In Part 1 of this two-post set, I detailed how my father and I are each flying to Spain for $108 and 30,000 USAirways Dividend Miles, a truly amazing deal. We still needed to figure out the hotel situation, however. Luckily, the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Club Carlson hotel chains had great options for us.
One of the many amazing things about Europe is that there is something unique about a lot of city hotels, whether it’s location, architectural style or amenities. One example is the Radisson Blu Amsterdam, where my father, sister and I stayed last February. The Blu had everything going for it – the hotel is made up of several townhouses, it’s right on one of the canals and the insanely delicious hotel restaurant – De Palmboom – had several different types of pickled fish for breakfast, which we were informed was a local delicacy.
With that stay as a high note, I was happy to find a Radisson Blu in Madrid, opposite the famous Prado Museum. The Radisson Blu Prado, natch, is a Club Carlson Category 6 hotel that costs 50,000 points a night. We plan on staying 2 nights, which would normally cost 100,000 points. However, since I have the U.S. Bank Club Carlson personal credit card, the last night point cost is refunded, so the stay will be only 50,000 points! The savings in real money is also substantial, almost $350:
Your Search Madrid, Spain | Feb 21, 2015 – Feb 23, 2015 | 1 Room | 2 Adults, 0 Children
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Sat Feb 21, 2015
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Going from the hotel’s curated Instagram pictures from their guests, the Westin is a lush and gorgeous oasis. Featuring a 1,900 square meter interior courtyard garden, the rooms seem fresh and modern yet luxurious and the pool reminds me of the one at the Waldorf-Astoria Versailles. Situated in the middle of town, three blocks from Valencia CF’s stadium, the beach and the the Jardin del Turia, the largest garden in Spain – you know what, enough jibber-jabber, I’m ready to stay here right now.
Since my father and I are spending 3 nights at the Westin, the cost will be 30,000 SPG points at 10,000 points per night. The savings at the Westin will be even higher than at the Radisson Blue Prado:
At the current conversion rate, the room is $247 a night, so our total savings will be close to $750!
Located right on La Rambla, it’s another luxurious offering from SPG in a fantastic part of the city. This hotel is a bit more expensive in terms of points, at 12,000 points per night, 36,00 points overall. The real savings, however, are about the same as the Westin Valencia:
The conversion rate makes the room $252 a night, so our savings will again be around $750.
Added up, the 8 nights will cost us 66,000 SPG points and 50,000 Club Carlson points. A fair deal, considering we are saving around $1844!
Add that sum to the savings from the plane tickets – ($880-$108) x 2 = $1544 – and my father and I will be saving around over $3380! This is real money.
After all, Spain’s a delicious country – wouldn’t you rather spend money on food and wine than flights and hotels, too?