British Airways First Class Lounge O’Hare
Cathay Pacific First Class ORD-HKG
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui
Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge HKG
Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class HKG-KUL
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
Around Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge KUL
Malaysia Airlines Business Class KUL-MEL
Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne
Australia Open Day One (2nd round of tourney)
Great Ocean Road Excursion
Australian Open Day Two (4th round of tourney)
Park Hyatt Sydney
Sydney Opera House Tour
Qantas Domestic Business Lounge SYD
Qantas Domestic Business Class SYD-BNE
Qantas Business Class BNE-LAX
Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne
We arrived to the Radisson Flagstaff Gardens via taxi. Nobody was there to greet us or grab our bags. We entered and the front desk seemed busy and preoccupied but not many guests were checking in. When we did checkin a woman front desk agent eventually greeted us however when the phone rang, and the front desk agent that was helping us picked it up and began helping the phone caller!! Thats a pet peeve of ours!!! Fine if the phone rings and let the caller know that they will need to hold as they are busy helping guests at the desk but to start to answer a million questions and delay our checkin is a major no-no. Eventually a gentleman came out the backroom and took over our checkin process.
We were confirmed for our four night stay however as we arrived around noon there was no possibility of an early checkin. My wife was disappointed as she wanted to shower and change clothes before we had to rush to the Australian Open tennis tournament as we held day session tickets (which start at 11am). We were told to check our bags with them and the checkin desk agent gave us a key to enter the fitness center on the top floor so that my wife could change clothes and shower if needed. The only negative there is that the elevators don’t go to the top floor and thus the last floor is only reached by stairs. So Imagine me carrying our large checked bag and carryon up the stairs so my wife can have her clothes selection to change into. Then to top it off we have to walk thru the the actual fitness center with the bags to the changing rooms. Not a pleasant start.
Anyhow the lobby, lobby lounge and checkin areas were clean, eclectic and generally attractive. The attached restaurant is respectable and generally busy throughout the day. The bartender there is a star and a jack of all trades! A very friendly “mate” in Aussie terms.
We were assigned a park view room on the third floor…….right by the elevator lol! The good news is we couldn’t hear any traffic in the halls or the elevator. The hotel has 184 rooms spread over 11 floors if I recall correctly. The room was fair sized, clean, and very basic but we knew that going in. Its a standard hotel room pretty much. It did offer a decent view of the park across the street which is very convenient for guests and locals alike.
There was a welcome amenity in the room waiting for us of assorted fresh fruit which was saran wrapped on a plate. The wifi was complimentary and good throughout the hotel (lobby and our room). Our bags were brought up to our room and awaiting us as we had went to watch a few tennis matches earlier and then came back to our hotel to eventually get into our room. The bed was comfortable and there was an additional chair and table for eating or whatever. There was a working/desk area next to a dresser which the TV stood on top off.
The bathroom was fine as well. Nothing extraordinary. Basic tub and shower combo with good water pressure however it did have the dreaded half glass setup thus water is going to go all over the bathroom floor if your not careful. I cannot really complain about anything at all in regards to the hard product but I cannot really praise the room either. The room is like driving a Toyota Camry, tough to get excited about it but it gets the job done in relative comfort and its productive.
The room has an iron and ironing board which is more than I can say for the Radisson Le Metropolitan in Paris.
HQ’s on William Restaurant
The hotel offers a breakfast buffet in the mornings however we didnt take part and I didnt ask how much it was. It was however fairly busy every morning as the hotel was close to capacity and the food looked appetizing. I did indeed need to go down every morning to grab my wife a simple piece of toast with jam for breakfast which ranged in price from $2.00 to $7.00 with coffee that we didn’t want.
We did also have dinner here on two occasions. On our first night we enjoyed our hamburger and fries so much we came back and ordered it again on the last night although my wife tried the fish fry on the last night instead and regretted it as the batter was too heavy. One other issue was one of my water glasses had lipstick marks on the rim! Yuck! I got that replaced but did take a sip out of it without noticing it at first!
The bartender is a great asset to the restaurant however and is a witty and funny guy that has more of a laid back service attitude but gets the job done.
Gym and Rooftop Patio
We didn’t use the smallish gym but did trudge through it our first day to use the locker room. The rooftop patio is a nice spot for a cocktail or if your a smoker perhaps a cigar at sunset would be in order.
A majority of the population would find this a great to good hotel. This is not a luxury property and expectations need to be adjusted and/or set. In fact its ranked the 10th best hotel in Melbourne and has a 4.5/5 circle rating on TripAdvisor.com. We would have no problem staying here again on points only. I won’t find myself paying the cash rates for this property at north of $300 but at $200 or less in the peak summer season in Melbourne is not bad and I could be a buyer. Overall I find this to be an adequate property and great value on Club Carlson points.
We ended up using some of our Club Carlson points for this trip. I did debate maybe staying at the Park Hyatt or Grand Hyatt in Melbourne but we have so many Club Carlson points and if we are in a city where we can make good use of them I want to use them. There is really no iconic hotel in Melbourne so I felt like I wasn’t missing anything by staying here.
The greatest thing about using Club Carlson points is that my wife and I both hold the US Bank Club Carlson credit card in which the greatest benefit is the last night is FREE on award redemptions. So I booked a two night stay with the 2nd night being free and we booked the consecutive following two nights from my wife’s Club Carlson account, again with the 2nd night being free.
The room cost 44,000 points per night but with the 2nd night being free we essentially cut our points outlay in half so it was 44,000 for the two nights or 22,000 points per night. Check out or booking details below!!
We saved $800 to $1200 for these four nights depending on when we booked and what type of room we were booked into. We were booked into the Park View room so on the higher end of the spectrum! So nice to be able to put that US Bank Club Carlson card to good use for our vacations as it also came in handy for several nights while we visited Ireland in 2013!