Hotel Loyalty 2011-Q4 promotion Radisson Rewards

Hotel Review: Goodwill hunting at Radisson San Jose Airport SJC

My wife started 16 days of holiday vacation Saturday and our first outing was a parent gift to see comedian Wayne Brady at the Improv in San Jose. No better excuse for a hotel stay and Kelley needed her Radisson Big Night Giveaway stay for 50,000 points with a Radisson hotel stay by December 30, 2011. I booked her into the Radisson San Jose Airport for Saturday night.

Rates at the airport were as low as $75.60 for AAA Sleep Number bed, but for $99 we could have a one bedroom suite and for $114 a one bedroom suite with jacuzzi tub.

So I went all in and booked the full suite with jacuzzi tub. We planned on meeting friends for the comedy show and space to let the teachers get loose seemed like a grand plan for an apres-theater party.

Radisson San Jose Airport SJC

Radisson San Jose Airport (SJC)

The hotel has free shuttle for the airport and is located along a stretch of road between Highway 101 and the airport with several other midscale hotel brands.

The lobby is nicely furnished, but small. The restaurant and bar are comfortable spaces. The bar has a great deal with 4-7pm Happy Hour every night of the week with 50% off drinks and appetizers. $2.50 for draft Stella Artois is my kind of bar.

Radisson San Jose Airport (SJC) lobby.
Radisson San Jose Airport (SJC) lobby with RSVP44 restaurant in background.

There are large wall photo urban images around the hotel like on the lobby ceiling and the walls in the elevator hallways.

Radisson San Jose Airport - urban art on ceiling of lobby.

We checked into the hotel and received our keys to Room 306 of the five story hotel. There are two elevators and when we entered the elevator I took a mental note to photograph the inside. That elevator never returned again during my stay. The interior looked like someone had a fit of rage and kicked the shit out of the panels. So I didn’t get a photo since I only rode in the elevator the one time.

We had a long walk down the hallways and came to double doors for room 306.

Radisson San Jose Airport - Room 306 One Bedroom Jacuzzi Suite.

Excitement to see what is behind the door is an anticipation I still get at every hotel I visit for the first time.

I still can’t get over the TV cabinet as my first image of this room.  Apparently the interior decorator for the suite shops Goodwill. My wife talks about shabby chic as a design style, but this is a bit extreme. This piece of furniture sorely needs a little polish.

Radisson San Jose Airport - SJC TV cabinet

Even more odd is the fact the TV is positioned six inches off the floor and was not even easily viewed from the couch in the room. I had to pull the TV away from the wall to see the screen from the couch.

Radisson San Jose Airport - Suite 306 needed to be moved to be viewed from couch.
Radisson San Jose Airport - SJC Suite 306.

The sitting room was spacious no doubt. There was quite a bit of empty space in the room. A microwave, empty refrigerator, sink, coffee maker and table with three chairs were nice features. The couch looked like it also came from Goodwill hunting. The couch was more comfortable than it looked.

Radisson San Jose Airport SJC - Suite 306 couch and tables.

The table beside the couch had a similar looking wider mate on the opposite wall with a rolling desk chair.

Radisson San Jose Airport SJC - Suite 306 desk.

I spent a few hours working at the desk Sunday morning. My computer mouse kept snagging on the loose pieces of wood tile on the desk surface. The wireless internet was so slow that I would click a page and go get some coffee or go to the bathroom or do some stretches while waiting for the webpage to load.

Radisson San Jose Airport desk lamp with 100% Guest Satisfaction Guarantee card.

Radisson offers a 100% Guest Satisfaction Gaurantee. I would have probably gone back to the desk and asked to see another room if we had not needed to rush off to a theater show. In principle though, requesting a better room should have been unnecessary. I booked the most expensive, highest category room they offered at the hotel. That a Radisson Hotel would have a suite in this kind of condition is astounding to me. This kind of room needs to be publicly exposed.

The Bedroom

There was less to complain about with the bedroom of Suite 306. The furnishings looked better.

