Use Club Carlson Points For Family Rooms in Europe and Beyond!

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One of the biggest problems with hotel points for traveling families is that outside the United States it can sometimes get tricky to find a room available for a reasonable number of points that can hold the whole family.  Standard rooms in places like Europe often only (technically) hold two people, or three at the very most if the third is a young child.  However, thanks to Club Carlson there are now some new pretty good options for families traveling in Europe and beyond on points.

You can now use Club Carlson points to book larger deluxe rooms online.  Being able to book some premium rooms online with Club Carlson points isn’t brand new, but I am seeing far more options for family rooms than before the March 15th award chart changes.  Obviously these rooms cost more points per night than standard rooms, but it may be the difference between the whole family staying in one room, or needing two rooms.  Of course, this is especially valuable if you have the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card since the last award night is free – even in deluxe rooms!  And in some cases the family room option seems to be priced quite favorably as they often fall between the price of a standard and premium room according to the chart below. 

Club Carlson Award Chart

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any stretch, but here are a few options available via Club Carlson points for families of four.  If you have done any searching for rooms on points for families of four in Europe you know that this is a relatively big deal.

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Family Room Award-Studio Room – 62,000 points per night

Plaza on the River London

Club Carlson-Family Room Award-1 Bedroom Suite – 87,500 points per night

Club Carlson Deluxe Room

One-bedroom suite at Plaza on the River

Radisson Blu at Disneyland Paris

Club Carlson-Family Room Award-Family Room – 62,000 points per night

Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel, Dublin

Club Carlson-Family Room Award-Family Room – 55,000 points per night

Radisson Blu Resort, Gran Canaria

Club Carlson – Premium Award-Junior Suite-Sea – 75,000 points per night

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo

Club Carlson-Family Room Award-Family Room – 62,000 points per night

Radisson Blu SkyCity Hotel, Stockholm-Arlanda

Club Carlson-Family Room Award-Family Room – 62,000 points per night

Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport

Club Carlson-Family Room Award-Family Room

A tip for searching for these rooms online is to put in two adults and two children in the search box, otherwise sometimes only the standard room option shows available on points.  It also helps to click on “view complete list of rates” as that is the only way some of these family room options display.  Note that only standard rooms are subject to “no blackout dates” so these non-standard room types may be restricted whenever the hotel desires so book as soon as you see something you like.

Club Carlson Family RoomLet me know if you find any new premium room options that look great for a family!

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  1. Thanks for this heads up! I’ve been looking at London rooms for 2 adults/2 kids and was just about to book a Premium room @ 75,000. Never noticed these Family Rooms @ 62,000!

  2. We are planning a family trip to Europe for summer 2015 so this is very helpful information! Any tips on hotels in Italy?

  3. Yup, finding affordable accommodations for a family in Europe can be an enormous challenge. I honestly don’t know how families who are not “travel experts” do it (they probably don’t).

    This Club Carlson thing is certainly worth adding to the tool kit. I will note that a few Choice hotels in Europe also offer family rooms for points; but only a few (I saw one last year in London).

    Realistically, though, you’re going to need 2 rooms in most hotels in Europe if you’ve got 4 or more people. Sometimes that makes sense on points, sometimes not. It rarely makes sense to pay for 2 rooms (although I have seen occasional promos for second rooms free or half price — kayak will generally pull them up).

    In most cases, if you’ve got a family travelling to Europe, it pays to save your points and look for alternative accommodations. You’ll probably be happier with more room anyway.

    Of late, I have found booking.com to be pretty good at finding that “needle in a haystack” of a property that offers family accommodations. You can use their search engine to match up the exact number and ages of your family members. I’ve booked a couple of places through them for an upcoming family trip.

    It is, of course, also worth looking through the recommended accommodations on tripadvisor to see if you can find decent properties with “family rooms,” and contacting them directly. And if you’re staying longer, like a week, it’s good to search for self-catering accommodations — which seems to be how European families generally travel.

  4. Ditto what @iahphx said. With 5, I’ve found the following to be my usual routine–

    1) Find room for 4, contact the hotel to ask for an extra child (sometimes requires additional fee). In this case, Park Inn Stockholm Hammarby Sjöstad is a better option than the Arlanda property for seeing the city.
    2) Booking.com, usually finding a good apartment in a central or easily accessible (by metro) area.

