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Posts posted by OldRelayer

  1. I spaced for a minute and instead of going to Hotwire I went to Hotline, confused with priceline I guess. There is a site there but there are no bargains and I couldn't figure out what was going one. I came here to ask and I immediately saw my error. I guess the best was it to take the link from here which I didn't do.


  2. I guess it would depend on the Hotel and their attitude. For the most part your doing them a favor, filling rooms for some money rather than an empty room for nothing, as a business decision it is a no brainer. Personally I have used PRICELINE more times than I can count and HOTWIRE a couple of times and I was never treated nasty or anything but gracious courtesy. Although would I put up with a snotty desk clerk to save a bunch of money, any day of the week. We have stayed at some unbelievable places that other wise we couldn't afford, such as the Hyatt Harborside for $99 with a great view of the harbor and shoreline at night is of course very nice, and the water taxi, best of all right outside the hotel, it is the only way to travel. Out of all the places we have stayed the Courtyard in South Portland Me, was by far the best, the room was huge and spotless, never stayed in a cleaner room and it was $55, what a bargain. I was shocked at how large the room was, nicer than Hyatt's, Sheraton's and full Marriot's we have stayed at, just an aside for those traveling to South Portland.


  3. You can follow another thread where I was having a problem getting a deal in South Portland for 10/18, I tried for about 2 1/2 months and finally just as we were leaving I tried one more time and got the Courtyard. I had my chance to add another night but my wife didn't want to drive back from Portsmouth, I sure wish I had taken it, we landed up staying at a crappy Holiday Inn for $150(what a rip off). There were no bargains in Portsmouth it was Nascar weekend.

    The room at the Courtyard was huge and the cleanest room we have ever stayed at, the breakfast was inexpensive and really good, what a great hotel. I hope this one always comes up when I am looking for a room in South Portland.



  4. Thanks for the reply. The Marriot was a long shot, I have never got or even heard of anyone ever getting the Marriot on Priceline and $149 is way beyond what I want to pay. Here is the tricky part for me, we really use the Wyndham like a 2* hotel, we don't line their dining room and there are plenty of good places to eat so the closer I get to a 2* hotel the more useless it is for me because I still need to buy breakfast. As I indicated before but for the Day's Inn I would bid on a 2* all the rest are pretty good and we have stayed at all of them, Fairfield Inn was great, even the Hampton which has a low rating we found was fine, The comfort Inn is a fine place to stay all of these are 2* hotels that service breakfast. I may try the 2 1/2 *, I think it is called the Holiday Inn Express now it was the American when it was built, it looks pretty nice to me and as far as I can tell it includes a continental breakfast. I started this early more than a month ago and I still have time, something will turn up or for full price it doesn't really matter very much if it is today or the day I need the room, they always have rooms.



  5. In the past I have had no trouble getting the Sheraton or Wydhom now in South Portland for $50, even did a couple or Park shuttle flies, can't beat that for $50.

    I have to think there is some event that is driving prices on the weekend, but I can't find out what it is. I can do it another way and stay one night in Portland and one night in Portsmouth NH but that didn't work out so well either. I don't mind any of the 2* hotels in South Portland and would bid on them but I am afraid that the Day's Inn will come up, the worst hotel we have ever stayed at, not the one in South Portland, but I still don't want to take a chance. We like the Marriot quite well and I went to $75 and still no go, but then again I have not heard of anyone ever getting the Marriot so I guess they just don't do PRICELINE.

    I have tried all the regular things, I am pretty experienced at this but if there is some cute trick that someone has come up with, I am interested in hearing it.

    The reason we are going is for a Wedding that is being held at the Portsmouth Sheraton Harborside, I called on the wedding host hotel deal and it was $250 and it is $209 on PRICELINE, quite a deal, I knew better than to take their offer.

  6. I usually get this hotel for $50(about 6 times), but I haven't been since the Sheraton sold. I need a room for Sept 18, 19. I had this all planed with Restaurant.com cert for Gauchos Churrascaria in Portland, I can't wait for that. I am trying for either the Wyndham or Marriot, I will go a little more for the Marriot. I just bid 75 for 3 1/2 which would be the Marriot and then $80 (I may go more for the Marriot) both rejected. Maybe there is something big going on that weekend you never know. I am afraid of bidding more areas for 3 star because there are some places I don't want to stay in Portland that are 3 stars. Although I have had some luck with Hotwire in other area, they scare me a little in Portland, I can't figure out what hotel is being offered and they don't break it down as well as Priceline. Having said that I have had some great deals in Philly and Boston with Hotwire. I am not a neophite but I am also willing to take advice if you have any.

    I have been including both days, it occurred to me that I might try for Friday first and then see if they will add Saturday, I do know that Saturday is a much harder night.