Radisson San Jose Airport - Suite 306 bed.
Radisson San Jose Airport - Suite 306 bedroom chair.
Radisson San Jose Airport - Suite 306 bedroom tv.
Radisson San Jose Airport - Suite 306 Closet.


Radisson San Jose Airport – Suite 306 Jacuzzi Bathroom

I paid an extra $15 for the jacuzzi tub suite at $114 when there was the option of a suite without the jacuzzi tub for $99.

Radisson San Jose Airport SJC - Suite 306 jacuzzi tub.


We never used the tub.

The water was too cold for my shower to get me warmed up in the morning. Kelley complained the shower head was so low that it required her to bend over to rinse her hair. There was nothing too special about the shower head.

Radisson San Jose Airport Suite 306 shower head.

The double sinks are a nice feature.

Radisson San Jose Airport SJC - double sinks.

The noise I kept hearing in the bathroom sounded like the typical noise heard when people take showers in hotels. Turned out the loud water noise was the toilet running. There were several times during our stay I had to go and jiggle the toilet handle to stop the running water noise.

All in all I think this was the first time I have ever stayed in a hotel suite that I was too emabarassed to bring up guests. We met our friends before the theater show in the bar by the hotel lobby.

Radisson San Jose Airport - couch seating in bar.

The bar has great happy hour prices. The seating in the bar is another area where I found discomfort. Look in the picture below and you see there are two kinds of chairs at these tables. We sat at a table with the chairs with vertical rods in the seat back. I had to grab the horizontal style chair since I found the taller chair to be quite uncomfortable to sit on.

Radisson San Jose Airport bar.


RSVP44 Restaurant at Radisson San Jose Airport

The restaurant was the nicest looking space at the hotel. Kelley slept in at the hotel and we missed the breakfast time ending at 11am. Breakfast was not included in our rate.

RSVP44 Restaurant at Radisson San Jose Airport.

Fitness Facilities

Radisson San Jose Airport has an outdoor pool and fitness center. December 18 was one of the coldest mornings of the year in San Jose and nobody was using the pool. It is a small pool.

Radisson San Jose Airport pool.
Radisson San Jose Airport pool.

The fitness center is past the business offices and has a connecting door to the pool area. Lots of mirrors give the appearance the room is larger. I think the space is rather small for a 300 room hotel.

Radisson San Jose Airport fitness center.
Radisson San Jose Airport fitness room.

Although I failed to get a photo of the beat up elevator, I did snap this photo of the hallway ceiling just outside the fitness room. There are hazard signs in the hallway to the fitness room and wastebaskets collecting water dripping from the ceiling. Must be an inside problem since we haven’t seen rain for some time around here.

Radisson San Jose Airport - Ceiling leak outside the fitness center.


Radisson San Jose Airport Review Conclusion

Carlson Hotels has a five-year improvement plan launched in 2010 called Ambition 2015. A key component of this plan is to improve the image of the Radisson Hotel brand in the U.S. Last month I was at three Radisson Hotels and these were all hotels I have no hesitation in recommending to readers of Loyalty Traveler if you find yourself in Santa Maria, Chicago or Buena Park by Disneyland. ranks Radisson San Jose Airport as #35 of 72 hotels in San Jose with 66 reviews. The latest four reviews from the past month are all bad for this hotel. I’ll add my thumbs down for this hotel to the list. The TripAdvisor reviews mention several of the problems I had like running toilet and a Sleep Number bed that the control is extremely loud and only works decently for one side of the bed. My main complaint was the crap furniture in what the hotel calls a jacuzzi one bedroom suite.

I’ll likely go back to this hotel in the future for the happy hour special, but I’ll be checking into a different hotel when I want a decent room for the night around San Jose Airport.




  • tommy777 December 19, 2011

    Ric, it looks pretty awful.. Yikes. Husbands don’t let wifes stay at a domestic Radisson, not good for marriage 😉

    I’m glad I checked in to the Radisson LAX and didn’t stay there to get my 50K points 😉

  • dealswelike December 19, 2011

    I agree with Tommy, this hotel looks horrendous. At least you got your 50K points, that is all that matters! My husband also checked into the Radisson LAX, but also didn’t stay there. I checked into the Radisson in NYC and did not stay their either. I am not a fan of Radisson hotels in the US.

