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New from Carlson: Member-Only Hotel Rates

SmarterTravel

To the list of hotels that offer discounted rates to members of their loyalty programs—Starwood, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, InterContinental, Choice—can now be added the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group (Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza, Park Inn, Country Inns & Suites).

Beginning this week, Club Carlson members can save “up to 10%” when booking participating hotels directly via Carlson brand websites and mobile apps.

As with most other hotel chains’ members-only rates, Carlson’s come loaded down with qualifiers and disclaimers, beginning with the “up to” descriptor, which gives hotels carte blanche to offer no discount at all. If that weren’t escape clause enough:

  • “The Members Only Rate offer varies by hotel, is subject to change, and may be different each night of stay.”
  • “The Members Only Rate offer is subject to availability, blackout dates may apply, and may be changed or discontinued at any time.”
  • “Participating hotels are subject to change at any time without notice and the number of rooms available for this offer may be limited and may vary by hotel.”

Bottom line: As with the other hotel groups’ discounts, Choice’s are likely to run the gamut, from non-existent to inconsequential to substantial.

It’s worth remembering that the goal of member-only prices is to steer consumers away from online travel agencies and incent them to shop and book direct with the hotels. Savvy travelers shouldn’t be beguiled, though: To get the best deal, comparison shopping remains the rule.

Reader Reality Check

Have you found any great deals with hotels’ member-only rates?

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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