  5. Two advantages:

    – Offsets the recent points-price increase in some Club Carlson, at least in cities which have a hotel with family rooms.

    – Allows you to use the “last night free” benefit for all family members with only a single active Club Carlson card in the family.

    Very nice, thanks!

  6. Jason —

    Yeah, contacting the hotel to see if you can put 5 in a 4-person family room is certainly a decent strategy. That said, if it’s a LARGE European hotel — where the front desk isn’t really going to monitor who’s coming and going — I sometimes just adopt a “don’t ask, don’t tell” strategy when it comes to 5. This way they can’t say “no” to you. 🙂 It helps if you have a small “blow up” bed with you. Of course, it’s better to just book something larger, but that’s not always possible at a price that makes any sense, especially for a 1-night stay.

  7. BTW, most bloggers doesn’t like to talk about it much, but realistically the only way to earn enough Club Carlson points to utilize MommyPoints’ strategy would be through “manufactured spending.” The cheapest way to do that would be to get a Bluebird card and, if you can find them, buy Vanilla Reloads at CVS with your ClubCarlson card. Since a $500 reload costs $4, earning 60,000 points costs — at a minimum — $48. If you’re willing to put in the time, I think that’s a great deal for family accommodations if you’re staying two nights on the BOGO deal. For one night, though, it’s probably best to deploy your Vanilla Reload effort elsewhere simply on an “opportunity cost” basis.

  8. Also on many of the hotels they want to add a surcharge for the child if older than 12 . I’ve being quoted 50 euro’s plus to have my 15 year old daughter in the room on an award .

  9. I agree, this is great news! It’s especially good that the amount of points needed to book a “family room” is a decent value. I only wish that more hotels would offer suites for additional points. I’m staying in Bucharest, Budapest and Vienna this summer and am booked in business class rooms. – Unfortunately none of the hotels are offering suites for additional points.

  10. Both my wife and I have these cards. We awe planning a trip for 4 nights for 6. 4 adults and 2 kids. (3 generations)
    Three questions.
    1. For one hotel If the online does not offer any rooms on points for 2 adults + 1 kids but offers for 2 adults, would calling hotel helps in accommodating the kid?
    2. Can I book 2 rooms for 2 days on points, would both rooms get second night free? This hotel allows room for 2 adults plus 1 kid on points.
    3. I am planning to book first 2 nights under my account and next 2 nights under my wife’s account and request the hotel to keep us in same room for 4 nights without vacating room in between. Does it work?

  11. Sam Goh —

    You are correct: my quick math led me to think that $500 in spend equals 5000 points, but at 5x on the ClubCarlson card, you’re at only 2500 points. So 60,000 points does indeed equal $96.

    Given the amount of effort involved (although, at least in theory, it’s possible to buy $5000 in VR cards at a time at CVS), the savings seem fairly meager unless you’re staying in a very expensive hotel city. Hotel prices vary dramatically, but it’s usually not hard to find a “family room” at a 3 or 4 star hotel in a major European city on booking.com for $120 to $160. The Club Carlson hotels are likely to be a little nicer, however.

  12. BTW – thanks mommypoints for posts like this. It is indeed a pain in the butt to book for 4 when traveling Europe and Asia.

    Would love to see a whole series and other readers sharing on these tips for the various chains. For us, we managed to get a room for 4 at the Hyatt Regency London and the Park Hyatt Vendome, but had to upgrade to a suite to do so.

  13. Sam —

    “Family rooms” aren’t really much of a problem in Asia because (other than Japan and Singapore) the room costs tend to be pretty reasonable. I’ve found the chain hotels to often offer good redemption value, even when you need two rooms.
    The big problem is Western Europe, where rooms are small and prices are high. Honestly, it doesn’t make a very good family vacation destination now with the value of the Euro almost $1.40.

  14. FWIW, at least some of these family rooms were available before the devaluation. On the day before the Carlson devaluation I went to book all my pts out for future dates and was able to book that same Family Room Award 1 Bedroom Suite at Plaza on the River London for 62k that you have listed above for 87.5k.

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