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‘We are opening our first two Radisson collection in two years time’

By Chuks Nwanne
09 November 2019   |   4:16 am
According to the recently published 2019 W Hospitality Pipeline Report, Radisson Blu has for a second year in a row, secured the leading position as the hotel brand with the most hotels under development and the most hotel deals in its pipeline in Africa.

Ahmed Raza (left), Kevin Kamau, Esther Ukandu, Rita Opiah, Jaco Prinsloo and Wellington Mpofu at the breakfast meeting at Radisson Blu Anchorage, Victoria Island, Lagos.

According to the recently published 2019 W Hospitality Pipeline Report, Radisson Blu has for a second year in a row, secured the leading position as the hotel brand with the most hotels under development and the most hotel deals in its pipeline in Africa.

The report ranked Radisson Blu as the leading individual hotel brand with the highest number of hotel deals and within this pipeline, the largest number of rooms and proportion of its pipeline actually under construction, in Africa. The Group’s upper midscale brand, Park Inn by Radisson, has also entered the same top 10 brand list, securing the fifth position. This growth has spiked the hotel’s portfolio in Africa to 99 hotels (20,500+ rooms) in operation and under development across 32 countries.

Since the opening of its flagship hotel in Nigeria about eight years ago, the Radisson Hotel Group has continued to expand its operations, with many in the pipeline across the country. Currently, Nigeria has three of the key brands of Radisson Hotel Group, which include Radisson Blu, Radisson and Park Inn By Radisson with presence in Lagos and Abeokuta.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting with journalists in Lagos, the General Manager of Radisson Anchorage Hotel and Area Manager of the hotel group in Nigeria, Mr Kevin Kamau, informed that billions of naira is been invested in the hotels in the area of re-branding and renovation, adding that the first Radisson Collection in Nigeria will open in two years time.

Also at the interactive session are Jaco Prinsloo, cluster General Manager, Radisson Blu Hotel Lagos Ikeja and Radisson Hotel Ikeja and Rita Opiah, General Manager, Park Inn by Radisson Serviced Apartments, Victoria Island, Lagos.

“We are opening our first Radisson Collection in the next two years here in Lagos. It’s a very unique brand because it’s not only a luxury brand; it’s also a very hard brand to get into. We are proud that that’s coming along. When I talk about pride in Nigeria, I look at what we are doing here; we are actually one of three markets in Africa that have got three of the key brands. So, we are making really good strives here,” he said.

Kamau noted that, “The Collection aligned itself more into luxury, but the Radisson Blu aligned itself into upscale; just below luxury, focusing on business clientele, leisure guests and tourism. Under that is Radisson; Radisson is a beautiful brand. It’s not select, but it’s an upscale hotel. So, you still get all the services that you would get in a regular five star. But then, it’s got a different DNA; if you look at the theme there, it’s very different. To have our second one in Africa opened in Nigeria is quite exciting,” he said.

Though pushing the brand in Nigeria didn’t come easy, Kamau said the most important factors for the rapid growth of Radisson brand in Nigeria are the confidence the Nigerian owners and investors have reposed in the brand, coupled with the competency of the managers.

Currently, Radisson Blu Hotel Anchorage is upgrading its facilities in phases, starting with the room offering. At present, the Premium Room category is being upgraded with new look and feel. As against the old tiles, the walls now come with contemporary and Scandinavian designs. The bathroom amenities are upgraded as well to offer guests more relaxing options, while rooms have taken a new shape. The lounge is also being upgraded to offer more excitement and access to all guests in the room categories.

“When I hear people talking about renovation, sometimes it is about removing the chairs, put it back and they say they have renovated. Here, we are talking about significant investment, and when I take the most recent case of Park Inn by Radisson, the restaurant that opened by Friday, if you walk in there and you have been there weeks before, you will ask yourself what happened. Everything has been transformed, the tiles are gone, the furniture is gone, the uniforms are gone; it’s completely different product. We are doing a lot here, it has a beautiful restaurant, beautiful rooms, if you had seen the old rooms and what you have now you cannot compare it. So, there’s a lot of investment going on as well as Radisson in Ikeja, billions of naira is been invested in these hotels,” he said.

Also speaking, the General Manager Radisson Blu Ikeja, Jaco Prinsloo informed that the 94-room hotel, which was re-branded last year, is undergoing a lot of renovation already, though the management is taking it gradually to minimize obstructions.“It is a beautiful property with a lot of renovation done already, and it has this Scandinavian look with a grey and white colour, very soft in the eye. It is classy look and yet it feels a little bit homely as well, it is really beautiful brand,” he said.

For Rita Opiah, General Manager, Park Inn by Radisson, “the most exciting thing about the hotel Park Inn by Radisson is that it is a service apartment with three unique products. My hotel has 56 rooms with different category. Four meeting rooms that caters for from 60 to 200 capacity and we have a gym and two very cosy swimming pools. And we have also a very nice restaurant that opened recently on the 17th October,” she said.

For the service apartment, Opia said, “we try to compete with homes with the personalised touch and we equip it with all the domestic needs that we all see in the rooms. So, we try to make sure that the guest more especially for the long stay feel comfortable and eat their locals, prepare it by themselves.”

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