Club Carlson is pushing 16 of 18 hotels in London to higher categories on June 1 with 13 Radisson and Park Plaza hotels moving from category 5 or 6 to category 7 at 70,000 points. Another three hotels are moving to category 6. The two five-star London hotels with The May Fair and Plaza on the River residential style units are currently 70,000 points per night. The big change is the 40% increase with 15 or 18 hotels in London rising to category 7 and 70,000 points per night, in conjunction with the elimination of the free reward night benefit for US Club Carlson members.
These changes motivated me to change our summer travel plans from Stockholm and Oslo to London. Thinking about previous hotel stays in London at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street, Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street and Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, along with seeing a couple of the other Radisson Edwardian hotels, my thoughts came back to how our stay at The May Fair last November was easily the best hotel experience using Club Carlson points.
I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great to stay at The May Fair for all eight nights of our London trip?
An eight night stay at 70,000 points per night would cost 490,000 Club Carlson points with one free night.
Loyalty Traveler – Live Well for Less at The May Fair London (Nov 26)
Loyalty Traveler – Ritzy enough for The May Fair London (Dec 4)
Club Carlson Visa card member free reward night benefit
Club Carlson Visa card members get one free night on a reward stay of two or more nights. The benefit has been in place since the Club Carlson Visa card, restricted to US residents, was introduced in December 2012. You could redeem up to 50 free nights in a calendar year. This benefit ends June 1, as announced last month. Club Carlson Visa card members can use the benefit for reservations made through May 31, 2015 for hotel stays into the future, but no changes are allowed to the reservations as of June 1 without losing the free night benefit for the reservation.
Maximizing the free night benefit works best with 2-night reward stays on points. Two nights at the May Fair London is only 70,000 points.
How two free nights at InterContinental Park Lane give me six nights at The May Fair London
Then, I remembered my free nights from IHG Rewards Club fall 2014 Into the Nights promotion. I stayed one night at the Holiday Inn London Gatwick Airport the evening of my Ryanair arrival from Dublin.
Loyalty Traveler – Holiday Inn London Gatwick for IHG Into the Nights (Nov 24) with details of hotel and cost for airport shuttle bus transportation. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport the night before flying home to California. I earned two free nights for any IHG hotel in the world with that promotion I fulfilled in December. Kelley has two free IHG nights too.
We walked by the InterContinental Park Lane one evening in November 2014 as we walked from Hyde Park back to The May Fair hotel.
I thought to myself in November that two free nights at the InterContinental Park Lane would be a good use of the Into the Nights promotion free nights which are valid through December 31, 2015.
Our trip of eight nights in London means we can arrive from Copenhagen and stay at The May Fair for two nights, go to the InterContinental Park Lane for one night, back to The May Fair for two nights, back to the IC Park Lane for one night and back to The May Fair for two nights before flying to Copenhagen.
Six nights at The May Fair cost 210,000 Club Carlson points for three 2-night stays. Published rates ranged from a low 370 GBP per night to 410 GBP per night for our dates. That is a little over $3,500 USD for six hotel nights.
I’ll be the dressed down Californian in shorts and t-shirt lugging the groceries from Sainsbury’s across the street through The May Fair lobby.
InterContinental Park Lane is pretty close to The May Fair. Holiday Inn Mayfair is across the street from The May Fair. Google maps shows IC Park Lane as a ten minute walk from The May Fair.
InterContinental Park Lane London has some pricey rooms too. The basic tiniest room category is Classic Room with a view of the inner courtyard at 386 GBP per night ($587 USD). The InterContinental Park Lane website lists the Classic Room at 18sqm. That is like 194 square feet and would be the smallest luxury hotel room I have ever seen.
Sure hope I get an upgrade at the InterContinental Park Lane with a park view.