The original Radisson Hotel in downtown Minneapolis turns Blu

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group today announced the completion of the multimillion-dollar transformation of the Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis into the new Radisson Blu Minneapolis, opening on Monday, July 7, 2014. The hotel features more than 360 sophisticated rooms, 29,000 square feet of new and flexible meeting and event space, 24-hour business center, Business Class by Radisson® Lounge, and revitalized FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar. The property is owned by California-based Chartres Lodging Group, which acquired the hotel from Carlson last year. 

“This hotel marks our fourth Radisson Blu in North America, located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, one of the country’s most hospitable cities,” said Javier Rosenberg, chief operating officer, Radisson, Americas. “We are focused on further expanding the brand with flagship properties in major cities, airport gateways, and leisure destinations across the world. 

The new Radisson Blu Minneapolis is in the heart of downtown, ideally located near the city’s main attractions, including top department stores and boutiques, the vibrant theater district, and the business district, as well as Target Field (home of the Minnesota Twins baseball team), Target Center (home of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx basketball teams), and the Minneapolis Convention Center. 

In an article that ran in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune, President and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council Steve Cramer commented, “This is a great flag to have in downtown Minneapolis. It’s another indicator that Minneapolis has one of the stronger hotel markets in the country.” 

Highlights include:

Design and Decor

Jim Hamilton, the award-winning designer from Graven Images based in the United Kingdom, known for his work on Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago, Radisson Blu Mall of America, and Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, Philadelphia, became the trusted visionary tasked with maintaining the historical significance of the property, while also elevating it to the modern style and sophistication of the Radisson Blu brand. Partnering with New York City-based architectural firm Stonehill & Taylor, the team enhanced the famed hotel porte-cochère, a unique physical attribution to Minneapolis architecture, by introducing theater-inspired canopies along the entrance adorned in tiny LED lights. In true Blu style, the lobby of the hotel serves as a place for guests to relax while also relishing in the visual impact it provides. The atrium affords sweeping interior views up to 18 floors high and is the most architecturally significant aspect of the hotel. Additionally, the mixing of avant-garde lighting with different textures and colors found in the furniture and objects in the common space provide an element of surprise. A grand TV installation, the first of its kind, serves as the lobby’s focal point, covering an entire wall. A white Krion table directly below the atrium box takes the spotlight, with a stunning white dome hanging overhead. 

Guestrooms and Suites

Appealing to both business and leisure travelers alike, Radisson Blu Minneapolis offers a series of signature room types. Each room features a design aesthetic reflective of Scandinavian simplicity, which attracts distinguished guests to Radisson Blu hotels worldwide. Subtle nods to Minneapolis and its cultural ties are found throughout the artwork in each room, completing the ambiance. All of the spacious guestrooms and suites offer complimentary high-speed Internet, HDTV, in-room safe, mini-fridge, spacious desk space, and This Works® bath amenities. 

Meetings and Events

All aspects of the function space, from boardrooms to ballrooms, have received a complete redesign and can easily adapt for corporate or social functions. Conveniently located on the second and third floors, with access to the lobby, the meeting spaces provide an effortless flow for events both large and small, with more than 29,000 square feet of flexible space, including one 7,000 square-foot ballroom and 22 meeting rooms enhanced with outdoor views and natural lighting. As the newest meeting space in the city, the Radisson Blu Minneapolis provides the latest in technology and catering as well as Experience Meetings, a core meetings component unique to Radisson Blu. The pillars of the Experience Meetings program include Brain Food, a culinary service offering menus developed to stimulate the mind, and Brain Box a special breakout room that provides hands-on activities and comfortable lounge décor, in an environment that encourages creative development and concentration. 

FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar

Continuing to offer its well-known, heartland-inspired cuisine,  FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, under the creative direction of Executive Chef Jim Kyndberg, has undergone a complete renovation and has received an updated menu, including new signature dishes like the Blue Ox Burger; Seafood Pot Pie; Waffle Battered Fried Chicken Sandwich and Bison, Ham Hock and Wild Rice Meatloaf. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and with an enticing happy hour, the eatery goes beyond the typical hotel-restaurant experience with a dynamic menu, seasonally inspired cocktail program, extensive wine list, and impressive wine wall. Much like its sister restaurant at Radisson Blu Mall of America, the FireLake in downtown features reclaimed wood from Minnesota barns, cozy lighting, and an overall rustic elegance that ensures the entire heartland experience is felt throughout. 

The hotel originally opened in 1909 and marks the first hotel for the Radisson brand. 

“We could not be more excited to unveil the city’s newest hotel with the Radisson Blu brand in downtown Minneapolis,” said Steve Lindburg, general manager of Radisson Blu Minneapolis. “The conversion of this hotel to Blu, coupled with our Yes I Can service culture, provides an elevated guest experience from dining to overnight stays, meetings and special events— every aspect of property has been enhanced.”

Pictured above right:
Clean lines and pops of color are featured in guestrooms and the Business Class Lounge.

June 3, 2014
Photo caption:
Inspired by Scandinavia’s modern style and sophistication, the hotel's estimated $28 million renovation includes an 18-story lobby atrium, theater-themed canopies highlighted by tiny LED lights and a TV the size of an entire wall.