Club Carlson

UPDATED: Best Club Carlson Hotels: Category 5

Category 5 Club Carlson hotels require 44,000 points per night and there are some really terrific places to stay, especially in Europe. Without further ado, here are the best Category 5 Club Carlson hotels:

For 44,000 points per night (and sometimes less, if you’re a Club Carlson credit card holder), you can stay at hotels that are ranked as some of the best in the world. This list hasn’t changed much from the previous list, except for the addition of the Radisson Blu Split and a few changes in the honorable mentions. Here’s the best of Category 5:



Radisson Hotel Admiral Toronto-Harbourfront (Toronto, Ontario)

Radisson Hotel Admiral Toronto-Harbourfront Club Carlson

Distinctions: 4 Key rating from the Green Key Eco-Rating Program

Accommodations: Standard Awards feature a Cityview room with a coffeemaker and complimentary morning weekday newspaper.

Location: The hotel’s downtown, harborfront location makes it a perfect spot to explore the city. You’ll be less than 3 miles from every main attraction: Toronto Convention Centre, Hockey Hall of Fame, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, and more. If you want to venture further out and entertain the kids, the Toronto Zoo is 20 miles from the hotel

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is just over a mile from the hotel.

Honorable mention: N/A


Radisson Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf (San Francisco, CA)

Radisson Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf Club Carlson

Distinctions: N/A

Accommodations: You’ll get a newly renovated room with two double beds, free wifi, in-room coffee maker, I-Home clock radio/docking station, flat screen tv, and more. You won’t get a view of the bay at the Standard Level, but you can always hope (or pay) for an upgrade.

Location: The hotel itself isn’t highly ranked, but it recently underwent a renovation and boasts an amazing location right on Fisherman’s Wharf. You can easily get to local attractions by walking or taking public transportation. A cable car stop is 0.2 miles away, Pier 39 is within walking distance, and Ghirardelli Square is 6 blocks from the hotel. Overall, this hotel is a great redemption value.

Honorable mention:

Radisson Hotel New Rochelle

  • First Radisson property to feature the new, updated look.
  • Tripadvisor: #1 Hotel in New Rochelle

Radisson Suite Hotel Oceanfront (Melbourne, Fl)

Radisson Plaza – Warwick Hotel Philadelphia

  • Historic building located in the Rittenhouse Square district.
  • 4 Key rating from the Green Key Eco-Rating Program


Radisson Aqua Hotel & Spa Concon (Concon, Chile)

Source: Tripadvisor
Source: Tripadvisor

Distinctions: 3 Key rating from the Green Key Eco-Rating Program

Accommodations:  All rooms at this hotel have a view of the ocean, including the one you can book for just 44,000 points per night. Complimentary breakfast buffet and wireless internet are also included in award bookings.

The on-site spa offers Thalassotherapy and a large in-door pool overlooking the ocean.

Location: With its beachside location, this hotel makes for a great vacation spot. You can take a Wine tour through Casablanca Valley, hang out at the nearby Concon beaches (Playa Negra, Playa Amarilla and Playa La Boca), visit the home of famed poet and Nobel Prize winner Pablo Nerudo. 10 miles from the hotel, you can visit Valparaiso City or Vina del Mar, a famous resort town.

Honorable mention: Radisson Royal Bogota Hotel (Bogota, Colombia)

  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #8 Top Luxury hotel in Colombia
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: # 24 Top hotel in Colombia


Eastern Europe 

Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel, Prague (Prague, Czech Republic)

Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel, Prague Club Carlson


  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #16 Top Luxury Hotel in the Czech Republic
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #21 Top Hotel in the Czech Republic

Accommodations: Having undergone a full renovation in 2008, all rooms are decorated in a contemporary Art Deco style.

Standard Awards offer 302 sqft Standard Rooms with free wifi, in-room tea/coffee maker,  large LCD TV and, in case it rains, your very own umbrella. All guests receive complimentary access to the fitness center and sauna, turndown service.

If you want to splurge on a Premium Award for an extra 22,000 points per night, you’ll get a 344 sqft Royal Club Room with free daily breakfast buffet, free daily snack and drinks at the on-site Be Bop Bar, in-room Nespresso coffee machine, and more.

