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frugola

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Everything posted by frugola

  1. This is my first day bidding for the family vacation, so i was stunned to be accepted for an entire week with hardly any effort. Started out bidding $80 for a 3 star and was rejected. Then bid $84 for a 2 and a half star and was immediately accepted by Hilton Garden Inn. Place gets great reviews on travel websites so am hopeful when we bring our 15 year old son, we'll be able to get a double/double room. Total was $588 and taxes and fees came to $101. A nice savings off the $188 a night on their website.
  2. This is graduation weekend for 4 different colleges in towson, maryland. I've been working on this for several weeks, as everyone was showing sold out on the web. I finally noticed the Sheraton appeared on Hotwire, so offered 20% less than the Hotwire price and was accepted for $128 for 2 nights. Am happy to be in towson instead of outlying areas.
  3. I went through the savingsbarn.com link and bid what i usually end up spending for the Marriot Burkshire ($74) and got it on the first bid. I needed 2 rooms this time for family, so i am happy to have this settled a month early.
  4. Started out at Savingsbarn.com link and bid $64 for 3 star in Towson (had already done a couple of tries around $62 and $64). No luck. So added Baltimore North-Whitemarsh, which so far is a free rebid. Upped the bid to $74 and was accepted at marriott Burkshire.
  5. We stayed here for 3 nights (me, husband, and teenage son) for $46 a night. The entire hotel is nonsmoking, so no issues there. Free parking. We were cheerfully given a studio, which included a queen size bed and a pullout sofa, plus a fully stocked kitchen, dishwasher, refrigerator, two burners and a microwave. It also includes a wonderful, free breakfast of cereals, yogurt, eggs, sausage, the works. Monday thru Thursday there is a "manager's reception" from 5:30 to 7 that runs the gamut from lasagne to roast beef sandwiches to hotdogs, different every night. It's out in the tyson's corner area, about a 5 minute drive from the Dunn Loring metro station (about 20 minutes into downtown DC, i think around $5 roundtrip. plus $3.75 parking). About a 10 minute drive to Tyson's Corner, which is a huge shopping mall. There is a seasonal outdoor pool, which was shut. The have a sportcourt which is a great way to entertain kids - it doubles for tennis and basketball. Free use of a computer in the lobby. You can either use the treadmills and bikes in the exercise room, or use the free passt o Gold's Gym down the street (major eqipment here). WE have no noise problems and the maid service was terrific. Would love to get this again.
  6. Decided to start fishing around early. Noticed that most discount websites were offeirng incredibly low rates for this time period. Started a bid at $40 for a 2 1/2 star in Tysons Corner and was counteroffered to raise by $12. Was fearful i'd be bumped up to a 3* and from reviews preferred what's being offered in 2 1/2* category. So, added Falls Church East (not even sure if this is a free rebid, but took a chance) and upped the bid to $46. Was accepted by Residence Inn - which means free breakfast, lots of space, and late afternoon receptions that can be turned into another free meal!! Am very happy with this result. Did this bidding by starting at Savingsbarn.com and clicking on Priceline.
  7. Finally remembered to use the Savingsbarn.com link, went to priceline and got Sheraton Baltimore North (towson) for $62, first bid, for one night 12/15.
  8. sheraton North (towson) 11/25/06 one night, $62, first try
  9. Really preferred to stay in Towson no lower than a 3 star. Started bidding for 11/21 for one night at $62 and was rejected. Upped it to $74 and added Whitemarsh/North Baltimore area (which still seems to be a free rebid zone). Was accepted at the sheraton North (the one connected to the towson Town Center, a huge mall)
  10. Bid yesterday starting at $64 and was counteroffered $81. Added White marsh and offered $71 and was rejected. Today got the same counteroffer and added Whitemarsh again and offered $74 and was accepted. Have stayed here before and been quite happy, so hopefully will feel that way again.
  11. i bid in towson a lot, and they do have a 2.5* (at least they did in the past) It's the Holiday Inn Cromwell Bridge Road. Kind of a rundown but safe and roomy hotel on the outskirts of Towson. You're lucky you didn't end up spending $109 on that, as I can usually get it in the $40 and $50 range. At least with the marriott Burkshire you'll have a one bedroom apartment with a full kitchen and and apartment size laundry facilities in the room. So that's at least a small positive.
