We get press releases most days about new hotels which have been signed but won’t be opening for 3-4 years. We delete them.
Part of the reason is that, frankly, who cares if a hotel is opening somewhere in 3-4 years? Secondly, a very high proportion of these projects never actually happen. If they do happen, the name above the door may well change.
The Hotel du Palais in Biarritz opened this week as a Hyatt after a massive renovation. In 2016 I told you that Four Seasons would be running it. Point made. I still get questions about the InterContinental Venice which was announced exactly five years ago.
A recent Business Traveller story pushed this to the extreme.
As BT wrote here, a Radisson RED hotel has been announced to open at Gatwick Airport later this year. An image is above.
Obviously if a hotel is opening later this year then it must already exist, so I went off digging. The story was very complicated.
I went off to the website of the hotel operator, Axcel Group. The hotel is there ….
…. listed as a Moxy. It even has the Moxy logo on the image above the entrance. Clearly the switch from Marriott’s Moxy brand to Radisson RED happened very late in the day.
I went back to the internet and found something even odder.
This hotel was original the Travelodge Gatwick Airport:
Back in June 2020, Axcel announced it was going to become a Hyatt Place. The original Travelodge was to be refurbished “including upgrading rooms and a full renovation of the reception, restaurant and bar areas”.
The freeholder, the railway pension fund, was quoted as saying that it would “benefit from a franchise agreement with one of the world’s leading brands”. Not for long, it seems.
So …. between June 2020 and March 2021, this hotel has gone from a Travelodge to a proposed Hyatt Place to a proposed Moxy to a proposed, potentially finalised, Radisson RED.
It’s all a bit odd.
The original announcement talks about ‘upgrading’ the rooms but fully renovating the public areas. I can’t imagine how an ‘upgrade’ – as opposed to a full gut – of a Travelodge room would get it to Radisson RED standards.
It is possible that Axcel had decided on a very modern design and eventually decided that it was more MOXY than Hyatt Place. It could then be that they decided it was looking pretty good and that Radisson RED was a more upmarket ‘funky’ brand than Moxy.
At the end of the day, unfortunately, the hotel will still look like a Travelodge. Even the artist impression above struggles to make it look exciting. Photos also show that roads run directly in front and behind the hotel.
You can see the Radisson RED Gatwick Airport on the Radisson website here. The opening date is given as 1st June.
How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards (October 2022)
Radisson Rewards does not have a dedicated UK credit card. However, you can earn Radisson Rewards points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.
These cards earn Membership Rewards points:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 60,000 Radisson Rewards points. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 90,000 Radisson Rewards points
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Radisson Rewards points. This card is FREE for life.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:3 into Radisson Rewards points which is a very attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 3 Radisson Rewards points.
Even better, holders of The Platinum Card receive free Radisson Rewards Gold status for as long as they hold the card. It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)