On April 1st, the Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia changed its name to The Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square. The “un-branding” was part of a plan by the hotel owner who was scared that potential customers were confusing the upscale boutique hotel for the classic American value brand. The hotel was even willing to pay a break-up fee to rid itself of the Radisson name. A hotel specialist said “the brand was sort of dragging that hotel down”.
Owner Chartres Lodging Group instigated the change, effective April 1 to play up the historically resonant Warwick name while ensuring that guests don’t mistake the property for a “value-brand” Radisson, senior vice president Matthew Cox said. “There’s a potential for guests not to fully appreciate the difference between the value brand and the upper-upscale brand when they are making their reservations,” Cox said.
“What you know is ‘Radisson,’ and when you think of that brand, that brand has an OK reputation, not a spectacular reputation,” said the same hotel specialist.
It’s unfortunate as my Radisson Blu stays in Africa and Europe have been superb. The Radisson Blu name is established outside the US and there’s an expectation of high quality. However, I can certainly understand why Americans who have not stayed at a Blu property might see the name and not realize what the “Blu” moniker implies and therefore confuse it with the OK reputation for a traditional Raidsson.
We’ll have to see what happens with the Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago and the Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown and Mall of America locations.
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