Radisson Blu

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Radisson Blu
IndustryHospitality, Hotels, Tourism
Founded1960; 59 years ago (1960)
HeadquartersMinneapolis, United States and Brussels, Belgium
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Wolfgang M. Neumann (President & CEO), Knut Kleiven (Deputy President & Chief Financial Officer), Olivier Harnisch (Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer), Eric De Neef (Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer)
ParentRadisson Hotel Group

Radisson Blu is a worldwide upper upscale hotel brand. Its hotels (known for their stylish design and prime locations) are found in major cities, key airport gateways and leisure destinations.

The tagline of the brand is ‘Feel the difference’; this is also reflected in the brand's focus points: memorable, stylish and purposeful.

The Radisson Blu brand is part of Radisson Hotel Group, it is operated by Radisson Hospitality Inc. in the Americas and Asia Pacific (APAC) regions, and by Radisson Hospitality AB in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).


The Radisson Blu brand first came into being in 2009 when Radisson SAS rebranded and changed its name to Radisson Blu.[1]

In 1960, the Royal Copenhagen hotel opened in Denmark. Designed by Arne Jacobsen for SAS International Hotels (SIH), the hotel division of Scandinavian Airlines. Then, Radisson SAS was created in 1994 when SAS International Hotels (SIH) joined forces with the Radisson brand for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA);[2] the resultant hotel brand grew rapidly and opened in 2000 its 100 hotels.[3]

On 4 February 2009 the name changed from Radisson SAS to Radisson Blu; this was announced at the opening party of the Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport in Switzerland.[4] At the time, SIH’s Executive Vice President of Brands, Gordon McKinnon, explained that the name ‘Blu’ was chosen as part of a research project to find a new visual identity as the company looked to replace the familiar SAS blue box.[5] “The name Blu started life as the project’s working title,” said McKinnon. “But it soon became apparent that it was the most natural of choices. It’s simple, it’s short, it’s relevant and we’ve applied it in a way that adds a certain modernity to the identity without taking it too far.”[6]

Room 606 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, designed by Arne Jacobsen

Expansion into the United States[edit]

SAS did not have hotels in the United States (US), but – after becoming Rezidor Hotel Group – was able to bring the brand to the country via a master franchise agreement with Carlson Hotels.

This saw the opening of the first Radisson Blu hotel in the US: the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago in November 2011. Still in operation, the hotel occupies part of the Aqua skyscraper developed by Studio Gang Architects.[5]

The second Radisson Blu property to arrive in the US, the Radisson Blu Mall of America (which is connected to the Mall of America), opened on March 15, 2013 in Bloomington, Minnesota.[7]

In 2014, the Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis was renovated and converted into the fourth Stateside Radisson Blu hotel, it was a special project as the Radisson Blu Minneapolis was located on the former site of the first ever Radisson Hotel.[8]

Since then, Radisson Blu has continued to expand globally under Carlson Hotels and Rezidor Hotel Group – now Radisson Hospitality Inc. and Radisson Hospitality AB.

In 2010, Radisson Blu was named the largest upper upscale hotel chain in Europe, an honor it has held to this day.[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reads, Radisson Blu® | 3 Shares 85. "Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts In Europe, the Middle East and Africa to Change Their Name to Radisson Blu". Franchising.com. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  2. ^ McDowell, Edwin (1994-08-12). "COMPANY NEWS; Radisson and SAS Form Hotel Pact". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  3. ^ "News Releases". web.archive.org. 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  4. ^ "News Releases". web.archive.org. 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  5. ^ "News Releases". web.archive.org. 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  6. ^ "News Releases". web.archive.org. 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  7. ^ "LOOK: The Surprising Location Of This New Hotel". HuffPost. 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  8. ^ "Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group - The Original Radisson Hotel, Located in Downtown Minneapolis, Turns Blu | Carlson Rezidor Newsroom". web.archive.org. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  9. ^ "Radisson Blu is Europe's Largest Upper-Upscale Hotel Brand". TravelPulse. Retrieved 2019-09-18.

External links[edit]