Friday, January 27, 2012

Hotel Review: Radisson Hotel & Suites Downtown Austin

I'll admit that I originally booked the Texas Road Trip specifically to take advantage of Club Carlson's "Redeem Points. Earn Points" promotion, so I was strategic in only choosing Category 1 Club Carlson properties along the way from NJ to Texas. There were only a handful of Category 1 properties in Texas, primiarily in the metropolitan Dallas and Houston areas, so immediately I limited our stays to Dallas and Houston.

However, after sharing my trip planning with close friends and family, they all said something along the lines of, "you can't possibly drive all the way to Texas and not visit Austin". It didn't really take much twisting of my arm to add another day to itinerary; after all, it was a vacation.

Being the points/miles fanatic I am, you can bet I was looking for the "best points scenario". At first, I figured that since I've already completed one stay for the Wyndham Rewards Gift Me Promotion, then I might as well bite the bullet and go for stay number 2, getting me my 6,500 free bonus points (enough for a free night).

However the points Gods must have been on my side somehow, and during communication with Club Carlson about my trip (they were aware of my redemption strategy/planning in progress), I was ecstatic to find out that they offered to comp us in their Category 5 Radisson Hotel & Suites in Downtown Austin! Again, very generous of them, and I'm very grateful!

Now lets get to the review already, shall we? We left Dallas around 8 am and arrived in Austin right on time around 11:30. Being starved for lunch at that point, we were excited that there was a full size TGI Friday's restaurant right inside the lobby of the hotel (and a Starbucks too!). Do know that there is an onsite parking garage that costs $16 a day for hotel guests.

Upon arrival, we were impressed with the decor and comfort of the lobby. There are plenty of sitting areas, mesmerizing aquariums, and a warm fireplace to relax by. Megan at the front desk told us that our standard room was not ready yet (we arrived early), and I casually told her that I had elite status and asked for an upgrade if it was available. She told us that a lakeside view suite with one king bed would be ready in about 30 minutes, which was fine because we were going to have lunch at Friday's before going to the room anyway.

During lunch, Megan called my cell phone and told us that the room was ready when we were. We headed up to our suite (room 1039), and within minutes Megan called us and asked us if everything was OK with the room, which was a nice touch of good customer service. As far as location, the hotel was nested right in the center of town, walking distance to Austin's famous 6th Street and many restaurants (too bad it wasn't bat season in Austin, it would be been cool to see the famous bat colonies). Take a look at some of the pictures we took of our suite and the hotel below.

We were excited that there was a full size (bar included) TGI Friday's in the hotel. It was nice to grab lunch before checking into the room.
The lobby was spacious and inviting with plenty of couches, a warm fire place, and the elk chandeliers were a cool touch.
The living room area of our suite - a bit dated, but clean and spacious.
The desk was situated in the living room of the suite, and was big enough to work comfortably.
The coffee machine was located on a separate nook between the bedroom and living room area.
We were given two complimentary bottles of Dasani water.
The shower was pretty basic, but clean, and had good water pressure and plenty of hot water.
The bathroom sink area was stocked with Radisson's signature Asira product line (Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Lotion & Body Soap Bar).
We shared a very large king size bed, and the bedroom had a door to separate it from the rest of the suite for added privacy.
All Radisson rooms are equip with Sleep Number beds (not my favorite, but my sleep number is 30 if anyone cares).

After a short nap for us in the room, we decided to hit the town and walk to check out 6th Street; believe it or not, Austin seemed to be dead all around (I'm blaming it being Sunday and the Super Bowl playoffs), so we had some dinner and drinks at Manuel's (Upscale Tex-Mex, which ended up being excellent) ultimately because we got a coupon for a free loaded nachos appetizer from the front desk. After dinner, we decided to head back to the room and watch the game (not that we are football fans or anything, but we did feel a sense of obligation to support our Giants...).

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