Open main menu

Radisson Blu (formerly Radisson SAS) is an upscale international chain of full service hotels and resorts brand for Radisson Hospitality, Inc. (formerly Carlson Hotels) and Radisson Hospitality AB (formerly Rezidor Hotel Group), mostly outside the United States, including those in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Radisson Hospitality AB has been a listed subsidiary of Radisson Hotel Group since 2010, but it was originally established as a division of SAS Group. As of December 2014, Radisson Blu had 287 hotels operating throughout the world with 68,270 rooms, and 102 hotels under development with an additional 23,489 rooms.[1]

Radisson Blu
IndustryHospitality, Hotels, Tourism
Founded1960; 59 years ago (1960)
HeadquartersMinneapolis, United States and Brussels, Belgium
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Wolfgang M. Neumann (President & CEO), Knut Kleiven (Deputy President & Chief Financial Officer), Olivier Harnisch (Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer), Eric De Neef (Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer)
ParentRadisson Hotel Group

SAS Group used to be a major shareholder in Rezidor Hotel Group (until 2006) and licensed its brand for Radisson SAS hotels. Following the withdrawal of SAS from the partnership in 2009, the name changed from Radisson SAS to Radisson Blu.[2] The new brand is being introduced gradually across the portfolio.[3][when?]

In 2012, Carlson Hotels and Rezidor Hotel Group combined to form Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. On March 5, 2018, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group announced a rebrand to Radisson Hotel Group. The new corporate identity is supposed to align the global brand portfolio around its leading hotel brand, Radisson Hotels.


Room 606 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, designed by Arne Jacobsen

In 1960, the Royal Copenhagen hotel opened in Denmark. Designed by the Arne Jacobsen for SAS International Hotels (SIH) - the hotel division of Scandinavian Airlines.[2] Then, in 1994, the Radisson SAS was created when SAS International Hotels (SIH) joined forces with the Radisson brand for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in a joint branding initiative.[2] In 2000, Radisson SAS opened its hundredth hotel.[2]

In 2002, Rezidor introduced the SAS Hospitality brand. Radisson SAS operated more than 150 properties at this time in more than 40 countries throughout EMEA. By late 2006, Rezidor SAS, renamed the Rezidor Hotel Group, and made an initial public offering on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.[2] By 2008, the Rezidor Hotel Group had a total portfolio of over 360 hotels in 55 countries.[2] When the name was changed in 2009, Gordon McKinnon, Rezidor’s Executive Vice President of Brands, explained that the name Blu was choice from Rezidor’s research to find a new visual differentiator to replace the familiar SAS ‘blue box’.[2] “The name Blu started life as the project’s working title. But it soon became apparent that it was actually the most natural of choices. It’s simple, it’s short, it’s relevant and we’ve applied it in a way that adds a certain modernity to the identity without taking it too far,” he said.

In April 2016, the first Radisson Blu Resort operated in Crete, Greece. The Radisson Blu Beach Resort, Crete Milatos is an existing property that has re-opened under the Radisson Blu flag after renovation in 2016. The resort is located in the east of the island, surrounded by fishing villages, Milatos and Sissi.[4]

Expansion into the United StatesEdit

SAS did not have hotels in the United States. The first Radisson Blu in the U.S., the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, opened in downtown Chicago in November 2011. The hotel occupies part of the Aqua skyscraper developed by Studio Gang Architects.[5] The second Radisson Blu, the Radisson Blu Mall of America, opened on March 15, 2013, in Bloomington, Minnesota, and is connected to the Mall of America.[citation needed] The former Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis in downtown Minneapolis was renovated and converted into the fourth Radisson Blu hotel in the US, Radisson Blu Minneapolis, in 2014. Radisson Blu Minneapolis was located in the former site of the first Radisson Hotel.[6]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Explore destinations". Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts. 23 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts to change their name to Radisson Blu" (Press release). Rezidor Hotel Group. Archived from the original on 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  3. ^ "Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts". Rezidor. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Radisson Blu to Open First Hotel in the U.S. in Chicago". Hotel Chatter. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  6. ^ "The Original Radisson Hotel, Located in Downtown Minneapolis, Turns Blu" (Press release). Minneapolis: Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. June 3, 2014. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2019.

External linksEdit