New Radisson Rewards 2021 Changes: Part 1 — Digging for Values in the Americas

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Radisson Hotel Maiorana Belem (photo: courtesy of Radisson Hotels Americas)

As you probably know at this point, there are new Radisson Rewards 2021 changes slated for June. Radisson Rewards is splitting into two programs in June 2021: Radisson Rewards Americas and Radisson Rewards, which covers the rest of the world. The real reason why Radisson has to “simplify” and “enhance” its loyalty program is well-known and I’m not going into it. Instead, I’ve decided to look into something more relevant — whether or not the new devaluation still has any sweet spots.

Here is my 2018 post on the best Radisson Rewards values

This is the current Radisson Rewards chart

And this is the upcoming Radisson Rewards chart

My notes and Radisson brands datapoints 

  • This article is looking into international Radisson hotels only.
  • I value Radisson points at $0.25-$0.30, but a valuation is in the eye of the beholder. Please remember:
    • Cash rates fluctuate all the time. What you see at the time of this writing may change dramatically by the time of your actual travel.
    • Always count taxes and additional fees to determine the true value of your points redemption.
  • Country Inn and Suites offer free breakfast to all guests. Only Platinum Elite members are eligible for free breakfast at other brands.
  • I’ve had a consistent upgrade experience at Radisson (Gold), better than at Hilton (Diamond).
  • The Radisson Rewards 2021 changes are here.
  • The Radisson elite benefits are here.

Radisson brands

The descriptions below are from the horse’s mouth — take with a bucket of salt. 🙂

art’otel (the Link)

Located in cosmopolitan centres across Europe, art’otel is a contemporary collection of lifestyle hotels that merge a unique architectural style with art-inspired decor.

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson

Inspired by a sense of belonging, community and shared experiences, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson delivers a heartfelt experience through inviting design, products and services

Park Inn by Radisson

Park Inn by Radisson delivers stress-free experiences, good food and upbeat environments. We positively lift our guests’ moods for a happy stay – with clever use of color, inspired, contemporary design, and friendly, personalized service with surprising, feel-good extras.

Park Plaza

Park Plaza delivers authentic, genuine service which is inspired by the personality of each locale. The contemporary design brings vibrancy to every aspect of the experience offered. Park Plaza connect the places and people for a truly authentic experience.

prizeotel

Welcome to the world of extraordinary, futuristic high design at the surface and joyful heroes at the heart of prizeotel.

Radisson

Radisson enables guests to find harmony in their hotel experience – with relaxing natural spaces, thoughtfully considered details and unexpected delights.

Radisson Blu

Radisson Blu creates memorable experiences in stylish spaces. By paying close attention to the small details that make a big difference, we inspire unforgettable experiences with every stay.

Radisson Collection

Radisson Collection is a unique collection of iconic properties. While the character of each hotel feels authentic to its locality, all offer the ultimate template for contemporary living; united by bespoke design and exceptional experiences across dining, fitness, wellness and sustainability.

Radisson Individual

Radisson Individuals brings together hotels that have unique characteristics and personalities, offering guests an opportunity to discover new locations

Radisson Red

Radisson RED presents a playful twist on conventional hotel stays, injecting new life into hotels through informal services where anything goes, a social scene that’s waiting to be shared and bold design.

US Bank Radisson Rewards Premier Card

If you’re interested in Radisson Rewards, you should get this card (not an affiliate link). And if you have a spartner, definitely apply for both of you. The current offer is 100,000 points after spending $3,000 in three months, and you get 40,000 every anniversary for as long as you hold the card. Totally worth the $75 annual fee (not waived). If you’re in no rush, you might want to wait for a better welcome bonus; the best ever was 125,000 points IIRC.

Best values in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America after the Radisson Rewards 2021 changes

Mexico

  • Park Inn by Radisson Mazatlan: 28,000 –> 15,000 points

Appears to be a well-reviewed property with a good restaurant within walking distance of a nice beach.

Costa Rica

Most people don’t go to Costa Rica to explore San Jose, but if you need a stay (in order to go on some tours) or have to spend the night (if you arrive late in the evening), there are two 15,000-point Radissons in San Jose.

  • Park Inn by Radisson San Jose: 28,000 –> 15,000
  • Radisson San Jose: 28,000 –> 15,000

Barbados

  • Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados: 50,000 –> 45,000 points

The view from my balcony

I stayed at this Bridgetown hotel a few years ago. It’s practically on the beach, and while it’s not cheap at 50,000 points, Barbados is quite pricey in general. Depending on the cash rate (I think during my visit it was $300+) the points can be a great value.

Panama

  • Radisson Hotel Panama Canal: 28,000 –> 15,000

I actually toured that hotel because I considered staying there for a couple nights when I was in Panama City. If you want peace and quiet, this hotel offers fantastic views, and it feels like a resort, yet it’s just 1.5 miles away from the old town (Casco Viejo).

Best values in South America after the Radisson Rewards 2021 changes

Colombia

  • Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion Hotel: 44,000 –> 30,000

PIC

An upscale beachfront hotel in a world-class historic city. Solid value!

Ecuador

You can fly to the Galapagos via Quito or Guayaquil. You’ll probably be choosing which one based on the scheduling because neither city is very touristy. Still, you might have to spend the night in either city, and if you want to stay and explore, Quito is certainly more interesting (but keep in mind its 9,350-feet elevation).

