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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.
Given that Oslo is considered to be one of the world' most expensive cities for American travelers, we were surprised when we saw that its average hotel rate was lower than that of New York City. And it appears it's not just hostels dragging down the average -- we found three pretty solid hotel options in the city center with reasonable rates. Turns out, a room in Oslo won't cost you an arm and a leg.
The Thief: We did a big write up on this luxury hotel when it opened last year. It is easily one, if not the, nicest hotel in the city (think lights that turn on automatically when you walk into the room). The name comes from its location on an island once referred to as "Thief Island" in reference to its tendency to harbor seedy loiterers. Rates start at $274/night, but the most common rate a few months out was $323/night.
The calendar just flipped to December, which means it is officially the Caribbean season as much as it is the Christmas season. We know many of you are planning jaunts to greener waters, and you might be interested to know that if you choose the Radisson Blu St. Martin, you can get picked up from the airport in a boat.
The hotel's water shuttle service scoops you up at Princess Juliana International Airport and takes you on a 30-minute ride to the resort's full-service marina, which is right on property and a short walk from the lobby. The shuttle travels up the west side of the island past Simpson Bay and Grand Case.
Cyber Monday Hotels / Cyber Monday Hotel Deals / Radisson Blu Hotels / Philadelphia Hotels / Room Rate Gimmics / Hotel Deals / → All Tags
Black Friday and Cyber Monday always brings out the crazy in people. We've all seen the reports of people fighting at the store for discounted merchandise and of people staying up until midnight in front of their computers to drop items into their virtual shopping carts. But today's Cyber Monday promotion offered by the Radisson Blu Warwick in Philadelphia has people up in arms for a very good reason.
The hotel's Cyber Monday deal, one of our favorites in our ultimate guide, promised "newly redesigned business class rooms for just $19.26, the year the historic hotel opened." The deal would only be available for 24 hours or until the deal sold out. But when many folks signed on to get the deal at midnight, it was already sold-out. So what in the world happened?
A tipster let us know that the hotel had put up an incorrect auto-populated code of STEAL when it was really CYBER, thus not allowing people to book the rooms. The hotel's booking link is now saying CYBER but an upset Facebook fan posted a screengrab of the wrong code on the Radisson Blu's Facebook page. Oops. You can read more of the angry Facebook reactions if you dare.
The good news is that the deal is still very much valid.
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Jacobsen's Room 606
Few can deny that Danish architect Arne Jacobsen, creator of the Egg, the Swan and the Series 7 chairs, was one of the most iconic architects and designers of the modernist era. Could the Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen be his finest achievement? We went on an exploratory mission to check out what was said to be the “landmark of the jet age.”
The hotel opened in 1960 and was originally built by SAS to accommodate both its first airport terminal and its passengers who needed to stay overnight to catch a flight out of Copenhagen. After a night at the hotel, passengers would check in for their flight in the terminal building attached, and wait for the airline's shuttle bus to take them to the airport.
Today, the hotel still has the same clean lines and simple detail that it had back then. The famous Jacobsen Egg and Swan chairs, originally designed for the hotel, are still found throughout the very large black-and-white-marbled lobby and in the rooms. The elegantly curved white lobby staircase pushed the limits of technology in the late 50s and looks like it could be found in a loft from 2013. Other original details include the dark wenge wood found on the main floor of the hotel. Jacobsen designed everything from the cutlery and plates, bathroom fittings and door handles to the chairs and lighting fixtures.
(There are plenty of pics for you to see in the photo gallery!)
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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.