Thanks to our sponsor – The Rezidor hotel group – we had the opportunity to stay in a Park Inn hotel for free in every city that has a Park Inn on our trip to meet our Spotters in 22 cities in Europe in the last 2 months. In return, we shared our honest experiences on our city blogs and on social media.
Sharing our experiences was a lot of fun, because it made us think about what we think is important when staying in a hotel. Now that our Europe has trip has come to an end, we had some time to reflect on what stood out during our 22 nights in Park Inn Hotels.
Convenient booking & overview of bookings
Booking accommodation is always a lot of hassle for us, as our budget for traveling is very limited but our price / quality standards “high”: we always want to stay in a very central location, in a clean room with good beds. Usually, this means scanning Booking.com (did you know you can use Booking.com via our website and sponsor us?) for hours. To prepare for a trip to 22 cities, only booking hotels would have cost us at least a day and a half…
We used Club Carlson – Rezidor hotel’s award program – to book our hotels. The entire process took us less than an hour. Club Carlson also shows a handy list of (previous and future) bookings including all necessary details. If you use Club Carlson for your bookings, you save points for free hotel nights or other goodies.
Club Carlson, and the Parkinn.com website both offer “lowest price guarantee”, so there’s no need to check out if there’s a lower price available on other booking websites.
Without an exception, everyone we talked to at Park Inn hotels was very friendly and helpful. From receptionists, internet helpdesk people on the phone to general managers.
In Copenhagen we forgot a portable microphone on our room, which was kept at the reception for us until we returned to Copenhagen. In Prague, we forgot both our e-books in our room… unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to pick them up in Prague again because we did not return there, but the receptionists were very kind to send them by mail to The Netherlands!
In Munich, we spent almost 30 minutes during our breakfast chatting with the very friendly Sales & Marketing manager who told us a lot about Park Inn & Munich. We were welcomed by General Managers of the hotel in Cologne, Brussels & Antwerp – we felt like VIPs!
The best example of the special and service minded Park Inn employee culture were the paper maps we received at the Park Inn in Zurich and Munich with personal tips by Park Inn employees. Such a nice idea!
Location location location
For us, location is essential. The main thing we do in cities – besides meeting our locals – is running around the city like crazy to check as many Spotted by Locals spots as possible.
With a few exceptions (the Park Inns of Copenhagen & Munich were airport hotels – less convenient for us as we were traveling by train) all Park Inns were in a very central location, or very close to public transport that could take us to the city center within 10 minutes.
Speedy checkin & check-out
When you travel a lot, you want to check in and out as soon as possible. Maybe we were lucky, but I’m sure also the process is just very smooth and streamlined: we never had to wait in line, and very check-in or check-out did not take more than a minute. We loved that!
Great breakfast buffet
The breakfast buffet at all Park Inns was really excellent. I like to start my morning with green tea & cereals, and was happy to see the same quality and type of both was available everywhere.
Each hotel had a few surprising specialities for breakfast (like special cheeses, pancakes, eggs cooked on the spot, salmon…) which did not make it boring… In almost hotels it was possible to aks for an espresso & latte, which we really need to wake up but was often not “standard”.
Great beds & pillows
For us and most travelers, the number one function of a hotel is sleeping. A good bed and pillow is essential – and it was great to see that the quality standards for both was very high. You learn to appreciate and notice things like this, when you sleep in a hotel with lousy pillows & mattresses like we did in Sarajevo (no Park Inn there yet!) halfway during our trip.
The little things
Every Park Inn has their own personality, and often a little thing that makes it unique. Like the Park Inn Oslo library!
Most of the nights we spent in Park Inn cost around Euro 100,= for a large double room. Although our budget is usually less, we think this is a fair price for this type of hotel room.
All in all, we had a very pleasant time staying in Park Inn hotels around Europe. We really recommend all of you to try them out some time. Thank you Park Inn people for your excellent service and making it possible for us to do this trip to meet our locals in 22 cities!