  • Park Inn by Radisson Quito: 28,000 –> 15,000
  • Radisson Hotel Guayaquil: 28,000 –> 15,000

Peru

I love Lima. I know most people use it just as a stepping stone to Machu Picchu, which is a shame because Lima has a lot to keep you busy for two to three days. And if you’re a foodie, then skipping Lima is just… wrong! Lima isn’t called the gastronomical capital of South America for nothing.

Having said that, even if you’re not interested in Lima, you might have to stay there overnight.

There are four hotels in Lima that will be reduced from 38,000 to 30,000 points this summer. These hotels are located in Miraflores and San Isidro, which are great areas to stay in Lima. Having said that, Radisson Hotel Decapolis Miraflores is probably the best value of all, due to its close proximity to the ocean.

Radisson Hotel Decapolis Miraflores

  • Radisson Hotel Decapolis Miraflores
  • Radisson Red Miraflores
  • Radisson Hotel San Isidro
  • Radisson Hotel Plaza del Bosque

Bolivia

  • Radisson Hotel Santa Cruz: 38,000 –> 30,000

I would primarily consider Santa Cruz as a jumping-off point to fly to Uyuni for the ethereal Bolivian salt flat, but having read about it a little, it seems like Santa Cruz is a nice enough city to explore for 2-3 days, as well. Another advantage of Santa Cruz vs. the Bolivian capital La Paz is that La Paz’s elevation is almost 12,000 feet, which is higher than Cuzco (and I’ll never forget trying to catch my breath in Cuzco on my first day).

Uyuni Salt Flat by Peter Conlan on Unsplash

Brazil

These cities in Brazil are well worth exploring, and the Radisson Rewards 2021 changes can help to keep your costs under control

São Paulo

  • Park Inn by Radisson Berrini: 28,000 –> 15,000
  • Radisson Hotel Alphaville: 44,000 –> 30,000
  • Radisson Oscar Freire: 44,000 –> 30,000
  • Radisson Hotel Paulista: 44,000 –> 30,000

Santos

  • Park Inn by Radisson Santos: 28,000 –> 15,000

Santos is a charming seaside town, about 1.5 hours from São Paulo. Would I recommend it as a standalone travel destination? No, but Santos is an ideal beach destination to get a respite from the hustle and bustle of São Paulo.

Recife

  • Radisson Hotel Recife: 44,000 –> 15,000

This is arguably the best value or at least a solid one in the new Radisson Rewards chart. Recife has a beautiful waterfront and great historical center with old colonial buildings. It also doesn’t hurt that Radisson is an oceanfront hotel just a few steps from the Boa Viagem Beach, the most famous beach in town.

And Recife is the perfect base to explore the surrounding areas including the colorful seaside town of Olinda, and Porto de Galinhas, which is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil.

Belem

  • Radisson Hotel Maiorana Belem: 38,000 –> 30,000

Most people who go on the Amazon cruise start it in Manaus and end their cruise in Belem. However, there is no reason not to make Belem your gateway to the Amazon, and it might be preferable simply because (albeit not touristy) it’s a nicer and more interesting city. Compared to Belem, Manaus’s downtown is absolutely nothing to write home about aside from the Theatro Amazonia and suburban beaches of the Rio Negro. At least, staying in Belem, you have an option of doing the Ilha dos Papagaios tour — a great adventure if you have some time to spare.

Radisson Belem is located in Nazaré, one of the nicest Belem neighborhoods, and offers a gorgeous rooftop pool and free breakfast.

Uruguay

Radisson Montevideo Victoria Plaza Hotel: 38,000 –> 30,000

Within walking distance of the Old Town.

Chile

There are a few Radisson hotels in Chile that you might be interested in.

  • Radisson Ciudad Empresarial Santiago: 38,000 –> 30,000

This Radisson is located in the business district, but that’s to be expected for the price. Free breakfast and pretty decent reviews.

  • Park Inn by Radisson, Puerto Varas: 15,000 (no changes)

Puerto Vargas is a town in the famous Lake District, dubbed the Switzerland of Chile.

  • Park Inn by Radisson Los Olivos de Vallenar: 15,000 (no changes)

In the Atacama region, close to the beaches of Huasco.

  • Radisson Hotel Curico: 28,000 –>15,000

On the Curico Valley Wine Route in central Chile.

To recap

There are some sweet spots to be found after the Radisson Rewards 2021 changes, but in all honesty, they’re few and far between. This is especially disheartening considering that South America is currently badly ravaged by Covid, although clearly these changes are not being applied immediately.

My next post is about looking for best values after Radisson Rewards 2021 changes in Europe and the rest of the world. Stay tuned.

 

 

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bluecat

Nice post and looking forward to seeing your other picks for the rest of the world.
(Also, first time I saw “spartner”…made me smile!)

Christian

I have to admit that while I’m still unhappy about the changes, you certainly illustrate that the glass isn’t always half empty. I do find the chain descriptions uproarious: I somehow must’ve missed being Inspired by a sense of belonging while staying at the Country Inn & Suites Atlanta Airport South and while I really like the Radisson Blu hotels in Budapest and Bratislava they don’t really rise to the level of unforgettable. I really look forward to seeing the next post and it’s great to read your writing again on a more frequent basis.

Nick @ PFD

Good stuff! That Panama Canal one is now on my radar, thanks.

brteacher

+1 for the Aquatica in Barbados. I had a great stay there 3 years ago and think it’s a great value. I love the location right on a beautiful beach, but it’s only a 10-minute walk into Bridgetown (or an easy ride on the bus).

Bear

How far in advnace can you make a Rewards points reservation?

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