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Everything posted by thereuare

  1. Great deal. Be sure to check out the Hotel Review section if you haven't done so already, as Phaelon has writting a review of this hotel (and i believe posted a pic or two that he took).
  2. Now there's a BIG leap of faith! :) Hard for me to say since i don't know the area at all, but since called upon.... Most of the Courtyards that i've seen are indeed rated 2.5* by Priceline. It also seems as if the shaded region of the map was intentionally drawn with that hook on the bottom right. Would seem more intuitive to have a straight line running parallel to Washington Blvd (or at the very least, cover the entire water area with shade). So i would agree that the map was probably drawn that way to include some hotel in that area.... whether or not that is the Courtyard it would be tough to say without knowing the area. Also, it doesn't look like there are any re-bid zones for this area, so if i was looking to go for this hotel i would give myself plenty of 72 hour periods ahead of my planned stay. If you'd be just as happy at LAX, i would keep that in mind and make sure you don't overbid this area, as the LAX zone can get pretty cheap (3* for $32+/nite)
  3. VERY well done! Welcome to the board and thanks for posting. Hope the 2nd part of the trip goes as smoothl as this part :).
  4. Just realized the OP's dates already passed (which would make knowing the hotel's rate for those nites tough), so i checked for this Saturday and next Saturday at the hotel's website and the best rate was $189. I then checked for Saturday nites in May and got the following: 5/3 $189 5/10 $189 5/17 $239 5/24 $199 I would suspect that "something" is happening in town that is resulting in increased demand for the 17th. If that is indeed the date you're looking for, then i would think at this point it would take a slightly higher bid. If this is the hotel you were "hoping" for on the 17th, i would keep an eye on their rates at their website and if you see a drop in price (even if it isn't all the way down to $189) i would immediately attempt to bid again. On the otherhand, if you don't need May 17th, i would think your rejection may just be due to lack of inventory and i would continue to try to bid it <frequently>. Also, regarding you needing a Saturday nite... the Orignal Poster's stay included a saturday nite, so i wouldn't be concerned about that aspect of it.
  5. What's the date in May? Need to compare the rates for the dates above through conventional means (like Oribitz, Expedia above, or the hotel website) and compare them to the rate for date you need. This way can compare if perhaps there is seasonal type pricing in the area or if perhaps there is some special even taking place on the dates that you need which would imply higher prices. If rates are the same (or similar), then it could just be that Priceline doesn't have any access to inventory right now and i'd continue to try the same $70 bid amount for a few weeks. Not a bad idea to book a fully cancellable back-up in the meantime as well, just so you don't feel any pressure if your bids are rejected for a few cycles. Keep us updated how it goes. Of course, if finding out the above info raises any additional questions, feel free to ask!
  6. Had a family event in the area so i got 2 rooms on Priceine at $39/nite (June '02), which was a little higher than usual for the area, with the higher rate attributed to a soccer tournament in the area (which is why it's important to compare conventional rates for your dates to historical averages... i saw the higher rate compared to the weekend before and the weekend after, as well as a sold out hotel in the area, so i called and learned about the tournament). The hotel was recently renovated and proved to be convenient for our purposes... nothing fancy but a clean bed and friendly staff. There is a small indoor pool and a steak restaurant attached to the property (Gallager's). Check-in went smoothly in the early afternoon, no mention of Priceline, and as it turns out the hotel ultimately sold out. Later that evening i overheard a man talking in the elevator saying that he wanted a non-smoking room but had to settle for smoking because it was the last room they had available (see... it happens to the non-priceline customers too sometimes :) ) With all the kids in town for the soccer tournament the hotel was a little dirtier than usual the next morning, but i'm sure this isn't typically a problem because the hotel was very clean when we arrived. An excellent deal based upon the Priceline rate, although i would sooner hope for the Hyatt property down the road.
  7. Stayed here in Feb. '02. I had read on the internet to try for a room with a river view so i asked but was told it was an extra $20, so i passed on their offer. I don't know if it was because i didn't have a Starwood Preferred Card or perhaps the check-in girl was new and doing everything by the rules (she seemed to be speaking to me according to the hotel's pre-fabricated script, rather than having a conversation with me). I don't think it had to do with occupancy, because the hotel seemed VERY empty. The bed was great, with a big feather bed under the sheets, and there were 2 shower heads in the bathtub (a plus in my book, my biggest complaint at most hotels is lack of water pressure). Unfortunatley, our room was located across from some employee closet, so everytime somebody went into that room our door rattled a bit (i'm sure i could've asked to be moved, but i didn't bother). Also, immediately after we arrived in our room, housekeeping came in (for what purpose i still can't figure out). Shortly thereafter, somebody else came in to replace an iron (i imagine the iron was supposed to be in the room but wasn't... we didn't call down for it). We were looking to relax for a bit and it felt like Grand Central Station. Overall the stay was nice, some rave about this hotel, and although i thought it was perfectly acceptable, i wouldn't describe it as one of the best hotels i've stayed in. It did have a decent fitness center for a hotel, and it's a good hotel to get thru Priceline at $61/nite (probably another hotel that if i was there at traditional rates i'd ask "why?", but on Priceline i left a happy customer). Overnight parking at the hotel and most of the immediate area is $32 per 24 hours.
