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Club Carlson (the loyalty programme for hotel brands like Radisson Blu, Park Plaza, Park Inn etc) has a great perk for Gold and ‘Concierge’ members. The Club Carlson 2 for 1 and 4 for 2 offers do exactly what they say on the tin and are a fantastic way to save money on hotel stays – book 2 nights and pay for just one, or book 4 nights and pay for just 2.
The special rates are for participating hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and most hotels participate, though availability can be limited. Club Carlson 2 for 1 and 4 for 2 bookings still earn Gold Points, and in practice all the nights usually count as qualifying towards status and any bonus Gold Points promotions that might be running.
Unlike most promotional rates from the other big hotel programmes, the Club Carlson 2 for 1 and 4 for 2 rates allow free cancellation (usually until 18:00 local time on the scheduled day or arrival, though this can vary so always double check!), which can be very useful.
You do need to have Gold or Concierge status (hotels can and do check this, so I wouldn’t risk using the links if you don’t actually have status). Fortunately, Club Carlson Gold is relatively easy to get as they offer status matches and it comes as one of the benefits of the American Express Platinum charge card
- Stay Thursday night, get Friday night FREE!
- Stay Friday night, get Saturday night FREE!
- Stay Wednesday and Thursday night, get Friday and Saturday night FREE!
- Stay Thursday and Friday night, get Saturday and Sunday night FREE!
Save More than 50%?
2 for 1 and 4 for 2 are very good offers and you might think they would effectively save you 50%, but there is a little noticed quirk that can actually make the savings even greater.
Club Carlson charges the full price for the first night (or the first 2 nights in the case of 4 for 2) and nothing for the second (or 3rd + 4th) night, regardless of whether the normal prices for the different nights are the same or not.
I think the greatest benefit from this is when you are staying for a Friday and Saturday, because some hotels (particularly in UK city centres), charge a lot less for Fridays than Saturdays. This means that in extreme examples, booking Friday and Saturday can work out A LOT cheaper than just booking the Saturday – even if you don’t really need the Friday!
Here’s some examples (extremely easy to find, I didn’t cherry pick them!)
Park Inn Nottingham:
Club Carlson 2 for 1 rate: £59.00 (£29.50 per night)
If you actually needed both nights your saving would be a massive 67%. Even if you actually only needed the Saturday but were able to check in on Friday instead, your saving would be slightly over 50%.
Park Plaza Leeds:
Club Carlson 2 for 1 rate: £89.00 (£44.50 per night)
If you actually needed both nights your saving would be 65.5%. Even if you actually only needed the Saturday but were able to check in on Friday instead, your saving would be nearly 50%.
Using the Club Carlson 2 for 1 and 4 for 2 rates can even get you some relative bargains in expensive cities like London!
Park Plaza Riverbank London:
Club Carlson 2 for 1 rate: £149.00 (£74.50 per night)
Saving = 53%
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London:
Club Carlson 2 for 1 rate: £189.00 (£94.50 per night)
Saving = 51.2%
Under £100.00 per night is an excellent price for a good hotel at the weekend in London (in one of my favourite locations too!).
As well as access to the special rates, Club Carlson Gold also gets you late checkout, an upgrade (often to a ‘Business Class’ room which includes breakfast), welcome gift etc, even if you book using discounted rates, so it’s well worth asking for a status match!