top of page
  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

Choice Hotels Enhances Radisson Brands in Upscale Push


Comfort Suites hotel

Choice Hotels International is advancing its strategy in the upscale market by officially relaunching its Radisson and Radisson Blu brands, as reported by Jenna Walters for Hotel Dive. This announcement was made last week at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. These brands are part of the nine upscale hotel flags that Choice acquired with its purchase of Radisson Hotels Americas in 2022. The company aims to reposition Radisson as a conversion-focused brand, with both Radisson and Radisson Blu undergoing design and operational improvements to “drive down cost of ownership, without compromising the guest experience,” according to Philipp Mirow, director of upscale brands at Choice.


The relaunches follow Choice’s January announcement that it was “redefining” five of its upscale and upper upscale brands, including Ascend Hotel Collection and Cambria Hotels, to “drive more value for owners and repeat stays from guests.”


Radisson is now geared towards being a conversion-friendly brand, appealing to owners seeking a fast-to-market and cost-effective alternative to new construction. The updated brand will address “some of the pain points from a guest perspective that we know [exist] in upscale full-service hotels,” Mirow noted, such as inadequate storage. Radisson guest rooms will now feature a “Cozy Nook” seating area with a built-in desk.


Changes are also being made to Radisson’s food and beverage program. While the brand has traditionally required a full-service restaurant to serve three meals daily, Choice has eliminated the lunch requirement and is collaborating with property owners to find more cost-effective ways to provide lunch, such as grab-and-go items, Mirow added.


According to Choice Senior Vice President and General Manager of Upscale Brands Indy Adenaw, “a particularly key time for conversions” is now. Last month, Choice also relaunched Park Inn by Radisson, similarly repositioning it as a conversion-friendly brand. Other hotel companies are also expanding in the conversion space, including Marriott International with its new transient midscale brand, Project Mid-T, and IHG Hotels & Resorts with its growing conversion brand, Garner.


Choice’s upper upscale lifestyle brand Radisson Blu will see comprehensive upgrades “touching all aspects of the guest experience,” including public space design and food and beverage offerings, Mirow explained. A notable design change is the addition of a “Get Ready Moment” wall in guest rooms, equipped with a large dry vanity, optimal lighting, and a full-sized wardrobe.


Mirow emphasized that while guest rooms for both brands will be upgraded, these relaunches are not just about physical improvements. “Chains have reached a point where they require a lot, but it’s not really clear what’s prioritized and what’s not. What we have done has been to actually think about this from both a guest and an owner perspective.”


Approximately six months ago, Mirow helped establish a franchise council among Choice brands to understand the challenges owners face and incorporate their feedback into brand changes. “It really is thinking about the end-to-end guest experience and revamping it through the lens of both the guests and the franchisee, so that we’re looking to create approachable experiences for our guests [that are] equally approachable for our investors and our hotel partners,” he said.


This approach is crucial as owners and developers face increasing pressures on the hotel business model, including rising costs, Adenaw told Hotel Dive. “What we have heard a lot is [that] a fair amount of owners don’t necessarily feel heard when it comes to the investments that they need to put into their hotels. I think chains have gotten to the point where they require a lot, but it’s not really clear what’s prioritized and what’s not,” Adenaw said. “What we have done has been to actually think about this from both a guest and an owner perspective.”


This broader trend reflects a changing consumer mindset, where quality and experience are paramount. By revamping its Radisson brands, Choice Hotels is positioning itself to meet these evolving demands, aligning with the industry-wide movement towards upscale and luxury offerings.

Comments


bottom of page