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I’ve mentioned before that my son and I have an upcoming trip to Stockholm, Sweden.  We will be there for 4 nights (a 5th night will be spend “sleeping” on a red eye to Stockholm)

(SEE ALSO: 4 tips for surviving a red eye flight in economy)

Having read good things about the Clarion Hotel Sign hotel in Stockholm, that was my first target for a hotel.  Centrally located and at only 10,000 Choice points / night, it seemed like a great option.  I first tried to book it several months ago, but ran into several problems

(SEE ALSO: Why can’t I book this Choice hotel?)

Try 1 – booking a backup

So with no availability at my preferred hotel, I made some backup plans.

I figured this would at least give me a backup plan in place

Try 2 – availability opens up so I try to buy points

Then, as time got closer and I got in the 45 to 60 day window (depending on who you talk to), availability was gone!  Finally, after checking for availability every day morning and night – I found availability!

I wrote a post about how I was buying hotel points for the first time ever.  This turned out to be … a lie.  I got all the way through the online system only to have the system decline my purchase.  I tried calling Choice customer support, they were no help and transferred me to who doesn’t even really have any phone support.  Their email response took 2 days before they came back with

AKA form letter that was no help.  I chatted with American Express, who told me they saw the transaction come through and they returned back that it was “authorized”.  I called Choice Privileges customer support AGAIN and was on the phone with them for 20 minutes while they

  • Verified all my information 100 times
  • Tried to tell me I should choose “Gift Points” instead of Buy Points – did not work
  • Tried to convince me not to buy points since I would not earn points on that transaction but instead book a new cash reservation. Thankfully I saw through their scam of trying to get me to book a $250 room instead of buying $110 worth of points (which should have been $99 if this would have worked during their recent points buying sale)
  • Tried to give me the number to their “advanced technical team” which was just’s number (I didn’t fall for that)
  • Gave me the phone number for “website support” (really?!!?)

Try 3 – moving my reservations around

Eventually I decided to cancel my night at the Quality Hotel Arlanda. So over the phone (why can I not book these on the website?!!?), I canceled that night, which gave me 20,120 points.  In the meantime I had booked 2 nights with cash (flexible cancellation) at the Clarion Hotel Sign just to ensure availability, and then I used my points to book 1 2 night stay at the Clarion Hotel Sign, cancelling my original cash bookings.

With that reservation in place, I canceled my Marriott booking, getting my 60,000 points back.  So that leaves me with

  • Nights 1 and 2 at the Clarion Hotel Sign hotel – 20,000 Choice points
  • Night 3 at the Hilton Stockholm Slussen for 33,000 Hilton points (thankfully I booked early as rooms are now up to 89,000 Hilton points / night!)
  • Night 4 still TBD

I can’t seem to buy Choice hotel points though I may try to create a new account to buy them as $110 is cheaper than most of my (non-hostel) options.  Or I may try a nicer hostel.  I had planned for this night to be up near the Arlanda Airport as we have an early flight out the next morning.

Any hotel suggestions near Arlanda Airport in Stockholm?  

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