  7. thanks a lot for the advise.. it's great to know how bidding thing work with PL. :)

    There are a few tricks to a successful bid on Priceline and I think most of them are documented here. For me the trick is insuring it is the hotel I want. Hotwire once had reviews of the hotel they were offering which gave you everything you needed to know to isolate what hotel you were getting. I got the Sheraton in Philly and the Hyatt Harborside Boston for cheap using this approach, now it is more of a gamble on what hotel you actually will get. I have been lucky most of the time being able to find the hotel I want or an upgrade(which isn't always a better hotel) by really studying the star ratings in your area and keep the area as small as you can make it, then there will be more of a chance of you actually getting the hotel you want. The 1/2 stars are usually a good way of getting a good hotel and knowing what you are getting, for instance, there might be 4 or 5 3 star hotels in and area but only one 3 1/2, if you are persistent and have a lot of time you can get that hotel for the best possible price. Of course it also works for 2 1/2 star hotels as well. I like the 2 1/2 star hotels they don't have all the things I don't use anyway and they generally offer a decent breakfast. Right now I am trying to get a hotel for Sept 18, 19 in Portland Maine. I started a month ago, I haven't changed my bid price yet but I bid $50 for a 3 star(which in the past has worked, 5 or 6 times) but this time it is stubborn. There is also a 3 1/2 hotel in the same area which we have stayed at and liked quite well. I am bidding $50 on the 3 star and $60 on the 3 1/2 at the moment, I might have to ease that up as I get closer to the date. I also have some Certs for nice restaurants from Restaurant.com $25 certs for $2, can't beat that. I need to be in the area for a Wedding the host hotel is $279 which most people will pay, but and pay all out doors for a good meal, we will do it for less than half of that and probably have a better place and have a better time. There ya go, that is the sum total of what I know.

    Good luck,


  8. I have had pretty good luck with Restaurant.com but becareful of a cert becoming invalid. That happened to me last April. We went to Philadelphia and I bought a $50 cert to Schuler's, which was one of ther restaurants in the hotel I was staying. During the short period of time between buying it and using it, Schuler's stopped using the program. After an hour or so of messing around and the only way I could figure to do it was to send my self a gift of 1 $25 cert that we used. The other one I recently went to use and I can't figure out how to take it, I don't see it but I know I have one coming. I emailed them about 2 weeks ago without a reply. It is a pretty good deal but be sure it is one that you will use right off or you could loose it.

  9. This is a perfectly horrible hotel, but because of the location and the cost, I seem to keep coming back. The last time we stayed here, they lost their electricity in the middle of the night, we decided to check out rather than to wait for breakfast. Not faulting the hotel for an electrical malfunction. The problem was, there was no checkout under the door king of thing which I like, I suppose due to no power. We tried to check out at the desk, to find the desk clerk deeply engrossed in a personal call that she refused to give up. We tried our best to get her attention and I even went to the parking garage and got the car and came back and she was still on the phone. Workers were coming in trying to find out what was up with the power, she also blew them off. Finally, we just left the key and hoped that everything was right, we didn't spend anything extra and the room was prepaid through Priceline. I emailed DoubleTree. Someone was suppose to call me which they never did. I emailed Doubletree again and told them so and about a week later we got a $50 certificate from DoubleTree Lowell, not note, no apology, just the cert. So I will stay there again for $45 with tax and fees and have dinner on them. Our final destination is Worcester. We will be arriving late and leaving early, as long as the bed offers a good nights sleep and the room is clean, I guess we are good. This last stay other than the aforementioned problem the room was pretty nice, cleaner and nicer then other stays, although I guess DoubleTree's strategy for Priceline customers is the rooms the very furthest from the entry and desk, not a bit problem, it was very quiet, not sure if there were any rooms around us that were booked, never saw anyone.

    The hotel offer typical 3* amenities, has a restaurant and free parking, although if their very small lot if full it is a bit of a pain using the parking garage. I suppose they have a pool, never looked for it.

  10. Before I learned about Priceline and Hotwire we have always stayed in Auburn at what now is the LaQuinta. It has really gone down hill since taken over by the new owner. Even so I still try to get a room in that area, I like it quite well, safer than going into Worcester. But I am never able to get a bargain, which now that I have stayed in 4* hotels for $99, its hard to pay almost that for LaQuinta. After reading a couple of posts about some of the 2.5 * hotels in Worcester, I decided to try a $50 bid and it was accepted, couldn't get a 2* hotel in Auburn for that. The amenities are too many to list but the ones that interest me are free parking, there is a pool which we won't use, apparently there is a breakfast but unlike most of the hotels of this type it is paid, or that is what I got from another post. Not a problem we will be down to visit relatives, and getting a breakfast shouldn't be a problem and no dining room for dinner is also not a big deal in this case, but normally it would be, we don't like to leave the hotel to eat. I guess that is about all I know, I will let you know how it all goes, when we get back.

