Pic: Deluxe room at Park Plaza Soi 18 Sukhumvit Bangkok (July 2012)
Pic: Rooftop Pool Sunset at Park Plaza Soi 18 Sukhumvit Bangkok (July 2012)
Back in March 2011, the Carlson Hotel Group (Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Inn, Park Plaza and Country Inn & Suites) rebranded it’s loyalty program GoldPoints Plus to Club Carlson. In the past year, John Kennedy (Club Carlson Vice President) and his team did a tremendous job attracting new customers. First of all, there was the Club Carlson status match opportunity (still valid), then back in November they launched the Radisson Big Night Giveaway promo, which was unfortunately only valid for properties in the US, Canada and Caribbean. You basically had to stay one night at a Radisson or Radisson Blu hotel to receive a bonus of 50,000 Gold Points. Enough for a free night at the most expensive Carlson hotels (Category 6) or multiple free nights at cheaper Carlson properties. (free nights start at 9000 points, Category 1) The Radisson Big Night Giveaway promotion results must have been positive as the management of the Brussels based Rezidor Hotel Group Headquaters decided to launch a Worldwide campaign for their Radisson, Park Inn and Country Inn & Suites brands in May 2012. The Park Plaza brand was added to the campaign in June. If you didn’t sign-up for these promo’s, I need to disappoint you, as all of them have now expired. (Except the Park Plaza promo, but bonus is now limited to 15K instead of 50K points) If you don’t want to miss future promo’s like this, I recommend to keep an eye on my twitter feed.
Pic: Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit Rooftop Pool (June 2012)
I didn’t participate in the Nov 2011 Big Night Giveaway promo, as I had no travel to the US, Canadian or the Caribbean during the promotion period. For my first batch of 50,000 Club Carlson bonus points, I stayed at Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit on May 26. Room rate THB2329 (€60), upgraded to One Bedroom Suite as Club Carlson Silver member. On June 30, I stayed at Park Plaza Soi 18 Bangkok earning me another 50,000 Club Carlson Bonus points. Room rate THB2165 (€56), upgraded to Deluxe room. For my last set of 44,000 bonus points, I stayed at Park Inn Leuven (Belgium) on July 21. Room rate €75, upgraded to Business Friendly room (including complimentary wifi and breakfast). That makes €191 earning 144,000 bonus points. That total doesn’t even include all the other ‘regular’ bonuses like 2000 bonus points for booking via ClubCarlson.com websites, 25% silver status bonus points, 20 points per USD spent, etc…!
Pic: Complimentary Tuk Tuk Service at Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit
So how am I going to maximize the value of my 144K bonus points? Here’s a first example: I burned 50K points for a free night at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel (ranked #48 out of 1,080 hotels in London) for July 29, 2012. Yes, that’s the Opening Weekend of the London 2012 Olympic Games! The cheapest rate for a standard room was £425 excl. tax (£510 incl. tax, €655) To makes things even better, Club Carlson now launched a number of new promotions, including one allowing you to redeem points at 50% the regular rate at selected hotels in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. And there’s more: Stay two nights or more at Club Carlson properties in Asia and get 10,000 bonus points, pay with American Express at EAME Radisson and Radisson Blu properties and get 3 nights for the price of 2 + 2000 bonus points. And as always, a complete overview of all promotions can be found at frequentflyerbonuses.com
Pic: Business Friendly Room at Park Inn Leuven, Belgium (July 2012)
Conclusion: The majority of frequent traveler bloggers have highlighted the Club Carlson promotions as the best hotel offers we’ve seen in the past year. My personal experiences at Club Carlson properties in the past 3 months have been very positive (both hard and soft product) and I hope the Rezidor Hotel Group will continue their efforts and investments to become leaders in the hospitality industry. I was flattered to learn more than 10 readers of my blog have been staying at Park Inn Leuven to score their 44K bonus points. Always a pleasure to assist others to travel in luxury on a budget! Thank you.