By Colleen Isherwood, Editor
BERMUDA — With his ongoing ties to Toronto, Radisson's president, Americas, Ken Greene, is excited that Canada will finally be getting its first Radisson Blu hotel. Already a beautiful hotel with a great waterfront location, the transformation of the Radisson Admiral Hotel Toronto-Harbourfront should be complete in time for a June 2019 opening.
Silver Hotel Group, owners of the hotel have announced their intent to convert the hotel into a Radisson Blu, making this the company’s first upper upscale hotel introduction in Canada. The Blu brand came to North America in November 2011, with the opening of Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago. There are now three in the U.S., one in Chicago and two in Minneapolis. A fourth U.S. Blu will break ground in Anaheim, Calif., at the end of this month.
The Radisson Admiral owners are planning to update the hotel’s public spaces, guest rooms, food and beverage offerings and its meeting space to bring the Radisson Blu brand to life. The hotel’s new look will feature a stylish and contemporary design, while maintaining its personalized service catering to the needs of each guest.
“Our goal is to have Radisson Blus in every key gateway across all of the Americas,” Ken Greene, president and CEO of Radisson Hotel Group, told CLN at the CHICOS conference, held last week in Bermuda. “We are currently discussing 35 deals — mostly new builds.
“I have wanted to have a Blu in Canada since the day I arrived,” Greene said, adding that while there are many Radisson Blus in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, there are just a handful in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. He sees the addition of more Radisson Blus to the western hemisphere as having a halo effect for large corporations familiar with Radisson Blu in other parts of the world. This effect will trickle down to the road warriors in those companies, who will choose to stay at Radisson, Country Inn and Suites, Park Inn and Radisson Red hotels.
“The Radisson Admiral has a great location — centre ice, with the CN Tower on one side and the waterfront on the other side. Most importantly, Toronto is a gateway city, and this was a great location within that city. Deepak [Ruparell, president, Silver Hotel Group] is one of the most respected owners in the marketplace. I have worked with him in a past life. I couldn't be more pleased, as Silver has done great things for Canadian Hospitality. In a nutshell, this property and decision epitomizes what we are trying to do.”
Greene came to Radisson a year and a half ago, and is best known in the Canadian market for his role as president and CEO of Delta Hotels, before it was sold to Marriott.
The 157 guest rooms and suites will boast a new look and feel. Guests can continue to enjoy popular amenities at the hotel such as the restaurant and lounge, café, fitness center and underground parking. The seasonal lakeview pool patio is the perfect place for guests to relax and unwind while admiring the breathtaking views of the city, including the iconic CN Tower, Lake Ontario and the inner harbor. For those planning a meeting or special event, the refreshed meeting space will offer 11,000 square feet of customizable space that can accommodate up to 400 people.
The location of this hotel caters to both business and leisure travellers with the property near Rogers Stadium, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Guests can stroll along the waterfront, take a ferry ride to explore the Toronto Islands or check out downtown Toronto’s restaurants, museums and nightlife. The hotel is also near many large companies such as RBC, Microsoft and Sun Life Financial.
“We will be honoured to join the Radisson Blu brand and create a new and unforgettable experience for guests visiting our hotel,” said Deepak Ruparell, the hotel’s owner. “The hotel’s refreshed look and feel, along with our emphasis on hospitality is guaranteed to make us a top destination in Toronto.”