  • Oliver December 19, 2011

    My wife and I spent one night there recently (in a regular room) for her 50k points and our impression was similar. And I came back for the 50k points on Saturday (prepaid was $10 cheaper than the AAA rate you mentioned). Too bad I didn’t know you were there the same day, and on the same floor even. I didn’t stay overnight, though.

    Did they ice and vending machine out on the hallway not bother you? Seemed like a perfect placement for keeping folks in the surrounding rooms awake at night.

    In the regular rooms, the bathroom is tiny. The furniture seems the same.

    Breakfast in the restaurant was pretty good.

  • boxo December 19, 2011

    I did my 50k promo stay at Radisson SJC last month. Around the Thanksgiving holiday, the rate for a basic room with Sleep Number bed was $70-ish all in IIRC.

    No serious complaints although your mention of jiggling the toilet may be sparking a memory. I gave the internet service a poor rating on the post-stay survey and was subsequently contacted by a manager with 2k points for my inconvenience.

    Also, a local Flyertalker and I got together for Happy Hour in the bar and neither of us were Happy – service was extremely slow and the food barely edible. Never again.

    All in all, a decent location blocks from light rail, and easy for the promotion, so no regrets.

  • Jenny December 19, 2011

    I stayed at this same hotel for the 50K promotion. I agree 100% with your review, and will never stay at this hotel again. By the way, you definitely did not miss much at the breakfast in RSVP44. The menu choices were dismal and so was the disappointing food….

  • carwag25 December 19, 2011

    Agree with your assessment and others in the comments. I live in downtown SJ not far from this hotel, and would have never considered getting a room at this hotel if it were not for the 50K promo. The spouse and I checked into separate rooms under separate reservations, but did not stay the night. Thank goodness because I would never recommend this hotel to anyone visiting from out of town.

  • Kyle December 19, 2011

    I did my 50K promo stay here too! I did not like it. Very old for a Radisson and disappointing. No decent food in walking distance either. Not in the best area of SJ or SJC area.

    Atleast it gave me my 50K points.

  • karung99 December 19, 2011

    Ric, we were there for Friday night and Sat night, didn’t know you were staying there too, otherwise love to buy you a drink. I booked using 25% off paying $61 on Friday and $63 for Saturday. (Not bad for 100K)
    They have a good breakfast place next door at 4th Street Bawl. It is owned by Hawaiin… I had Locomoco and +1 have Spam and Eggs.

  • Harvey Yang December 19, 2011

    Hi Ric, do you know how long the 50k miles take to post? I just did my mattress run stay at the Radisson Fallsview in Niagara Falls on Friday. Sorry to hear about your experience at the Radisson SJC, the one I stayed was beautiful and tastfully modern in furnishing. Didn’t check out any of the amenities as we went straight to the casino and clubs, but the room was nicely renovated.

  • Eric P December 19, 2011

    I also stayed at this hotel for the 50k promotion. Ric’s review was spot on.

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  • carwag25 December 20, 2011

    Sounds like several of us hit up this hotel for the 50K promo. When I did my stay on Nov 11 (day after promo opened), the front desk clerk made mention that my Chase Sapphire “metal” card was the third time he had seen that card that day. He had never seen the card prior to that, but has probably seen many more since then!

  • Everett December 20, 2011

    Small world, I stayed at this hotel this weekend too, and stayed in the EXACT same room the night before (I stayed got the free upgrade to room 306 for being a Silver Elite member, I tried to get it again Saturday night but they said it was booked, now I know why!) And your description of the room is spot on; the toilet ran all night, and the jacuzzi tub jets shot water up all over the floor, so you didn’t out on anything there. Too bad all us travel junkies didn’t know we were all there this weekend, could have been quite a happy hour.

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