If you’re looking to put your Radisson points to use, we got a tip this morning about a brand new Radisson Blu that recently opened in Aruba. The best part about this property is that the standard room is a 2-bedroom suite, which is bookable for 70,000 points per night (or book a 3-bedroom suite that can accommodate 6 adults as a premium room award for 105,000 Radisson points per night).
- A new Radisson Blu property has opened in Aruba that that has 2-bedroom 2-bathroom suites as the standard room award for 70,000 points per night
- Direct link to this hotel’s website
It looks like this hotel opened just weeks ago, so reviews are sparse so far, but this could certainly be an appealing use of points given that the standard room is a 2-bedroom suite. For 70,000 points you can have either a 2-bedroom island view or 2-bedroom pool view suite.
Point values here aren’t outstanding, but neither are they terrible. Keep in mind that the cash rates you see are before taxes. For example, the member rate above with a December 2nd cancellation deadline (which matches the deadline for an award stay) is $350 before taxes, but $440 with taxes.
However, an award stay is a flat 70K points.
That pegs point value at over 0.6c per point (though note that this was the pool view — the island view room had a cheaper cash rate that had the point value around 0.53c per point). Note that you can’t use free night certificates earned via spend on the Radisson credit cards since those certs need to be used at hotels in the US.
Those traveling with more people in their group can find similar value in a 3-bedroom island view suite for 105K Radisson points.
Being able to book a room that accommodates 6 adults using points is fairly rare in award travel, so that could be an especially appealing deal.
Keep in mind though that the apparent downside of this property is that it is not on the beach but rather a couple of blocks away. We’re told that they have a free shuttle to the beach and some sort of beach setup, but see this picture from the hotel website showing its location (I believe it is the white high rise farthest to the right / closest to the highway).
That certainly may not be a deal-breaker for those who would rent a car in Aruba anyway, but it’s worth knowing before you arrive.
Note that according to a comment from a reader this morning, Radisson only allows award bookings up to 270 days in advance. Years ago, back when the credit card offered what was effectively a BOGO on award stays, I booked a few awards almost two years in advance. I’m not sure when they changed to the shorter booking window for awards, but that appears to be accurate. I had no problem finding award availability through January 19th, 2022 — 270 days from writing this post — but I did not see availability beginning on January 20th (which will almost surely change tomorrow as it looks like they have plenty of standard rooms available for cash bookings).
Overall, this is a great tip and a use of Radisson points that I imagine may appeal to those readers sitting on a hefty balance of Radisson points.
If you are still monitoring this post, you might want to look into this as you are promoting this redemption. Take this as a professional points redeeming challenge, would make for good blog content and or comedy.
Make an international points redemption with Radisson, perhaps like the one mentioned in this article. The reservation that I have is for Split Croatia, currently charging “fees” in excess of the standard rate for a purely points redemption. Next, see if you can call and talk to reservations about it, or honestly find anyone at Radisson to discuss the reservation.
I’ve found that no agents at the US reservations number have access to see–not change, simply look at the details of– a foreign reservation. Also, due to the relatively recent program split, it took me 5 agents before being transferred to someone who very nicely attempted to help me. At that point they couldn’t figure it out and simply offered the email address for the hotel. Most agents gave me the international phone number to follow up with. I could actually hear their voices change once they started reading out the international number and realize that this solution made no sense to them.
I think anyone following this blog knows that in the US, Country Inn and Suites are what is available and have their uses, but internationally we’re using the program for access to Radisson Blu. This program change has definitely introduced quite a bit of friction, good luck everyone.
[…] Radisson Rewards may be devaluing but you can book a 2-bedroom suite at the Radisson Blu Aruba for 70,000 points […]
I was in Aruba a couple of weeks ago and did a quick tour of the new Radisson Blu. It’s very nice, with a nice rooftop pool/restaurant setup and lovely ground level pool complex. It’s an easy five minute walk to the beach, but that is not the same as having it’s own stretch of beach with palapas, etc. There are better hotel choices (Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz), but if you have Radisson points, this is a nice choice in a great part of the world.
Thank you for the update!
Phil – How was travel in/out of Aruba from the US right now with respect to covid protocols? Also, since you seem to go to Aruba often, where would you recommend for two families with infants to travel? I’ve been several places around the Caribbean pre-pandemic, never to Aruba, but I’m considering it for my next trip, hopefully in 2021.
Currently, Aruba requires all visitors over 14 years old to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival. You have to register online at Aruba.com prior to travel, and purchase health insurance ($30 per person, I think). When you return, you need that same negative test to get back into the USA, this time for ages 2 and up. There are plenty of testing sites available, including on site at the major hotels. It’s $100 per person.
I would highly recommend renting a timeshare unit or house for your stay. Plenty of availability through Airbnb or vrbo. If you’d like more specific recommendations, DM me on IG @pridolfi.
Bottom line: There are a few hoops to jump through, but we didn’t find them too onerous. I would not be surprised if they started easing up on the requirements for fully vaccinated travelers soon. It’s a wonderful place for a great beach vacation. And if you have those Radisson points, this hotel would be a good place to stay if you’re happy to keep those infant children at the pool most of the time.
Interesting….. (and thanks for your inputs here)….. Alas, next trick is going to be how do we prove vaccination? (I’m told my card is useless, and the libertarian-suicide crowd, the same folks raising all sorts of conspiracies about the vaccine itself… are putting up huge fuss to block any sort of official vaccination passports….)
There will be vaccine passports. . .the EU is working on that now. . .although they will probably be called by another name. I have not heard the term “libertarian-suicide crowd”, but that is funny.
You gotta be kidding me calling 70000 points for a condo that’s not even at the beach. How low do we have to go to call this a even a good redemption.
HAving stayed at the old Radisson ARuba (now a Hilton) many times, and also at the the Holiday Inn in front of this Radisson for filler nights…..ummm….I am sorry, a non beach palm beach resort????
Every hotel there has awesome beach setup with free reservations for the spots with chairs, shade, etc. Mot hotels have a huge chunk of beach in front of them for this setup. I am not sure where this Radisson would get that. This is ‘not’ a sweet spot really. It’s kinda sad that the only property Radisson could come up with that is new in the Caribbean is a friggin bus ride to the beach.
Agreed, sadly, with your not-so-thrilled take…. 70k for a hotel that’s not walkable to a beach on a VERY SMALL resort island? (renting a car @ AUA a non-starter…. )
About that Holiday Inn there, that’s a likely dud too…. last time we stayed there, sure, the points/value was cheap…. but they “rewarded” us for using our (non) reward points by sticking us in a “suite” at the back, lined up next to a restaurant undergoing massive renovations — jackhammers, dust, etc. 14 hours a day…. and of course, it stayed open through the mess…. (left a not so happy feeling in our minds about Aruba…. that and the oil rigs parked just off the beach…. Are they still there?)
Yeah, pretty sure that building was supposed to be residential condos, think they started just prior to the 2008 recession(bad timing). It sat there for years unfinished with the wind and rain just blowing thru it as it didn’t have any windows or doors installed. Glad someone finally finished it as it was a bit of a long term eyesore. Convenient location for adding an extra night or two to one’s stay at the nearby Marriott timeshares.
You’re right, Tom. It’s that building.
Thanks for the tip! Have a ton of Radisson points waiting to be used up.
me too, nearly a zillion…. but 70k a night, for a non-all-inclusive spot, nowhere near the (very narrow) beach? I don’t get the value? Euro spots look more compelling. (if we er’ travel that fa again)