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Everything posted by ilander

  1. Was trying for a 2.5* Airport Hotel and added USW after a rejected bid thinking rates at the AP would be lower than downtown. Got a surprise, the Best Western The Hotel California for $61 for May 26, 2011. It worked out okay as I needed to be downtown the next day anyway.
  2. This was a bid for a post cruise stay for three rooms. Bids of $82, 85, and 87 were rejected. $90 U.S. was about $111 CAD at the time of the bid, the cheapest prepaid rate on the Westin site was $289 CAD.
  3. The Hyatt Place Convention Center is located at 8741 International Drive. The Hyatt Place Orlando/Universal is located at 5995 Caravan Court. The hotel I got is Hyatt Place Orlando/Universal on Caravan Court. The title has been changed to indicate otherwise.
  4. On first bid, proceeding after receiving the PRICELINE, bid unlikely to be accepted message, I got two rooms at the Hyatt Place Orlando Universal. Hotel website rate at time of bid was $107.
  5. Got this hotel on first bid, so may have left some on the table. At the time of the bid, the standard reservation rate is $149 the advance nonrefundable rate is $129.
  6. Finished off the last of the reservations for this trip. After looking at available options and my family needs, I settled on the Residence Inn for price and ammenities. The hotel had the expected icons: smokefree, breakfast, fitness, pool, rest., laundry, internet, kitchennette. Had been watching the hotel for a while on HOTWIRE. Rates started at $159 six weeks ago, then went to $149, and today I bit the bullet at $139. The regular reservation rate was $269. Rates may keep trending lower, but I'm happy with $139 for Downtown Vancouver in July and I've locked it in. I had rather use PRICELINE when possible, but in this case targeting the Residence Inn was not possible. The Residence Inn is 2.5* on Priceline, but its rates are much higher than a couple of the undesirable 3* Priceline hotels in the zone. 2.5* bids in the Downtown zone run a real risk of an unwanted "upgrade".
  7. Needed to be in Huntsville near the Von Braun Center for the weekend. Limted to 2.5 star and lower quality in the Huntsville Zone. My wife wanted to be in the Hunsville zone. I would have just targeted the Marriot in the west zone, but we compromised, and I had to try for the Huntsville zone. First bid of $45 rejected. No free rebids. Here is where the PRICELINE Peter Principle, if it can go wrong it will go wrong, comes into play. So rather than just go for the 3* in the west zone, I tried to finesse the bidding. The South zone listed 3* and 2* biddding, no 2.5*. I figured I would bid $52, because what are the odds I would get upgraded to 3* at $52? Well, you know how this story ends. Turned out okay, 4.3 miles from the Von Braun Center, not to bad, just a reminder of the how plans can go awry. The nonrefundable prepay rate was $94, regular resveration rate $104. Comes with free hot buffet breakfast. On a personal note, thereuare I want to compliment you on the progress this site has made over the years. I joined as member 18 and am impressed with the growth of the site. This must be a labor of love. Bravo. Job well done. The future of the site is bright.
  8. I'll throw my 2 cents in. If HOTWIRE has an offering for $49 you should be successful at $44 with PRICELINE, at least in my experience. I'd say 90+% of the time Priceline has what Hotwire is offering. That being said, there are still some times to use Hotwire such as when you can identify a hotel you want and when you have more than two people and you don't want the uncertainty. In your case, here is how I would go about it. Bid 2* in your chosen zone at $30. Add second zone choice, bid $37. Add your third choice bid $44. If you don't have a hotel at this point start a brand new bid. Close the window and reaccess PRICELINE, hopefully through a link on Betterbidding. Choose 1* and repeat. If you don't get a hotel, don't worry you have the Hotwire offer to fall back on. If you wanted to increase your chances at saving money, bid $25, $30, and $34 on day one through both the one and two star cycles, and come back 24 hours later start a brand new bid with $37, $40, and $44 in both the 2* and then 1* cycles. This is a better bidding stategy, but takes more patience. The flaw in this stategy is that zone number 3 when you are bidding $44 for the first time, may have a hotel at $30 and you would get it for $44. If you want to secure every savings possible you would have to bid two star $30 zone 1, close, new bid 2* $30 zone 3, close new bid 2* $30 zone 4. Bid $37 zone 1&3, close, bid $37 zone 1&4. then bid $44 zones 1,3, and 4. It is more effective, it just takes longer. Good luck. Remember on the page that you hit submit, review your dates and amounts and make sure you haven't included the zone you don't want to stay in each time. Please ask if you have questions, there are lots of people here willing to help.
  9. Most are paying $85 through April. Cruise season starts in May and things change a lot. I've bid up to $146 for a stay in July with no luck. At this point all you can do is book a workable back-up reservation which can be cancelled, bide your time, and hope that the hotels allocate Priceline some lower priced inventory closer to your stay. I went back and checked, the $90 win I saw was in April instead of May and that makes a lot of difference. It seems many folks are in the same boat we are in waiting on some PRICELINE inventory in Vancouver. Hopefully, we will eventually have some luck.
  10. I saw on one of the cruise boards where a guy won a 4* in Vancouver in May for $90. You may be just off the mark. At the 4* level everything but the Airport is a free bid. But you really need to review the FAQ and figure out how to tell yourself. Its really easy once you get the hang of it. Simply check each zone individually and see what star levels are available. Uncheck that one and check the next to see what is available. Take notes and continue till all zones are noted. Then you know where your free rebids fall. Good luck.
