During my 8-day trip to Paris I stayed at four hotels. You might think I’m a masochist for doing it to myself, but I can assure you, I’m nothing of the kind. There were a few reasons for my hotel-hopping.
- Super-late booking and bad availability.
- My burning desire to stay for free smack dab in central Paris.
- Free night for 2-day stay at Carlson hotels for credit card holders.
There was a fourth reason, of course. I actually do enjoy experiencing different hotels. I guess, I am slightly less than normal, after all.
My first 2-day stay was at Radisson Blu Metropolitan hotel. It’s a small boutique hotel in Trocadero—an upscale Parisian neighborhood near the Eiffel Tower. Upon arrival—and that was quite an arrival, alright, but later about that—they told me my Gold status (that I acquired as a Club Carlson credit card member) “earned” me an upgrade to an executive room. And indeed, it was a very good-size room, especially for Paris, and—useless as it was—it even had a small balcony. The room featured free Wi-fi, two TVs, 2 bathrobes with slippers, and a Nespresso coffee machine. They also brought me some delicious sweets and free water every day. Didn’t get free breakfast, though.
But where this room really shines is the bathroom: All marble and granite with a separate toilet and His and Her sinks, a soaking tub, and a huge walk-in shower with a Spanish shower-head—fantastic! It ranks as one of the best hotel bathrooms I have ever experienced.
Negatives? There aren’t too many. The closet let out a cloud of dust when I opened the doors for the first time. The internet connection was quite flaky at times. The sinks, while beautiful and modern, are a little too shallow by design that inevitably leads to excessive splashing and puddles on the floor, and the soaking tub (yes, I just had to try it) takes forever to fill and I didn’t find its rectangular design particularly conforming to a human body.
The staff was very friendly and service-oriented, although it took them about 24 hours to change a defective coffee machine, and I had to complain twice. Although to be fair, the concierge was very apologetic about it and personally made me a cup of coffee downstairs.
What else? One morning, I went down for breakfast and ordered eggs and coffee. A waitress asked me if I wanted some croissants with it, so I thought what the hell, it’s Paris, right? They brought me a couple of croissants, a few jams and charged me 18 Euro for Continental breakfast on top of my eggs and cheese. They did remove the bigger part of that fee at the checkout when I complained and without any fuss whatsoever. So, all was still good.
The hotel has a pool and a sauna in the basement. Well, a funny story actually, the pool is tiny, and the lounge space has exactly two loungers, and this tiny, tiny pool has some Jacuzzi jets in the middle of it. However, with no place to sit on or hold on to, all those jets do is just blow you away. I though it was hilarious.
My biggest grudge with this hotel and all my hotels in Paris for that matter, is their separate mattresses, but by the time of my trip I had already known better than to complain about it. Apparently, Europeans love these sleeping arrangements. I had this type of bedding at all hotels I’d been to in Europe, including a 4-star hotel in Madrid. I don’t know what it is about those beds they find so endearing. Perhaps those smaller mattresses are easier to squeeze into a room. Perhaps they are helping partners to avoid being kicked by each other in the middle of the night. Perhaps they are good for the morale because, in all honesty, I don’t see how this kind of bedding may even be remotely good for cuddling. Me? I just hate the crack in the middle of my bed. Hate it! And since I like to “spread out” when I travel alone, I hated it even more. Oh well…
But you know what? When I stepped out of the hotel and made a few steps to the right, I saw this. That made everything all right!
And then, I walked for about ten minutes and arrived right here. It had been a long flight, but I finally was at the right place, it seemed.
Total damage: 50,000 Club Carlson points for two nights (with one free night for being a Club Carlson credit card holder). Not too shabby for a room that starts at 400 Euro.
To be continued.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49