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epicureangirl

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Everything posted by epicureangirl

  1. I don't think there are any bargains out there when it comes to the official Disney hotels, however the best rates I've had in the past ( for Disneyworld) was when I booked the Animal Kingdom Lodge through Expedia. I'd check their rates for the Californian ($280 seems to be the cheapest you can get if you look at their rate calendar), plus the park-hopper you want and see if it comes out cheaper than buying the hotel as a package through disney. When planning a disney trip, I always go to mousesavers.com and read all their bargain-hunting tips. However, at the end of the day, the money I save on a Priceline or Hotwire room, really helps me justify splurging on everything else. The Californian did look gorgeous though (remember to use the link on this board to Expedia if you want to book it)! Good luck.
  2. If you haven't been to the Hyatt Vancouver before, go through the lobby (away from the street entrance) and into the hallway that is right inside a mall. You'll find a food-fair, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, McDonalds all open very early in the morning. Not that you want to live on fast-food, but there are definitely better quick options than the coffee bar they have open inside the hotel. There's also a good Dim Sum restaurant(though slightly expensive by Vancouver standards) right in the mall too -- all this and you haven't even stepped outside yet! The Hyatt is also connected (through the mall) to the Burrard Skytrain station if you wish to quickly get to the waterfront or rest of the Lower Mainland. This is an ideal location to see the city and one of the best hubs if you want to try out Vancouver's public transit to other areas. Have fun.
  3. Bidding for my sister, 3* Disneyland. Cheapest 3* on Expedia was $90 for that time period. Started at $45 for Anaheim added Anaheim Hills $48 added Mission Viejo $51 added Seal Beach $54 closed browser and started again Anaheim $55 Anaheim Hills $56 Stopped. I told her she has lots of time, and we can try again in a few days as things are constantly changing. I'll keep my eyes out for some successful bids (and failed) to help me out. Cheers, Michelle
  4. I see that 4* condo too (in Ka'anapali), for your dates. It showed up for me at $234 on Hotwire -- maybe it's time to try Priceline again? It might come up within your max? Good luck.
  5. Spa icon might come and go? I didn't get the spa icon, of that I'm sure. Was it on the Hotwire hotel list? I checked it twice... though I think I'm going blind! :)
  6. Looks like a new hotel is coming up for Kauai (Princeville area) icons were: Resort, beachfront, fitness, pool, restaurant, business, golf, tennis 4.5* Assume it is the Princeville Resort as it's in the hotel product too. My search dates were Sept 22-26.
  7. You're welcome, Wendy. I did get one night at the Sheraton in Maui (Priceline $175), but I really wanted to stay with a 'family rate' at the Hyatt -- there's no availability at all. The rest of the trip is at the Hyatt in Kauai which was no problem as far as availability goes, so I'm all set. The rates seem extremely high for Maui (shocking at times!), but in our case we weren't set on the specific Island -- Kauai was going to do just as well for us so we could be flexible. Hope your Maui plans fall into place. Cheers, Michelle.
  8. Have you tried calling the Starwood 1-800 number? If you talk to a reservations agent, saying your plans aren't firm yet but what about these dates and availability maybe they'd be able to tell you more. Of course, you could ask about both the Sheraton and Westin in the same call. Sometimes they tell me (as an example) "Friday I only have 7 rooms left but the rest of the week is very open still". That at least might give you an idea of if one of the days is causing a problem for your bid. Hyatt reservations also can give you that type of information -- I was unable to get a room in the Maui location for my September dates. Did you also search Hotwire? I would put in your days individually and find out the rates and hotel availability (based on the icons). There may be one day during your stay that the property is not available, or that the price spikes. You could try and work around that. Good luck.