  12. Stayed here for 2 nights on a priceline bid of $62 per night plus fees. It's a fairly new property, 10 stories high. It's in one of those homogeneous Virginia/DC suburbs, pleasant and safe and nondescript. At checkin we were given a king bed and a sofabed, which worked fine with our one son. A small refrigerator was included in the room, just large enough to keep some bottled drinks and leftover food cold. Nice exercise room open 24 hours a day. The pool was okay and the jacuzzi was great, but only open 5pm to 10pm on weekdays (10 to 10 on weekends). A MAJOR plus is that the hotel is only 1 short block to the Dunn Loring metro stop. It's about $5 round trip in and out of DC (22 minutes each way). Very easy ride. The room had a patio, but no furniture to sit on, so it was kind of useless. The bathroom was nice and roomy but had no exhaust fan, so you have to literally wipe off the mirror to see after a shower. odd in a new building. The staff were all pleasant and helpful (i have yet to meet a marriott employee who is less than wonderful). In the lobby are two hooked up computers available first come/first serve to surf the net or check e mail. Wonderful touch. You also get free copies of USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. We ate the breakfast buffet one day, pricey but very good. As far as I can tell, the rooms seem to be soundproof. There appeared to be at least 100 or so visitors from a tour bus wandering happily about the property and I never heard a thing in my room. Only if someone thumps across the room above is there any indication that someone else is even staying in the hotel! Free parking either outside or in the building garage. All in all a good experience and value. Would stay there again.
  13. Need to see family in DC area and needed two nights (8/29 and 8/30). Thought i'd test the waters based on reviews here and on tripadvisor and started out bidding $48 for 2.5* in Downtown/White house and was rejected. Tried Dupont circle 4* for $65 and was rejected. Tried 2.5* in Tysons Corner for $48 and was counteroffered with $62. Decided to go for this since family lives in Arlington and Tysons Corner is right around corner, plus assumed free parking in Tysons Corner. Got the Courtyard at Dunn Loring metro stop. Discovered that priceline and Expedia are selling it for $159 and its website wanted $199-$229. So even though i probably overpaid a little on priceline, can live with it. Plus i've never had a bad experience with any Marriott products, so i'm happy. Went through the savingsbarn link, worked great.
  14. Stayed at the Courtyard in Hunt Valley on a $58 bid for one night. Loved the hotel. Very clean, lots of parking, cheerful employees, great selection of juices, milk, snacks, even wine and beer for sale with honor system in lobby. Free use of the lobby computer, all you have to do is sign out the keyboard and the mouse. I was with my adult son (i'm a mom), and the receptionist immediately asked if we'd prefer 2 queen beds, which was quite thoughtful. Also, they give out free fruit, cookies and muffins at the front desk. The room looked out on a beautifully landscapes courtyard and we had a patio. Great beds!! The TV had an acceptable choice of channels. I ate the buffet ($9.95) and filled up comfortably, plus took a couple pieces of fruit and muffins for snacking later on. They're about a mile from a nice town center with lots of stores and restaurants. Also in that complex is the light rail that takes you into the Inner habor. Just a great experience.
  15. I bid for Towson for about 2 weeks for a 3* going up to $74, but no luck. So this morning (8/21) decided I needed to widen the boundaries. Bid $53 for Marriott Hunt Valley based on past bids, and was rejected. Added 2 1/2* and upped the bid to $58 and was accepted at the Courtyard.. Have enjoyed all the Courtyards I've stayed in in the past, so feel positive about the outcome.
  16. Stayed here one night on a $92 bid. I was picking someone up late at JFK and didn't like the sound of the neighborhood surrounding JFK. Since Laguardia is only a 15 minute drive I decided to stay there. Needless to say, it's New York: so everything's overpriced. The hotel is directly across from LaGuardia airport and you can see a jet taking off literally every minute. Surprisingly noise was not an issue, even with the 6 lane highway separating the hotel from the airport. They do provide a free shuttle. It's a decent hotel with the usual Marriott courtesy and service. I wish every business in America could go through whatever training they provide. The rooms were a reasonable size with a comfy chair, table, and a nice sized bathroom. As far as I could tell there were no restaurants walking distance, although the hotel kept a list of sightseeing opportunities, so I guess people were getting around. The hotel itself has 2 restaurant choices: expensive and less expensive. The pool and exercise areas were fine and seemed to be in constant use. The only drawback was the thin walls. Any raised voices carried right through. So we ran the radio on low level all night as "white" noise and did just fine. Parking was expensive, but it's new york.
