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TheStreet Open House

Hotel Group Invents High-Tech Hipster Hangouts While Rethinking Old World Luxury

SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is launching two hotel brands, one aimed at presenting luxury in a new way and the other being developed to deliver the experience of tomorrow.

The Quorvus Collection, the new luxury brand from the hotel group, involves joining together independently owned, existing luxury hotels under the Carlson Rezidor umbrella.

Radisson Red, though, will be entirely new construction, creating what the company says will be a new industry category: the upscale "lifestyle select" brand.

"People now want to use hotels in entirely different ways than they historically have," Gordon McKinnon, Carlson Rezidor's chief branding officer, says in a telephone interview. "In designing Red ... we get to plot what is important to people when they use hotels, so everything has been designed around the customer experience -- everything from the way they use the bedroom to the way they order breakfast or interact with other people from a social point of view to what they expect of bathrooms, or check-in and arrival."

Radisson Red's focus on technology includes a mobile application that allows guests to skip reception for check-in, order drinks in the bar, food from the deli or flowers through an online concierge. In terms of design, Red will have an eclectic, modernist aesthetic.

"The bedrooms are much more multi-purpose," he says, referring to an evolution from people "working in the bedroom with a huge desk and a bad-looking office chair ... Technology and people have changed. The vast majority of people now will work with a mobile or laptop, and would much rather multi-task -- listen to music and watch TV while they work. And they want the choice to bring in bottle of wine and pizza if that's what they want to do, as much as we want to force them to bars and restaurants. They want to personalize the experience to themselves, whether that's through music or their own TV channels."

Carslon Rezidor has not committed to building Radisson Reds in specific cities, but has identified the types of cities it would like to host its new lifestyle select hotel; Austin, Portland and Seattle would all be a comfortable fit for the brand, McKinnon says.

"We will roll this out in cities and locations that have the right kind of vibe around them, in terms of demographic, social and cultural life," McKinnon says.

The first Radisson Reds are expected to launch in 2015.

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