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Posts posted by mbstone

  1. We are visiting the West Bank on business. Although YMMV, the neighborhoods I have visited appear to be safe. The hotel properties here generally offer free parking (which is maybe $30 extra in downtown or in the French Quarter). However, the properties here are significantly more expensive than in New Orleans, even if you count the cost of parking. We are surprised that there are so few hotels and motels in the West Bank area, both on PL and in general.

    On the other hand, we are equally surprised at the ample supply of inexpensive PL rooms in the French Quarter, as well as the general lack of crowds and traffic.

  2. Up to $55, started at 3* Downtown, added Hollywood, down to 1*, no joy anywhere.

    Added Inglewood at $47. At least the Tradewinds has a heated pool.

    Added Brentwood at $51.

    Probably coulda got the #%$ LAX Hilton for a couple of bucks more.

    This property is claimed to have Randy's Donuts for breakfast. Will report.

    Offer Price: $51.00

    Rooms: 1

    Nights: 2

    Room Subtotal: $102.00

    Taxes & Fees: $23.86

    Total: $125.86

  3. PL now only keeps 18 months of My Trips.


    Dear Mbstone,

    Thank you for taking the time to send us an e-mail.

    Accepted requests generally stay for 18 months.

    The exception to these time periods is when a customer contacts us. All

    such records remain in our database for a longer period of time to

    ensure that we can service subsequent customer service contacts from

    them. The time period for which a specific request is retained in cases

    where a customer contacted us depends on their issues associated with

    their reservation.

    We thank you for the opportunity to assist you and hope you find this

    information helpful.

  4. I have the unique distinction of having died at this hotel, as well as of having lived to tell the tale.

    A few hours after posting the above review of the Holiday Inn Anaheim Resort, I fell ill (not the hotel's fault) and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. (Remember, from a hotel it's 9-9-1-1 not 9-1-1). My wife later called the hotel to try and find out what hospital I was taken to. The front desk clerk who answered the phone said, "Oh, Mbstone? He died." The report of my demise was of course premature, but this was small comfort to my wife at the time.

  5. After coming up empty all over the OC for up to $65 (same day bid), I used the Fullerton-Brea zone as a free rebid zone trying to get the 3.5* Sheraton Cerritos. I didn't know Fullerton-Brea had any 3.5*. Live and learn. I also thought I had stayed at every property in the L.A. basin, didn't know this Marriott was here. As it so happened, this is near where I need to be, so it worked out.

    Room Cost (avg. per room, per night): $82.00 (USD)

    Number of Rooms: 1

    Number of Guests Per Room: 2

    Number of Nights: 2

    Room Subtotal: $164.00 (USD)

    Taxes and Fees: $30.10 (USD)

    Total Charged to Card: $194.10 (USD)

    Update: A post on 1/11/13 lists this property as a 2.5* won for $50, so I overbid. PL 3* is probably what this property deserves according to its amenities.

  6. Hotel name is Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center (8300 East Crescent Parkway,

    Englewood, CO, 80111).


    Free Parking

    Free Breakfast

    Indoor pool(s)

    Smoke Free Rooms

    Fitness Center


    Business Center

    High-Speed Internet Access

    Accessible for the blind

    Accessible for the deaf

    Accessible path of travel

    In-room accessibility

    Accessible bathroom

    Handicapped parking

    Roll-in shower

    Rate per night: $59.00

    Nights: 6

    Rooms: 1

    Tax recovery charges & fees: $65.18

    Total: $419.18

  7. The Federal Trade Commission has warned 22 hotel chains against charging so-called "resort fees" without telling prospective customers up front:

    FTC staff has reviewed a number of online hotel reservation sites, and has confirmed that some hotels exclude resort fees from the quoted reservation price. Instead, the “total price” or “estimated price” quoted to consumers includes only the room rate and applicable taxes. At some of these sites, the applicable resort fee is listed nearby, but separate from, the quoted price. In others, the quoted price is accompanied by an asterisk that leads consumers to another location at the site – sometimes on the same page, sometimes not – where the applicable resort fee is disclosed, typically in fine print. A few sites fail to identify applicable resort fees anywhere, and instead inform consumers that other undefined fees may apply.