    Priceline $50

    Tax and fees 13.60

    Total charges $63.60



  11. You can almost always save money using Priceline or Hotwire but it can be a lot of work and sometimes frustrating. I was trying for a 4* hotel in Philadelphia for last week, good thing I started early, and that is a tip right there, for next week may put you up against it. In any event, people were winning this hotel with $65 bids, I think cool. Not so fast batman. I bid up to $150 for the same hotel several times, not accepted. It was a busier time, so just because you have seen these hotels go for short money, doesn't mean it will neccesarily happen for you. It just may be that the hotel is sold out and if Priceline had any inventory it is gone or it could be any number of other things. What you need to do is find out what 4* hotels are being offered for at the hotel websites, you may find they have no rooms to offer or that they are way higher than you thought for those days. The hotel business is not different than any other business it is all supply and demand.

    Hotwire isn't listing any 4* hotels in that zone, not good news. The only thing I see is a 2* hotel in that zone for $79. I suspect if your looking for a 4* hotel this wouldn't suit your needs. I just noticed there is a 3* hotel for $169, this may be more than you expected to pay.

    It is worth the effort but this can sometimes be a lot of work.



  12. We will be staying at the Hyatt Harborside and the deal isn't too bad, $20 for 24 hour parking, so we will just get there and then use public transportation, mostly the water taxi when available. We are from that area originally but we have lived in Maine 25 years and I understand things are a mess. I would normally come down 95 to 128 and into Rivere around Bell circle and pick up whatever that road is to the airport. Can you recommend the path of least resistance now a days. I think we would probably be arriving around 1:00PM and leaving and trying to leave by 8:00Am to go the Worcester. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.


  13. In my opinion if you find a hotel out of the city with parking convenient to mass transportation you will save in two ways. The hotel will be cheaper and the parking won't kill you. I would make this my first option if I were you, that is if you can get to where you want to go with mass transportation. Give you an example what parking can be. We had someone come by and show us around the city(at 11:30) and then we went to Collingswood for a show. We had lunch, took a cab to Independence Hall area and then left for the show at 4:30 from the parking lot that was close to the hotel, actually part of the garage was actually under the hotel, $20 (ouch), that is almost minimum wage just to park your car.



  14. I recently went through what you are doing and it is frustrating because 4* hotels in March were going for $65 and now you can't get a 1* hotel for that. I finally used Hotwire but I just checked, in all the zones only one hotel came up and it was $207 for a 3* at Penn's, any place downtown is going to kill you with parking. I decided to cancel my rental car and just use a taxi it was much better and way more convenient. Then I searched Cherry Hill and nothing but Newark and others not in Cherry Hill came up. Boy this just doesn't look good. I thought last week was tough, this looks worse. Just for kicks try to book a room at a hotel you would like to stay at through their website. When I did this many of the hotels were not even taking them, you might find out some information this way, which hotels actually have rooms and which don't. Post your results, I am very curious about the outcome.



  15. WEll we did it and we are back. Everything worked out great. It really was a busy time there and it was school vacation to boot, so it was an extraordinarily hard week to get a bargain, but I think we did great. We got to the Hotel about 7:30. I jokingly asked but half serious if we could have a room on the 27th floor with a great view. She said the hotel was booked and we were getting in a tad late and rooms were filling but she could give us a great 10th floor view, and she was right it was great, non smoking with two doubles, no problem. The room was very clean and the bedding is typical of the Sheraton recently, it was super and had two good nights sleep without noise or interuption. We purposely were traveling light with just carry on, so we asked for bathrobs and no problem in 5 mintues we had them. We bought travel tooth brushes but one was defective, no problem they had those too. Everyone in the hotel was super nice. I wasn't counting on much from the hotel restaurant, but I was wrong. I originally had a $50 certificate that I bought on Restaurants.com for Shula's that is in the building but they canceled it and I wasn't paying $120 for dinner so we tried the hotel. You can spend a lot but we didn't, got the Grilled Chicken Asian Salad for $14, it was absolutely deliscious. We were going to eat the second day at Reading Terminal but we liked the salad so well we stayed at the hotel for lunch. The hotel is huge, like a small city, 3 restaurants and a nice business center, which is good for me I don't travel with a laptop or own one for that matter. There wasn't any part of our stay that I can complain about, it was great, would definitely stay here if we ever go to Philadelphia again.

  16. I guess I wasn't clear because everyone is missing the point. The point is don't bid if you don't get the message that says your bid is too low, it might be too low to get the bid, but who cares you can always go up, if you bid too high, you have wasted money.

