Use Club Carlson Points to Stay in the Caribbean

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Last week I shared the bad news that the Radisson Blu St. Martin Resort had been sold to Riu Hotels & Resorts.  According to this article it will be renamed the Riu Palace St. Martin on June 1.  I had hoped to use Club Carlson points there for a family vacation at some point in the future, but in the world of miles and points there is never a guarantee about the future, and looks like we missed out on this opportunity.  This is a bummer not just because it looks like it would have been a nice place to use Club Carlson points, but especially because when you have the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card the last award night is free.  This theoretically meant that you could book two nights under your name, and then two nights in your spouses name (assuming you both have the co-branded cards) to get four award nights for the price of two.

However, there are still several properties in the Caribbean where you can use Club Carlson points and take advantage of the last award night free perk of the co-branded credit card.  Here are three properties that are worth considering if you want to enjoy sand and beautiful water while burning some Club Carlson points.  I have yet to get a chance to stay at any of them, so can’t yet speak from first-hand knowledge, but I sure hope to be able to in the not-so-distant future.

Radisson Grenada Beach Resort

This hotel has 229 deluxe Garden View rooms, luxurious Beachfront and Grand Beachfront rooms and ultra-luxurious Suites are available. This hotel provides complimentary wireless high-speed internet access, a 300 ft pool with twin waterfalls and whirlpools, a fitness room, tennis courts and non-motorized water sports equipment. A full-service spa will be added in 2014.

 Radisson Grenada

44,000 points per night for a standard room

66,000 points for a premium Beachfront or Executive Beachfront

Max occupancy of 4 in both room types

Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados

This newly refurbished resort in Barbados sits on two miles of white-sand beach, where you can snorkel, paddle board or swim with sea turtles. Local craft markets along with other shopping and cultural destinations are conveniently located within walking distance.  There is  complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the property, an on-site Fitness Center, an outdoor swimming pool and multiple dining options. The resort has 124 guest rooms and suites with ocean or island views. There is complimentary Wi-Fi access.

Radisson Barbados


44,000 points per night for a standard room

I didn’t see any premium room options on points

Max occupancy of 4

Radisson Aruba Resort Casino and Spa

This hotel appears online to be the nicest of the remaining Club Carlson properties in the Caribbean, though I think Aruba in general has some pretty nice points options.  This property is a 15 acre resort set on a white sand beach.  The Radisson Resort completed a $30 million renovation in 2012 and is surrounded by enchanting lagoons, fragrant gardens and beautiful, cascading waterfalls. There is also a Larimar Spa, casino, two swimming pools, and complimentary Wi-Fi access.  It has some family friendly offerings such as Kids 5 and under eating free on the kid’s menu, a Kid’s Club for those ages 4-12, and free “Parents Night Out” on Thursdays if dining at Sunset Grille ($30 charge if going elsewhere).

50,000 points per night for lower floor Standard Room

75,000 points per night for Premium Rooms in the Bonaire and Curacao Towers

Max 4 in both room types

Radisson Aruba

 …and if you want a beach destination using Club Carlson points, but didn’t find what you were after in the Caribbean then I’ll throw in one more exotic option for good measure.  As you may already know, Club Carlson points seem to be more valuable the further away from home you get!

Radisson Blu Resort, Gran Canaria

This ocean front resort has 189 rooms and suites that all have a private balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  It is located a little over 90 miles off the Western Coast of Africa, but it is a Spanish island.  It has what appears online to be a nice spa, free breakfast, and free internet.  This looks like a great spot to visit one day – especially on points!

50,000 points per night for a standard room that is 35 meters

75,000 points per night for a Junior Suite that is 60 meters (max occupancy of 4)

 Gran Canaria

If you have used Club Carlson points at these or other beach destinations, I’d love to hear your experiences.  I’m still trying to decide which warm destination I want to use Club Carlson points at first!

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  1. Stayed at st Martin for four nights with my girlfriend around Christmas time and really enjoyed it. The islands gorgeous and food in nearby grand case was amazing. Definitely recommend an attempt to go before they leave if you can. Haven’t seen any reviews by bloggers of the place. Sad to see it sold as I’d have gone back in the future.

  2. Got back from St Martin last night. This was my 3rd trip to the Radisson and I love this’ only 3 star, but don’t forget this is the Caribbean. Really sad to see this resort leave the chain.

  3. We stayed at the Hyatt in Aruba a month ago. However, we walked down to the Radisson and walked through the property, etc. The location is still great and the property and beach were nice as well. I didn’t get to see inside the hotel or the rooms. But, we would consider going there. The only negative is the beach hut situation. It sounds like you have to stand in line in the afternoon to reserve a hut for the next day.

    I’m bummed about St. Martin – that is where we were going to use our C.C. points. Oh well!

  4. I wonder if you did 2 standard nights and then two premium nights if you would get two free nights from the credit card (ie. just being charged points for two nights.

  5. My wife and I got back from the Radisson in Aruba 2 weeks ago. Stayed 7 nights on points.Was upgraded to Partial Ocean view without asking -nice!The resort is one of the older ones on Palm Beach, but no complaints – it has been kept up nicely. Take into consideration RIU, Hyatt, Marriot are all newer Hotels on Palm Beach. But they’ve put up hotels 2 to 3 times the size of Radisson. That means 2 to 3 times the amount of people in there beach space. I’m sure radisson was full the week we were there, but we didn’t feel crowded at pool or beach. A couple of days it got a little crowed on beach when cruise ships come in. They rent umbrellas from vendors and place them right in front on beach. Hotels can’t stop them because all beach areas in Aruba are public. Their reservation system for beach huts is better than other hotels. I saw people at hyatt and Marriott in line at 6:00 am to try to get one. I usually went over 15 – 20 min before sign up and got one in first row. Hotel restaurants are expensive – as most on Palm beach. Right across street are plenty of reasonably priced restaurants. Just realize you will pay more for everything in aruba. Hotel has small but nice casino. Broke even 2 nights and won $100 a third night – can’t complain! Taxi to hotel was $25 about 5 -6 miles. Allow at least 3 hours at airport when leaving. Immigration is slow . Going back next January for another week. oh yea, hardly ever rains here, sunny and 88 every day.

  6. -Glad to hear about the Club Carlson experiences in the Caribbean! Sadly it seems that point redemptions at the St. Martin property have already been pulled. Hope to hit some of these spots with points myself!

  7. mommypoints,
    Very nice report/info. I have question about the Club Carlson credit card:
    Can I book the “last award night free” room for my family member w/o me having to show up at the Hotel (he lives with me)? If not, is there any way I can email them that I will not be coming but my family will stay and will they honor that request? The reservation will be under my name but my family can give their credit card at the time of checkin.

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