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-   -   Carlson Hotel CEO Wants To Lead The Group To Become Top 3 In The World (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/radisson-hotel-group-radisson-rewards/1889382-carlson-hotel-ceo-wants-lead-group-become-top-3-world.html)

Konismarck Jan 19, 18 7:29 pm

Carlson Hotel CEO Wants To Lead The Group To Become Top 3 In The World
 
Carlson Hotel CEO Wants To Lead The Group To Become Top 3 In The World

aroundtheworld76 Jan 20, 18 4:19 am

The only way Carlson is going to end up anywhere near the top 3 is by merging. I have no idea if that will happen, but I think most of us have our hopes set on it happening with one chain or another. I use them extensively in EMEA, but their presence in North America is abysmal and seems to shrink every month. I wish Mr. Kidd the best of luck and would be happy to be proven wrong though.

the810 Jan 21, 18 7:30 am

"we did business differently than the best hotel companies in the world, so we're now planning on a five-year plan"
It seems to me that plan is to raise Carlson Rezidor standards to standards of larger chains. I can't see loyalty program not being part of this plan.
However, article seems to be focused on US market, so I wonder what will happen in Europe - do they consider their European operations to be good enough (perhaps a model for what US hotels should aspire to become), or can we expect some improvements too? Radisson Blu is in many aspects excellent, but there is still room for improvement - and desperate need for better quality control (few bad hotels can ruin it for the whole brand). I agree that Park Inn is a hidden gem - I used to avoid them but after excellent experiences in Prague and Ostrava, I'm now inclined to book those Park Inns that are more modern. New properties are excellent value for money - the one in Prague could beat some of Blus I've stayed at before.

FFlash Jan 22, 18 12:48 am

Good to see some aspiration and ambition. Carlson club needs that to get me back as customer.

eponymous_coward Jan 22, 18 6:47 am

Carlson’s penetration in a lot of US markets is pretty terrible. In Seattle, they have 4 properties, two out by the airport, one far out in the ‘burbs. Hilton, SPG/Marriott, IHG, even Hyatt blow that away. LA is not a lot different. They’ll have to be pretty aggressive at expanding footprint to be anything else than an also-ran in US markets.

sdsearch Jan 22, 18 11:21 am


Originally Posted by eponymous_coward (Post 29323817)
Carlson’s penetration in a lot of US markets is pretty terrible. In Seattle, they have 4 properties, two out by the airport, one far out in the ‘burbs. Hilton, SPG/Marriott, IHG, even Hyatt blow that away. LA is not a lot different. They’ll have to be pretty aggressive at expanding footprint to be anything else than an also-ran in US markets.

That suggests a merger with Hyatt might work. :D

SanDiego1K Jan 22, 18 12:15 pm

Carlson had generous promos several years back that led to me accumulating a lot of points and trying out a number of properties around the world. On the whole, I have found their properties disappointing, even at their Radisson Blu properties that are meant to be their top tier. Their rooms tend to be very small and often not well maintained. They have now dramatically cut back on the loyalty program so even that is not in their favor. I don't see how any five year plan can change poor hard product. They can goose the loyalty program again, but a 20 sq ft room will remain a 20 sq ft room.

Fanjet Jan 22, 18 4:06 pm

Best of luck with this overly ambitious plan! ^

There is no way they can grow this big organically. So, that leaves a merger or acquisition. But who? IHG? Hyatt? But even something like Wyndham Group or Choice Hotels brings a lot of low-end brands into the mix.

aroundtheworld76 Jan 24, 18 10:39 am

Hyatt would probably be a fairly complementary match, but I think they would still be well short of top 3. At least they would then have hotels in most of the big North American markets. I agree that a merger with Wyndham or Choice would be less than desirable. Perhaps with HNAs well documented money troubles, this merger talk might actually happen someday.

Hawkeyefan Jan 25, 18 8:25 am

Hyatt does sound interesting, Carlson does not need to bring a ton of low end properties into the fold.
And to be honest, the CI&S brand has a long way to go to match the consistency and footprint of Hampton.

Happy Jan 28, 18 5:58 pm

An also-ran program with mediocre properties and poor foot prints outside Northern Europe will become top 3 in 5 years plan? What did the CEO smoke?

Most of their properties in US are below standards of other chains, old and tired Radisson, and Country Inn chain does not compete to Hilton / Marriott / Sheraton / Hyatt brands of the limited service type.

