Cornell University wins Park Inn by Radisson global “INNovation Room” competition

25 Jan 2017

20170125_INNovation.jpgStudents from Cornell University, one of the world’s leading hospitality management schools, have been crowned the winners of a global competition from Park Inn® by Radisson that aims to drive innovation and enhance guest experience.

The team consisting of four students topped eight other entries in the ‘INNovation Room’ competition – a ground-breaking program designed to unlock and nurture creativity amongst hotel management school students. The campaign demonstrated the company’s continuing commitment to cultivating talent in the hospitality sector and driving innovation.

The winning concept offers guests a room service alternative with healthy, locally-sourced, ready-to-eat food around the clock. The eye-catching design also uses a state-of-the-art payment system with label sensor tags to charge guest rooms directly.

Rose Anderson, Vice President Global Branding & Innovation, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said: “The enthusiasm, drive and ambition of all the students has been outstanding and they have brought some bold, inspiring ideas to the forefront. However, we were particularly impressed with the Cornell’s’ team concept and can see the potential for it to enhance the stay of every guest coming through the doors of our hotels.”


“Our INNovation Room has been a great success and our ambition is to make this an annual program – building on our commitment to creating unique and memorable guest experiences.”

Bradford Wellstead, Lecturer at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration said: “What an amazing team.   Barely acquaintances before the competition, these four bonded into a highly productive and supportive group. 

“They held each other accountable, smoothed over the rough patches and celebrated their strengths. Through it all, they created an extraordinary product and for all of us – a genuine life experience.” 

Top hotel management schools from around the world met in Manchester, England, in September where students from nine hotel management schools pitched ideas to a panel of judges. Five teams were then selected by the panel to go through to the public vote, where thousands of votes were cast to find the top two finalists. The other finalist was Les Roches International School of Hotel Management who came up with the idea of a vanity studio that offers versatile do-it-yourself solutions, products and beauty equipment.

The judging panel then selected the final winner based on the judging criteria.


The INNovation Room judging panel was made up of senior management from Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Siri Gomnæs Børsum, Industry Leader Google Inc.

The Schools
The nine schools which participated:



  1. School of Hospitality Administration, Boston University, USA
  2. School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University, USA
  3. École hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland
  4. Hotelschool The Hague, Netherlands
  5. Hotel Management School Maastricht, Netherlands
  6. International Hotel School, South Africa
  7. Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, Switzerland
  8. Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Oxford Brookes University, UK
  9. The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, United Arab Emirates

The Panel

  Javier Rosenberg – Chief Operating Officer, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Rose Anderson – Vice President Global Branding & Innovation, Carlson Rezidor Hotel group
Richard Biggs – Senior Vice President Revenue Optimization and Distribution, EMEA, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Edward Pinchard – Vice President Sales, EMEA, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Susan McIlveen – Human Resources Manager & Senior Master Trainer, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Lionel van den Haute – General Manager Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Midi
Siri Gomnæs Børsum – Industry Leader at Google

For more information, visit and watch

An image of Cornell University’s winning team:
Front row, left to right: Cornell University’s Ethan Gabany, 21, Dana Greene, 21, Cristian Padilla, 21, Kenneth Chow, 22.  Back Row: Bradford Wellstead, Lecturer at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration


Notes to Editors:

About Park Inn by Radisson:
Park Inn® by Radisson is a fresh and energetic mid-market hotel brand offering friendly and welcoming hospitality at a competitive price. Park Inn by Radisson has more than 207 hotels in operation and under development across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the Americas. To attract a mix of business and leisure travelers, the brand offers guests a variety of relevant amenities called “Park Inn Essentials.” Some of these include complimentary high-speed Internet access, fitness and business centers, restaurants or complimentary lite “grab and go” breakfasts.
Park Inn by Radisson is a part of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which also includes Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson Red, Park Plaza® and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. For more information and reservations visit,


For further information, contact:
Lucie Cardona, Corporate Communications & PR Leader, +32 2 730 7832  
UK: Adrian Johnson, Umpf, 07921 504 134