Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, Philadelphia debuted in November as the hotel company’s third Radisson Blu–branded property. The historic building underwent a $20 million renovation, moving the lobby back to where its reception desk was when the hotel originally opened in 1926. The lobby space can now be used again as a social gathering and networking area—which it was originally intended for back in the 1920s—inviting attendees to take a seat at the space’s 20-person communal table.
With the additional space for up to 40 people, the lobby is being used a lot by visiting groups, says Joanne Cunningham, general manager of the hotel.
“It’s great to see people coming down from a meeting and all talking and networking around this table,” she says. “The feedback that I’ve already gotten from two meeting planners is that they really enjoy not having to go to a bar and instead can be in this very open environment.”
The new lobby design also brings the essence of the city into the décor with a rug in the lobby that has key Philadelphia-themed phrases such as “brotherly love” inscribed into the print. The walls above each of the fireplaces have a similar bent. They tell a story of two brothers. The older one tells the younger one about the challenges of his life, and the younger one reminds him that life is all about the love of family. The words they speak to one another are craftily stenciled on the walls.
That same Philadelphia charm is represented in the renovation of the hotel’s 301 guest rooms as well. The headboards over each bed in the guest rooms have a photograph of an iconic Philadelphia image such as local native Grace Kelly or the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team scoring a winning point. The guest corridors feature similar photographs of local statues, bridges and other landmarks.
The property’s 17,000 sf of meeting space will receive a renovation in summer 2014. That will consist of new carpets, wall coverings, audio features and—most importantly, says Cunningham—lighting features that mimic the ones already in place in the guest room and lobby. Cunningham says the most desired feature of the meeting space is the mezzanine, especially since the renovation, because it overlooks the lobby. Meeting planners can plan a reception in that space as well as use it for exhibitions.