Tag Archives: Club Carlson

Club Carlson’s Park Inn Hotel, Cape Town Foreshores, South Africa

After our safari in Kruger we flew from Nelspruit to Cape Town.  Nothing special about the flight.  We landed, collected our luggage, picked up our rental car and was off to find the Park Inn,  Cape Town Foreshores where we booked two rooms with our points.  Blogger Hubby booked one room and I booked the other – a suite which I paid $30 USD for the upgrade.  This was perfect since we had a baby who slept in the living room portion of the suite.  We did ask for a crib for the baby and we received a really nice Pack ‘n Play with a crib size down comforter in a duvet for the baby to sleep on and a baby size pillow.

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The hotel as in a great location close to Long Street known for its shopping.  We were close to all the highways that we needed so it never took us far to get anywhere.  The hotel had a very modern feel to it with an inside atrium on all the floors.  The rooms were very nicely appointed.  Since we were gold elite with Club Carlson by virtue of us having the Club Carlson credit card, each room received a bottle of South African wine and a plate of dried apricots, nuts and jelly beans.  Our room, the non-suite, even had a balcony with chairs so we could sit outside, drinking our wine and watch the clouds over Table Mountain. Did you know that when the clouds descend and settle on he top of Table Mountain it is called a “tablecloth”?  Needless to say,  we were really happy in our room.

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The hotel does urge you not to go out at night and walk around.  There is a hotel shuttle that will take you and pick you up though we found that it took a while and we ended up paying $3 for a cab to bring us back from dinner.

A recurrent theme that we were finding is that hotels do not seem to offer you drawers to put your clothes in.  We each had one smallish drawer.  You can see it sticking out from behind Blogger Hubby in the last picture.  It is floating against the wall.  Next to him in the floor cabinet is the refrigerator which holds the bottles of water that the hotel gives everyone gratis every day – much appreciated.

The hotel had a really interesting Rooftop Terrace bar with the swimming pool up there and at times at DJ.  Not sure I would want to go swimming with all the drinkers around but it sure was pretty with all the colorful lights and again the view of Table Mountain.

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They offer a wonderful breakfast though double check to see if it is included with your room.  I did ask at check-in time and they told us it was but after the first morning we found out that only one room (the Business Class room on points) had the free breakfast and not the suite that we paid points and cash for.  Nevertheless we ate there every morning.  Since I had questioned it and they couldn’t tell me why one room had it and the other, they took the charge off the bill.   Parking is available at $5 USD per day but it is not for the faint of heart.  You enter from a small parking area and go straight up quickly.  The you turn oh so carefully and go up again.  Your space has your name on it so no one else can park there which is nice and you don’t have to go looking for a space.

The best part about having a Club Carlson credit card (and I am not paid in anyway to say this, just my honest opinion) is that when you use points to book a room, your last night is free.  You do have to spend two nights in order to get this benefit.  We saved over $200 USD, received wine and goodies in each room and have free internet.  We were delighted with our accommodations and would recommend it to anyone.

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Hotel Loyalty – what is it and is it worth it?

When Blogger Hubby and I travel we try to find a reasonably priced hotel rooms hopefully using a coupon, a discount code or a reduced price through a secondary source such as hotels.com.  We didn’t care if we stayed in a Hampton Inn, a Days Inn or a Marriott or even a clean Red Roof Inn.

Recently I have reconsidered my earlier stance primarily due to Club Carlson, the loyalty program of Radisson, Country Inn and Suites and Park Inns.  As I mentioned in this post they ran a promotion to end all promotions, at least in my opinion and I have learned the benefits of rewards when you have brand loyalty.

At the Chicago Seminar that I attended last October, I listened to Mommy Points talk about Hyatt status.  I thought it was nice but we aren’t the type to stay at a Hyatt – much too expensive for me……or so I thought.  Mommy Points explained that to get status with a hotel you need to have a certain number of  nights OR stays.  If you stay 2 consecutive nights it is considered one stay.  If you stay one night, it is also considered one stay.  Hyatt, for instance, allows you to earn diamond status when you have 25 stays or 50 nights.  But really, they are counting each of those 50 individual nights as 50 stays so you really only need 25 single nights.  Mommy Points explains it all in this video she did for the travelchannel.com.

Once you attain status, you have many different perks depending on your level of status.  With Hyatt, for example, website lists the following perks that are available for those who have Diamond status:  You can “get the best room that is available upon check-in excluding suites (though the upgrade fairy may visit and grant you one of those); you have exclusive access to the Regency Club or Grand Club lounge featuring complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres where you will enjoy daily complimentary full breakfast in hotels without a club lounge; and you can treat yourself to a suite upgrade at the time of reservation four times annually on eligible paid nights.  Imagine being in a beautiful suite while vacationing in Hawaii where you receive a special welcome point bonus or food and beverage amenity; a nightly room refresh; Receive the confirmed bed type at check-in; complimentary in-room Internet access  (in some hotels that is a $25 charge per day); expedited check-in at a dedicated area for elite members  (no more waiting in long lines); and the ability to extend your stay until 4:00 p.m. with a late check out request; and the ability to book reservations through an exclusive Diamond line.”

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I’ve been working on getting my status with one of the hotel chains.  I book nights when their rates are the lowest, generally Friday or Saturday nights.  If I was working on Hyatt status, I would book with a Hyatt House (generally less expensive) and do it on a Friday evening.  If you are planning to travel upcoming, building status at a hotel is well worth the investment that you make.  For example, my son-in-law will stay with Marriott for several days but always checks out each day and then in again to get the stay credit.  Others that I know will go to different Marriotts every night to get the stay credit.  This works as long as there are several Marriotts from which to choose.

Finally, most hotels with co-branded credit cards will also give you status though not top tiered status but rather gold status (generally second from the top).

Always sign up for hotel loyalty cards and use them even if you don’t have credit.  You are recognized when you check in to a hotel and you never know what perks you might receive.  When we traveled to Niagara Falls last year, we were just beginning our association with Club Carlson and since we were loyalty members, we were given an upgraded room that had a magnificent view of the Horseshoe Falls.