  9. I'm in Vancouver, and can definitely answer to this. If you have a few days, stay downtown Vancouver then take a taxi or shuttlebus to the Airport. If you want to even take a regular transit bus to the Airport you can, but you will have to transfer once. It's unlikely you would need to rent a car and it is also hard to park in the city -- there is only pay parking downtown which will also add to your cost. The bus system can take you all over the city, but also look at a map for Skytrain (or any of the buses for that matter, at www.translink.bc.ca) which links many destinations over the whole lower mainland easily an cheaply (also part of the city transit). The Skytrain is mostly above-ground so you can really see a lot in a short amount of time -- also you can cover large distances more efficiently than if you were to take a car. The city transit system even includes the SeaBus which is a water transport that can take you from Vancouver over water to North Vancouver, a very picturesque trip with Lonsdale Quay Market at the North Van side. The transit system is clean and safe. Your bus/skytrain/seabus is all valid on the same transfer, so within the 1 and a half hours (your transfer is valid for)you can even make a return trip on the same fare. Fares go by 'zones' so check the map at the station before you buy your fare. Mostly, don't be tempted to stay in a hotel by the Airport, you will feel stranded. You can take buses into downtown from there, but I doubt you want to spend more than 30 minutes on a bus each morning to go to Downtown Vancouver. Stay downtown and enjoy the city. The trip to the Airport should be less than 30 minutes and not a big deal. Enjoy your trip.
  10. Does anyone know of car rental coupons that are good for a daily rate? I see many for 3 day or weekly rentals. Looking for OGG on September 21 and again on September 26th. Many thanks.
  11. Thanks for the post -- great advice. I booked the majority of my Hawaii car rental (Kauai) at a great rate for a convertible, but I need two, 1 day rentals in Maui (any type car) and didn't know how to proceed. All the daily rates seem high including HOTWIRE. I'll use your strategy, starting now!
  12. Check the car rentals board here. In Maui and Kauai, there have been some GREAT weekly rates for convertibles. After using my coupon, my daily rate was $31.98 for a convertible from National (Sept '06).
  13. I've bought many certificates from Restaurant.com for Seattle, Washington DC and San Francisco. I always take a lot of time in advance to read reviews on the restaurants first -- I never buy just because there's a coupon. I've had some great meals, fantastic deals and would use them again. However it's much like the Entertainment Book in that one year you find a great restaurant, then it no longer participates in Restaurant.com, so can no longer get a discount. Make sure you check the hours of the restaurant too, I wasn't able to use 2 of the coupons I bought for DC, because the restaurant hours didn't work with our plans for the days we were there. I have never had a problem using one, once you buy one you'll get a lot of email specials sent to you. Wait until they're 60% off! Cheers.
  14. I just booked a convertible at LIU Lihue (Kauai) from 09/22 for 5 nights (at 35.98/day) for $179.90 EXTRA SAVINGS Used a $20 coupon code available from the National Car Rental website on weekly rentals (which really means a minimum of 5 days). This coupon is good for convertibles, whereas some are not. Subtotal $159.90 plus $37.14 Taxes, Surcharges & Fees makes a grand total of $197.04.
  15. The post doesn't say, but I believe it is with National Car Rental that they have this deal. I just booked LIU Lihue (Kauai) from 09/22 for 5 nights (at 35.98/day) for $179.90 EXTRA SAVINGS Used a $20 coupon code available from the National Car Rental website on weekly rentals (which really means a minimum of 5 days). This coupon is good for convertibles, whereas some are not. Subtotal $159.90 plus $37.14 Taxes, Surcharges & Fees makes a grand total of $197.04.
  16. Needed just one night in Maui before an inter-island flight... Started at $172, Kanapali (I wanted the Sheraton or Westin) rejected Bid $175, Kahului (looks like the minimum bid accepted for September on the boards) and it was accepted Very pleased to get the Sheraton at a steal (Expedia was $295 and Hotwire 'appeared' to be $269). Thanks!
  17. The Argonaut shows up with the exact amenities as listed in this forum "Fitness, Hi-Speed Internet, Business". So if those are the amenities showing up for a 4* in Fisherman's Wharf, you can be 'almost' certain it is the Argonaut. It's a fantastic hotel, but be sure to ask for an exterior room (with a view) if you go. Cheers.
  18. I think I'll look at both since they're 2 of my favorite west-coast cities!
  19. I'm happy to confirm that the Hotel Monaco is showing up (outside of the vacation product). I purchased one night, August 7th for $110 :) Icons are: Boutique, Restaurant, Fitness, Spa and Business I checked a 2 week period from July 24th to August 7th and it came up twice (once on August 6th for $139 and on the 7th for $110). As a repeat guest at the Kimpton, I've been getting all their email specials, and even so the best deal I could get through them on a standard room is $169. Cheers.
