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Everything posted by thereuare

  1. Looking at the Hotwire Hotel List by City in Nevada, the only 5* hotels i know of are the Bellagio and the Venetian. As it says in that list, there are no guarantees as hotels can be added/removed, ratings can be changed at any time, and different hotels can offer the same amenities. However, based upon the amenities listed and the information known, my best guess is that the hotel you are seeing is The Venetian (based upon the inclusion of hi-speed internet access in the amenity list, which the Bellagio doesn't show in their Vacation Package). Did i mention there are no guarantees? Was the hotel also listed as a "Customer Favorite", as past wins for the Venetian have also included that designation. Priceline can usually yield prices slightly cheaper than Hotwire, so you could always try for 5* on Priceline up to a price that would make it cheaper than using Hotwire. Make sure you know and understand re-bidding: Bidding Again before 72 hours as this will give you a few chances to beat Hotwire's price. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.
  2. With Priceline or Hotwire, you can't pick specific hotels, you can only pick a zone and a quality level. If you require a specific hotel, Priceline/Hotwire is probably not the best method for you to book your room. The trade-off in using Priceline/Hotwire is getting significant savings as you don't get to choose the hotel. You can read more information about how each service works here: I've Never Used Priceline or Hotwire Feel free to ask any additional questions (in lower case, please :) )
  3. Prices of hotel rooms (whether thru Priceline or any other means) is based upon the supply/demand relationship, and the time remaining to sell that room. HOWEVER, based upon this information, one would think that a hotel would take $10 for a room the nite of the stay, as they'd rather get some revenue rather than no revenue. Well, in order to 'protect' their product/brand/prices, most would rather lose the $10 sale and hold firm with their prices. The extent that hotels are willing to discount their unused rooms (or hold their prices steady) varies from property-to-property and chain-to-chain. The reason why Priceline and Hotwire work so well for the hotels is that they're able to get some revenue for their rooms without "cheapening" their brand name, since the room is bought without knowing the property. Generally speaking, if you bid wisely, the savings you'll see thru Priceline will be much more significant than any other means that i'm aware of, no matter how far in advance or late you book thru conventional methods.
  4. Sometimes they revert back to their old ways, "We Should Have an answer for you within 15 minutes". A little bit more a hassle, but hopefully you won't mind once you're successful :)
  5. I thought $25 seemed high. Based upon this site for Newark Airport, the taxi should be about $15-16 (i'm not sure of the exact zone the hotel lies in, but $16 is the most expensive of within the Newark city limits: Taxi INFO from Newark Airport Also look at: Official Taxi Cab RATES from Newark Airport The taxi from the hotel to the train station should only be a few dollars (<$5) since it's only a mile or so. If the hotels owns a shuttle van, maybe they'll drop you there for free or a $5 tip for the driver. Once at the train station, you want the PATH train to 33rd Street. You'll know the destination of the train by looking above the doors, there will be a "33" above the doors that is lit up (just ask somebody if you're unsure). At the hour you'll be going, this is a direct trip and no transfer is involved. You can see a map of the system here: Map of PATH Train system. The fare is $1.50/pp, and they take $1 dollar bills (just have a few in case the machine doesn't like your first bill because it's too wrinkled). Don't worry about a schedule, as the train runs about every 10 minutes or so. This route is used heavily by commuters, and since you'll be traveling with luggage, i would recommend making this trip sometime after 9:30am (preferably after 10am) so that the train won't be crowded, you'll get a seat, and it'll just be a more pleasant experience since you'll have luggage and a child with you (and you're on vacation). Once in NYC, you should be able to hail a cab no problem. TIP: NYC taxi's have a sign on top of their roof with their medallion number in the middle and the words "OFF DUTY" on the side of this number. If the license number is lit up, then the cab is available, if there is no light on, then the cab already has a fare, or if the OFF DUTY light is on then then the driver is not accepting fares. Pretty basic stuff, but something you probably don't know coming in from over seas. Just stand on a corner with your hand in the air when you see a taxi with its medallion number lit coming your way and they'll pull over. Any questions on any of the above, feel free to ask. PS- Newark is not that great of an area, so if you need to leave the hotel at nite, take a taxi or ask the hotel if they'll drive you a few blocks if you tip the driver. I know you're getting in late, but there are some very good Portuguese and Spanish restaurants in the area if you will be eating dinner locally (i'll recommend a few if you'd like).
  6. Most hotels do offer this service complimentary, but <unfortunately> Hotwire states under the icons that there may be a fee. This property is probably just a little further away than the typical airport hotel, and therefore can get away with charging a fee. $10/pp seems quite expensive for this trip, and i would definately inquire as to a taxi's cost when you arrive at the airport ( taxi rates are regulated and it's a fixed rate to various locations, so you can get the cost by asking the dispatcher. I just called a car service here and they quoted me $25, but i think it would be somewhat cheaper at the airport since you'd be staying within the Newark city limits) The good news, however, is i called the hotel and they're only about 1 mile away from the Newark Penn Station train station. Depending upon how managable your luggage situation is, you can take a cab in the morning to the train station and get to mid-town Manhattan for $1.50/pp via the PATH train! The PATH will drop you in NYC at 32nd St and 6th Ave/Broadway. From there you can get a cab to the hotel for just a few dollars. Let me know if you think the luggage situation will be managable for this option, and i will supply you more details (i'll also try to find a better taxi rate from airport to hotel than the $25 mentioned above). For comparison purposes, i would think that a taxi from the hotel to NYC would cost about $60. There is also the option of taking AirLink to Newark Penn Station (Airlink is discussed in the New York Tips area) and then taking a cab to the hotel from the train station. But this may/may not be worth it to you from a convenience (and carrying a baby and luggage) point of view. If you follow up on how managable lugging your luggage will be, i'll give more details on my opinion for the best option.
