Dec152015

Radisson Blu Uppsala Club Carlson Gold elite 2-for-1 stay

Club Carlson 2-for-1 Gold elite paid stays offer some great deals on weekends in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Last month I booked Radisson Blu Uppsala, Sweden on a 2-for-1 rate.

Rad Blu Uppsala

595 SEK per night = $70.02 USD.

From Stockholm Arlanda airport, the city of Stockholm is 20 minutes by train south and Uppsala is 20 minutes by train north. Uppsala is a historic university town.

Transportation Stockholm Arlanda airport to Uppsala, Sweden

Sweden royal family

Sweden’s royal family photo at Stockholm Arlanda baggage claim showing HRH Crown Princess Victoria, HRH Prince Daniel and HRH Princess Estelle.

Arlanda Express is the train to Stockholm and the ticket price is 280 SEK ($33 USD) one-way for one adult.

The train to Uppsala requires a different ticket and track. I had a bit of sticker shock to see the train ticket price at 166 SEK ($19 USD) for the 19 minute ride to Uppsala. There is a slight discount when purchasing a round trip ticket on Arlanda Express to Stockholm. The tickets to Uppsala are sold one-way with no discounts for round trip.

ARN train

Inside the train tunnel underneath Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

The landscape between Arlanda Airport and Uppsala showed us woods and farmland. Arrival at Uppsala in the morning rain revealed the Radisson Blu Uppsala within 200 meters of the train station.

Rad Blu Uppsala-ext1

Uppsala also has a Park Inn hotel about 50 meters past the Radisson Blu through the road opening under the hotel. Both hotels are on the opposite side of the train tracks from the historic city center.

Park Inn Uppsala

Park Inn Uppsala signage seen down street from Radisson Blu Uppsala entrance.

The hotel was packed on a rainy Saturday in what we learned was the first weekend of Advent with a fireworks show scheduled for Sunday. Reception stated the best they could do for an upgrade was a room with a view.

Rad Blu Uppsala view   Rad Blu view-2

View from Radisson Blu Uppsala to the city castle and Uppsala Cathedral.

We had a great view of the fireworks over the castle at 4:30pm on Sunday when it was pitch black dark outside.

Radisson Blu Uppsala Room

Rad Blu room bed   Rad Blu room-2

Rad Blu room desk   Rad Blu shower

The ice machine was just outside the door. A desk area by the window provided a second chair and the only counter space to eat in the room.

Breakfast was provided as part of the room rate.

The trip to the Hemkop grocery store was a bit of price shock too. I have shopped in Copenhagen and Bergen several times this past year, but the prices in Uppsala reminded me why I love staying at Clarion Collection Hotels in Scandinavia with complimentary evening buffet. Every trip to the store for a meal was a $30 spending spree.

It pays to be selective. I bought brie for $3 USD, and Kelley bought a small cheese pack that was $10 USD. Smoked salmon is one of the real deals and that was the main staple of our evening diet.

Grocery Store Prices:

Salad 60 SEK ($7.05 USD)

baguette 10 SEK ($1.18 USD) – good value compared to USA.

Smoked salmon 45 SEK for 200 g. ($5.30 USD)

Beer 3.5% Mariestads 13 SEK per 0.5 L bottles in 4-pack.

$6.12 for the equivalent of a 6-pack of Swedish beer. Only problem with the Swedish beer was I got no buzz from these 3.5% ABV beers. I truly believe that many of the beers in Scandinavia do not actually have anywhere near the alcohol content on the label. In Copenhagen last summer, I drank ten or more Carlsberg beers on July 4 and never got a beer buzz that day.

Uppsala banquet

The morning breakfast was interesting with quite a crowd in the dining room. We had to share a table with other diners, but then a table for two opened up within a couple of minutes.

Rad Blu Uppsala

Radisson Blu Uppsala dining room.

Knowing what I now know, Stockholm would have been a better choice for our weekend stay. There were no Club Carlson 2-for-1 rates available for Stockholm hotels, but I had other choices in Stockholm. Uppsala in winter had a few entertaining moments, like the Christmas craft market at the castle and the Climate Change march at Uppsala University on Sunday at noon, the day before the launch of the Paris COP21.

We traveled from London to Sweden for our cheap flight home to San Francisco on American Airlines tickets flying British Airways ARN-SFO round trip. Next July we will return to Stockholm on the return portion of our $500 round trip tickets. We probably will not return to Uppsala.

Uppsala snow day

Uppsala, Sweden on a snow day.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. The 2-for-1 weekend rate may be the single best perk of the Club Carlson Visa credit card, if you travel overseas. This year I was able to book two nights at the Radisson Blu in Madrid, and paid roughly 130 Euros for two nights.

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