  20. Do you see it added to a "list" somewhere for hotwire 4.5*'s? I couldn't see it listed in the Hotel product, for one. After reading the TripAdvisor reviews of the Sheraton, I'd really have a hard time believing it was rated a 4.5* -- I think I'd be pretty disappointed getting it when looking at recent feedback. The Argonaut really deserves its 4.5* rating, no question.
  21. I'm really interested in the results of this one... I've been keeping my eyes on the rates for the Argonaut on Hotwire for an upcoming trip. The only 2 hotels that may qualify for 4.5* in Fisherman's Wharf would be the Argonaut and Sheraton, and ANY 4.5* hotel, certainly would have a restaurant! I've seen another property where an icon seemed to 'drop off' from time to time. Maybe to confuse us? :) The Sheraton has a pool, and I really thought that icon would show up if they list with Hotwire (their Seattle location always shows LOTS of icons including the pool on Hotwire). Can't speak for the Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf, but the Argonaut is awesome! Good luck.
  22. I'm not sure for Vegas, but I've been able to reserve hotels through several cities official tourism/convention website or Entertainment (use a friends membership card to book if you don't have one) without cancellation penalty. I would also suggest calling the hotel directly (at their local number if they're part of a huge chain) and see if they are offering any specials. I've been able to get some better rates directly through hotels, even though they don't appear on their website. In any case, you can try those and check the fine-print before you reserve. Cheers.
  23. Regarding existing reservation of Seattle Hyatt 5* being downgraded to 4.5*: I didn't know that, but called Hotwire to check if there were any options to 'compensate' me for the downgrade. At the time I booked, there was a 4.5* available for less money. They offered to rebook me for the currently listed 4.5* (with no guarantees it was the Seattle Hyatt) after cancelling my existing reservation OR to credit my account with $25 Hotwire bucks. I took the credit and am VERY pleased with their service. I don't know if this is, or should be posted elsewhere, but I think it's worth it to bring things to the customer service department to see if they can resolve or compensate you when problems arise. I certainly am happy with what they did for me. Thanks for letting me know about the money back possibility -- I never would have called them without your comment. Cheers. :)
  24. This was a 5 night stay (Jan 22-27 2005) for $124 a night through Hotwire. As usual, I will give a thorough (and lengthy) review. After reading rave reviews about this hotel on Trip Advisor, I felt 'safe' selecting this 4.5* property in Waikiki Waterfront. This hotel is directly on the harbor, every room has a water view, and is a few blocks away from the beach and a block away from the high-end mall, Ala Moana Center. The hotel is made up of two towers, "Diamond Head Tower" and "Ala Moana Tower". Upon checkin, everything went smoothly and we requested a room with 2 beds (we had our daughter with us). This was double-bedded which I find rather uncomfortable -- shouldn't the standard be 2 Queens or 1 King bedded room in a 4* hotel in the U.S.? I had enquired about a King with a cot/rollaway, but they would charge me $35 extra per night for the cot which I thought was too much. Especially when Sheraton's I've stayed in do not charge for the rollaway when it is used for a child. The two doubles would have to do. A nice touch was the Keiki (child's) welcome package they gave my daughter -- a ball, some crayons and an activity book were in it. We were given a card-key to a room in the Diamond Head Tower on the 8th floor. As soon as I exited the glass-elevator (looking towards the city) I was hit by a strong smoke smell and I realised I forgot to request a non-smoking floor. We checked out our room anyhow, hoping that it was better than the hallway. It was -- no smoke smell at all, however both me and my daughter began having irritated eyes so we called down to the front desk to ask for a room change to non-smoking. Heading back down, we found out we could only get a non-smoking room with a King bed. We accepted it, and solved the expensive bedding dillema by heading to WalMart to pickup a beach air-matress and Disney sleeping bag (total bill, $25). This thrilled our 7 year old, saved mom and dad $35 a night (for the rollaway offered by the hotel) and gave us the spacious comfort of a King bed. This