  7. THANKS! for the follow-up. :) So at a 14% tax rate it appears that you hit this one right on the money! <nice work>
  8. I'm not really sure if i follow, but if you're asking if a Priceline reservation would give significant savings over a 'traditional' early booking, then YES, you'd almost always be better with the Priceline reservation. There are posts on this board in which people have already received accepted bids for early 2004 (while i have been unsuccessful, in a different zone, with my own bids for August 2003). So just how early availability is released to Priceline is up to each hotel.
  9. Welcome to the board! As per this thread: Should i Bid Early or Close to Arrival Date there really is no "best" time. Best advice: once your plans are firm, start bidding. Second best advice: book a cancellable back-up in the meantime.
  10. Looks like a great deal! If you have the tax amount paid from your winnnig bid, it would be appreciated if you posted that too, as it would help others figure out Priceline's cost for this property. If you're not familiar with this technique, you may want give this a read: Why Post the Taxes from an Accepted Bid? As always, thanks again for posting and contributing to the board!
  11. Welcome to BetterBidding and thanks for posting!! Is this a 3 star hotel by Priceline's standards? Thanks!
  12. Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad the crib situation worked out for you! Have a safe trip and a great stay in NYC.
  13. Welcome to BetterBidding and thank you for posting. Do you happen to recall the star rating and/or Priceline zone with London that this hotel is located? Thanks again!
  14. ... of course it does, it all helps!! Thanks for posting and including your bid history. Welcome to BetterBidding!
  15. We have seen prices jump back and forth with Hotwire even intraday, as well as see hotels available at in the morning and then an afternoon search yields entirely different hotels. My guess is that the hotels are adjusting their prices based upon the supply/demand relationship and therefore Hotwire is adjusting their prices as well, but other possibilities include: the hotels are indeed different, Hotwire raise/lower prices depending upon their own sales for the day, randomness , etc. So i don't think there is any 'rule' to guarantee the lowest price, just as there is no way to insure that when you book thru conventional methods that the price won't go up/down afterwards. I think the bottom line is to do some homework and know prices in the area for your dates so you know what a good deal is (which i think $40 or $49, in this example, both qualify). When you see a good deal, take it! Although listed in the Priceline section, here is a little more info on the same subject: Should I Bid Early or Late to Arrival Date
  16. I don't know how many nites you're staying or if this would even be worth it, but there are some coupons available for parking at the airport. Check out California Priceline/Hotwire Hotel Lists and Tips
  17. Sorry to hear of your overbid. I recall you getting this hotel before, and when i looked it up, your prior indication is that htis hotel is in the Mid-town SOUTH zone, yet this time you report it as the Mid-town WEST zone. Prior Priceline Win for this Hotel Can you confirm if one is a typo or of Priceline redefined the zone boundaries? From the Priceline maps it appears that 41st St is the dividing line for the MTS zone, yet the MTW zone appears to start at 42nd St. Much too close to call just by the map, can you double check the 'win' screen? Thanks.
  18. If you use a Mac, know how to use a mouse, and would be willing to assist in some testing of this site by answering some questions for me as to how certain parts of this site work on your computer (should only take a few minutes), please PM or email me. THANKS! EDIT: the questions have been answered and the testing is done for now (thankfully all works well), thanks again to those that offered to help
  19. Thanks for the compliments on the site. Your kind words are certainly appreciated! Sorry you didn't get what you expected, but it sounds like you're happy none-the-less. I believe that Le Meridien would be in the Midtown Central zone, so i'm not sure just how much they're trying to "fool" us by making these 2 hotels similar (or maybe i'm just naive :) ). Of course, one would need to know the area and zone boundaries well in order to know in which zone each hotel is located. As i was typing this, i was also thinking that there are only about 7 or 8 "common" amenities that would be seen in a NYC hotel (i'm including amenities like restaurant, fitness center, business center, etc.... but not including amenities that Shuttle, Condo, Resorts, Casino, Golf, Tennis, etc which really aren't quite likely in NYC) so there has got to be a fair amount of overlap. In a recent post on the board i commented to another user just how many NYC hotels show amenities as Restaurant, Fitness, Business. I can definately see how the hi-speed internet access icon would lead someone to believe that they've "identified the hotel", but i don't think there's an intentional plan to fool people if indeed the Westin offers this service (as well as the other amenities shown). Either way, i'm sure the Westin will be great, especially at the price you're paying! Have a great stay, and thanks again for posting your info!! PS- welcome to BetterBidding!
  20. It appears that with Hotwire's new interface (an improvement) they also redesignated some zones. In Orlando, there used to be Universal/Sea World as well as Universal/Wet n' Wild, but now only lists Universal Orlando. If you know the area and are familiar with the boundaries on the previous zones, can you confirm/deny that the new Universal Orlando is zone simply the two prior zones combined? Has the WDW/Lake Buena Vista zone simply been renamed WDW area? Thanks for any input on this matter.
  21. Your HOOKED!! :) I'm sure the rooms will be fine. Along those lines, there's a Hotel Reviews section at the bottom of the main page which you're encouraged to write a recap when you return. Have a great trip, glad we were able to help with your plans.
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