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.
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases