Club Carlson - Best Hotels to Use CC Rewards?
Jul 22, 12, 10:07 am
Unlike Hyatt, SPG, etc. there's not a lot of talk about the most expensive or best locations to use all those CC points we're all so flush with now. I know the Hotel Ambassador and a couple others in Paris, as well as the MayFair and Kenilworth in London and the Radisson Blu in Chicago. But the directory shows CC's all over the world including resorts.
I've heard the Fiji hotel isn't too good but the Aruba one lives up to the hype. The freeport one used to be a Westin and is very fine, as is the one in St. Martin. Copenhagen, CapeTown, Milan, and Dakar all seem to get excellent reviews.
Jul 22, 12, 3:30 pm
I suggest you do a search here and on Tripadvisor. ;)
Jul 24, 12, 4:25 pm
First of all, it may depend a lot on how many other programs you have points in. I don't need Club Carlson for London or Paris or Chicago, because I have plenty of choices (in programs where I have many and keep re-earning points) in those places. (I want a good hotel; I don't care if it's a luxury hotel per se, and in fact if I have to be "nickel & dimed" because of no status and it being too top-end, that just turns me off.)
Offhand, I'd think I'd save my points for Scandinavia, where you tend for example to get free breakfast (because of local standards) at CC brands which don't provide free breakfast in other regions. And in Scandinavia there's far fewer other redemption choices (weak presences from most other major programs except for Choice and Best Western, once you get out of the major capital cities).
Otherwise, I'd simply save them for wherever I happen to go where I find they're more useful than the other points I have. I can't really predict where that will be, but most likely someplace smaller where CC happens to have plunked down a hotel but few if any of the other major program have. But again, the nickel & diming is a concern, because in some places the breakfast and internet can cost as much on a rewards stay as the whole cost of a bed & breakfast / pension stay (that included breakfast and internet) might have cost (and then you wouldn't have "used up" any points!).
So that's the issue I have with nickel & diming at most of these brands in many of these countries; they wipe out much of the value of a reward. (I also often bypass using Priority Club points overseas for a similar reason, except there it's not because I don't have top status, but because there top status comes with no breakfast or internet benefits, unless the individual hotel decides to provide them maybe!)
Jul 24, 12, 11:20 pm
Do they have any properties rated 6-stars or above?
Jul 25, 12, 1:08 am
what a star rating means differs geographically, no? E.g., in Europe 5 star is considered to be the top, as far as I'm aware.
Jul 25, 12, 2:32 pm
Personally, I find many of the 9k properties to be of great value.
The Radisson Celebration Resort in Orlando has to be a steal at 9K points.
We also hit the Park Inn in Heppenheim at 9K.
It seems that the FT community believes that you do the best at the top or the bottom of the award chart.... having spent a night at the Radisson Edwardian Hampshire for 50K, I can now say that I'd prefer to have 5 nights in a lower-end property, so I guess that makes me a bottom-feeder.