Radisson Hotel Group Upgrades Its Properties in Lagos

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By Justina Okpanku

Radisson Hotel Group introduced stylish and sophisticated hospitality to Lagos. They are going even further to improve on existing standards already in place in order to stand out from amongst the other hotels in Lagos. The hotel chain announced recently that its embarking on an ambitious restructuring. As at now the Group has three key brands and will add two more in the next few years (Radisson Red).  The hotels will now have modern look and contemporary designs.

But the Radisson group is embarking on phase renovations in its three properties in the country when we have had recession. Perhaps they want to meet the demands of clients staying at its properties in Lagos. The prominence of Radisson brand has its foundation in its philosophy, ‘Yes, We Can.’

Radisson Group District Director Kevin Kamua said “it’s a tough market” but “ the economy will correct itself.” Commenting further during the Media Breakfast meeting at Radisson Blu Hotel Anchorage, Victoria Island, Lagos, recently, Kamua expressed optimism. He told how the Radisson brand has evolved from one property to one of the most recognizable international hotel brands in Nigeria.

“Our focus is where we see Africa going, there’s so much potential. The demand is there. It is a great opportunity to support the economy,” he said smiling.

Kamua spoke on the ongoing renovations of three of the hotel group’s properties. “We are also spending a lot on renovation.  Look at this hotel, Radisson Blu Anchorage, Victoria Island, you would see that it has been running since 2010/2011. So, it is time to give it a refresh. So, if you come here in another 12 months, I don’t think you will be able to recognise it. It will be completely different. The tiles, furniture and so on are giving, it’s a complete new product.”

Kamua praised the investors. “We are getting a lot of support from our investors and owners because of the success of what we are doing. We are in a very tough economy but we still see the owners happy to invest. So, these hotels- Radisson Blu Anchorage, Radisson Ikeja and Park Inn, Victoria Island are undergoing significant renovation.”

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Radisson Group District Director  looked  down memory lane in its existence in Nigeria. “A few things have happened: one, I have the best team in Nigeria. They make my job a lot more bearable. If I look at the Anchorage and the other hotels, we’ve got a diverse team. We are promoting talent and we are training. What all these do, is to remove a bit of weight off your back and to focus on other businesses.

“We are one of the few hotels with a Nigerian as revenue manager. We’ve got a director sales from Zimbabwe, chef from South Africa, three quarters of our food and beverages department are local Nigerians that are properly trained. It really helps to have people with the market knowledge. We can’t make the right decisions if we don’t have the right information. Also the additional support I am getting from the new general managers makes things easy,’ he said.

Why Nigeria?  Kamua said he would probably backtrack to say, why Africa?   For him, Africa is the next thing to happen. “China happened. One thing I am very passionate is that Africa needs to be run be Africans. That is why you see more Africans in different positions. The reality is that our focus on Africa is based on where we see Africa. It has got so much potential. We’ve got so much potentials and development and growth.”

On name change and the philosophy behind each of the brands (the group changed name from Calton Rezidor to Radisson Hotel Group. “One of the great things about the name is that we will now be able to merge the different retails under the same umbrella and create some fantastic new brands. If you look at our brand architecture, we have some specific brands for the Middle East and Africa.”

According to him, “Our top tier brand is called the Radisson Collection. This is our absolute luxury brand. This brand is dedicated to very key market. For me to be in Nigeria, one of the best prizes was the opening of the first two Radisson Collection for the next two years in Lagos. It is a very unique brand. It is not only because it is a luxury brand, it is a very hard brand to get. So, we are proud to have that coming along.”

Secondly, he said “when I talk  about our pride in Nigeria, I look at what we are doing here. We are actually one of the markets in Africa that have brought the three brands   in the country. So we are making really good stride. We’ve got two Radisson Blu in  Lagos.

Radisson is our second brand. Remember I said the Radisson Collection lines itself into luxury, the Radisson Blu is into upper scale, it is just below luxury, focusing more on business clientele and our leisure guests. Then under that is Radisson.

“Now, Radisson is a beautiful brand. It is for a select, but it is an upscale hotel and you still get all the services that you would in a regular five-star hotel. Again it is a different DNA.

He explains, “If you look at the team there, they are very different. To have our second one in Africa open in Nigeria was quite exciting.  Under the Radisson, we still have another brand called the Radisson Red. It is a fantastic brand geared towards the millennial. What we’ve just started seeing is that it is not just the millennial but different other market segments because it is a very different hotel. You walk into a Red, the person checking you in is possibly the person serving you in the restaurant. Your general manager could possibly be cleaning your room tomorrow. So, everyone does everything and it is a very different brand and we are looking forward to welcoming it into Lagos. We are actually very excited about the potentials in Lagos.

“Then the big fighters, we call them the big fighters, that is Park Inns. It is exciting and colourful. These are the key ones. There are two others but those two are not for our market in Middle East and Africa. We need to recognise our strength and our strength in Africa are the ones we have mentioned.”

The Radisson Hotel Group is the leading hotel group in Africa in the area of property expansion and it aims to become a household name in the Nigerian hospitality industry.

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