  17. I stayed here for one night on 6/8/06. It was a very clean, cheerful place. They gave me nonsmoking, double beds at my request. The front desk staff was extremely helpful and gave me endless driving directions. I paid $92 for the evening, which was less than the $299 on their website for the same evening. Some drawbacks are the $22 parking fee and the paper thin walls. Other than that it had a nice warm indoor pool, a large fitness center, 2 different restaurants and free shuttle to LaGuardia Airport. I felt very safe here and enjoyed watching the jets take off across the street, seemingly one every 30 seconds.
  18. Stayed here on 5/6/06 for $53 plus fees. It's rated 3* by priceline, and i must say it is nicer than the Holiday Inn I've stayed in in Towson, maryland, so it does rate an extra half star. It's a "conference center" and was really hopping when we got there with weddings, parties, etc. Very lovely, charming front desk staff and very clean facilities. it's set off of Route 100 next to a car dealership and walking distance to a Hilton, burger king, mc donald's and a damon's restaurant. The ONLY truly annoying situation was: there were a couple of visiting high school baseball teams who evidently required the calling of police twice and enhanced security on the part of Holiday Inn. Because one of the groups had done damage in the fitness room, they closed the fitness room to EVERYONE until the groups checked out, which is a bit much. Since their outdoor pool wasn't open, the manager helpfully suggested I jog around the parking lot!! However, the rooms are quite spacious, clean, and quiet and the room we were in (which seemed to be standard) included a HUGE king size bed and a sofa bed. You're close to multiple Lehigh Valley attractions (Crayola Factory, Dorney Park, multiple colleges, antique malls, outlets, etc). Across the street is a gorgeous and cheap diner with terrific food (the Starlite Diner). All in all for $53 i certainly can't complain. But I think considering the fitness room issue, the manager needs some retraining.
  19. Started bidding 3* Allentown-bethlehem at $44 and was counteroffered a $12 increase. Ignored that. Added Allentown-Lehigh Valley for $49 and was rejected. Added Allentown for $53 and was finally accepted for 5/6/06 at $53, with fees and taxes, $66.00
  20. think i put wrong amount in the heading? it was $98 and NOT $68, don't want to mislead anyone.
  21. Needed to be at airport late and wanted a decent hotel. Started at 3* for Laguardia $80 (rejected), added Flushing $82 (rejected), added Elmhurst $92 (rejected) and finally added Long Island $98 and was accepted. Will taxes and fees - $123.72 Better than the $189 on their website.
  22. know this has been going for $74, so started at $64 and was rejected. Then added Whitemarsh area (which so far has only a 2*) and big $74 and was accepted.
  23. Started with a $62 bid for 3* Towson hotel and was counteroffered a bid raise of $17. Then added Baltimore/Whitemarsh (which at present seems to only offer a 2*) and split the difference and bid $74 and was accepted. Stay: 11/22 for one night With taxes and fees $91.21
  24. Stayed here for 2 nights 10/7 through 10/9 and just loved it. Got a doubles room on the 28th floor with a magnificent view of the city, particularly great at night. Nice roomy space and very comfortable beds. Excellent, friendly staff. Location is terrific: a 5 minute walk to Inner Harbor and a 5minute walk to Little Italy, which is chock full of Italian restaurants. Also the hotel is one of the stops on the water taxi route. IN terms of food, Marriott has a little bakery in its lobby, so you can buy milk, juice, fruit, pastries, etc. and have a leisurely, cheap breakfast in your room. Nice fitness room with treadmills that have their own personal TV with headphones. Very small, and cold, pool, but you can't have everything. It costs $20 to self park and it's a very circular garage that is a hike from the hotel. But I've run into this setup before in other cities, so i guess it's an urban space issue. All in all was very happy to get this hotel on my priceline bid of $82.
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