  8. Stayed here for a quick one nite stay in November '02 @ $85/nite. Not sure if i was in the tower or not (newer section), but at check-in we requested a king bed, no smoking, and as high as possible. We were given a king bed, n/s, on the 5th floor which the clerk said, "i think you'll be happy with as it even has a balcony." Well, i'd describe the balcony more as a ledge with a railing, but the room itself was fine, the furniture seemed new, and it was clean. Although we arrived late in the day and left early in the morning i was certain to check out the pool area which i would describe as "nothing special". I also tried to check out the fitness center but was told that they didn't have one <yet> and they'd give me a pass to go to one at a hotel up the road. I'd certainly be content to stay here again, but i do think they have a LOT of nerve calling this place a resort (and charging an add'l $10/nite fee for it), as there is nothing in my view that classifies it as such... it's just another means of revenue.
  9. OK, i have no first hand experience, but based upon reading some message boards at cruise critic it appears that the DOWNTOWN area is closest to the pier (although some still stay in the airport area). Before i give you a price to start at, are you familiar with free re-bids? They're explained here: Re-Bids. (they're important in this area, since they give you the opportunity to "low ball" it a few times) If you think you understand re-bids, let me know and i'll recommend a starting price to use. If you're unsure (or confused, it's a bit much to swallow at first when it's "new") i can walk you thru the entire bidding process (via Instant Messaging with AOL or Yahoo). Let me know if/when/how you want to proceed.
  10. Taxes show that Priceline paid $93/nite for the hotel, so i would say you did very well. I put in a random date (since you didn't supply the date of your stay) and for the date i selected the room was over $200, so compared to a traditional booking, you did AMAZING! This is a 4* and is in mid-town West, correct? The only thing that i would have done differently is that if you really wanted the MTE zone (the first zone you selected) you had a free re-bid available to you. A re-bid is an opportunity to bid again without really adding any additional zones. Re-bidding is esential in some zones, and you can learn about it here: Re-Bids Explained Re-bidding can be a little complicated at first, but once you understand the concept, it becomes second nature, so if you have any questions regarding re-bidding feel free to ask. Congratulations again on a great win!
  11. Priceline sub-divides Tampa into the following zones: Brandon Busch Gardens Tampa Airport (TPA) & Westshore Tampa Downtown Tampa East - Fairgrounds Tampa North I think most cruisers use the Downtown zone, although i hear the Airport isn't too far either. If you know the area at all, you can see on a map what Priceline considers each zone to include (go to the Hotels screen, put in Tampa FL (dates aren't important), then on the next screen you'll see the list above and you can click "Area Details" to see the map). If you don't know the areas, just say so, and i'll do some research to find out which area is best for cruising (or anyone reading this, feel free to jump in if you have an opinion). What is more important to you, bottom line price or "value for the money"?
  12. I'll take a closer look, but <$100 for a a nite in NYC sounds better than anything else you could have gotten. If you post the taxes from your winning bid as well as the dates of your stay (this will assist others who might be looking for days that encompass the same time period), i'll give you more details. Also, did you just add that zone, or switch zones entirely? I usually recommend raising bids by a maximum of $5 at a time, unless time is of the essence. Please post the taxes and we'll know EXACTLY how you did:) (i'll explain afterwards)
  13. 3* is the highest offering in Ventura, CA. If you'll be trying for 3* property, could you list your exact date? I've taken a quick look at Expedia to see what hotels are in the area (and how much), and i see that a few properties are sold out for the random date in June that i selected. I'll update later tonite after you mention the date you need (if your plans are firm at this point).
  14. Well, you gave it a good shot. Thanks for posting a follow-up. Have a great trip!
  15. Welcome to the board! As we don't have any reported Hotwire "wins" in this area, you're best bet is to hopefully get some help from somebody here who knows the area. I'm sure it would help narrow down the possibilities if you listed the amenities that Hotwire is showing for the hotel. I also recommend reading this CLICK HERE which also explains how to use Expedia to make a better guestimate when using Hotwire. (i just posted this link, it wasn't available when you first posted this question, so don't wonder how you "missed it")
  16. We only have hotel knowledge of what is posted on the board (which is why it's so important that you post your results from both Hotwire and Priceline), but that doesn't mean we can't help! Shown below are a few tricks that can assist in narrowing down the possibilities, as well as a reminder to include the amenities when asking for Hotwire assistance. It's been suggested that the amenities shown in Hotwire often match the amenities show in Expedia (but not necessarily the star ratings), so comparing the amenities of a hotel to the amenities of all of the similarly related hotels on Expedia might be a good place to start. Keep in mind that star ratings are NOT universal, so if looking at a 3* on Hotwire it would proabably be advisable to look at the 2*-4* on Expedia in order to cover any "out-liers". Keep in mind that the above is a starting point. Just because Expedia doesn't list a fitness center (for example) does not mean that there isn't one at the hotel. If you absolutely want to include/exclude a hotel from your list as a possibility, you should call the hotel directly and ask if certain amenities are offered.(amenities like pools/fitness center/kitchenette/etc are usually accurately reported, but amenities like coin operated laundry facilities/shuttle busses/etc may not be reported at all by Expedia, even though they are offered at the property) Of course you should still feel free to post "What hotel might Hotwire be offering in _____", as somebody on this board may be a 'local' to the area and have more info than is posted here. However, to get the best help, include the star rating AND amenties shown, as the amenities are a better tip-off as to waht hotel it might be. You may be asking about a 4* hotel, and there are likely many in the area, but by including the amenities listed it will give more of a clue as to WHICH 4* property is being offered (there may be one that has a pool and one that has a fitness center, but only one that has BOTH a pool and a fitness center).
