The Club Carlson hotel loyalty program has a wide array of 5-star properties in some of the best locations around the world. This is especially true in Europe where Radisson Blu is the strongest. Unfortunately, they announced on April 3rd that they were removing the free night for every award stay benefit from their co-branded credit card, taking into effect June 1st. And to add further insult to injury, they announced category changes also taking effect at the same time. With roughly 300,000 points on hand, we knew that we had to spend them quickly. We decided to chase Club Carlson redemptions around the world, staying at some of the fanciest hotels for free.Continue reading “Chasing Club Carlson Hotels Around the World”
The Radisson Blu Tala Bay Resort in Aqaba, Jordan is built on the coast of the Red Sea on an isolated strip of land 20 minutes drive south from downtown. It’s a new hotel located in a development project called Tala Bay and is part of an Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority development project intended to attract foreign tourists and investment. Unfortunately, there weren’t many tourists at the time due to cyclical factors and the looming threat of ISIS in the region.
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Vienna, the City of Music, was the next stop after Salzburg. The Radisson Blu is incredibly centrally located within Vienna’s Ringstrasse making it an excellent base for touring around. Luckily the Radisson Blu Vienna had award availability since it could be tenuous at times. Instead of a nightly rate of $300, we paid 44,000 Club Carlson points for two nights.
As a Club Carlson Gold member, you can usually expect an upgrade to the Business room, which is a bit larger than the standard room. In our case we were very lucky and were upgraded two categories to the Junior Suite, which is a room that has a separate living room and bedroom. It also has the added luxury of two sinks, a shower, and a bath tub. There was also heated tile flooring in the bathroom, something I’ve never seen at another Radisson Blu property.
The Radisson Blu Hotel Altstadt Salzburg was the first stop on our around the world trip chasing Club Carlson properties. Salzburg, known for the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for The Sound of Music, is an incredibly expensive hotel market with average nightly rates around $200. I’ve always wanted to visit the city and so we decided that burning 44,000 Club Carlson points for two nights made a lot of sense.
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