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Choice Hotels buys the North American arm of Radisson Hotels

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Choice Hotels made the surprising announcement on Monday that it was acquiring the US, Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean assets of Radisson Hotel Group for a bargain $675 million.

The deal brings into Choice Hotels:

  • 10 Radisson Blu hotels
  • 130 Radisson hotels
  • 9 Radisson Individuals
  • 1 Park Plaza hotel
  • 4 Radisson RED hotels
  • 453 Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
  • 17 Park Inn by Radisson hotels
Choice Hotels buys the North American arm of Radisson Hotels

Here’s the background to the deal. Radisson Hotels has been under the de facto ownership of the Chinese Government for some years. The United States Government was unhappy about guest data (passport numbers, credit card numbers etc) being misused, which forced the loyalty programme to separate.

There are now two Radisson Rewards loyalty schemes – one for North America, where all guest data is ring-fenced from the parent company, and one for the rest of the world including the UK.

It isn’t clear if the US Government is also behind this divestment or if the intricacies of splitting the loyalty programme have taken a lot of value away from the US assets.

It is important to note that Radisson hotels in North America are, effectively, dumps. This is why the stand-alone Radisson brand – as opposed to Radisson RED or Radisson Blu – is rarely used in Europe. The Country Inn & Suites brand is also rarely seen here.

That said, it seems that Choice Hotels intends to keep the Radisson brands, which are actually more upmarket than most of their existing properties.

What isn’t clear is if Radisson Rewards Americas will remain as a stand-alone loyalty programme, or if it will be folded into Choice Privileges.

The full press release is here.

PS. There is something odd about this deal. Choice is paying $675 million for the franchise rights to 68,000 hotels rooms, so $10,000 per room. Assume $150 REVPAR x 5% franchise fee x 365 days and you get $2,700 of revenue per year per room. Choice has paid under 4 times revenue for a business where, once integrated, virtually 100% of revenue should be profit. This is not normal.


How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards (June 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:

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

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.)

Comments (16)

  • Backpacker says:

    All the Marriott Homes & Villas in London are VERY expensive. Perhaps if you can find something in Bolton should you want to visit you could make it work, but I struggle otherwise…

  • Edmund says:

    My wife and I booked two Homes & Villas apartments earlier this year – one in Edinburgh and one in Northumberland. Confirmation and billing of the bookings is done by their managing agents. My Edinburgh booking was managed by Altido who gave great service, excellent value and no problems whatsoever. My booking in Northumberland was managed by Host and Stay. Their directions needed updating, the fridge was broken on arrival and the toilet seat had fallen off. They did sort these but only after a time and with a lesser spec fridge. The apartment was left clean and tidy and this was not queried by Host and Stay. Despite this they refused to repay a security deposit and did not answer my numerous emails. They also sent me an email with their version of the rental invoice attached showing that they had replaced the security deposit with a management fee and had included a charge for Goods and Services Tax, not legally chargeable in the UK. I complained to Homes and Villas who agreed to return the deposit. Amex gave my wife and I our £150 statement credits very promptly. When the latest Amex promotion came out I was keen to make further bookings but had concerns about the managing agents who are not shown on the Homes & Villas website. This is of greater concern now as the security deposits have been increased to £150 in many cases. One of the areas I was keen to visit is Lancashire where, Homes & Villas told me, is managed by Finest Retreats. On looking at their website the same property is about £100 less for a four night stay. Given my previous problems with a security deposit and a very poor managing agent I have already told Homes & Villas that I won’t be making any more bookings with them. This new promotion sounds very attractive but I still don’t like the idea of having such high security deposit demands when other holiday rental companies do not require them. Just to clarify we have never left any property in anything less than clean condition with no damage.

    • WaynedP says:

      Very useful first hand info, thanks for taking the time to share.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      This is one reason I prefer to book hotels rather than airbnbs or villas. Atleast this is one step better than Airbnb who can easily take the side of the home owner.

      If they want to make it more attractive, property managers should try to offer some kind of breakfast or food options which gives the ‘best of both worlds’. Hate to spend time cooking when you are supposed to be in holiday mode.

      • Andrew. says:

        I just don’t understand this whole left “clean and tidy” thing for rentals.

        At home, my cleaner comes in and tidies after me. In a hotel, the cleaner comes in and tidies after me. Why would it be any different if I book a villa?

        • RussellH says:

          Some of us feel that we need to tidy and perhaps clean before the cleaners come to the house. 🙂
          TBH, I expect cleaners to clean, but I draw the line at tidying. 99.99% guarantee that they will tidy things into the wrong place and I would have to spend hours looking for them.
          I suspect that the left “clean and tidy” thing comes from when the majority of such rentals were people letting out their second home for just a few weeks and the resources to deal with this just did not exist.
          With a rental that is part of a full-time business, I am inclined to agree with you, Andrew.

      • qrfan says:

        This strikes me as a very odd opinion. The use case for a hotel is often very different to a holiday let. There aren’t many hotels around US national parks, but there are lots of self catered holiday cottages, as an example. Also, nobody is forcing you to cook if you stay in a villa. I generally don’t! There are places that will cook food for you in return for money. They are called cafes and restaurants. Pick a villa near one if it’s important to you!

  • Matthew says:

    Might be worth checking the ‘promotions’ tab in your Marriott account. I’ve been offered a 35,000 free night voucher for each of my next two stays (not homes&villas). Seems like a no brainer….!

  • Bob says:

    Very funny to see that the picture for the Tour de France is from the Paris-Roubaix race, not the same race 🙂

    but of course with the UAE team…

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      To be fair, they will have needed a shot with this year’s team and strip (so as to display correct sponsors etc) which necessarily means using one not from the TdF

      • dundj says:

        True, though they are doing cobbles early in the TdF this year. Looks like the VIP is the Concorde terrace which is readily available for around £400 per person so not a great use of Emirates miles.

  • AnotherUser says:

    That Marriot Homes and Villas website is very frustrating! It lists the price as ‘from’, and when you click on listing prices can be 1.5 times the ‘from’ price (plus a security deposit). The two offers would combine well, if you can tolerate the website!

  • ADS says:

    Maybe a load of US hotels are about to exit the Radisson group … that might explain why it appears such a bargain ?

    • Rob says:

      There is definitely something up. Perhaps they only have temporary use of the brand or have to pay fat fees to the Chinese for brand use.

  • Tariq says:

    Anybody used this Amex offer? Terms state only for GBP spend – but the Marriott Home/Villa site seems to suggest that they are going to bill me in USD?

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