim toward millennial travelers, will compete with the likes of Hotel Indigo, a brand of the Intercontinental Hotels Group, and Citizen M., which has properties in Amsterdam, Glasgow and London.
The Quorvus Collection, which will consist of five-star hotels, is designed to count among its peers the Leading Hotels of the World collection of 400 independent luxury hotels as well as the JW Marriott line.
The new venture is part of Carlson’s “Vision 20/20” growth strategy and “aspires to elevate the guest experience with innovations in technology, guest service and beyond,” Rautio said.
The announcement comes at a time when Carlson is attempting to spruce up its once-prestigious Radisson brand with a $1 billion remodeling and renovation effort.
While its public perception has been on the rebound, the Radisson name still sits rather low in terms of consumer preference in its upscale lodging category. The latest ranking by J.D. Power and Associates puts Radisson at eighth among hotels in the “upscale” category in which it competes, up from 11th last year. Radisson still lags behind industry giants Hyatt, Hilton and Sheraton in name recognition and customer satisfaction.
The Radisson Blu concept, which falls in the upper upscale hotel category, has generally received favorable reviews but is available only in limited U.S. locations. The Twin Cities has one Blu at the Mall of America and a second one under renovation in downtown Minneapolis at the site of the flagship Radisson hotel. There are about 270 Radisson Blu properties in overseas markets.
The Radisson Red product will be technology-driven with a mobile application that will allow guests to check in without going to the front desk, order a drink from the bar, flowers from an online concierge and a taxi to the airport. The hotel design will be contemporary and eclectic, according to the Carlson Rezidor description of the new property.
The Quorvus Collection is described as “expertly curated” luxury hotels that reflects the culture of their location and are unique in style, heritage and architecture.