I am starting to think of my next vacation and it looks like somewhere in Europe will be the winner. Believe it or not, I actually have not been to too many countries within Europe and am eager to see more places. I am open to going anywhere and will probably decide based on airline award availability and hotel redemption options. Since Europe overall can be an expensive destination, it is one of my favorite places to use hotel points for free nights.

Over the past few years I’ve accrued a boatload of Club Carlson points due to the “Stay 1 night, get 50,000 point” promotions. I was able to take advantage with a few different accounts and ultimately combine the accounts into one. I also recently purchased points during one of their flash sales. Overall, I’ve probably spent about $500 to earn these points and have a total of 600,000 points.

Radisson Blu properties are part of the Club Carlson chain and while Radisson hotels overall aren’t great in the US, they are supposedly nice hotels throughout Europe. Of course I will have to research the hotels, but my goal is to stay at some Radisson Blu properties throughout Europe. A top hotel is 50,000 points when a standard room is available. With my 600,000 points total that means I can get 12 “free nights” – so with the $500 that I paid, it really means that each night I stay I’ve paid about $41 per night (which is cheap!). While points can go quickly with a bunch of 50,000 point hotel redemptions, with the Club Carlson credit card which I got back in January, I will get a free night for every stay using points. So a 2 night stay will only cost me 1 nights worth of points. That means 2 nights at a €300 EUR hotel will only cost 50,000 points max – assuming availability. So if I only have 2 night stays this means my 12 free nights will really get me 24 free nights for a cost of about $20 per night!!

While I will not be redeeming all my points on my next vacation, it will definitely be a great usage! Now here is my ask to you all – what Radisson Blu properties have you been to in Europe that you’d suggest? Or any that you’d advise to avoid like the plague?!

You can check out more details on the Club Carlson credit card here and how you can earn a free night with every points stay!

 

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

  • Darryl said,

    In April/May of this year, we had the opportunity to stay at two Radisson Blu properties: Ambassador in Paris and the Edwardian Hampshire in London. Both were located in very nice areas of the city, close to transportation and near to many tourist favorites. Staffs were most accommodating and the rooms were clean, roomy and pleasant. We certainly would recommend these hotels to friends and acquaintances. The fact that we were able to use Club Carlson points was the icing on the cake.

  • Oscar said,

    If you go to Eastern Europe, there is a great value at the Radisson Blu for 28K points. The hotels are among the best and service is amazing.
    Also anything in Scandinavia is superb!! as the properties were managed by scandinavians before Rezidor bought them.
    In Western Europe some properties are OK, but most of them are far from the city center.

  • Brian said,

    Radisson Blu Luzern is nice—close to the train station.
    For lower cost stays, the Park Inn Dresden is also a winner. Good location, and inexpensive.

  • James K. said,

    Radisson Blu Champs Elysees was also very nice and well-located

  • Ms. M said,

    The Radisson Blu in Madrid was in a nice location and was fairly new and modern facility (though the room felt a little cramped to my husband). The free breakfast was fabulous as well! We only spent one night there (free), but based on that experience, I would recommend it.

  • Thomas199023 said,

    Also have a look at Park PLaza and ArtOtels. These are generally prices a bit lower on points but have alot more charm. Research them beforehand, but there are a few gem park plaza’s out there incl. Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes London, Park Plaza County Hall London and Park Plaza Trier, Germany. You will find quite a few of these 4 star hotels in smaller German cities as well.

  • Nancy said,

    Radisson Blu Champs Elysees was wonderful. We redeemed Club Carlson points – our room had a balcony and we could see both the Arch and the Tower. Great location. We also stayed at Radisson Blu Leicester Square – location outstanding especially if you want to walk to shows at the west end.

  • Brandon said,

    How about Switzerland – Basel, Luzurn, Zurich and St Gallen? Switzerland is normally very pricey so your points will get you more bang for the buck. You could fly into either Zurich or Basel. In Luzurn you will be close to the Lauterbrunnen valley which is one of the most stunningly beautiful places in Europe.

  • Al said,

    I wonder if the “last night free” benefit applies to premium room redemption. I think you get better redemption value on club rooms with lounge access.

