As of April 2013, the Club Carlson award chart has changed. Please see the updated list of Best Club Carlson Hotel Redemptions: Category 1
- Best Club Carlson Hotels: Introduction
- Best Club Carlson Hotels: Category 1
- Best Club Carlson Hotels: Category 2
- Best Club Carlson Hotels: Category 3
- Best Club Carlson Hotels: Category 4
- Best Club Carlson Hotels: Category 5
- Best Club Carlson Hotels: Category 6
There were much better options available in this category than in the first, and with good reason: Category 2 properties require 15,000 points per night – almost twice the number of required for category 1!
Since there were far more noteworthy properties, I’ve added an honorable mention section for those that came in close.
Country Inn & Suites Texarkana, TX (Texarkana, TX)
I’ve always been fascinated with this strangely-named town that sits in two states: Texas and Arkansas. While most of the properties in this category are pretty much identical, what separates this from the pack is a combination of new/clean facilities, service, reviews, and location.
Distinctions: Ranked #1 among hotels in Texarkana, TX on Tripadvisor.
Accommodations: All rooms feature a refrigerator and microwave, free wifi, and daily breakfast buffet. Guests have access to a heated indoor pool and on-site spa. For those paying for their stays, the hotel offers a “double points” rate, whereby an extra $5 per night earns you double points on your stay. A Cash & Points option of 5,000 + $62.40 is also available.
Location: You can explore two states from one location, as this hotel is right on the border of Texas and Arkansas. The Texas part of town offers the following attractions within a 6 mile radius: Ace of Club’s House (a national landmark), Discovery Place (a children’s museum), Central Mall, Four States Fairgrounds, Perot Theatre, Tex-Ark Antique Auto Museums, and more.
Texarkana Municipal Airport is six miles away.
Honorable mention: N/A
SOUTH, CENTRAL AMERICA, THE CARIBBEAN & MEXICO
Radisson Poliforum Plaza Hotel Leon (Leon, Mexico)
Accommodations: Beautiful property offering spacious rooms with free wifi. Standard awards feature either a pool view or courtyard view. Ability to book with Cash & Points for just 5,000 points + $76.50.
Airport transfer can be booked for a fee.
Location: This property is located close to various attractions, giving you many options for entertainment and sightseeing: Poliforum Convention Center, Historical Archives and Museum of Archeology, the historic Zona Paetonal district, Science Exploratory Center, Leon Stadium (home of the 1970 and 1986 World Cup), Leon Zoological Park, Metropolitan Park, Bicentenario Theatre, several shopping malls, and more
Honorable mention: Park Inn San Jose Costa Rica – Recipient of the 2011 President’s Award, this property is older and a bit outdated in its décor. It’s still a solid choice, owing to its location and favorable reviews.
EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
Radisson Blu Hotel, Cottbus (Cottbus, Germany)
Distinctions: Ranked #1 among hotels in Cottbus on Tripadvisor.
Accommodations: While most Radisson hotels go for a more modern, edgy look, this property is decorated in classic tones and surprisingly elegant. Standard awards get you a 150-180 sqft room with free wifi. Cash & Points is available for 5,000 points + $64
Premium Awards can be booked for 22,500 points and gets you into a 160-200 sqft Business Class room with balcony, free breakfast buffet, wifi, in-room coffee machine, discounted parking fees, a selection of cosmetics, and more.
All guests get complimentary access to the wellness area/spa.
Location: The hotel is just minutes from local attractions, like the Fürst Pückler Pyramids at Branitz Park. Various tram and bus lines connecting the hotel to local attractions can be accessed across the street from the hotel. Guests get free access to public transportation, making this a great option for both business and leisure travelers.
The hotel is about 60 miles from Desden-Klotzsche and Berlin-Brandenburg Airport.
Honorable mention: Park Plaza Prenzlauer Berg Berlin – Great choice if you want to stay in a large city. You’re no more than 6 miles from everything worth seeing, and a train station is just a few steps away from the property. The hotel’s décor is typical of Park Plaza’s…and East Berlin. A bit depressing for my taste.
Park Inn Sofia – A charming property, though a bit out of the way. This is a good choice for business travelers, but tourists will have to catch a cab for sightseeing.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Park Plaza Bangkok Soi 18 (Bangkok, Thailand)
Accommodations: This hotel resembles a Park Hyatt more than a Park Plaza. Standard awards feature 300 sqft Deluxe Rooms with King and Twin beds. Rooms come equipped with international outlets, free wifi, refrigerator, tea/coffee maker, work desk with ergonomic chair, in-room tea and coffee maker, two bottles of water, and more. Bathrooms feature rain showers.
Cash & Points awards are available for as little as 5,000 points + $50 per night.
The property has a rooftop pool overlooking the city. Airport transfers in a Mercedes or Toyota Camra can be arranged for a fee.
Location: This property is located in the Sukhumvit district, close to Benjasiri Park, shopping malls and restaurants. In addition to a nearby train station, the hotel offers a complimentary Tuk Tuk shuttle service to Sukhumvit Road and Sukhumvit Soi 18.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport is located 22 miles away.
Honorable mention: There are several beautiful properties in India that are worth checking out: Country Inn & Suites Amritsar, Queens Road, Country Inns & Suites Ahmedabad, Country Inn & Suites Gurgaon, Park Plaza Jodhpur, Country Inn & Suites Mussoorie.
Thoughts, questions, suggestions about this list? Please comment below.
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