Location: This property is centrally located in Prague’s Old Town area, just steps from Wenceslas Square, the National Museum, Prague State Opera, and less than a mile from the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. It’s the perfect base from which to explore one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

Ruzyne-Prague Airport is just a 9 mile drive. Parking is not exactly plentiful on the cobbled streets of Old Town, but there are plenty of public transportation options to get around town.

Honorable mention:

Radisson Blu Hotel, Bucharest (Bucharest, Romania)

  • Tripadvisor #3 Hotel in Bucharest
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #4 Top Luxury Hotel in Romania
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #8 Top Hotel in Romania
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #20 Hotel for Service in Romania

Radisson Blu Hotel, Kiev (Kiev, Ukraine)

Western Europe

Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin (Berlin, Germany)

Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin Club Carlson

Distinctions: World Travel Award Winner: Germany’s Leading Business Hotel 2012.

Accommodations: Standard rooms are 290 sqft and feature a private French balcony with views of the city or the AquaDom. Rooms come equipped with free wifi and in-room coffee/tea maker.

Premium Awards feature Business Class Rooms with views of the Berlin Cathedral and River Spree. Additional amenities include in-room Nespresso coffee maker, daily newspaper, bathrobe, slippers, and free buffet breakfast at HEat Restaurant.

Location: This hotel is located on the Spree River, across from the Berlin Cathedral. The hotel lobby houses the AquaDom & Sea Life Centre, which makes for an interesting sight at check in.

From this central location, you can walk to the Berlin Cathedral, Museum Island (a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site), Red Town Hall, Brandenburg Gate, Hackescher Markt, Alexanderplatz, and lots more.

Just steps from the hotel, you’ll find various public transportation options to take you to the airport, Friedrichstrasse, Messe Berlin Fairground, and all other attractions that are not within walking distance.

Honorable mention: Radisson Blu Hotel, CologneRadisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin

Mediterranean/Southern Europe

Radisson Blu Resort, Split (Split, Croatia)

Radisson Blu Resort, Split Club Carlson
Source: Club Carlson

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Accommodations: A standard award gets you a 215 sqft room with a balcony. Award bookings include daily buffet breakfast and free wifi. For an extra 22,000 points per night, guests can upgrade to a 312 sqft Deluxe room with a balcony featuring city views. Both types of rooms include tea/coffee provisions.

Location: The resort is ideally located for those who want a relaxing seaside vacation along with easy access to historical sights. Diocletian Palace, Split Market, Split Port, City Museum of Split, and the National Theatre are all less than 2.5 miles from the resort.

Honorable mention: N/A

Northern Europe

Radisson Blu Hotel, Malmo (Malmo, Sweden)

Radisson Blu Hotel, Malmo Club Carlson


  • Best Conference Facility 2011 by Congrex
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #19 Top Hotel in Sweden
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013: #25 Top Hotel for Service in Sweden

Accommodations: At the Standard level, you’ll receive a 462 sqft Spacious Room, which includes free wifi and breakfast buffet.

A Premium Award gets you a Business Class room with an in-room Nespresso machine, fluffy robe, and slippers. Premium rooms go for 66,000 points per night.

If you’re booking during the discount period, I would not bother spending another 44,000 points on a Premium Award

Location: This hotel is a 20 minute train ride from Copenhagen. While Malmo isn’t really a city worth going out of your way to visit, it’s still a great base from which to explore two countries in one visit.

Both Copenhagen International and Copenhagen International Airport are just 12 miles from the hotel. Malmo Central station is a few blocks away, making it easy to get to the airport, as well as Copenhagen and the surrounding area.

Honorable mention: Radisson Blu Hotel, Alesund

Middle East 

The Radisson Blu Residence, Dubai Marina (Dubai, UAE)

The Radisson Blu Residence, Dubai Marina Club Carlson

Distinctions: N/A

Accommodations: This is an all-residence hotel, so you will get great value out of your redemption. Standard Awards include a fully furnished 430 sqft standard studio with a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, free wifi, and satellite tv.

