Jul282018

Clarion Congress Hotel České Budějovice

Clarion Congress Hotel České Budějovice is an example of a hotel deal that took me to a city I probably would never have planned to visit otherwise. A hotel suite bookable through Choice Privileges for 8,000 points on Friday-Saturday and 10,000 points Sunday-Thursday was 38,000 points for our Sat-Tue 4 night stay.

I purchased 38,000 Choice Privileges for $190 in April during the U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways sales.

Even better than having a room with space to lounge around in for several days and nights was our discovery that České Budějovice is a city we truly enjoyed visiting.

Loyalty Traveler – Colors of České Budějovice on a summer Sunday

Hotel Lobby

New Wave Bar at Clarion Congress Hotel České Budějovice

New Wave bar art decor uses old reel-to-reel tape wheels.

Clarion Congress České Budějovice Hotel Bar

Clarion Congress Hotel České Budějovice lobby

The hotel is a 16-floor large hotel with many rooms. What you need to know is this hotel handles many tour groups. Often the lobby was filled with a couple dozen people as tour bus groups checked in. An outdoor patio for New Wave bar was frequently busy. Inside the bar was generally less crowded.

Morning and evening had people around, yet the hotel was mostly empty during the day and by the time we went to the breakfast room at 9:30am. Elevators were difficult to get in the morning and a couple of times I used the service elevator to get down from the 16th floor.

Clarion Congress Hotel České Budějovice

Tour buses filled the parking lot each night. Eight buses in my photo around 7pm.

Most of the tour groups were Chinese tourists. This was the same as Vienna where we stayed at Comfort Star Inn Schoenbrunn for three nights. I read that Prague surpassed London in 2017 for the number of Chinese visitors.

What makes České Budějovice a tourist magnet is the city’s close proximity to Český Krumlov, a well-preserved medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Český Krumlov is the second most visited location in Czech Republic for tourists and only 25 minutes drive from České Budějovice. A trip to Český Krumlov was one of the main reasons I chose to stay in České Budějovice. Summer prices in Český Krumlov were around $125 to $200 per night for a room when I checked.

Cesky Krumlov crowded streets

After experiencing the crowds of Cesky Krumlov for a day, I was happier to spend most of our time in České Budějovice where we could walk around unhindered and bounce from pub to restaurant with no problem finding a seat.

Room 1602

Our room is what I call a junior suite since there were no separate rooms.

Room 1602 Clarion České Budějovice

Plenty of seating in room.

Desk nook by bed

Comfortable bed and pillows.

TV and mini-bar

Iron and robes

A complaint about housekeeping is the coffee was never restocked after the first morning. That was not a major deal for me since the hotel stay included breakfast.

Clarion bathroom

Tub spa jets.

Our room view looked north where I estimated there are probably 30,000 residents living in high-rise apartment buildings. Old town Ceske Budejovice is in the opposite direction about 5 minutes walk from hotel.

Shopping mall with large grocery store is 5 minutes walk

České Budějovice residential housing blocks

Breakfast Room

Clarion Floor 1 breakfast buffet room

At checkin the receptionist told us it would be less crowded to eat breakfast near the end of the service. I generally went down to the breakfast room at 9:30am and there were always more staff working than guests in the room. I never saw the tour group crunch except in the lobby.

Clarion breakfast buffet

Asian Corner – rice and soup were usually gone by 9:30am

Clarion breakfast

Clarion Congress Hotel České Budějovice is a convenient hotel location for touring the city and neighboring region. The price is a good deal on reward points or even to book a standard room most of the time.

The room rate at the time I booked in late May for a suite was 658eur or $768usd for 4 nights. Buying Choice Privileges points made my room rate 9,500 points per night or about $47.50usd per night instead of $192 published rate for the suite.

We enjoyed České Budějovice as a low-key destination catering more to the local population than tourists. I’d like to return to this area of Czech Republic again.

Clarion České Budějovice at night

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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