My belly is still full from all the goodies I ate (and drank) at Pappasitos Mexican Restaurant in North Houston with 15 of my new (and a few old) friends. This restaurant was only about 6 miles from the Park Inn hotel, so it made for the perfect meeting spot for a mini Houston Park Inn Do. We all shared appetizers, food, drinks, and miles and points stories. While it was not initially my intention to bring Little C, it worked out that was logistically the easiest solution, so she came along for the fun. She was particularly fond of Perry Platypus due to his cartoon traveling pal and matching hat! It really was a blast hanging out with everyone, so thanks so much for everyone who made the trip from the outskirts of Houston, Dallas, and Austin!

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After a couple hours at Pappasitos, my little family headed to the nearby Park Inn to check-in and earn our 44,000 bonus Club Carlson points through the Club Carlson “One Plus One” promo. We booked our stay through TopCashBack, so my stay that cost roughly $80 with taxes will come to about $72 once I get 10% back from TopCashBack. Several at lunch today reported that TopCashBack seems to be working very well for them in terms of tracking money earned, but none of us has been paid out quite yet.

The hotel is located right off Beltway 8 between I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road. It is near several other low- to medium-end hotels. This is not a fantastic part of Houston by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a great place for very inexpensive hotel stays. It is also close to Bush Intercontinental Airport. The Park Inn is pretty unimpressive from the highway, but at least it was easy to get to due to its proximity to several major roads. As we walked in I noticed some sort of “fragrance” in the lobby. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but it was not my favorite smell. I think it was supposed to be a nice smell, but it just wasn’t for me. The lady who was talking to the check-in agent in front of me was trying to talk her into a 3AM check-out on the second night of her stay for the price of just one night. Good luck with that. ;) The check-in agent was very nice both to us and the lady who was trying to score a free second night. She verified that a second floor room would be okay, as the hotel has no elevator. We told her any room would be fine, and she proceeded to explain the hours of the restaurant, when free breakfast was offered, room service, etc.

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We then headed up the stairs to the room (truthfully I was going to the room in hopes that there would be a free bottle of water!).  We had a bunch of trouble trying to get the door open.  The handle or locking mechanism seemed to be jammed, and we were actually about to give up on trying to get in the room when my husband was finally able to force it open.  There’s no way I would have been able to get the door open if it was just me and Little C traveling.

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The room had a “pool view” as requested. It had a bed, a TV, a bathroom, a mini fridge, and all of the other necessary amenities. The room would have been serviceable for a layover at IAH, but I wasn’t sad that I was just checking in and heading back to my house. I don’t mean to speak poorly of the hotel, but perhaps I have become a little bit snobby particular with hotels, and I hope for something slightly above “serviceable”.  I don’t need five star luxury at every turn (heck, I’m not sure I have ever even had five star luxury), but I like to get excited about where I am staying, in part because when you travel with a little one you often spend a lot of time actually in the room. If all you need is a place to sleep, then this hotel could do the trick. If you are hoping for a bit more than that, then you may want to continue your search.

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After taking a quick look around the room, we decided it was time to have a little fun on the bed…….toddler style.  ;)

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I am very much looking forward to seeing the 44,000 bonus Club Carlson points from this stay in my account.  I actually hate having stays that I am not really putting to good use, but with Little C, this was the easiest solution for some very inexpensive points.  I have one more Country Inn & Suites stay to complete for this promo, and then my husband and I will have a nice stash of Club Carlson points in our accounts.  I very much would like to put them to use in Europe – most likely at least partially in Paris. I’m betting I will be much more excited about a Radisson Blu in Paris than the Park Inn in North Houston. All in all, a very fun and successful afternoon!

Posted by mommypoints | 18 Comments

18 Responses to “Houston Park Inn Review and Meet-up”

  1. Jason says:

    Amanda and I had a great time, too. Little C was great fun, so I’m glad that you were able to bring her.

    The party actually went on for another hour after you left and I think that everyone enjoyed the stories…and the drinks.

    Thanks for arranging the meet-up. We should definitely do this again!

  2. Tenmoc says:

    Looks nicer than Park Inn near Harrisburg PA.

  3. Jane says:

    Your room looked so much better than the Park Inn I stayed in last week at the airport in Montreal. Love getting these points and I have already booked our free rooms in Sydney, Australia for four nights with these points. The room would have cost us $315 per night. Thanks for the heads up about these free points,

  4. Maury says:

    I stayed in this hotel for one night a few months ago and wasn’t too fond of it. I too am looking forward to using these points in Europe.

  5. joe says:

    I have never seen a hotel review written by someone who didn’t spend the night there. Useless.

  6. dale m says:

    Stayed at Park Inn Tulsa just last nite – an airport hotel, tho we drove over (about 2 hrs) to do the promotional thing. Carlson properties in this country are pretty grim. If I say we got up at 6am to drive home, without even taking a shower, that probably tells you everything you need to know.

