Tag Archives: Edinburgh

Three Nights In Downtown Edinburgh For Free – Here’s How We Pulled It Off

By Lakshmi and Siddhi:

On our recent trip to Edinburgh, our plan involved staying in the city for four days and three nights.  We had heard so much about the Royal Mile being the epicenter of the city, that we wanted to stay right in that area.

Given our recent accumulation of Club Carlson points, we looked up the swanky Radisson properties in the heart of the city.  The recently converted Quorvus property, G&V (formerly the Missoni hotel) was unavailable for a points stay.  But the Radisson Blu located smack in the city center was.

The best available rate for the time period was around $400 per night for the three of us or we could do it for 50,000 points per night

We decided to use our points and ended up with a $1,200 stay in an amazing property in the heart of Edinburgh for ZERO dollars.

You’ve heard this from us before.  Here’s how we did it.  Last year, I had applied for the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa credit card. The primary reason for applying for this card was to get  85,000 Bonus Gold Points – 50,000 Gold Points after our first purchase plus 35,000 points once we spent $2,500 on our card within the first 90 days (we simply put our routine expenses for 3 months on the card and for every dollar we spent outside of the Carlson branded properties, we gained 5 points).  Spending just a tad bit over the minimum, we now had 100,000 points to spend on our hotel in Edinburgh.

With our accumulated points, we got two nights for free.  An added benefit of the Club Carlson Visa Card is that each time you book a reward stay, your last night is free.  Since we were card holders booking three nights, the third night was free. (This benefit has since been taken away!)

Ok, this is not all we got.  With our card, we were upgraded to a better room, got delayed check out and discounted parking!

The staff at the hotel, like much of the city of Edinburgh came from different parts of the world.  The girl from Spain practiced Spanish with our daughter and the rest of the staff was always there with tips and comments as we moved about.

The best part of this deal was location…location…location. Everything was at our doorstep which made falling in love with Edinburgh so much easier!!!

To learn more about the Radisson Blu Edinburgh, click here:  http://www.radissonblu.co.uk/hotel-edinburgh?csref=em.20140602.radissonblu.trig.bookconfirm.en.r11of1.cta1

To learn about the Quorvus property G&V in the heart of Edinburgh, click here: http://www.quorvuscollection.com/gandv-hotel-edinburgh

And to learn more about the Club Carlson Visa, click here: http://www.clubcarlsonvisa.com/credit/welcome.do?redirect=directTraffic&lang=en

Oh Edinburgh – Will You Stay The Same Or Change This Week?

By Lakshmi:

This week, Scotland is in the news with the country voting whether it will stay as part of the United Kingdom or break away to independence.  We recently had a chance to spend time in Edinburgh and fell hopelessly in love with this city with its myriad shades of black, white and gray.

Our love affair was kicked off by our “complete Scottish package” of a tour guide who led us on a FREE 2.5 hour tour of the city.   Through fun anecdotes, animated expressions, macabre descriptions and a periodic self-reference to Mel Gibson, he had us riveted to the history of the country and the city.  Of course, he ended this beautiful journey telling us the next time we visit, we could be in an independent nation!

Here are some of the more interesting things we learnt from Billy along the way:

– A dog so dedicated to its master that it pined way at his graveside for 14 years till his own death (Greyfriars Bobby) – read more at http://www.greyfriarsbobby.co.uk/vigil.html

– Yes, there is a Haggis option for vegetarians, if you have not been turned off at the description of what goes into the original – http://www.hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk/restaurant.php

– A once hung person proclaimed dead cannot be rehung if they come back to life since they have served their sentence (Margaret Dickson) – http://murderpedia.org/female.D/d/dickson-margaret.htm

– There are many dark and underground tours that take you through the other side of Edinburgh – we will feature more in an upcoming article.

– A graveyard and the tombstones in it inspired some of the characters in J.K. Rowling’s first book – http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/voldemort-draws-harry-potter-fans-to-greyfriars-1-3067986

Independent or not, Edinburgh is a city packed with a ton to do in a compact space.  And the free tour from  Sandemans provides an excellent orientation to the city.  More information can be found at  http://www.newedinburghtours.com/daily-tours/new-edinburgh-free-tour.html

Sandemans also provides free tours in several major cities around the world.