Radisson RED: Brussels
The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has added another brand of hotels to their ever growing portfolio. Radisson RED is an exciting new brand and its flagship opened up in Brussels this year.
The design of the Radisson RED has already attracted positive attention and has seen the hotel shortlisted at the European Hotel Design Awards 2016. The hotel appears within the categories for ‘Best Renovation & Restoration’ and ‘Best Lobby, Lounge and & Public Areas’.
The concept behind Radisson RED is the ageless millennial mindset which is presented via the art, music and fashion used throughout the design of the new hotels. “The ageless part is quite important as there are a lot of people, not necessarily just millennials, who enjoy interesting hotels,” commented Jim Hamilton, Creative Director at Graven. “Red aims to be in touch and in tune with what its customer base is looking for rather than rolling out the usual standard fare and assuming it will work.”
The brand recognises the increasingly important role that technology plays in facilitating everyday life with their use of free fast Wi-Fi and the RED app which provides keyless entry using a guest’s smartphone and acts as a virtual concierge for the check-in and check-out process. It also functions as a convenient key to all things RED: the bar tab, food and drinks, news about RED, not-to-miss activities in Brussels and great places to be. With 14 additional sites under development worldwide, the brand understands that guests today seek a customisable experience that is unique to them.
Radisson RED EU Brussels was completed this summer with the initial design stages kicking off 18 months earlier.
The hotel is within walking distance of many of Brussels amazing places to eat, drink and shop allowing guests easy access to a large part of the city. It is also within walking distance of the European Parliament building. “We rearranged the previous ground floor layout to move the meeting and events areas to the opposite corner of the building which allowed the new bar and deli areas to be focused on the corner of the street closest to the parliament and the Place du Luxembourg,” commented Jim.
Without a front desk on the ground floor, the Hotel team – the RED Creatives – greet guests with tablets, creating a bold and personalised experience that will be forever linked to the Radisson RED brand.
The open plan ground floor contains most of the main public areas within the hotel. It features a communal lobby space as well as OUI Bar and Deli, which are a concept that are a constant within all Radisson RED hotels being rolled out globally. “The ground floor space is intentionally open plan to encourage natural interaction between guests but also to allow individual travellers to feel relaxed and safe within a causal and friendly environment,” commented Jim.
The OUI Bar and Deli is an all-day dining spot designed to be a local food, drink and social hub. The menu is inspired by international and Belgian cuisines, and offers a range of dishes such as Fish Tacos and Steak as well as pasta, salads and desserts.
The hotel also has a great drinks list that guests can choose from that features an extensive list of signature locally inspired cocktails along with a great selection of wines, Belgian craft beers and spirits. Home-made lemonade, daily smoothies and barista coffee are served as well.
The meeting rooms on the ground floor consist of three versatile Events and Games Studio that are 18m2, 22m2 and 68m2. These spaces are available for meetings and can cater to any need. The hotel provides all the equipment in order to create the prefect scene for the type of meeting guests want. Included are a complimentary mobile TV stand, projector and flip chart as well as wipe-off magnetic walls.
“RED studios are intentionally not meant to feel or operate like stereotypical meeting rooms,” added Jim. A couple of the Red Studios can be set up for table-tennis and games, whilst the largest space can be either a board room, theatre, cinema, classroom or set up for cocktail classes. “They come to life in the evening and encourage guest interaction rather than lying dormant and dark in the corner.
“The ground floor layout is intuitive and encourages guests to find their favourite corner and plug in and work or play as they see fit. It works as an open social area that works well for groups and individual travellers alike.”
The Radisson RED Brussels has 149 studio rooms set out over multiple floors. The rooms are crisp and cool with a focus on elements that are essential for guests such as high quality beds, showers and amenities. Guests can chose from a studio room, a studio suite or a corner studio.
The studio rooms have a choice of a king bed, two twin beds or two queen beds. The corner studios have a king bed whilst the studio suites have the choice of a king bed or a separate bedroom. All feature 55” TVs with sound bar, oversized window, multifunctional furniture, a fridge and a table.
One of the key aspects of the rooms is the use of a social table instead of a typical hotel room desk. “The table has a bench and two chairs and sits in an open are close to natural light. It is multifunctional and allows guests to work at it or equally to bring some food up from the deli counter and use it as a picnic table. It is a unique concept within this hotel sector and has proven to be very popular with RED hotel guests,” commented Jim. “It also allows friends staying at the hotel to socialise of even use the table for casual business meetings.”
“Within the bedrooms there are a series of carefully curated pieces of furniture and art. Most of these are bespoke to RED but equally the chairs, accessories and light fittings have been carefully selected to inspire a design savvy clientele.”
Art is an important part of the RED overall concept. “Art is a prominent aspect within the interior design and in all RED hotels we have been involved in to date. We have integrated this concept with the local art community in Brussels. Belgium has a fantastic history in comic book art so we managed to source a couple of amazing local comic book artists, Wauter and Max, to commission a series of pieces that worked well throughout the guest rooms as well as the public spaces.”
As with any new brand concept projects such as Radisson RED Brussels, there were some challenges that Jim and his team faced. “RED is a concept that works for both new-build hotels and refurbishments. The Brussels site was formally a Radisson BLU, so taking an existing building with many different room configurations made it more of a challenge than working on a new build project where we could control the room shapes and sizes to fit a typical RED hotel.
“We have worked closely for more than 3 years with Carlson Rezidor watching this brand come to life, so it was fantastic for our team to finally see a Radisson RED in the flesh.”
