On November 10, Club Carlson started a promotion that entitled the first 50,000 people who signed up for it to a bonus 50,000 Club Carlson points if they had a qualifying stay at a Radisson property between 11/10/11 and 12/30/11. I jumped in and registered for the promotion on 11/10. I didn’t stay awake until midnight like many other bloggers to make sure that I made it in the first 50,000. But, when I signed on the next morning the promotion was still active and I got registered.
I kept putting off my qualifying stay thinking that maybe there would be a legitimate reason to stay at a Radisson during the promotional period. That opportunity never came, so I decided that yesterday would be the day for my mattress run. I made a reservation for a Radisson about 5 minutes from my office via the Club Carlson website (which should give me an extra 1,000 points). It was for a one-night stay last night.
I had no intention of actually sleeping there since I only live about half an hour away. I did swing by to check in and take some pictures yesterday on my way home from work, and then again this morning on my way in so that I could pick up the receipt and check out (even though it wasn’t necessary to do so in person).
Here are some pictures of the Radisson Hotel Research Triangle Park. Note that the pictures on the property website are much better than mine. In fact, the property looks a lot better on the website than I actually found it. The room was clean, well-equpped, and comfortable-looking (if small). The hotel itself looked to be in need of some love, but it’s the off-season and things there were pretty slow, so maybe they were prepping for some work.
As you can see, the bathroom is tiny and the view… left something to be desired. However, the stay will be good for something just over 51,000 Club Carlson points which will get me 3 free nights at a Category 2, or just about 2 nights at a Category 3, or, and what I was expecting, 1 night at a top-level Category 6. Depending upon the cash requirement, it could alternatively get me 10 nights at a Category 2 or 3 nights at a Category 6.
See the free award night chart here, and the Points + Cash award chart here. Note that the latter does not include the cash requirement and instead states that it will be shown at the time of the reservation. Just for some comparisons, the $94 I spent for 1 night cash at the Radisson Research Triangle Park netted me enough points for: 2 free nights at the same property, or 10 nights with a $47/night copay. So, it looks like about a 50% discount if I used it at that property ($0.004 per point or $0.009 per point). However, if I used it at the Radisson Martinique on Broadway, it would get me 1 free night (a $250 value), or 3 nights with a $149/night copay ($0.005 per point or $0.006 per point).
Given that analysis, it looks like the best redemption is actually at the lower-levels and I should use these points for random family stays during long drives, or other no-frills trips. Overall, I’m happy with the promotion. It’s not the Grand Slam by any stretch, but it was a nice Christmas gift :).