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.
Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card
- Annual Fee: $75 fee
- Foreign Fees: Yes
- Card Type: Hotel
Cardholders earn 85,000 points after $2,500 spent within 90 days, which is enough for 1-9 free nights, depending on the hotel category. The annual 40,000 point renewal bonus can be redeemed for up to 1-4 free nights, which more than offsets the $75 annual fee. Cardholders also receive instant Gold status, awarding them 50% bonus points on paid bookings.
Not only does the card help earn rewards rapidly with a payout of 5 points per dollar on all spending, but cardholders who book two or more consecutive award nights receive their last night free. Overall, this is one of the most generous hotel credit cards, making it possible to begin accruing awards on as little as $1,800 spent.
- Earn up to 9 Free Award Nights1 with 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase, plus 35,000 points once you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days
- 10 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases2 at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide
- 5 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases everywhere else
- Bonus Award Night - When you redeem Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive Award Nights, your last night is free. Exclusively for cardmembers!
- Club Carlson Gold Status is yours after you activate and use your card
- 1Category 1 hotels
- 2 Net purchases are purchases minus credits and returns