For an additional 22,000 points per night, you can upgrade to a 645 sqft deluxe studio. In addition to all of the previously listed amenities, you’ll get a private balcony with views of the Marina or Dubai skylinne.

Awards are subject to a 20% tax, so be sure to calculate this amount before booking your stay.

Location: Located in the Dubai Marina, the hotel is less than a mile from the Dubai Marina Metro Station, Marina Walk, Marina Mall, and Jumeirah Beach. The hotel offers complimentary shuttles to Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Jumeirah Beach, and other attractions.

Dubai International Airport is 17 miles away and can be accessed via the Dubai Metro station, or the hotel can arrange private transportation for a fee.

Honorable mention: N/A


Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, Sandton Johannesburg (Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, Sandton Johannesburg Club Carlson
Source: Tripadvisor

Distinctions: N/A

Accommodations: Standard rooms are 300 sqft and feature a minimalistic design. All guests receive free wifi, in-room coffee maker, and turndown service.

Award bookings are subject to a 1% Tourism tax, based on the paying rate.

Location: This hotel is located in a suburb of Johannesburg, just steps from a major shopping district, Nelson Mandela Square, and Village Walk African Cultural Market.

Johannesburg city centre, Johannesburg Zoo, and the Apartheid Museum are less than 10 miles away and can be accessed via the Gautrain high-speed rail station, which is a short walk from the property.

Honorable mention: Radisson Blu Hotel, Dakar



Radisson Blu Plaza Resort Phuket Panwa Beach (Phuket Province, Thailand)

Radisson Blu Plaza Resort Phuket Panwa Beach Club Carlson

Distinctions: N/A

Accommodations: Standard Awards get you into a 540 sqft Deluxe Room with a twin or king bed and private balcony with daybed. The room features in-room tea/coffee maker, flat screen tv, and free wifi.

Location: This beach-front property sits on the south-eastern coastline of the island. This is the kind of place you don’t need to wander away from, but if you decided to head out, Old Phuket Town is just 15 miles away and offers shopping, interesting architecture, and a bit of history.

Wat Prathong (half-buried golden Buddha), the Phang Nga Bay Limestone Formations, the Phuket FantaSea stage show are within 24 miles of the property.

For those who enjoy snorkeling and feel like making a trek to Phi Phi Islands, you’re just a 20 minute boat ride away.

Honorable mention: N/A


Radisson Blu Resort Fiji, Denarau Island (Denarau Island, Fuji)

Radisson Blu Resort Fiji, Denarau Island Club Carlson


  • Tripadvior Traveler’s Choice 2012 Winner: #20 Hotel for Families in the South Pacific
  • Tripadvisor #1 hotel in Denarau Island

Accommodations: 44,000 points per night gets you into a 430 sqft Classic Guest Room with a large balcony or courtyard facing the golf course, tropical gardens, or lagoon swimming pools. The room comes with a double sofa bed, and you can choose between a King or Twin beds. All rooms come with free wifi and tea/coffee maker

Location: The resort is close to Nadi Town, the Denarau Marina, and offers many activities to guests. You can go island hopping by catching a boat in nearby Port Denarau, take the Naihehe Sacred Cave Tour, or check out the Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple. Or you can grab a lounge chair and just chill by the pool.

The resort is a short 20 minute drive from Nadi International Airport.

Honorable mention: Radisson On Flagstaff Gardens, Melbourne

  • 2011 Australian Hotels Association (Victoria) Award

Thoughts, questions, suggestions about this list? Please comment below.

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  1. Why no mention of all the Cat5 properties in London or Paris? These seem to provide the best value per point due to their $$$ locales and sky high seasonal rates.

    Paris Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan (stayed here & recommend it)
    Paris Radisson Blu Le Dokhan
    London Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf (2x nights booked for december)
    London Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer (2x nights booked for december)

    • Unfortunately there are no Paris hotels left in Category 5 since the award chart change. They’ve all moved to Category 6. As for London, those two properties are also not listed under Category 5 anymore.

  2. Whoops – I’m seeing them in your Cat6 post now.

  3. Have you actually stayed at Flagstaff in Melbourne? Am thinking of a visit there …

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