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Well, after only four years of operating under the Radisson Blu brand, the property has been bought by Riu Hotel & Resorts for $45 million and will undergo a name change to the Riu Palace St. Martin on June 1st.
While it has yet to be announced whether Riu will make any physical changes to the property, we do know that it will become an entirely all-inclusive resort under the new ownership. There was an all-inclusive option under Radisson, but it was not an all-inclusive property.
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The Riu Punta Canta's adults-only swimming pool promises no Marco Polo
In a somewhat shocking move, Riu Hotels & Resorts–one of the biggest and most traditional of the big-box all-inclusive resort chains–is suddenly introducing a slew of new and thoughtful brand-wide amenities boldly aimed toward getting their Americas properties into the 21st century.
After spending lots of time in many all-inclusives, we though many brands would never change their buffet-lined, screaming-kid, non-Internet-having ways. Bargain rates? They haz ‘em. But innovates? They never.
Except now, RIU is.
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Riu Hotels has over 100 properties throughout Europe (Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria), the Caribbean (Aruba, the Bahamas, Jamaica) and North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco), but with only the one Riu Florida Beach, it has yet to truly tackle the US market. Until now.
The Real Deal reports that the Spanish-owned company has set its sights on Manhattan, and a 600-room tower is planned to go up at 46th St and Eighth Ave, right around the corner from Times Square.
European travelers will likely appreciate a familiar brand, though we can't say the area doesn't currently offer plenty of choices. Being one of the most congested areas of the city, there are already eight major hotels within a one-block radius of the planned Riu site alone! Can you say Riu-dundant?