by Wendy Fougner
Over the years, Bruce and I have stayed in countless hotels for business and pleasure, and they have run the gamut of cost and style – from hovel to palace. The hotel chain that we keep coming back to is the Radisson Blu. The service is fantastic and consistent across the chain, and for a higher end hotel, the Radisson Blu provides great value.
Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of staying in a number of Radisson Blu hotels all over the world. From a scouting trip for a client retreat in St. Maarten to our family trip in Scandinavia and the Baltics, I’ve had the chance to see a number of these wonderful hotels.
St Maarten, Dominican Republic
The St. Maarten resort, located on the French side of the island, offers a spa, refreshing infinity pool and PADI diving courses. It is easily accessible from the airport and is best arrived to by cab or rented car. It was extremely charming and decorated in a traditional Caribbean style. The three story buildings are very nice with the rooms showcasing pictures of the island. A great place to get away and relax.
Nydalen, Oslo, Norway
The Radisson Blu Nydalen is situated along the banks of the Aker River, just 5km north of the Oslo city centre. This hotel is wonderful and provides a great complimentary breakfast. The hotel is a couple of subway stops outside of the downtown core. So it is close to the city centre and its many attractions, including the Royal Palace, Domkirke, about 50 museums and the harbour. Winter brings outstanding skiing, skating and tobogganing. You couldn’t ask for a better location!
Located near the Mälaren Shore, this hotel in Stockholm encourages guests to explore the waterfront or take a boat ride into the city’s scenic archipelago. I found that this Radisson Blu was a bit too far out of town, which made the journey tiresome given the heat. So everything is a bit of a trek to see the sites: Drottningholm Palace and Theater, National Museum of Art, Djurgården, Sigtuna (Sweden’s first town), and the Uppsala historical landmark.
Tallinn, the beautiful capital city of Estonia, is a hub for major festivals and concerts. The hotel is in a great location, about a ten minute walk from the old city – perfect for exploring. There’s a ton of art in the old city, as well as shops to wander into. So the hotel is located within easy reach of all the key sights. The only problem you’ll have is lack of time.
The Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel is a beautiful, modern hotel located in the heart of the city in a lively neighbourhood filled with boutique shops, restaurants and exciting nightlife. Just a five-minute walk from beautiful Old Town where there is live music everywhere, and a number of different squares to explore. It is within easy reach of key attractions including the impressive Dome Cathedral, Riga Opera House and the 17th century Blackheads House.
Located in the heart of Helsinki next to the city’s newest and largest business, shopping
and entertainment district, the Radisson Blu Royal offers an abundance of conveniences, including a great complimentary breakfast, for all travellers. This Helsinki city centre hotel’s location is across from bus and metro stations and the new Kamppi shopping and entertainment centre with a multiplex theatre and art museum. Unfortunately, while we were here it was raining the entire time making it less desirable to get out and wander. My daughter, Crystal, experienced this hotel and the surrounding city of Helsinki while it was nicer and had only good things to say about both.
We took the subway to the Radisson Blu Falconer, which was wonderfully situated directly across from the station. A shopping centre complete with grocery store was close by. The city is known as home to some of “the happiest people on earth,” and life goes by at an easier pace. It’s easy to fall in love with this completely cosmopolitan city steeped in old world charm. Everything is near by – culture, shopping and restaurants. Unfortunately the hotel had just been flooded out the week before from huge rains, and thus the lobby was in an active state of repair during our stay.
Overall, Radisson Blu hotels offer numerous services and amenities to make your stay enjoyable. They also tend to be centrally located in major cities, making it easy to quickly get out and explore the sites. With over 200 hotels around the world, it is easy to get consistent, great service when you travel for business or pleasure. It’s certainly one of our favourite chains.