Radisson has announced two new hotels to be built in the United States. One will be a new Radisson Blu located in Anaheim, California, near the Disneyland resort. The other will be a Radisson Hotel in Manhattan on 8th Avenue between 36th and 37th streets. Both of these help Radisson with their limited U.S. portfolio and will be of particular interest to those who hold the U.S. Bank-issued credit cards (as I’ll explain below).
First, details of the hotels (emphasis mine) as outlined in today’s press release:
Radisson Hotel Group™ today announced at its Americas Business Conference in Orlando, Fla., signings for two new-build hotels to its portfolio in the Americas, located in Anaheim, Calif. (Radisson Blu®) and New York City (Radisson®). As part of its strategic 5-year operating plan for the Americas, the company sees significant room for growth across all brands and has identified 21 key target markets where it plans to be aggressive with expanding its footprint, particularly in the U.S. with its Radisson Blu brand.
Radisson Blu Anaheim will be located at 1601 S. Anaheim Blvd, only a half-mile from Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park … expected to be open by Summer 2020 with 326 guestrooms and will be the tallest hotel in Anaheim at 12 stories. A plethora of amenities including a ground-level family activity space, rooftop pool and bar, fitness center, 6,700 square foot restaurant and 353 parking spaces, will make it the perfect family-friendly upper upscale hotel. The hotel is situated in a prime location to capture visitors to Disneyland, the Anaheim Convention Center and the numerous nearby sporting venues including Angel Stadium and the Honda Center. The hotel will also benefit from growth in the Platinum Triangle district of Anaheim, which is currently undergoing a transformation.
The Radisson Hotel in New York City will be located at 525 8th Ave … estimated to open Spring 2019 with 320 guestrooms, a restaurant and a fitness center. Located in the heart of bustling New York City, the hotel will cater to both leisure and business travelers.
A Disneyland-adjacent Radisson Blu in 2020
The Radisson Blu Anaheim is over 2 years away from completion, but Radisson has provided renderings of the new hotel, including its rooftop patio and pool. Given its height, it might also have views of Disneyland’s nighttime fireworks.
And given the address, it is indeed near the resort, although you will have one side of the hotel alongside the 5 Freeway.
A new Manhattan Radisson option in 2019
Meanwhile, the new Radisson in Manhattan is scheduled to open in Spring 2019. I don’t see any renderings of this one, but hopefully we’ll see some photos soon. The hotel will be in the midst of Midtown Manhattan around several other hotel chains. It’ll be nice to have another option besides the Radisson Martinique, which is nearby on 32nd Street and 6th Ave/Broadway. While that one is a historic hotel, the rooms at the Martinique are rather small. My hope is that the new Radisson in Manhattan will have better use of space as a new-build.
Addendum: In the comments, Brandon noted that the Martinique hotel is due to leave Radisson for Hilton as a Curio brand. I’ve heard the news of this, but it was originally supposed to happen in Q1 2018 (which ended a few days ago). Hilton’s website now says Q3 2018, but at the moment, it is still a Radisson hotel.
Utilizing Radisson Rewards and the U.S. Bank credit cards
Despite the continuing devaluations to the Radisson Rewards program (formerly known as Club Carlson), I’ve continued to hold both the U.S. Bank personal and business credit cards. The main reason is that each provides 40,000 points each year after paying the annual fee, as well as Radisson Gold status (the 2nd highest tier). The personal card costs $75 per year while the business card costs only $60, so I’m getting 80,000 points for $135 (note: I have 2 Radisson Rewards accounts because each credit card required a unique rewards account, but points transfers between accounts are free with elite status, which each card provides).
The highest tier hotels cost 70,000 points, which is more than covered each year by both annual fees. I’ve used these points at hotels such as the Radisson Blu Royal in Copenhagen, when similar hotels cost more than $350 per night. If you have plans to travel in Europe where nicer Radisson properties are located, getting cheap Radisson points is a great move.
Possibly great uses for spending for free night certificates … but not now
The new iteration of the U.S. Bank Radisson Rewards credit cards give cardmembers the option to earn one free domestic night certificates for every $10,000 spent during a cardmember year, up to $30,000 spent per year. I bolded domestic because this is a key restriction to the free night certificates – while they can be used at any Radisson in the United States, the brand just doesn’t have a great portfolio here. The only Radisson hotel in the United States I ever look forward to staying is the Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago. There used to be a Radisson Blu in Philadelphia, but that hotel left the brand before I could try them out.
That said, if you’re the type of person with plans to travel to Manhattan or Anaheim, getting a U.S. Bank Radisson Rewards card and spending enough for free nights may be worth it in the future. I wouldn’t rush out and apply for the card now for these hotels, since the Manhattan location is at least a year away and the Anaheim location is at least two years away, but it’s something to consider. We’ll also have to see how many points Radisson plans to charge for each location. I would think that charging 50,000 points per night would be fair, but don’t be surprised to see either (or both) be priced at 70,000 points.
Since each card offers 5x points on general purchases, spending $10,000 on either the U.S. Bank Radisson Rewards Personal Premier or Business cards would earn you a free night as well as 50,000 points. That’s enough for a category 6 (out of 7) hotel night. If you put that on a 2% cash back card, you’d earn $200, but getting 2 potential hotel nights out of that would likely be worth more.
Radisson has a goal of adding 13,000 rooms across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as 56,000 more rooms across the Americas and Asia Pacific by 2022. Their portfolio is strong abroad, particularly in Europe, but has tended to be lacking in the United States. It’s good to see them adding higher end properties such as the Radisson Blu in Anaheim as well a new Manhattan location.