Such claim almost seems like a joke because you simply could not improve your hard products in such a short time.

sdsearch Jan 28, 18 11:27 pm


Originally Posted by Happy (Post 29350772)
An also-ran program with mediocre properties and poor foot prints outside Northern Europe will become top 3 in 5 years plan? What did the CEO smoke?

Most of their properties in US are below standards of other chains, old and tired Radisson, and Country Inn chain does not compete to Hilton / Marriott / Sheraton / Hyatt brands of the limited service type.

Such claim almost seems like a joke because you simply could not improve your hard products in such a short time.

It depends what you mean by top 3.

Read post 1 again. The "Top 10 Largest Hotel Groups in the World by llenrock" included there has IHG at # 2, and Hyatt not even in the top 10. And # 4 is Wyndham Hotel Group.

So any ranking by number of properties, number of rooms, number of countries, etc, etc, has nothing to do with competing with brands of another hotel program. Wyndham Hotel Group has very few properties which compete with Hilton, Marriott/SPG, etc, brands, but that didn't stop it from being # 4 on this list.

And note that if the ranking were to be by number of properties, Wyndham Hotel Group would be # 1 I think with its 8000ish properties. (But lots of those are tiny motel properties with few rooms, and so Wyndham ranks lower when you count the number of rooms.)

But the CEO didn't explain by which metric his "top 3" goal was being measured, it's not clear what to compare it to. Ranking by customer reviews is completely different than ranking by properties, rooms, countries, etc.

I agree though, that I don't see any obvious metric by which it's very achievable without a merger.

spankytoes Jan 30, 18 10:38 pm


Originally Posted by SanDiego1K (Post 29325033)
Carlson had generous promos several years back that led to me accumulating a lot of points and trying out a number of properties around the world. On the whole, I have found their properties disappointing, even at their Radisson Blu properties that are meant to be their top tier. Their rooms tend to be very small and often not well maintained. They have now dramatically cut back on the loyalty program so even that is not in their favor. I don't see how any five year plan can change poor hard product. They can goose the loyalty program again, but a 20 sq ft room will remain a 20 sq ft room.

The only reason I ever tried them. Had a great time sending family members into rooms if they transferred me the points. They’re good for the occasional mid-level hotel in Berlin or Budapest, but not much more. (Albeit, The Mayfair was good and I’m using them for Reykjavik this summer) Their elite status program is a joke to obtain the top level, and when you get there, the benefits are crap. The most inconsistent chain I’ve stayed in for properties as well. A Hampton Inn is a Hampton Inn. A CIS could be a variety of setups based on the 2 star hotel it was renovated in.

The only reason I’ve given them business is because of their ridiculous points promos. Now that those have dried up, and their US locations are typically inconvenient, I’m not sure how they are going to break into the Top 10.

the810 Jan 31, 18 5:04 am

I was always fascinated how they manage to operate (mostly) absolutely terrible properties in Americas and (mostly) very good properties in Europe. In recent years, my travel focused on EU travel (+ some eastern Europe), so I view Carlson Rezidor as pretty good chain and generally prefer them. As far as I remember, I've only had one bad experience (RB Scandinavia Copenhagen). I even started to book Park Inns recently (which I previously avoided), following some really good experiences in Czechia, although I only accept Park Inn if it's recently opened. Hearing of their terrible quality in America is fascinating contrast - I always wonder what went so wrong with their management that they managed to achieve this inconsistency.


The main issue I have with Carlson Rezidor is very poor elite recognition - I've became gold only recently so I'll give them a chance to change my opinion during couple of next stays I have with them but unless it becomes significantly better, I may give up on maintaining gold with them (silver is enough to get good room in category I booked). Also, too many of their hotels have very weird "design" solutions of bathroom, missing proper wall without any window between bedroom and bathroom, which is the main reason why I book other chains in cities with Carlson Rezidor presence when travelling with someone else.

spankytoes Jan 31, 18 7:52 pm

I’ve been Gold for more than 4 years through various status matches. The only benefit is earning more points on your stay. I can’t remember a time that I’ve been upgraded. You can get Diamond with Hilton for the same amount of stays with upgrades, Exec Lounge access, premium WiFi and breakfast. The elite program is worthless. IHG barely eclipse them.


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