  • JustSaying said,

    Oh you just have to bite the bullet and sign up for the Chase cards and get your Hyatt points………..then use them at the Vendome in Paris and the Martinez in Cannes…….both absolutely wonderful locations………then Hilton points are very useful in London………..and if you sign up for the Fairmont card you would get 2 free nights you could use in Monaco or Hamburg which are both fabulous hotels……..Hamburg especially………

  • Jorge said,

    Radisson Blu are a great value in expensive Sweden and Copenhagen. They are big in Europe.

  • BothofUs2 said,

    Last year stayed at Radisson Blu Senator hotel in Luebeck, Germany, very nice property, good location near train station, river, and attractions. Park Inn hotel across the street was very nice as well (was doing the stay one night get a heap of points promo as well). Recommend both properties.

  • Mitch B said,

    Radisson Blu in Istanbul on the Bosphorus (European side). Ortakoy is a great neighborhood and Istanbul is a great city.

  • Pointsnob said,

    I live in Scandinavia and have been traveling heavy in Europe for the past year. I also have the Club Carlson credit card, and about 400,000 CC points, so I have tried many properties (in time, all will be reviewed on my blog).

    I have found Club Carlson properties can fall into two buckets.

    The first bucket tend to be very generic. Clean, but no frills. Standard beds, rooms and common areas. Fairly worn, cheap furniture, with not exceptional service.

    Bucket two is a step up. For whatever reason, several properties seem to have a totally different quality of property and service. These are few and far between but they exist.

    In my experience, I would say the European properties that fall into the latter bucket are as follows – Dubrovnik HR property (actual resort property – excellent redemption, highly recommend), Split HR, Berlin Germany (one with fish tank), Stockholm waterfront property (currently staying here as I write this), Chicago (obv not Europe but worth mention as is a fantastic property)

    Properties that have been very ‘generic’ for me and okly suggest if there are no other viable point redemption oppertunities are as follows – Budapest hotel d’arts, Oslo properties, Helsinki seaside location, Madrid location, Nice FR property, Athens Greece, Warsaw Poland…..

  • Katherine said,

    The Radisson Ambassador Paris Opera is now a Marriott.

  • Alram said,

    I stayed at the Radisson Blu in Rome. The hotel is very nice, big rooms (although not a very private bathroom if you’re not sharing with a spouse (toilet room separate, but Bath/shower just a partial wall). The location is great for the train station – so perfect for first or last night when arriving by train, but not the nicest part of Rome.

  • P t said,

    Agree with Brian about Luzern. Standard rooms are bright, cleverly designed, restaurant is spacious, lots of outdoor light, workout room good, location within walking distance of all photo worthy sights and staff are friendly.

  • Lauren said,

    Radisson Blu Ambassador Paris Opera was phenomenal! Within walking distance of everything. And if you fly into CDG you can just take the 10 Euro Roissy Bus from the airport and it drops a block from this hotel.

  • Lauren said,

    Oh just saw the comment that it’s now a Marriott, too bad!

  • Maury said,

    I stayed at the Radisson Blu Waterfront in Stockholm for 4 nights last month. I enjoyed everything about the hotel and especially the awesome buffet breakfast.

  • Jeremy said,

    Stayed at RB Mercer Street in London and it was awesome with an amazing central location. I have put together a pretty comprehensive list of some of the best Club Carlson properties in the world. Shoot me an email (I’m assuming you can see the email address listed in your comments) and I’ll send you the list as it’s in Excel.

  • Darry said,

    I too, am disappointed to learn that what was the Radisson Blu Ambassador Paris Opera is no longer a Carlson property. We were planning our next European vacation to include this destination.

  • Darryl said,

    To Jeremy (above)….would like to receive receive your list of the best Club Carlson properties…I don’t see your e-mail address. Any thoughts? You can send to me at my business address if you wish: darryl@jgassociates.net . Thanks!!

  • JustSaying said,

    Why not publish for all to see?

  • schmerj said,

    Stayed at the RB Radebeul (Germany) and the RB Rostock this year. Radebeul is a huge property, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The hotel isn’t that old, but it looks and feels very worn. Radebeul itself is lovely (wine-tasting). RB in Rostock is very modern and nice. Not luxurious, but a really solid hotel.

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