Based in Slovenia, Agenca d.o.o. specialise in the manufacture, supply and installation of furniture for the construction sector. The company has been in operation since 2009 and installs furniture to a range of projects, including retail stores, public institutions, offices and hotels – both new build and renovations.
The EU market has become very important for Agenca d.o.o., especially Germany and Austria, so in 2016, Agenca d.o.o. opened a furniture factory in Serbia (lumberline.net) to increase their capabilities. In addition to installation, Agenca d.o.o. can now provide their clients with a custom-made service to ensure they get the furniture that meets their requirements.
Over the years, Agenca d.o.o. has built up a strong portfolio of projects, having worked on a range of hotel schemes, including the Radisson Red in Brussels. Working on Radisson Red, Agenca d.o.o. was involved in a range of tasks, from fixing plasterboards on the walls and ceilings, to fixing bathroom accessories. Agenca d.o.o. were also responsible for the installation of cornice boards, skirting boards and freestanding equipment, such as beds and chairs.
Jure Zupančič of Agenca d.o.o., said:
“It is always challenging to participate in hotel renovation projects, no matter the size. Every hotel has its own unique details, which need to be delivered correctly, so it is important to coordinate the team (in our case, a team of 12 workers) so that everything is completed in time and to the highest standards possible.”
“Since 2009 we have completed every project on deadline and within budget – this is something we are very proud of. We are also proud that our team of skilled operatives provide us with the capabilities to work on multiple projects simultaneously.”
Based in the northern Italian province of Alto Adige, Plank specialise in the manufacture of commercial and domestic seating. The company has been in operation since 1953 and within this time has distributed products to more than 50 countries worldwide.
Over the past 63 years, Plank has worked on numerous prestigious projects including the Fondaco dei Tedeschi Palace in Venice, Italy. The company was also involved in the Radisson RED project, providing the hotel with specific products, including the MYTO chair and MIURA tables, design by Konstantin Grcic.
Plank General Manager, Michael Plank, said:
“Our company has such a great history; we started as a very traditional wood manufacturing business before transforming our operation into an internationally recognised design furniture brand. We focus on few, yet strong product identities, which sustain our brand in an iconic way.
“Working on Radisson Red provided us with the opportunity to work on a challenging, yet dynamic new city hotel project, designed for the ageless crowd.”
Standard AS is the leading FF & E supplier and manufacturer in the Baltic States, boasting two primary business directions: StandardPro which offers hotel and public space furnishing solutions and StandardOffice which focuses on offices and interior design. Standard AS’ StandardOffice factory specialises in the production of office furniture, which is distributed all over Europe; meanwhile the StandardPro production facility specialises exclusively in manufacturing project furniture.
Standard AS understand that some clients look for partners, who can offer full “turn-key” solutions, so their services also include soft-renovation construction, a full FF&E supply and logistics & installation.
Standard AS has been in operation for more than 70 years and has been active in the hospitality sector since 2002. Working within the hospitality sector, Standard AS has completed work in more than 30 countries, in over 200 hotels, covering more than 20,000 hotel rooms.
At present, Standard AS is working closely with several hotel chains and investors and is the preferred supplier of Rezidor. Standard AS also has a close working relationship with Scandic, Hilton and Adina.
For Radisson RED EU Brussels, Standard AS delivered and installed all casegoods for hotel rooms. The company was also involved in the value engineering process with Graven Images and Rezidor to ensure the end result matched or exceeded the architect’s vision.
Rain Saal, Director of Projects for Standard AS, said:
“We value our close working relationship with hotel chains and it is especially important to be involved in the development of new design concepts. Our involvement offers the chains and architects a perfect opportunity to create design concepts that can be easily marketed all over the world and we have helped to develop six new general design concepts within the last five years and supplied over 6000 rooms according to these concepts.
“It was extremely motivating to be involved in the development of Europe`s first ever Radisson RED, which is a modern, fresh and exciting new concept.”
“We are proud that strong historical roots of Estonian furniture manufacturing have found recognition all over the world. We are proud to have running projects in the Middle-East, Africa and in all areas of Europe and we are also proud to have trustful and long-term relationships with all the main participants in the hospitality sector, including hotel chains, investors and architects.”
Set up in 1998, Engels Objekteinrichtungen delivers fit-out works and turn-key projects for hotels, bars, restaurants, retirement residences, retail outlets, cruise liners, offices and more. Engels Objekteinrichtungen is part of the Engels Gruppe, a well-established furniture and fit-out specialist, comprising eight furniture stores, a dedicated online presence and a general fit-out contractor.
Within the last two years, Engels Objekteinrichtungen has delivered in excess of 1,000 hotel guest rooms and more than 2,000 restaurant covers. No project is too big or too small for Engels Objekteinrichtungen, as the company has the capabilities to take on projects ranging from one room through to 1,000 rooms.
Past projects have included Arosa Resort Sylt, Hilton Frankfurt, Mövenpick Hotel in Berlin, the Marriott Hotel Köln, Hotel Weissenhaus and Urban Schaffhausen, amongst others. Engels Objekteinrichtungen has also worked with The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group on their Radisson hotels, including Radisson BLU and Radisson RED, Brussels.
Working on Radisson RED, Engels Objekteinrichtungen was appointed as main contractor on the project. Engels Objekteinrichtungen refurbished 149 studio rooms, including suites, transforming what was previously a Radisson BLUE into a flagship, Radisson RED.
Steve Markham, Engels Objekteinrichtungen, said:
“We valued our involvement on the Radisson RED project.”
Engels Objekteinrichtungen is proud of its extensive range of products, as well as its supply of services designed specifically to meet the needs of its customers.