  17. Use every tool available is what I am saying. Frankly there is so little bidding information, it is hard to make any kind of a bid for most hotels and the dates are so meaningful. Not that the bidding sites are not helpful they are but still only one piece of the puzzle. Even that date last year they may have had a big conference in town that went to another city this year, that is if you can find that information. The best advice is to use time on your side and start bidding early enough so you can really hit the mark and not have to do it in one session with rebids. Another thing to consider that maybe sometimes Priceline may not be the best thing for you. There are some major chains that I hate and if there is even a small possibility of getting one of them I will do whatever it takes to avoid them, with Hotwire and they are almost always more money than what you can get a room for on Priceline (that is if priceline has the inventory, sometimes they don't). I tried for 2 weeks to get a hotel for april 17 - 19 with no luck, bid up to $150 when the week before rooms were going for $65. The 3* hotels didn't thrill me so I tried Hotwire and found what they call a 3 1/2 star hotel(it had been IDed as The Sheraton Center City) and it was $127, which was actually a good buy, because Priceline either had no inventory or was just too high and there were actually a lot of place that you couldn't even make a reservation on the hotel website because they were booked. We just got back the hotel was great, easily rated as they indicated if not higher and was treated so nice. Actually I have never had any of the problems with either Priceline or Hotwire discrimation. I jokingly asked for the 27th floor with a view and the clerk was very nice and said that the hotel was booked and we arrived a little late but she could give us a Westside in her opinion the best view from the 10th floor and she was right, great room. I guess the bottom line is there is much to be saved, but you sure have to do your homework and use every tool available, is it worth it. If your the CEO of Standard Oil, probably not but if you are like the rest of us and always trying to do more with less money, it is worth the effort.

  18. Ignore that message. I have gotten many winning bids by continuing after the warning message, and had many bids fail when the message did not appear. It is just a sales tool -- Priceline wants you to spend more money on the hotel rooms.

    I was saying just the opposite, don't even place a bid until you get the message and then work up from there. I didn't get the message at $35 meaning, I could have gotten it for less. I went back and tried it just to see where the demarcation line was, at $20 the message came up, I probably could have gotten the room for $25, maybe less. Don't ignore it, use it to your advantage.

  19. I just needed a stopping off place on our way home someplace in this area. At the time there were two 3* hotels Raddison and the DoubleTree, I really didn't want the DoubleTree, we have stayed there before, not a great hotel, but it is just a stop over not going to spend a lot of time there, I sure hope it is cleaner than the last time we were there. It has the typical Amenities for a 3* with pool, restaurant and the only one I care about a business center, I like those because I don't lug around a laptop. I couldn't get a crappy 2* hotel in the Worcester area for that date so I decided to stop closer to home and where my $50 bid was rejected in Worcester/Auburn $35 was accepted right off in Lowell. I should have started lower but I used the 35% rule and I guess it is ok. Frankly I would not pay more than $35 for this hotel under an circumstance. They have since added the Wyndham Billerica to the mix but it is $149 and very doubtful that you would ever get it for $35, a much nicer hotel.

    First bid $35 (accepted)

    Tax and fees $10.85

    Total $45.85

    I hope I come back and give a report that the hotel has vastly improved, but I doubt it.



  20. Something I noticed just recently. When you enter your bid and it is considered to low it immediately tells you. And sure enough everytime I tried that bid it failed.

    But then I decided to stay in a completely different area closer to home and that is the direction we are going and it is cheaper. I bid $35 for 3* hotels in the zone, there are only two for those dates. I wanted the Raddison but of course I got the DoubleTree (I have stayed here before, wasn't a great hotel) but for $35 I am not going to complain. But I messed up. When it didn't give me the message that you don't have a snowballs chance in hell, I should have lowered my bid until I hit that message and then worked up a little from there, I suspect I left a few dollars on the table, The Lowell MA doubletree will always be worth less than what you pay no matter. Well they have another chance to prove me wrong, but this is a horrible hotel and I am not terrible hard to please, just some place clean and good bedding and I am happy as a clam. But in any event, try that bid strategy and see if it works for you, bid down until you hit the red message then bring it up a little to make a bid or try the low bid, but don't do what I did and accept it when I could have done better, if I was thinking clearer.

  21. As I write this I am at the Cyber Center at the Sheraton City Center Philadelphia. I spent last night at the S heraton Portland. I got the room as indicated for $55. What a bargain. The room and two days of parking and a ride to the airport for $55 and it was very nice, had a great sleep. They also have a business center, which I like I don't have a laptop and if I did not sure I would lug it around. Just an update I had a few minutes. If you need to do a park shuttle fly out of Portland, this sure a nice way to go, I think the parking alone at the airport would cost us $50.

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