Hotel of the Future!
Recently, the first ever Radisson RED Hotel in the world opened in Brussels. A world first for the capital of Europe, but also for Belgium … and the Belgian MICE industry. Radisson RED is indeed a unique hotel, a genuine game changer. Undoubtedly the hotel of the future. A hotel with no manager, but with a ‘Curator’ and ‘Creatives’ as hotel staff. Christel Cabanier is the ‘Curator’ of this new concept hotel. The Belgian polyglot has more than 25 years of hotel experience and was one of the persons who determined the Radisson RED concept. Erik Wood, CEO of Eventonline had a chat with her about this new trendsetter in the international hotel industry.
A Home for the ‘Millennial’
Radisson RED hotel embodies a new philosophy that reflects the lifestyle of an ‘ageless millennial mindset’. “Inspired by art, music and fashion, guests here experience a contemporary brand that is driven by bold design,” Curator Cabanier explains. “If you walk into the hotel, you will notice that we stepped away from the traditional model.” Radisson RED is aimed at guests who seek a DIY, customizable experience driven by technology. It’s a market segment the Rezidor Group left untapped with its current range of hotels until recently.
Radisson RED is indeed a unique hotel, a genuine game changer. Undoubtedly the hotel of the future.
The choice to open a Radisson RED in Brussels seems evident. “Brussels is indeed Europe’s capital and our hotel is also located in the ‘European’ quarter with the European Parliament and the European Commission as neighbors,” says Christel Cabanier. “But the choice was also strategically inspired. After all, the head office of the Rezidor Group is also based in Brussels. A lot of hotel owners come to the headquarters for meetings. Therefore, a Radisson RED, in addition to a Blu and a Park Inn in the capital seemed the right choice. Moreover, the RED is a real city hotel.” The number of Radisson RED Hotels will grow fairly quickly because the group plans an expansion up to 14 REDs worldwide. “Cape-Town, Glasgow, Dubai, Jeddah will follow soon,” the Curator informs. “In every city there is a non-traditional hotel. But it is often very difficult to actually find a hotel which stands out of the crowd. With Radisson RED, being an innovative concept, we want to be a luminous beacon. Easy recognizable to our guests.”
Casting of Creatives
The success of a hotel also stands or falls with its staff. ‘We hire for attitude and not for competence’, that was the message candidates saw on social media, the channel through which they were recruited. “You can learn competence. Attitude, however, you have to have,” Christel Cabanier believes. “The entire recruitment process was a real casting. I was only looking for people who could perfectly fit into the unconventional mindset of our hotel. Most of them even never worked in a hotel before.” The 15 selected RED Creatives therefore have the right personality and understand what drives the traveling millennial. The usual and quite formal hotel uniform stays in the closet as well. The Creatives are wearing casual clothes that fully meet the Zeitgeist of the RED.
Lodging in a Studio
The hotel does not have a reception desk. Instead, the RED Creatives greet guests with their tablets creating a bold, but personal experience for the RED hotel guest. “Our Studios are well designed,” Christel Cabanier adds. At the RED, the rooms are indeed real studios. “We have 149 Studios. They all have a large window and are equipped with a big comfortable bed, a fantastic 55-inch TV and sound bar, a picnic table, a refrigerator, ample closet space, love-yourself lighting and a spacious bathroom with a walk-in shower, but mostly, there is always art.”
The RED App
An app would be indispensable for the hotel of the future, hence the RED app. After all, for the millennials the smartphone is an essential attribute. Therefore, the RED app plays an important role in the RED experience. “It enables you to check-in or out,” Christel Cabanier explains. “You don’t need a key anymore, if you opt for a ‘mobile key’ you can even open the door of your Studio with your smartphone.” However, the app offers much more than that. “You can also order food and drinks and pick them up downstairs, or send a message to get an extra pillow. Besides, it provides you with relevant information about the latest news and the not-to-miss sites in Brussels. In short, the RED app is your virtual concierge.”
”In short, the RED app is your virtual concierge.”
Event & Games Studios for MICE
At the Radisson RED meetings also rhyme with fun. The hotel is big on ‘work and play’ with the well thought out ‘Events & Games’ Studios for all kind of gatherings. These three conference rooms (18, 22 & 68 m2) have large wipe-off and magnetic walls, mobile LED screens and games such as shuffleboard and table tennis. The pool table located in the hotel’s ‘OUIBar + KTCHN’ is also a good option whenever you want to unwind during a break. The largest meeting room is for 75 persons. Of course, free high-speed Wi-Fi is accessible in every corner of the hotel. Last but not the least, every Wednesday as from 6pm, the Radisson RED organizes Aperitivo afterworks with all you need to wind up the day in a pleasant way: good music, nibbles and signature cocktails.
In the RED’s ‘OUIBar + KTCHN’ the thirsty and the hungry are provided with delicious drinks and fresh foods. “Everything is on the go, a decision that is the logical consequence of a ‘no waste’ policy,” the Curator says. “Moreover, we are moving away from the traditional buffet. That would be very ‘un-RED’ indeed. Breakfast is therefore à-la-carte.” Equally striking is the separate entrance, where the non-guests can go for breakfast or more. “It fits perfectly with our philosophy,” Christel Cabanier adds. “Everyone is welcome at Radisson RED.”