I have stayed in some crazy hotels in my day. Among the most unbelievable was a crumbling shell of a building in Busua, Ghana called Mother Mary’s. Huge chunks of the roof and walls of the building were just gone. It literally looked like a bomb had fallen on it. There weren’t any private bathrooms. In fact, the only place to use the restroom was a cavernous semi-private room (“privacy” meant that there was a partial, saloon-style door) with a toilet made from a dubious-looking wooden board balanced over a fairly deep cement well. The room faced a large open courtyard, and you could see and hear people in the courtyard, and they could see and hear you. In case you are wondering, I could not bring myself to risk my life or my modesty by going to the bathroom here. I walked half a mile to the nearest “luxury” hotel instead. I also peed in the ocean. I dug up my journal from that time in my life, and here is what I wrote about our night at Mother Mary’s: the bed was uncomfortable, there was a loud mouse on the table and a glowing worm on the side of the bed.
So I’m no stranger to roughing it.
That being said, I do love a good luxury hotel. I’ve got an upcoming weekend trip to Los Angeles planned with a girlfriend of mine – a golden opportunity for glamming it up. There are a lot of high-end properties in the city, so we had our pick. However, as I reviewed all of the options, I realized that I didn’t want to stay in any of them. Instead, I wanted to stay at the Radisson LAX.
First of all, I realized that we weren’t really going to be in our room unless we were sleeping. This wasn’t a hotel-centered trip. We were going to be footloose and fancy free. PARTYING! (If you call boutique shopping and fine dining partying).
Second, while the Radisson LAX definitely is not a property that I would describe as a “luxury hotel,” it is clean and convenient. It has bathrooms. I also know that due to my Gold Elite status with Club Carlson, they will usually give me a very nice upgrade to a suite when I stay there.
However, the reason I decided to book that hotel is very simple: I’m doing it for the points. With Club Carlson’s current triple points promo, I will earn 60 points/dollar on my stay. We’ll be there three nights, which will net me around 25,000 points. I plan to use these points in the future for a luxury vacation at one of Club Carlson’s high-end properties such as the Radisson Blu St. Martin or the Radisson Champs Elysees in Paris. In other words, I would much rather earn points on this trip so I can burn them on the next.
The point is that not every vacation has to be a luxury vacation. Points-earning trips are also an important part of the “points cycle.”
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