    These practices may violate the law by misrepresenting the price consumers can expect to pay for their hotel rooms. We believe that online hotel reservation sites should include in the quoted total price any unavoidable and mandatory fees, such as resort fees, that consumers will be charged to stay at the hotel.

    Neither the CNN article nor the FTC press release identifies the "22 hotel chains" or states whether FTC will be writing to Priceline or Hotwire.

  8. You know how many airports now have those Consolidated Rent-A-Car facilities? The phenomenon that has forced millions of air travelers to pay double for rent-a-cars? I digress. But the YVR Hilton is similar to the consolidated rent-a-car facility in that there are three airport hotels tucked into one city block of Richmond, British Columbia. The Hilton, Sheraton, and Marriott YVR Airport hotels share a common parking garage and (free) airport shuttle service. The Marriott and Hilton are situated in identical, mirror-image buildings.

    Nothing unusual about this Hilton: Restaurant, lounge, room service 24H. Coffeemaker. Local YVR & SEA TV channels plus basic cable. Pay-per-view movies. Pool (outdoor, seasonal, heated to 85F), jacuzzi (indoor), exercise room, all 9A-10P; tennis courts; meeting facilities. Mandatory pay parking, $14; pay internet, $8 (as with all "full service" hotels, the more you pay the less you get.) Rooms are not well soundproofed and you'll hear airplane noise. Convenient access to rooms from parking garage.

    The outdoor postage-stamp size pool is adjacent to the top floor of the parking structure. I didn't realize the Hilton jacuzzi was indoors and set out across the roof of the parking garage and encountered another postage-stamp pool and outdoor jacuzzi, presumably belonging to the Marriott. The sign said "registered hotel guests only," but it didn't say which hotel! The Hilton postage-stamp pool is about 5 degrees warmer than that of the Marriott.

    The Richmond, BC neighborhood is chock full of amazing Chinese restaurants, throw a tennis ball in any direction and you'll hit one. 2 blocks from large shopping mall and from rail transit line.

  9. Rated 3.5* by PL. Won on PL for $91 (Fr-Sa). Recently won by someone on HW for $90 (June '12). Located one exit east of I-405 along I-90, use GPS to navigate complicated freeway interchange and local area. Visit hotel website for upgrade options. We asked for and received (for standard price of $30/nt) upgrade to Jacuzzi King which has a large jacuzzi in room. Comfortable king beds with work desk, flat screen TV, PPV, wet bar, microwave, fridge, coffeemaker, free wired/wireless internet. Restaurant, lounge; room service, reasonable prices, large menu +$2.50+18%. Parking lot and also underground parking near elevators. Attentive staff. Shops and restaurants in immed vic (for example Top Gun real dim sum S of I-90 on SE 38th St).

    Requested additional nights from PL Add-A-Night but were met with $26 (extra) counteroffer, passed.

  10. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes on PL you get zonked. "Queen" bed was actually a double, we measured it. Like most ESA properties, has kitchenette features microwave, full refrigerator, toaster, pots/pans/utensils for 2. Free wireless internet. Guest laundry. Flat screen TV. Shower/tub. Limited front desk (7A-11P) and limited housekeeping (every 6 days; towel exchange available daily). While the room and property appeared newly renovated, the bed was small, brick-hard and outright painful. Having paid for 6 days on PL we remedied this problem by purchasing a $12 twin air mattress at Wal-Mart and having one of us sleep on it! Rated 1* by PL.

  11. 8 days here on PL (bid for 4, extended for 4 at $16/day extra charge). Two-story property with interior corridors, no elevators but bell service available. Room service 6A-11P, 18% service charge incl. Free parking. Flat screen TV with ample TV channels. Good shower head. Coffeemaker, refrigerator, microwave. Free wireless internet. Nonsmoking king bed request granted with no hassles. Restaurant, lounge. Pool 9A-10P, seasonal. Near downtown Bellevue and I-405. Internet workstation and printer in lobby, free. Rated 3* by PL.

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