  11. I have been looking for a 4* in Vancouver for a little while now for 7/27 - 7/ 29. So far, I've bid up to $146 for a 4* Downtown with no luck. I'm not sure if it interests you but you can book the Hyatt for $215 CAD and the Pacific Pallisades for $200 CAD a night at least in my date range at Quickbook.com and it is cancellable up to two days before the reservation. I had rather do that now than lock-in the HOTWIRE offering at about the same price. I have used Quickbook before and have found them to be a reputable firm. Hope you have a good trip.
  12. Title gives the information. First bid of $67 was accepted for two rooms. Website direct rate was $199. Placed various 3* bids up to $75 and 4* up to $130 for this stay during the last week and all were rejected. This is for a pre-cruise stay for the family and will do fine. Free buffet breatfast, coin laundry, and free shuttle to some to the sites make it a winner for our needs on this trip.
  13. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Under the current system Priceline should just accept every bid and adjust the hidden fee to make whatever they want to make under the deal. Priceline would take advantage of everyone who didn't slow down and review more than just the amount of the bid and the dates when reviewing their bid. You seem to indicate that this would be okay. It doesn't take a leap of faith to think a $24 a day car will be cheaper than a competitors $28.95 a day car. That thought process assumes you are dealing with straight-forward parties though, and that assumption in the case of Priceline rental cars does not hold. I'm sure many who rent Priceline cars are not aware of the exorbitant hidden Priceline fee. All I'm trying to do is help people make an informed choice. If you knew of the disparity in rental fees between Priceline and Hotwire cars before my post, then go in peace. If you didn't, then my post accomplished its goal. If you don't think it's deceptive, I can live with that. It is what it is, whatever you call it.
  14. I wanted to relay some information regarding two of my recent Priceline rental purchases. The first was a three day rental from DFW. Hotwire showed a rental rate of $15.95 a day with a total cost for the rental of $$81.98. I bid $14 a day through Priceline not paying particular attention to the review your bid page. Priceline accepted the offer and the total cost was $87.48. That right!!! A $14 a day Priceline rental cost more than a $15.95 Hotwire rental due to the fees hidden by Priceline in the "taxes and fees not to exceed" line item. After the above incident I reviewed a previous winning bid in Buffalo for three days. Hotwire showed $28.95 a day so I bid $24 a day on Priceline. The bid was accepted and the total cost was $116.64. I went to Hotwire and selected the $28.95 rate that was still showing and found their total cost would have been $109.21. The Priceline "taxes and fees" line was $44.64, whereas the Hotwire "taxes and fees" item was $22.36. In summary, a $14/day Priceline car costs more than a $15.95/day Hotwire car; and a $24/day Priceline car costs more than a $28.95/day Hotwire car due to Priceline's exorbitant and hidden fees. Priceline uses a deceptive business practice in this regard and should be held accountable. I for one will go out of my way to avoid Priceline for rental cars until they at least disclose their fees. I feel sure comparing Priceline car rental fees to HOTWIRE's has been covered somewhere in the past, but I don't remember seeing it. I hope this helps someone avoid the trap I fell into. Happy traveling all.
  15. Bid of $40 rejected. Got 5 rooms. Best web rate at this hotel was $89 at time of bid.
  16. I paid nothing other than the $20 for the upgrade. My bill at checkout was only for phone calls and parking. I bid in June for the October stay. Cheers Steve
  17. Just wanted to add a note. I gave the clerk $20 folded neatly under my credit card at check-in and asked if I could get an upgrade. I got a top-floor Executive Room with ocean and pool view and access to the Lounge. I think I got a bargain for my $6.67 a day. My buddy checked in right before me, same clerk, with a priceline reservation and asked for a upgrade without the $20; he got 7th floor partial ocean view.
  18. Wanted to add a night to previous bid, but since the link wasn't on my previous win and I didn't want to try to speak to someone at Priceline, I thought I would just bid for the night I needed. As should have been expected I guess, I got a different hotel. The Coralville Marriott will be fine. I bid $53 on my first bid. The Marriott web rate was $149 at time of bid.
  19. Available rate at the Sheraton was $139. My first bid was $46 at the 3* level. I received a counter offer to try again raising my bid by $13. I dropped down to 2.5* and bid $53, no free rebids here. I received a response saying I was upgraded to a 3* and my bid had been accepted. This bid was for 3 rooms.
  20. The area selected was San Juan the quality level selected was resort.
  21. This may be stale, but my guess would be Xanadu Beach Resort & Marina. If you select packages and rental car for the one day, this is one of the choices and the amenities match. Steve
  22. Received this hotel on first 3* bid after getting rejected bidding 4* at $51 and $61.
  23. Conventional rate was $74 on both nights. Got three roooms for the outbound side of the trip with first bid of $42. Also bid for the return trip on July 9 with same result.
  24. Received this hotel on first bid of $65. At time of bid regular rate was $230 and advance purchase rate was $215 on Hilton.com.
  25. First bid accepted of $51. Hotwire showed this hotel, based on matching amenites coming up under the Hotel/Car package option, for $67.
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