Radisson Blu 1919 and Park Inn, Reykjavik.

Discussion in 'Carlson | Club Carlson' started by LarryInNYC, Aug 16, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Just returned from 17 days in Iceland with my family. We had short stays in Reykjavik at the beginning and end of the trip for which I used Club Carlson points (there are no chain hotels in Iceland outside of Reykjavik).

    This is my first-ever hotel report (as well as my first-ever stay at any hotel on points). I should prefix this by saying that I'm not a big luxury person -- for our time touring around Iceland we spent three nights in a guesthouse at a farm and eleven nights tent camping.

    I hope this information is useful.

    Radisson Blu 1919

    On arrival, we picked up our car at Keflavik and drove to Reykjavik. We simply headed in the downtown direction and stumbled upon the Radisson Blu 1919 hotel (downtown Reykjavik is very compact). I had booked two rooms at the standard award rate of the 44K points each. We arrived before noon to find upgraded "business class" rooms ready for us (which was nice because the people checking in before us were told that they had to wait for their rooms to be available). The upgrade to business class was due to my Gold status with Club Carlson which I received from matching an Accor status I got through some "free status" give away last year.

    Business class rooms at the 1919 seem to be identical to regular rooms with additional amenities -- a Nespresso machine, bathrobes and slippers, perhaps upgraded bath products. Unfortunately, when you're upgraded to business class rather than booking it that way, you do not get the included breakfast (this is explicitly stated in the printed material describing the business class rooms).

    The rooms at the 1919 were pretty small, but nicely decorated and comfortable. The hotel is in a historic building but the rooms were modern, with "fresh" Scandinavian styling. I did not particularly feel that I was staying in a historic property. The bathrooms were capacious, a variety of bath products were provided in separate bottles.

    There is no hotel parking, but the hotel is directly across from one of downtown's many public parking lots. Parking is charged from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, costs a little under $2 an hour, and uses "intelligent" machines (so you can park at 4pm, pay for six hours, and the dashboard receipt will show you paid up through 2pm the following day).

    The hotel is extremely well located for downtown Reykjavik, within easy walking distance of the harbor and all downtown "sights" (such as they are).

    At a rate of about $330 per night, our points were worth about .75 cents a piece. If two nights had been available and I had already had my Club Carlson credit card, I could have gotten 1.5 cents per point.

    Park Inn

    After spending two weeks touring Iceland we returned for a two-day stay in Reykjavik. This time I booked the Park Inn, which is a low-level Club Carlson property (the 1919 wasn't available on points for these dates).

    This hotel is harder to find as it's about two kilometers from the downtown area. It is not conveniently located for downtown sites if you don't have a car, but tour operators all pick up from the hotel. There is a bus that goes downtown if you don't want to walk. With a car, the location is no problem since there's no traffic in Reykjavik and no problem finding parking downtown. There is free street parking directly across from the hotel.

    The rooms we had were considerably larger than the rooms at the 1919. They were on the top floor (the seventh floor) and I'm not sure whether they were regular business class rooms or some kind of mini-suite -- they were each one room but with a small seating area. As at the 1919, business class got you bathrobes and slippers. There were also a small box of chocolates in each room which I presume were either a business class or Gold status addition.

    The rooms on the seventh floor have a "penthouse" feel about them. The entire floor is set back a little from the rest of the hotel, both our rooms were corner rooms, and there are upward-angled as well as regular windows (sorry I didn't take pictures) giving a really light feeling to the room and great views of the bay and mountains.

    The room furnishings were quite dated and worn in some cases. The hotel could definitely do with a refresh. Also, on the first morning there appeared to be some trouble with the hot water, an odd occurrence in Iceland where the water generally comes out of the ground quite warm. There was soap and shower gel in wall dispensers but no separate bath products, so if those little bottles play a major role in your hotel happiness, you won't be happy here.

    Internet and a breakfast buffet are included for all guests at the Park Inn whether standard or business class, Club Carlson members or not. The internet was quite fast. We ate breakfast both days. The first day there were both hot and cold options. The hot options (scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, french fries, and some kind of hash browns) were pretty bad (although we got there pretty late and perhaps were getting the over-warmed dregs). The second day the hot options were missing entirely (this time we were there pretty early since we had to get back to Keflavik for our flight, it's possible the hot options came out later). The cold options (cold cuts, cheeses, a variety of breads, yogurt, cereals, fruits) were fine. There were also "mini" pastries that were pretty good.

    Unfortunately there were no 9K "standard" awards available at the late date I was making arrangements, so I had to book at 13.5K points. Because the Park Inn includes a breakfast buffet and internet for all guests, the only advantage of the higher rate is a nicer room (a room I might have gotten anyway as a Gold status upgrade). Also unfortunately, I had not yet received my Club Carlson credit card so I had to pay for each of the two nights. However, the rates at the Park Inn are not that much lower than the 1919 ($216 a night compared to $330 at the 1919) which makes this hotel a real points bargain. My redemptions were worth about 1.6 cents per dollar. If I had been more on the ball and redeemed at the 9K rate I would have gotten 2.4 cents per dollar. And if I had further been on the ball about applying for the Club Carlson credit card, I could have realized a value of just under 5 cents per Club Carlson point! Considering that you can purchase these points outright for .7 cents (even less with periodic bonuses) that makes this hotel something of a bargain.
     
  2. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    very! & if you haven't already, please write a trip report about Iceland ! thanks.
     
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  3. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    This is terrific intel, thanks. One of my main interests in the entire Club Carlson program is for use in Iceland.
     
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  4. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    What Sweet Willie wrote...
     

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