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Radisson Plaza Minneapolis Will Still Be Rad, Just Rad Blu

April 22, 2013 at 11:32 AM | by | Comment (1)

The Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis has few flaws. Reviews are great, in fact. Out of towners love its comfort, reliability, cleanliness, and proximity to downtown attractions. Locals love the in-house FireLake Grill and lobby bar. So far, so good, right? Of course, there's a but...

There's one complaint that we see pop up now and then from guests--it's that the hotel's service can be impersonal at times and that it just doesn't sparkle the way they envisioned a 4-star hotel should.

Well, we think we can consider that problem officially solved. Last week, Radisson announced the property will be converted into a Radisson Blu, meaning if the hotel is considered "upscale" now, it will soon be "upper-upscale." Basically, more Ps and Qs, and maybe a white glove or two.

"We will be increasing the meeting space and undertaking a full rooms renovation inclusive of the bathrooms, corridors, and executive lounge. The hotel's FireLake Grill House, a local favorite, will also be refurbished. The lobby and entry will receive a dramatic new look consistent with the Blu standards," said Kirk Pederson , COO & CIO of Chartres Lodging Group.

The property will remain open during renovations and is set to be completed and rebranded in 2014.

Current rates for the Radisson Plaza start at $229/night. Will the new Rad Blu be more expensive? We'll keep an eye out to see what happens when the property officially transitions.

[Photos: Radisson Hotels]

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Backstory

This is a pretty big deal if you know the backstory.  This hotel was the very first Radisson and it's always been owned and operated by the corporate office.  While selling the hotel is not necessarily a bad thing (as I imagine the deal required keeping the Radisson brand), it's interesting that Carlson Hospitality would sell their hotel.

This was the first hotel in which I worked.  Little known fact: In the mid 1990s, we attempted to get the coveted Five Diamond rating from AAA.  According to the reviewer, we missed the rating by the slimmest of margins.

I know it's hard to imagine a Five Diamond Radisson.  But, this happened just prior to when Carlson teamed up with Regent Hotels.  The rumor was that if we earned Five Diamond status, we would have been reflagged as the first Regent Hotel developed under the partnership.

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