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Global hotel brands have entered an arms race to deliver the quintessential lifestyle and digital experience, and in some cases may be sacrificing actual hospitality for fancy renderings.
Earlier this week Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group became the latest hotel chain to launch a new brand in hopes of attracting a growing millennial market.
Carlson Rezidor unveiled Radisson Red, a hotel designed with the smartphone-toting, design-focused guest in mind.
The hotel tries to cater to the relatively young customer set with public spaces designed like art galleries, a bar and deli open almost 24 hours a day, and broader-than-average array of room arrangements.
But many are confused, or at least not impressed, with the hotel’s attempt to deliver a next-generation experience.
Comments on Twitter, mostly shared in reaction to the Wall Street Journal‘s profile of the new brand, question the $300 price tag and the design that goes from blank to manic depending on the room.
It’s a Millennial’s Market
Global hotels groups have recently introduced several new brands aimed at the millennial market.
Radisson Red is up against similar lifestyle and millennial-friendly brands including Marriott‘s Moxy and AC brands, Starwood‘s W and Aloft brands, and Hyatt‘s Andaz brand. These hotels are incorporating digital apps, savvier design themes, and more common spaces. The rates vary across the board.
Radisson Red rates will vary, based on location, from $125 a night in Minneapolis to $300 a night in New York City.
The hotel group plans to open 60 Radisson Red hotels in cities worldwide by 2020.
One aspect of Red that is both well-designed and useful is the Red app.
It’s a concierge app that guests can use to check in, check out, pay their bar tab, order room service, and get information about the hotel’s amenities. The hotel will also have free Wi-Fi and the (awesome) ability to view movies on room walls.
Several criticisms of Radisson’s bold attempt to break out of its usually safe and no-frills offering touched on the design, the price, and the guest themselves. We took some of the positive and negative comments from Twitter and embedded them below.
Several people took to Twitter to voice their confusion over the design.
— Jennifer Bresnick (@JenRoseBresnick) February 20, 2014
Apparantly, Radisson is launching Radisson Red, a hotel catering to millennials, and serial killers. http://t.co/6IE6VZWaaW
— Ryan Goodwin (@ryangoodwin) February 20, 2014
Others didn’t think the price matched the target customer.
Would you, fellow millennial, pay $300 for a night at a cheesily renovated Radisson? http://t.co/VTaBkNu3PD
— Lydia DePillis (@lydiadepillis) February 19, 2014
Some people were slightly more positive.
— Kim Carner (@BumblingUnicorn) February 20, 2014
While others were unrealistically optimistic.
— Eddy Salfischberger (@EddySal) February 20, 2014
One Twitter user thought the new brand should be promoted for guests of all ages.
Cool extension of the Radisson brand.Wondering why people "my age" are not part of the target market? Radisson Red http://t.co/GsFqMADHeh
— Heather Rim (@heatherrim) February 20, 2014
And another wondered whether millennials use hotels at all.
Millennials don't even use hotels, when traveling they go to all-night EDM parties then shower at the houses of their Instagram followers.
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) February 20, 2014