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Last month, the 500-room Radisson Blu Mall of America became the second Radisson Blu to open in the US (after Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago). But one thing that sets this place apart from Chicago (and all other subsequent Rad Blus) is that it directly connects to the Mall of America, with its 530 shops, 5 major department stores, multiple food courts, indoor theme park, and 14-screen movie theater. If they want, hotel guests can even arrange for a personal shopper and bag pick-up to maximize the experience. Rates from $174/night.
For more mall hotel awesome-ness in Hong Kong, Dubai, and Houston, read on!
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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.
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There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· The Next Radisson Blu Will Be In Philly: In other Radisson news today, the Radisson Plaza Warwick in Philadelphia is undergoing a $17 million renovation that will see the hotel converted into a Radisson Blu property by this summer. This will be the fourth Radisson Blu to open in America, after this month's Mall of America opening. The Warwick, which originally opened in 1926, contains 297 rooms, 4 suites, a fitness center, 3 dining venues, and is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more juicy hotel news, read on!
Fans of David Bowie, mark your calendars: London’s Victoria & Albert museum will be hosting the “David Bowie Is” exhibit from March 28 to July 28 this year. Based on unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate “the first international retrospective” of the star’s career, it features over 300 objects, from Ziggy Stardust bodysuits and album artwork to personal sketches and handwritten lyrics.
Finding a really great outdoor pool at a Chicago hotel used to be like finding a needle in a haystack. Sure, plenty of beautiful indoor pools abound, but where were the sparkly, sceney big pools in which to soak in all that summer sun? As if an answer to the sun seekers prayers, Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua now shines like a mirage in the middle of this big city, literally around the bend from Millennium Park, the Mag Mile, Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.
We recently stayed at the hotel and after one look at Blu Aqua’s huge recreation deck and pool, bailed on our room and jumped in for a swim. Situated on the third floor across 80,000 square feet, the very green deck is something to behold in Chicago. There’s the pool and cabanas plus a Jacuzzi and kiddie pool. Further beyond sits another large deck with gardens, gazebos and a 1/5 mile walking trail, grills and a fire pit, even a lower-level Zen garden complete with a rake. Everything is first come first serve.
A new article has gone up on The National, delving into the question, "is Dubai a good place to visit in the summer?" And while the answer has traditionally been no, hotels are now attempting to reverse that trend with enticing deals and freebies thrown in.
Visitors are usually cautioned against visiting the city during summer months, when temperatures soar up to over 110ºF and much of the outdoor nightlife shuts down. Add to that the occurrence of Ramadan this year from the end of July through mid-August, and it's clear why a vacation in the winter months would make far more sense to Western tourists.
But then again, rates are lower in the summer—and there are more deals to be had. So what's a mall-strutting, dune-hopping Dubai visitor to do?
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Not all of your Easter plans have to involve chasing down sugar-crazed tykes, who are in turn chasing down the Easter Bunny, who is in turn looking for the nearest dive bar. You could instead pack for an overnighter and take a much-deserved getaway to one of the first class rooms on the seventh floor of Radisson Bloomsbury in London.
While technically all of the rooms in all Radisson Blu Edwardian London hotels this month are offering a free chocolate Easter egg, free full English breakfast and free room upgrade for an Easter package starting at £135/night, only room 7007 in the Radisson Bloomsbury contains what might be London's coolest piece of hotel furniture: the hanging egg chair.
Here's yet another hotel that's acting like an airline--The Radisson Blu Aqua hotel in Chicago which has just opened its new 24-Hour Business Class Lounge.
Guests staying in one of the hotel's suites will get complimentary breakfast, snacks and refreshments throughout the day and a dedicated concierge from 6:30 to 9am and again from 4:30 to 10pm. Lounging in the lounge can be down by flipping through a selection of newspapers and magazines or chillaxing in front of a giant flat panel TV.
Guests staying in the biz class floors also get other perks outside the lounge like 1,000 Club Carlson Gold Points per night stay, an in-room Nespresso machine, complimentary mineral water, two pairs of slippers and the use of an iPad where they can access the hotel's room service and valet at the touch of a button.
HotelChatter 2011 Awards / Chicago Hotels / Public Hotels / Radisson Blu Hotels / Virgin Hotels / JDV Hotels / Waldorf-Astoria Collection / Hotel Openings / Hotel Art / → All Tags
It's what you've been waiting all year for--The 2011 HotelChatter Awards! We'll be bringing you the best and worst of the year all day today and part of tomorrow. Agree or disagree with our picks? Air your thoughts in the comments below.
This year marked the introduction of not one but three major hotel brands to the good ol' US of A. And the midwestern city they all chose as a launching pad? Why, Chicago! Where else?
After Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago and Public Chicago opened literally within a month of each other, we then got sideblinded by the news that, when it debuts in 2013, Virgin Hotels' first location will be Chicago (specifically, in the North Loop, next to The Wit and Trump Chicago). We wondered for a minute whether this had been Virgin's plan all along, or if they simply got wind of the burgeoning hotel scene going on in Chicago right now, and decided to forgo the coastal cities like New York and LA.
Either way, we see this as the city to watch in 2012, and we can hardly wait for 2013 to come so we can get inside the world's first Virgin Hotel. Until then, however, there will be plenty going on in this city—we're looking at you, Waldorf-Astoria and JDV!—to keep us distracted.
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Less than an hour's drive from the little Liberia Airport near Costa Rica's west coast sits the exotic oasis of the Peninsula Papagayo. It is an exclusive area, mostly dedicated to upscale resorts, vacation condos and the pristine beaches they face. Alas, there's also an Arnold Palmer golf course in the middle of the action, owned and operated by the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica.
What this means is the area is extraordinarily lush; just a drive down the hill to the entrance of the resort yielded us surprise spottings of white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, a family of Coatis (omg baby Coatis!), and an iguana here and there. Once you've entered the lobby and checked in, however, the Four Seasons is a definite playground for more than just its natural environment.
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Perhaps this would be a perfect item for our What Is This? series, but we're going to go ahead and tell you anyways. This is something you will find in the bathroom of the rooms at the freshly opened Radisson Blu Chicago, next to the sink. It is without a purpose other than to remind you of the many international locations of other Radisson Blu hotels and resorts, but you'll have to first lift the toiletries to even see it.
It's a weird little addition to the room, but needed as many Chicagoans (and Americans who don't frequent hotels overseas) are saying "what's a Radisson Blu?"
More than likely you'll have the same reaction to it we did. It went a little something like this: "Baku. Aalborg. Sochi. Paris Disneyland. All these and yet they're just now getting around to the United States?!"
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When we booked our City View King for a total of $287 on the hotel website, all was normal. Then we received the confirmation email, with a tempting little red notice that upgrade options were available, from only $9. After your room purchase is complete, Radisson would like to sap a few extra dollars (like $9 for the chance at a one-category upgrade or $39 for an 11am early check-in) from your wallet.