  17. I always like getting the same hotel, as it's more "comfortable" the second time around. You DID hit this one on the head based upon the 12.5% tax rate of this hotel. If you don't know how to use the taxes to figure out Priceline's cost, click this to read about it: Using Tax Info Now if only the first week of April would get here already :) Welcome to the board, thanks for posting, and have a great trip.
  18. Jawdad, In short, it's adding a zone that only offers quality levels LOWER than the one you are seeking. Read this: Re-Bids Explained which will explain it in more detail, and feel free to ask any add'l questions. It may seem complicated at first, but once you "get it", it becomes intuitive.
  19. Glad to see this one work out for you, but QUITE interesting to see the longer stay get accepted while the shorter stay got hung up on Sat nite. Especially since we just saw a post where a longer stay was rejected, but breaking the stay up into 2 shorter bids went thru (at the same price as the original longer stay bid).
  20. It's NOT too late to bid. Remember, hotels are basically giving Priceline/Hotwire rooms that they don't think they can sell at 'normal' rates. So unless the hotel has received more bookings for your dates than they originally anticipated, you should still have a similar probability of success. The only disadvantage is that you don't have an opportunity to "try again" because you need to take care of this outside of the 48 hour cancellation policy at the other hotel. How much to bid is dependent upon what the rate you received at the Springfield Suites and whether you'd be willing to pay more (how much more?) to increase the quality of the hotel for this nite.
  21. Directly from Priceline (by entering the desired city at the hotel screen): KIAWAH ISLAND is considered a part of Johns Island, South Carolina. Priceline does not have hotels in Johns Island, South Carolina, but we do have hotels in nearby cities. Select the areas near Johns Island where you want to stay. You'll always stay in a nationally recognized name-brand or quality independent hotel. Goose Creek South Carolina (miles from John's Island: 21.4) Summerville South Carolina (miles from John's Island: 23.1)
  22. This hotel is in "my neck of the woods", so if you need restaurant recommendations and/or things to do, feel free to send me a Private Message and i'll try to assist.
  23. Glad to be here to help! I usually recommend bidding as early as possible, although Jan 2004 does seem a bit far off! The only risk i foresee with bidding now is if your plans change. How firm are your plans? What would have to occur for you to not need this hotel room? Regarding the 8 couples traveling together.... you can bid for up to 4 rooms at one time (which, if accepted, will all be at the same hotel). It would seem likely that if you bid for 4 rooms and were accepted, and then immediately bid for 4 additional rooms, you'd get the same hotel.... but this is NOT always the case. I would say it works out A LOT more often than it doesn't, but of course, there are no guarantees. BurBunny will probably be able to offer better advice regarding high/low season and a reasonable startng bid, so i'll keep my mouth shut (sometimes hard for me to do) on that subject for now.
  24. Excellent, welcome to the savings! Glad the site was helpful to you. When you brag to your friends about your great deal (and you will :) ) send 'em over here to check us out! Thanks for posting.
  25. I don't think there are too many hotels classified by Priceline as 4* in the downtown area, but you could try... i would probably start at about $35 (probably too low) and raise my bid by $3 using free re-bid zones (if you're not sure of how to use a re-bid zone, ASK) until i got to $50 at which point i wouldn't bid any higher at this point (as you have plenty of time). HOWEVER, if it was me, i would be bidding $27 for a 3* property in Downtown Miami. The Hyatt usually comes up at this price, is rated 4* by Oribtiz, and i think is one of the best "bang for your buck" hotels i've stayed at while using Priceline. Of course, you could get some other 3* property in the area (the Renaissance Miami Biscayne Bay is another 3* hotel reported in the DT Miami zone), but by keeping your bid at $27(no higher) i don't think you have a high probability of getting a hotel other than the Hyatt. Even if you did, i don't think you could go wrong getting a 3* hotel for $27! You can read my review of the Hyatt by going to the Hotel Reviews section at the bottom of the board's main page, or you can click on the 'Pinned' topic at the top of this thread, go to the Priceline Hotel List by City, and click on the word REVIEW next to the Miami Downtown Hyatt. If you have any questions regarding the above (or anything else), feel free to ask. Let us know what you decide to do and how you make out.