Radisson San Jose Airport (SJC)

This was a pure mattress run for the big promotion ($68 all in + 5000 points), although I stayed in the room for 3 hours to get some work done in peace.

The area is shabby, I don’ think there is much around, and I wouldn’t go for a stroll.  Their in-house restaurant has a nice outside patio, except it looks out to their own very boring driveway.

The lobby was empty and check-in was super fast. The clerk thanked me for being a member, even though I didn’t have any status.  When I didn’t visibly reply to this, he thanked me again, very pointedly, after which I thanked him in return 🙂  Actually this was the first time a Club Carlson front desk proactively acknowledged me as a member, with or without status.  It warmed me to the hotel immediately.

I was probably given a better room, it was on the top (5th) floor with likely the best view from this hotel, which isn’t anything special but much better than looking into a window of another building.

As you come out of the elevator on the fifth floor, there is a sitting lounge, which looks nice enough, which chairs, tables and couches.  Its color theme is way off from the rest of the hotel, it actually startled me when I walked out of the elevator.

The lounge has a sink and two small locked fridges but it is unclear what those are used for.  Do they hold receptions here?  The lounge has windows that looks out to the pool.  The windows are very dirty.

The room furniture was extremely dated and worn.  The TV is an old CRT which was a bit shocking.

There is no smell though, and the bed seemed comfy enough (I lay down for a minute).

What I loved about this room is that the window opens a bit, not enough to squeeze through but enough to let the breeze in.  Not having to sleep with the AC is a huge plus in my book.  There was very little street noise from the open window, I wouldn’t have a problem sleeping with it.

The bathroom was in line with the rest of the room.  There was an unfolded hand towel hanging by itself in the bathroom, it looked as if the housekeeper forgot to remove it.

Their standard weekend deal is early check-in and late check-out, plus $10 credit to their restaurant, no status required.  However, the cash & points rate that I booked did not specify these extras, and I didn’t test whether they would give them to me.

Overall impression: a cheap, nondescript hotel, perfectly reasonable to spend a short night at.  Excellent value for a Radisson mattress run.


Hotel Review: Country Inn, Sunnyvale, CA

I’m at this hotel right now, sitting by the pool while the kids are taking a nap. This is our second stay at this property, this time without any status. This hotel is 20 miles from my house. I’ve grown to like local stays thanks to the Club Carlson promos. The kids love it as it has all the attributes of a vacation without boring/exhausting travel.

I think this hotel is a good value overall, with the free breakfast and a heated pool. It is probably priced at the low end around here (judging from cost of living, I am not really familiar with local hotel prices per se). It is in an office park, nothing is walkable from the property… except a small park with a good playground. Great America amusement park is a short drive away.

I called at 10:30am and asked if we could check in early, around 11:30. They said no problem, they will work it out with housekeeping. The room was ready when we came, check-in was very quick. Last time they also let us check out as late as 3pm (we had Silver status then).

They have a large sign out front that WiFi now works throughout the hotel. The sign wasn’t there a few weeks ago, and we didn’t try the wifi then, but I can report now that it works really well in the room and by the pool. We were watching high quality video on YouTube with no problems.

We have a junior suite, like the last time. It is not large, but functional, with plenty of large drawers for storage, a small fridge and a microwave, two TVs. It has a separate living room with french doors between it and the bedroom. The doors aren’t tight and don’t close shut, but it’s better than nothing. Walls are thin, you can hear people laughing in the hallway.

The pool is heated, but fairly small and does not have a large staircase where kids could sit and play on. So if you have very small children you pretty much have to be in the water with them. There are three separate men at the pool right now (Sat afternoon), I wonder if any of them are locals staying for points, just like me. There is also a European couple, their 4-yo son is sitting/walking around naked. I think that’s totally fine, but you don’t see this a lot on the US.  Wonder if they picked this place because CC properties are more common in Europe.

Last time, the free breakfast buffet had a good spread for a such a basic property, the hot water for tea was actually hot.

We are definitely coming back for the next promotion!