In a nutshell -- awesome, awesome, awesome! The service, facility, and amenities were top-notch. I can't wait 'til we get to go back.
My wife and I were in Kalamazoo this past weekend for our anniversary. We knew the Radisson was expensive, but we'd been eyeing this hotel for almost a year waiting for the right time to visit. In the end, we decided to use points for a last-minute weekend stay. It was not a cheap redemption -- demanding a whopping 44k Club Carlson goldpoints per night! To put everything into perspective, for only 6k more, we could have stayed at the brand new Radisson Blu in downtown Chicago.
Despite the number of points we had to burn, we were not disappointed. The hotel staff went above and beyond the whole weekend -- from a recognition of our anniversary and an exuberant greeting in the lobby, to a nice upgrade to the executive floor, to a surprise bottle of champagne (along with a hand written note signed by the staff!) in the room. Each staff member we encountered did everything in his/her power to make us feel special. Even though my wife and I both had status with Club Carlson, we saw plenty of examples of the staff going out of their way to make every guest feel special.
The lobby and common areas were recently refurbished and really looked stunning, and the bars and restaurants in the hotel were hopping all night long. Our room was pretty standard sized, with a small bathroom, but everything was recently refurbished and looked stylish and modern. Our bed was NOT a sleep number bed, and it was comfy with high quality linens. In the bathroom, we found all kinds of amenities, including a loofah (shower sponge), body wash, and mouthwash in addition to the standard soap/shampoo/conditioner.
We ended up taking advantage of the 9th floor lounge throughout our stay, and found all of the lounge attendants to be fantastic. Although they limit cocktails in the lounge to 2 per room, we found they were not stingy with their pours, and we loved the local beer selection and homemade chips/salsa they had sitting out on Saturday night. Later in the evening, we followed the recommendation of our lounge attendant and had a great night out at Kalamazoo Beer Exchange down the road. If you like to buy your pints stock-market-style (go there and you'll see what I mean), we highly recommend KBE!
Breakfast in the lounge was decent, and we heard the weekend spread was better than what they had on weekdays. There were a couple of warm selections -- waffles, bacon, biscuits, and gravy.
The pool was as stunning as it looked in the pictures, and the hot tub was huge and HOT, which was rare for a hotel. They had a staffed health club on site with plush locker rooms and modern equipment -- free to hotel guests. It was nice to have access to showers and a swimsuit dryer in the locker rooms so we didn't have to walk back to our rooms dripping wet.
We saw a number of small events going on at the hotel, and the ballrooms looked just as nice as the rest of the hotel. I should also point out that wireless internet was free and available throughout the hotel.
Now, about the whole Radisson Blu thing...
For some reason, there seems to be very little consistency among Radisson hotels in the United States. Some are pretty ho-hum (such as the two recently-closed locations in Grand Rapids and some of the airport properties around the country), and some are top-notch. For a consumer like myself, it means I never know quite what to expect when I walk through the doors of a Radisson hotel.
Fortunately, Carlson Rezidor seems to understand the issue and they're starting to differentiate hotels a bit. We're seeing some former Radissons removed from the chain, some retagged as Park Inns (DFW Airport, for example, which is still a fantastic hotel), and some of the more upscale properties retagged as Radisson Blu (Radisson Plaza Minneapolis, for example). Despite its location in a relatively small city, the Radisson Plaza Kalamazoo definitely seems to fit the mold of a Radisson Blu, and it would be awesome to see the "Blu" designation on their sign some day. They definitely sit at the top of the range for the Radisson brand.
Anyway, thanks again to all the staff at the Radisson Plaza Kalamazoo for a great stay!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites of Kalamazoo-winner of the Radisson Hotel of the Year award for 2013! Our highest priority is the comfort of our guests. We deliver the highest quality in lodging, dining, shopping, fitness and spa. We want create an amazing experience and be your "10"! Please let us know how we can best host you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Plaza Hotel At Kalamazoo Kalamazoo
- Radisson Kalamazoo
- Kalamazoo Radisson
- Radisson Plaza Hotel Kalamazoo Center