room was on the 10th floor in the Ala Moana Tower. Now that I have seen rooms in both towers (2 doubles and the king room), I can safely say they're basically the same. The hallways are a little worse for wear (beaten up baseboards and doors) -- to be fair I've seen a few Waikiki hotels during this trip and generally get the impression hotels here really get more use and wear-and-tear than in many cities. The look of the room was moderately disappointing (after rave reviews on several sites and guidebooks saying how luxurious this property was) as it was perhaps slightly dated looking and not as plush as I thought it might be. However, there are many, many great things about this hotel that made our stay wonderful. So lets get on with the good stuff... The view of the harbor and city is amazing, you have floor to ceiling windows and the windows slide open very wide so you can have warm breezes in your room instead of air conditioning if you wish. The air condititioning has a temperature dial, and low-med-high settings (as well as off) so you have complete control over the temperature. The low setting was very quiet for night-time and the high setting cooled the room down VERY rapidly when you needed it to. The bed has a great mattress. Slightly on the medium-firm side, it may have been one of those 'do-not-disturb' mattresses, as my husband and I were never awoken during the evening by either one of us moving around or getting out of bed. The sheets were soft, sparkling white and good quality. The towels in the bathroom also were incredibly soft Turkish cotton, looked brand new and smelled fantastic (like almonds). I honestly want to know what they use in their laundry. :) The small fridge in the room was left empty (great for storing your own drinks and flower lei's!), except for 2 small bottles of Dasani water which were complimentary and replenished every day of our stay. A nice touch. The bathroom was marble and thoughtfully equipped. Separate tub (with laundry line to hang swimsuits and towels when you needed it), separate shower (with good pressure and Moen shower head), Separate toilet with frosted door and phone (didn't try that one out!), vanity area with coffee maker (complimentary Kona blend coffee packets), hair dryer and lighted makeup mirror. This room probably had more fresh linens than in any hotel I've been in. The spaciousness and layout of the bathroom made this very easy for a family of 3 to be comfortable in during our stay. The closet had the standard ironing board, iron, safe, suitcase valet, but also had robes for your use and complimentary slippers. The hotel pool is on the 5th floor and has sweeping views of the harbor and city -- very beautiful to swim in the moonlight (though a bit windy at all times of day). Towels were available at poolside and at the front desk in the lobby -- when heading out to Hanauma Bay they suggested we take some with us. This reflects their great service -- we didn't have to sign them out, or feel we were doing something 'wrong' by taking hotel towels away with us for the day. On our last day we asked about the possibility of a late check-out and were extended until 2:30, which was perfect timing for our departure to the airport. No extra charge and graciously accommodated. Self-park was a reasonable $12.70 a day and we could always find convenient parking directly attached to the hotel. Local calls were 75 cents, so not unreasonable compared to other hotels I've stayed in. Conceirge, bell-staff and everyone at the front desk was wonderful and accommodating. They really have the Aloha Spirit.
  25. Just got back, but wanted to report in! Paid $124 a night for 5 nights at the Hawaii Prince through Hotwire. I'll post a review shortly and photos in the "Real Hotel Photos" section. Icons were: Oceanfront, restaurant, pool, fitness, spa, business. In this case I was able to get a 4* + room at a better rate than I could have on Priceline. I failed when bidding up to $130 on Priceline for the same dates a day before check-in, although this same hotel is frequently available through Priceline. Hard to understand, but this has taught me that 'sometimes' the deals can still be better on Hotwire.
QUICKQUOTE [X]
PRICELINE & HOTWIRE on one screen!
NOTE: Priceline searches for
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY ONLY
Room %roomN%:
Age of child:
FINDFAST[X]
EXCLUSIVELY at BetterBidding:
5% OFF

PRICELINE COUPON


(click here) and use

promo code

: BBAUG22

(Express Hotels or most Pay Now Hotels / 3+ stars / max $50 discount... expires 08/31/2022)
OR
$20 OFF

PRICELINE COUPON


(click here) and use

promo code

: ESCAPE20

(Express Hotels $125+ purchase... expires 08/15/2022)
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