  7. Mddcflyer says:

    I had to be in Houston for a work trip and took the opportunity to stay there for the bonus. Underwhelmed would be the word. It was ok for one night stay but nothing more. Breakfast was nothing to write home about (Hampton inn is about ten times better and that says a lot). Needless to say I will not be back. But the points will go nicely to my next stay in London for &250 room.

  8. Up&Away says:

    We’ve booked a room at this Park Inn (well, 2 rooms actually – one for me & one for Mr. U&A) as a stopover on the way to the beach. We normally wouldn’t have a stopover on this trip except that I want the points. Between Top Cash Back and the sale Park Inn recently had, it will be around $70 total per room. My young son is going to be horrified by a hotel without an elevator. We can make due with everything else I think.

  9. Charlie says:

    Hi MP,

    I just got back from a Radisson stay in Nashua, NH. I was looking for something in the area to take my gf to for a day trip. This was the only hotel I could find in New England. I called my buddy and said, “what’s there to do in Nashua?” He said, “Not much, but each summer they have a BBQ festival.” Sure enough, it was this weekend! We drove about 2 hours from CT and had a great time. As a Dallasite in CT for grad school, I really enjoyed seeing what NE BBQ had to offer. We thought the hotel was beautiful and only $80+tax. They gave us late check out. We slept in, enjoyed the hot tub, and enjoyed the pleasant drive back.

    I think my other two Club Carlson stays will just be check-ins and leave, but for only about $20 more, this was a lot more fun.

  10. maximizer says:

    I was almost sorry we didn’t actually stay the night, until I remembered that a brand new king-size W hotels bed is waiting at home. Until now I enjoyed virtually every hotel I’ve ever stayed at for the simple reason that they all have king-size beds. Now that I have one at home (my first), I’m sure to become a more discerning hotel guest :)

  11. Jay says:

    i’d think that actually spending the night in the room is essential for a review about the hotel. just my two cents

  12. mommypoints says:

    @Jason, glad to hear the party kept going! It was great meeting you – would love to do it again. ;)
    @Tenmoc, yikes to Harrisburg then!
    @Jane, love the idea of using points in Australia. Sorry to hear the Montreal property wasn’t too great!
    @Maury, thanks for sharing. Glad to hear my initial impressions weren’t too far off base.
    @joe, it is interesting not actually staying in a hotel you check into. I shared my initial impressions and photos in case they might help someone have an idea about what the property is like. Sorry to hear it wasn’t useful for for you, though to be honest, I am not sure I have ever read a comment from you that you found anything here useful.
    @dale m, that doesn’t sound very promising. Eek. Hope you enjoy using all your points though!
    @Mddcflyer, sounds like we had the same impression. Using the points will be fun though!
    @Up&Away, it is totally serviceable, it just isn’t exciting. If you go in with those expectations, it should be fine. Enjoy the beach!
    @Charlie, that is great! Being able to actually make use of the hotel is so much better than just doing the check-in routine.
    @maximizer, ha ha. Having a king bed is phenomenal for sure. ;)
    @jay, I totally agree that for a real thorough review you are absolutely correct. However, I think as long as you are honest about your time there, there is some value in initial impressions and photos. I think it would be wrong and not at all helpful if someone pretended to have a full stay at a hotel when they did not. That said, sorry if this wasn’t helpful for you.

  13. worldtraveller2 says:

    Just finished my stay at the Park Inn in albuqureque,NM. The one with the waterpark. It was horrible. And we had to stay there as it was a break between a 13 hour drive to Texas.o

  14. Max M says:

    Much nicer than my bed-bug experience @ Park Inn Airport Tulsa.

    @Dale– Did they still have handwritten signs stating “Lobby”?

    I posted a review about my experience there on MilePoint. If you don’t read it, I have 6 scary words for you: Bed Bug poop stains on sheets.

  15. oneeyejack says:

    You could have at least saved some resources and not ruined the bed so they didn’t have to remake it! And seriously, you let her jump in the bed with her shoes on?

  16. mommypoints says:

    @worldtraveleller2, that is too bad!
    @Max M, I’m not sure there are six scarier words than “bed bug poop stains on sheets!”
    @oneeyejack, we did pay for the night, so I don’t feel too bad about messing up the bed – though we certainly didn’t mess up anything else in the room. I actually mess the bed up on purpose just to make sure that there isn’t any confusion about whether or not I was in the room (though I do believe the chance of that being a concern to anyone are quite small). And yes, sometimes we do have spontaneous fun, and don’t always take the shoes off first. It has happened at home, too. Perhaps not 100% ideal, but it happens.

  17. Wendy Mcclean says:

    Hello,
    I am fairly new with miles and points, just discovered your nice blog. I also lived in Houston so I just missed your get-together… I read one of the old article about your trip that leaving Dallas to Naussa((?) Do you used Southwest for Houston to Dallas?
    Thanks, Wendy

  18. allen says:

    Hi mommypoints,

    it seem topcashback does not track Park Inn reservation made through their Radisson link? so basically no cashback for Park Inn?

    thanks.

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