What are the best ways of reaching PLATINUM membership in the Strawberry? What is PLATINUM-member Per Erik Smith’s favourite benefit? What does he think makes a hotel stay a 5-star experience? Meet this member who has earned more than 160,000 bonus points!

Platinum member - Per Erik Smith
In our Checkin' In interviews, we meet guests, employees, managers and others who are part of the Noridc Choice family! This month, we meet Per Erik Smith, a PLATINUM member who shares his tricks on how he got impressive 160,000 bonus points.

How long have you been a member of the Strawberry?

“Since 2014. I joined the Strawberry after a boys trip to Oslo. We stayed at the Royal Christiania (now Clarion Hotel® The Hub), and I remember being really impressed by how nice the hotel was. They got me to join the club and since then I’ve been hooked on collecting bonus points.”

How often do you stay at hotels?

“I spend between 30-40 nights a year at hotels that are part of Strawberry. I’d like it to be even more, but I can’t always choose which hotel chain I stay at when I’m travelling with work.”

Why do you stay at hotels so often?

“It’s mainly because of work, but since I became a PLATINUM member, the likelihood of me staying at a hotel privately is much higher. There’s something about the luxury of being at a hotel and being taken care of. I can come and go whenever I want, starting the day with a good breakfast and ending it in a soft and comfortable bed.”

What do you earn most points for?

“I’ve definitely earned most of them through my Strawberry Mastercard. I get loads of points when I pay for hotels, travel, restaurant meals, you name it... I’ve even used it to pay bills sometimes in order to get more points,” Per Erik says and smiles.

What is the best thing about being a member of the Strawberry?

“That I can exercise free of charge at all the hotels within the Strawberry chain, even if I’m not actually staying there. Gyms tend to have different opening hours and lots of people wanting to use them, but with almost 200 hotels, there’s almost always a gym that’s open and not too crowded.”

gym-kettlebell-bottle-nordic-choice-clubRead more: Have a look at all PLATINUM member benefits.

What are the best ways of reaching PLATINUM-level membership quickly?

“Other than always booking your stays via strawberry.no or the app, my three top tips are:

  • Make the most of the Strawberry Mastercard. You earn bonus points on all purchases, even if you just buy a packet of chewing gym. And for every month of purchases, you’ll be 2 nights closer to the next level of membership. It helped me to quickly attain PLATINUM status.

  • Another trick is to transfer your Trumf bonus to the Strawberry. The Strawberry collaborates with Trumf, so you’ll get bonus points for every krone in the Trumf bonus. I transferred 2000 krone’s worth of Trumf bonus to my membership and got an extra 30,000 bonus points.

  • Read the newsletters and take advantage of all the campaigns, particularly when there are double or triple points offers. Then I usually book more stays to earn points on hotel nights I’d probably end up booking anyway. If it doesn’t suit my schedule, I can just cancel my stay.

Read more: How to earn bonus points: a quick guide.

Why do you choose Strawberry over other hotel chains?

”Besides the bonus points, I feel that Strawberry is quite forward-thinking in terms of innovation and technology. I love testing new technology, and at many of the hotels I get to try out new features like Mobile Keys and Choose Room.
With almost 200 hotels that are all really different, I can adapt my hotel experience to suit the occasion. If I’m going on a boys trip, and I want a central location and reasonably priced accommodation, I can choose a Comfort Hotel. If I’m planning a weekend away with my girlfriend, I can book a Clarion Hotel or one of the spa hotels.”

What is the most important thing in a hotel room?

“It’s actually the bed, but the first thing I do when I enter the room is to check whether it has a shower or a bath. I can’t decide what I prefer though,” he laughs. “When I get a room with a shower, I really fancy a bath, and vice versa. The best thing is having both,” Per Erik says with a smile.

What is your favourite hotel?

The Comfort Hotel Børsparken. I have a real connection to that hotel having stayed there so many times. The staff are very nice and welcoming, and they always go beyond standard small talk during check-in. Their CrossFit gym is very good – and what’s even more amazing is that they offer guests free CrossFit sessions with a personal trainer.”

Comfort Hotel Børsparken gym and lobby Gym and Barception area at the Comfort Hotel Børsparken.

Do you have any favourite employees?

“I was heading to an important meeting to sign a deal with a client, and I managed to spill coffee all over myself and the contract. I would have been late if I’d gone back to the office to print the papers again, but as I was near the Clarion Hotel Stavanger, I took a chance and called the hotel. Even though I wasn’t staying at the hotel, Roya in reception printed the papers for me and saved my meeting, and my day!

What makes a hotel stay a 5-star experience?

“When you come to a hotel with friendly staff who welcome you after a long day at work. A quick and easy check-in to a nice room with fruit and snacks. A table reservation in the hotel restaurant, and then after a nice meal, a good night’s sleep before getting up to enjoy a fantastic hotel breakfast.”

Imagine you’re having breakfast with Petter A. Stordalen – what would you talk about?

“We’d talk about his childhood and how that has shaped him as a person. I’m very curious about how he has become who he is today. Although I’ve read his book, I’ll Tell You My Secret, it’s probably just a shortened version of his story.

What do you hope hotels will be like in the future?

I hope that hotel rooms will be personalised in terms of ambience with music, lighting and fragrances. It would be cool to be automatically logged in to Spotify, Netflix and other streaming services in the room. And to be able to turn the lights off with Siri, to order breakfast and room service with the Strawberry app, and for those with neck and back problems to be able to choose hard, medium or soft beds.

__Per Erik’s next goal is to reach 1,000,000 bonus points in order to become a PLATINUM LIFETIME member, and secure all the benefits for life. __

Read more interviews

Platinum member - Per Erik Smith

6 quickies with Per Erik Smith

Favourite hotel? Comfort Hotel Børsparken in Oslo. They have amazing gym facilities.

The best thing about staying at a hotel? To be taken care of!

The worst thing about staying at a hotel? Removing the bedspread from the bead every night.

What do you always eat at the hotel breakfast? Scrambled eggs, beans, a slice of cheese on bread & a smoothie shot.

If you could choose, who would you like to join you at breakfast in the hotel? Petter A. Stordalen.

Do you have any strange habits when travelling? I always bring a HDMI-cable when travelling.