Carlson was purchase by Chinese group HNA in April and has gone quiet. Few promotions and a steady trickle of properties disappearing. Last month in DC I noticed the Radisson DCA had deflagged.
Then there is the stew of hotel chains peripheral to miles and points collectors.
2016 saw the remainder of the benefits from the devaluation of the US Bank Club Carlson credit work off. I had several buy one, get one award stays and the free night certificates for each card given for complaining about the devaluation. No new promotions of note.
I still see value in the Club Carlson credit card though my use of the program is flagging as higher-end properties become prohibitively expensive for award stays and much of their US/Canada portfolio crumbles or de-flags.
I did not go to the effort to put on the $10,000 annual spend needed for a US award night, despite liking the Radisson Blu Mall of America for my visits home when my wife accompanies. They no longer give lounge access to Club Carlson Gold so the primary appeal for us is gone.
We tried recently renovated Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown. Nice. Surprisingly few facilities. Some like MOA, tight on elite benefits.
Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Omaha Airport works for the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. See you in May!
Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Metairie (New Orleans) is a low-end hotel in ok position for travel outside the city.
Park Inn by Radisson Toronto-Markham we got on a Priceline booking when our flight was canceled. Disgusting property.
Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen Longyearbyen in Svalbard closed up shop for renovations during my January visit. I was walked to an inferior hotel with no other compensation.
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo is convenient and forgettable.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Bamako, Mali, Radisson Blu Okume Palace, Libreville, Gabon, and Radisson Blu M’Bamou Palace Hotel, Brazzaville are excellent hotels in destinations not on many itineraries. If you have an overnight transit when flying business class on Ethiopian you might get the Radisson Blu Hotel Addis Ababa.
My only stay was at the Best Western Plus Nobila Airport Hotel, Cotonou, Benin.
Choice is under-appreciated. Two great uses are:
- Family travel – multi-bedroom awards at same price as single bedroom
- Europe – especially Scandinavia, for decent properties, often with breakfast, and sometimes evening smorgasbord, included
Comfort Suites Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas gets you full Atlantis resort privileges at a bargain price.
Clarion Collection Hotels With in Tromsø, Norway is typical of a good Europe value. I checked-in after midnight and the front desk clerk heated the evening meal for me.
I had a few Accor stays in Central Africa when there were no better options at moderate price.
Auto-convert to Iberia Avios is still the best.