As of April 2013, the Club Carlson award chart has changed. Please see the updated list of Best Club Carlson Hotel Redemptions: Category 5.
- Best Club Carlson Hotel Redemptions: Introduction
- Best Club Carlson Hotel Redemptions: Category 1
- Best Club Carlson Hotel Redemptions: Category 2
- Best Club Carlson Hotel Redemptions: Category 3
- Best Club Carlson Hotel Redemptions: Category 4
- Best Club Carlson Hotel Redemptions: Category 5
- Best Club Carlson Hotel Redemptions: Category 6
There are so many great Club Carlson properties in this category, I had to split Europe into four categories to make room for all the deserving properties. For 44,000 points per night (and sometimes less, if you’re staying on a 50% off promo rate), you can stay at hotels that are ranked as some of the best in the world. Here’s the best of Category 5:
Radisson Hotel Admiral Toronto-Harbourfront (Toronto, Ontario)
Distinctions: 4 Key rating from the Green Key Eco-Rating Program
Accommodations: Standard Awards feature a Cityview room with a coffeemaker and complimentary morning weekday newspaper.
Location: The hotel’s downtown, harborfront location makes it a perfect spot to explore the city. You’ll be less than 3 miles from every main attraction: Toronto Convention Centre, Hockey Hall of Fame, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, and more. If you want to venture further out and entertain the kids, the Toronto Zoo is 20 miles from the hotel
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is just over a mile from the hotel.
Honorable mention: N/A
Radisson Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf (San Francisco, CA)
Accommodations: You’ll get a newly renovated room with two double beds, free wifi, in-room coffee maker, I-Home clock radio/docking station, flat screen tv, and more. You won’t get a view of the bay at the Standard Level, but you can always hope (or pay) for an upgrade.
Location: The hotel itself isn’t highly ranked, but it recently underwent a renovation and boasts an amazing location right on Fisherman’s Wharf. You can easily get to local attractions by walking or taking public transportation. A cable car stop is 0.2 miles away, Pier 39 is within walking distance, and Ghirardelli Square is 6 blocks from the hotel. Overall, this hotel is a great redemption value.
- First Radisson property to feature the new, updated look.
- Tripadvisor: #1 Hotel in New Rochelle
- Historic building located in the Rittenhouse Square district.
- 4 Key rating from the Green Key Eco-Rating Program
SOUTH & CENTRAL AMERICA, THE CARIBBEAN & MEXICO
Radisson Aqua Hotel & Spa Concon (Concon, Chile)
Distinctions: 3 Key rating from the Green Key Eco-Rating Program
Accommodations: All rooms at this hotel have a view of the ocean, including the one you can book for just 44,000 points per night. Complimentary breakfast buffet and wireless internet are also included in award bookings.
The on-site spa offers Thalassotherapy and a large in-door pool overlooking the ocean.
Location: With its beachside location, this hotel makes for a great vacation spot. You can take a Wine tour through Casablanca Valley, hang out at the nearby Concon beaches (Playa Negra, Playa Amarilla and Playa La Boca), visit the home of famed poet and Nobel Prize winner Pablo Nerudo. 10 miles from the hotel, you can visit Valparaiso City or Vina del Mar, a famous resort town.
Honorable mention: Radisson Royal Bogota Hotel (Bogota, Colombia)
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #8 Top Luxury hotel in Colombia
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: # 24 Top hotel in Colombia
EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel, Prague (Prague, Czech Republic)
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #16 Top Luxury Hotel in the Czech Republic
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #21 Top Hotel in the Czech Republic
Accommodations: Having undergone a full renovation in 2008, all rooms are decorated in a contemporary Art Deco style.
Standard Awards offer 302 sqft Standard Rooms with free wifi, in-room tea/coffee maker, large LCD TV and, in case it rains, your very own umbrella. All guests receive complimentary access to the fitness center and sauna, turndown service.
If you want to splurge on a Premium Award for an extra 22,000 points per night, you’ll get a 344 sqft Royal Club Room with free daily breakfast buffet, free daily snack and drinks at the on-site Be Bop Bar, in-room Nespresso coffee machine, and more.
Location: This property is centrally located in Prague’s Old Town area, just steps from Wenceslas Square, the National Museum, Prague State Opera, and less than a mile from the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. It’s the perfect base from which to explore one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
Ruzyne-Prague Airport is just a 9 mile drive. Parking is not exactly plentiful on the cobbled streets of Old Town, but there are plenty of public transportation options to get around town.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Krakow (Krakow Poland)
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #21 Top Luxury Hotel in Poland
Radisson Blu Hotel, Bucharest (Bucharest Romania)
- Tripadvisor #3 Hotel in Bucharest
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #4 Top Luxury Hotel in Romania
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #8 Top Hotel in Romania
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #20 Hotel for Service in Romania
Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
Distinctions: World Travel Award Winner: Germany’s Leading Business Hotel 2012.
Accommodations: Standard rooms are 290 sqft and feature a private French balcony with views of the city or the AquaDom. Rooms come equipped with free wifi and in-room coffee/tea maker.
Premium Awards feature Business Class Rooms with views of the Berlin Cathedral and River Spree. Additional amenities include in-room Nespresso coffee maker, daily newspaper, bathrobe, slippers, and free buffet breakfast at HEat Restaurant.
Location: This hotel is located on the Spree River, across from the Berlin Cathedral. The hotel lobby houses the AquaDom & Sea Life Centre, which makes for an interesting sight at check in.
From this central location, you can walk to the Berlin Cathedral, Museum Island (a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site), Red Town Hall, Brandenburg Gate, Hackescher Markt, Alexanderplatz, and lots more.
Just steps from the hotel, you’ll find various public transportation options to take you to the airport, Friedrichstrasse, Messe Berlin Fairground, and all other attractions that are not within walking distance.
Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Dubrovnik Sun Gardens (Dubrovnik, Croatia)
George Bernard Shaw famously said, “Those who seek paradise on earth must come to Dubrovnik.”
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #4 Top Luxury Hotel in Croatia
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #6 Top Hotel in Croatia
Accommodations: Rooms are modern and brightly decorated in “coastal colors.” Standard rooms are 365 sqft and come with a balcony offering stunning sea views. Rooms come equipped with coffee/tea makers, free wifi, satellite tv, and spacious bathrooms with OCCO toiletries. All guests receive complimentary daily buffet breakfast.
There’s no need to book a Premium Award, since Deluxe Rooms are identical both in terms of size, amenities, and views.
All awards are subject to a 1 Euro per person per night Tourist tax.
Location: The hotel is right on the Adriatic coast, with beautiful views of the sea and surrounding landscape. Just 6 miles from the hotel, you can visit the city centre of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage site. A must-see is the Trsteno Arboretum, the oldest arboretum in the world at over 500 years old.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Malmo (Malmo, Sweden)
- Best Conference Facility 2011 by Congrex
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #19 Top Hotel in Sweden
- Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #25 Top Hotel for Service in Sweden
Accommodations: Through March 30, 2013, this hotel qualifies for a 50% standard award redemption discount. Your stay will thus only cost 22,000 points per night, a great value, since the hotel is a 20 minute train ride from Copenhagen, allowing you to explore two countries from one base.
At the Standard level, you’ll receive a 462 sqft Spacious Room, which includes free wifi and breakfast buffet.
A Premium Award gets you a Business Class room with an in-room Nespresso machine, fluffy robe, and slippers. Premium rooms go for 66,000 points per night.
If you’re booking during the discount period, I would not bother spending another 44,000 points on a Premium Award
Location: I got to visit Malmo on my summer 2012 trip. While it’s not really anything special, it’s still a great base from which to explore two countries in one visit.
Both Copenhagen International and Copenhagen International Airport are just 12 miles from the hotel. Malmo Central station is a few blocks away, making it easy to get to the airport, as well as Copenhagen and the surrounding area.
The Radisson Blu Residence, Dubai Marina (Dubai, UAE)
Accommodations: This is an all-residence hotel, so you will get great value out of your redemption. Standard Awards include a fully furnished 430 sqft standard studio with a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, free wifi, and satellite tv.
For an additional 22,000 points per night, you can upgrade to a 645 sqft deluxe studio. In addition to all of the previously listed amenities, you’ll get a private balcony with views of the Marina or Dubai skylinne.
Awards are subject to a 20% tax, so be sure to calculate this amount before booking your stay.
Location: Located in the Dubai Marina, the hotel is less than a mile from the Dubai Marina Metro Station, Marina Walk, Marina Mall, and Jumeirah Beach. The hotel offers complimentary shuttles to Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Jumeirah Beach, and other attractions.
Dubai International Airport is 17 miles away and can be accessed via the Dubai Metro station, or the hotel can arrange private transportation for a fee.
Honorable mention: N/A
Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, Sandton Johannesburg (Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Accommodations: Standard rooms are 300 sqft and feature a minimalistic design. All guests receive free wifi, in-room coffee maker, and turndown service.
Award bookings are subject to a 1% Tourism tax, based on the paying rate.
Location: This hotel is located in a suburb of Johannesburg, just steps from a major shopping district, Nelson Mandela Square, and Village Walk African Cultural Market.
Johannesburg city centre, Johannesburg Zoo, and the Apartheid Museum are less than 10 miles away and can be accessed via the Gautrain high-speed rail station, which is a short walk from the property.
Honorable mention: Radisson Blu Hotel, Dakar
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Radisson Blu Plaza Resort Phuket Panwa Beach (Phuket Province, Thailand)
Accommodations: Standard Awards get you into a 540 sqft Deluxe Room with a twin or king bed and private balcony with daybed. The room features in-room tea/coffee maker, flat screen tv, and free wifi.
Location: This beach-front property sits on the south-eastern coastline of the island. This is the kind of place you don’t need to wander away from, but if you decided to head out, Old Phuket Town is just 15 miles away and offers shopping, interesting architecture, and a bit of history.
Wat Prathong (half-buried golden Buddha), the Phang Nga Bay Limestone Formations, the Phuket FantaSea stage show are within 24 miles of the property.
For those who enjoy snorkeling and feel like making a trek to Phi Phi Islands, you’re just a 20 minute boat ride away.
Honorable mention: N/A
Radisson Blu Resort Fiji, Denarau Island (Denarau Island, Fuji)
- Tripadvior Traveler’s Choice 2012 Winner: #20 Hotel for Families in the South Pacific
- Tripadvisor #1 hotel in Denarau Island
Accommodations: 44,000 points per night gets you into a 430 sqft Classic Guest Room with a large balcony or courtyard facing the golf course, tropical gardens, or lagoon swimming pools. The room comes with a double sofa bed, and you can choose between a King or Twin beds. All rooms come with free wifi and tea/coffee maker.
Location: The resort is close to Nadi Town, the Denarau Marina, and offers many activities to guests. You can go island hopping by catching a boat in nearby Port Denarau, take the Naihehe Sacred Cave Tour, or check out the Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple. Or you can grab a lounge chair and just chill by the pool.
The resort is a short 20 minute drive from Nadi International Airport.
Honorable mention: Radisson On Flagstaff Gardens, Melbourne
- 2011 Australian Hotels Association (Victoria) Award
Thoughts, questions, suggestions about this list? Please comment below.