Art. Music. Fashion. Not the first thing I would associate with “Radisson”, but the new Radisson RED line of hotels aims to change that.
I have stayed in Radisson hotels for various work or school and it’s been perfectly fine, but nothing particularly exciting. And I remember learning about thermal breaks in a Building Energy Conservation class referencing the Jeanne Gang-designed Radisson Blu Aqua tower in Chicago, which was a whole issue in itself.
Targeted at tech-savvy millennials, RED offers keyless (smartphone app) guest room entry and no formal check-in desk/kiosk. A casual, tablet-wielding and t-shirt wearing Creative greets guests from the lobby's brightly colored furniture. At first, I will admit I was a little skeptical of the major hotel chain trying to emulate a modern boutique hotel, but I had a generally enjoyable stay.
A draw for visiting millennials (total guilty pleasure for me) is the selfie wall that posts straight to social media:
The hotel’s event center, when not otherwise in-use, houses a ping-pong table and giant bean bag chairs positioned in front of a projector. I’d love to see video game consoles set up or even movie nights in the space.
A projector aimed at the floor of the elevator lobby displayed alternate transportation options, including bus and Light Rail arrival times, bike travel times, and more:
While part of a larger chain of hotels, the Radisson RED differentiates itself by supporting local when it can. A mural on the restaurant wall was done by Adam Turman, most of the beers are Minnesota brewed, and many of the ingredients on the menu are from local farms.
Speaking of food, definitely try the grilled cheese!
I’m also a fan of the chicken burrito and the shrimp steam bunz. My Toastmasters club briefly had a home near the RED and we ended up convening at OUIbar for dinner and drinks after our meetings.
Looking for a beverage reccomendation? Try the Red Smash, FKA the Ouibar Branch:
During my stay, I also picked up breakfast, including garlic-avocado toast:
For those that don’t want bourbon and grilled cheese to derail good habits, Radisson RED also has a gym:
As for the guest rooms themselves, it was definitely the thoughtful details that made for an enjoyable stay.
The shower had full size toiletries, which made for easy dispensing and cuts down on plastic waste. And there was a word search printed backwards on the wall so it could be viewed forwards in the mirror!
Did I mention the bathroom also had fabulous selfie lighting?
The Radisson RED app, in addition to serving as a hotel key and check-in/check-out portal, also has options for ordering food for pick up, making service/maintenance requests, and messaging with other guests.
Radisson RED threw a party with art, a live DJ, and a fashion show with designs from University of Minnesota fashion students.
Some of the looks from @umndesign seniors at the recent @radissonredmpls opening #party. I loved the 🐦 patterned shirt from @megancreations, the London inspired collection (and paper bag 👜) from @marinaqualey, the #transitmap coat from @willisbk22, and all the #mesh from @madditopp! @radissonred #fashion #minnesota #radissonred #radissonredmpls #minneapolis
From the fashion-filled opening party to smartphone integration or live-Tinder on Valentine’s Day, RED is a fun addition to the Radisson family and to downtown Minneapolis.
While Radisson RED has been booked up for the SuperBowl for months, it would certainly be a convenient stay for the upcoming Monster Jam or Supercross, a funky place to wait out the heavy traffic after a Vikings game or stadium concert, or a great spot to meet for a drink before heading to the stadium.