Radisson is the midscale, full-service brand of the Carlson Rezidor Group. After a miserable stay in the 90s, the chain went through a re-branding exercise in the 2000s and modernized significantly. I’ve stayed a few times with them and I’d consider them comparable to a Holiday Inn – reliable, if not very exciting…
So, who are they? Radisson is a step-down from Carlson’s flagship brand, Radisson Blu, offering full-service (including restaurants) at a mid-scale price point. With over 150 hotels, they are the third-largest brand in the Carlson family. The majority of them are located in the US, with a few in Central and South America, India, China and the rest of Asia. Some of the Asian properties are part of a recent expansion, making them their most attractive properties!
In their own words, “Radisson® is modern in outlook, socially responsible and service-driven. At its very heart, Radisson is a brand of true hoteliers who understand modern day travel, the complexities of life on the move and the solutions hotels must offer–no matter where in the world they may be. Radisson is committed to building meaningful, personal relationships and has a passion for Yes I Can! hospitality.”
While Carlson marketing usually describes their brands pretty well – this is quite meaningless, which might be a result of the brand not being well differentiated, not even from other Carlson brands like Park Plaza, Park Inn or Country Inn & Suites.
So, why should I care? The full service offering with a restaurant, pool and gym is one of the things that sets Radisson apart – for the price of a limited service hotel, you get access to those amenities, a good deal if they are important to you! I’d compare them to the Holiday Inn (which is less stylish), Carlson’s own Park Inn (which is more colorful) and Accor’s Mercure (which is less attractive to reward fans due to the revenue based redemption).
I generally prefer a modern decor over flower prints, so Radisson has a leg up in my style book!
They also participate in the Club Carlson Rewards Program. With over 1,000 hotels around the world, great promotions to easily earn points and to get great cash rates and the Club Carlson Visa credit card in the US gives you Gold Status in their program, it’s a good program to be in. It’s especially attractive, if you are planning trips to Europe – they have a lot of upscale Radisson Blu properties in all the big cities and are the leading (or only) brand hotel in parts of Northern and Eastern Europe!
You can read reviews of some Radisson hotels here:
Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit