I mentioned before in this post that my stay at Radisson Sukhumvit was to take advantage of what I deem to be the best hotel promotion of the year. It's already paid off in spades. I have widely published my itinerary repatriating to the United States in the coming months. It drops us at LAX and the Sherpa and Sherpstress would like to spend a couple of "free" days on the best coast (East-coasters feel free to roll eyes... now). We booked onward air travel three days later, but our "free" stopover has potentially become quite expensive after we secure a rental car, hotel, theme park tickets, etc. - estimates are approaching $600.
We can eliminate more than half of that because of our mattress run. Here is how it worked.
Due to a special promotion, with just one stay at any Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Inn, Park Plaza, or Country Inns & Suites netted the Sherpa and Sherpstress more than 50,000 points! We got:
- 1,000 points just for signing up
- 3,604 points for our spend on the stay
- 50,000 points as part of the Big Night Giveaway Bonus.
That leaves my balance looking like this.
But what good is 54,604 points? I'm so glad you asked.
For our three days in LA we were shopping Hyatt and Starwood, but even at Hyatt Places, and Aloft hotels in Rancho-Cucamongo we were still pushing $338 with taxes, fees and charges. Add our car rental in and some In-N-Out Burger and now we are over $600 for our "free" stopover holiday. Eek.
Then I looked at my options with Club Carlson.
Space was widely available. I found a couple that suited us close to some friends in Ontario and decided to try to put one in the basket. I know my readers well, and there are two kinds. There are the passive readers that want to know how I just saved $338 and the advanced travelers that took up the same offer I did and want to know about the experience booking my award stay with Club Carlson. Newbies first, here is how it worked out:
The Sherpa found a room for 15,000 points per night @ 3 nights = 45,000 points and $0. If I wanted to save some points I could use just 15,000 points (5,000 each night) and pay a remaining cash balance in the amount of $203.40 which would still save us $135 and let us keep clearly valuable points. But we wanted to reduce our costs as much as possible so we spent only points.
The Sherpa spent $69 on a hotel in Bangkok prior to a trip to Hong Kong. As a result of a promotion and that stay, I ended up with 54,604 points. I specifically stayed in this hotel to earn these bonus points over some more affordable options in Bangkok, but the points are a great reserve to have for such a time as this.
I was able to use my points and still have 9,604 points in my account and save myself $338 I was going to otherwise spend. That's why I mileage run, and that's why I mattress run. Some people think it's crazy to spend more than you have to, or even completely unnecessarily (even staying a hotel night in your home town) but if it nets you this kind of long term hotel savings plan, then it is of course worth it.
Taking the first night into account (we got upgraded three levels to an executive suite), plus the three pending nights you could also see it as getting four nights at a rate of $17.25! Try finding a decent place to say in the LA metro for $17.25/night. That makes it all worth it, and it left us with 9,604 points in our account, enough to have at least one more free night at their lowest redemption level!
Now onto those who took up Big Night Giveaway...
I secured the hotel of my choice, but when I went through to the next pricing screen I got this error message:
That's frustrating. Just to check and see if the whole site was "unable" I checked another hotel in the area.
Only the hotel I have selected was "unable", probably a simple system error but I really wanted to secure the room and close the second to last chapter in our epic return to the states. I had a look around and found that Club Carlson has an iPhone app. I logged in with my details and found the original property I wanted to book. The app was "able" to secure the room without any hiccups at all.
Overall, I would have to say that the app was actually much easier and faster to use than the website. When shopping for Club Carlson properties again, I would likely go here first whether it is for a redemption or a revenue stay. The app was smooth, professional and efficient.
Analysis of the hotel promo, it's got to be the single most valuable promotion in which I've ever participated. Perhaps the aspirational properties are a bit further and fewer between, but when you have less flexibility in your stay, it's presented an unbelievable value to me - saving me money when I REALLY didn't want to spend it.