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Everything posted by swag

  1. A couple of questions on setting up the alerts: - For the HW & PRICELINE EXPRESS alerts, are they inclusive of higher zones as well? In other words, if I want a 3.5* or better, is it enough to set up an alert for 3.5*, or do I also need to set up for 4*, 4.5*, 5* ? - Is there a way to set up an alert for HW & PRICELINE EXPRESS if there are no hotels currently offered? I know there are 3.5* hotels in a certain zone, but none are currently listed on my date (it's a high demand period well in the future), so there's no Set Alert button to click...
  2. The map seems ambiguous, even if you zoom in all the way. Most of the hotel structure would seem to be in the Downtown zone, but the front door is across the line into the FQ zone. It's hard to see why they wouldn't have drawn the line right down the middle of the street if they were keeping the hotels on the SW side of Canal in the DT zone, though. It's not just the Sheraton that's "on the line". The same ambiguity also applies to the Doubletree and the JW Marriott.
  3. I'm curious why you're trying to avoid these two properties? In my mind, they are quite different from each other and are at different extremes of the New Orleans upscale hotel experience. I've stayed at a bunch on 4* hotels in the city, and the Renn Arts may be my favorite. It's on the upper end of the 4* quality range, and has a much more relaxed and quiet feel than many of the bigger properties. The only downside, for me, is that it's a little bit off the beaten path; if you're wanting to hang out on Bourbon (or Frenchmen) St, it's several more blocks to walk home. The Sheraton is the opposite - it's a big hectic business hotel, but a near-perfect location right on Canal St.
  4. Your best choices are probably FQ, then Downtown, then Conv Ctr. Good food is everywhere; music is scattered, but you'll find lots of it in the Frenchmen St area just NE of the Quarter. Parking will be expensive though; almost all hotels in these zones charge anywhere from $20-45/night for parking. If you won't need in & out privileges, you may be able to find a nearby private lot for cheaper; that will be easier outside the Quarter. I'm assuming you're driving to town, if you're flying in, you should skip the rental car and just take a cab or shuttle from the airport.
  5. Halloween is always busy in New Orleans, and that's also Voodoo Fest weekend.
  6. You may be running into a minimum stay requirement. It's possible that hotels may not allow 1 or 2 night stays during Mardi Gras. Yesterday, someone had a priceline hotel win for 3 nights 2/8-11 @ $99. If you bid $130, that's $260 for the two nights. Try a 3 night bid @ $85 ($255 total) and see what happens. (Since the dates are different, you don't have to wait to rebid).
  7. Anywhere in the FQ, Downtown, or Conv Ctr zones should be within aboot a mile and a half or less from both the Dome and Bourbon. That's a 30 minute walk at average pace.
  8. It may be tempered expectations time. There's a HUGE convention coming to town starting this weekend, and hotel rooms are very tight. Many hotels are sold out completely, and others may have minimum stay rules preventing a one-night Saturday stay. For direct booking, Kayak finds only a single hotel in the FQ or downtown for under $300. It's possible something cheap may open up on PL at the very last minute, but I certainly wouldn't count on it. Good luck.
  9. It looks like Hotwire has a new zone in New Orleans: "Midtown". Boundaries are approximately I-10 to Canal, Broad to City Park Ave. This is an area with very few hotels; off the top of my head, I can only think of a 1* or 2* property called "Midtown Hotel New Orleans". Kayak finds 5 total, including a B&B and a hostel. I tried a few different dates and couldn't find any where that new zone is available...
  10. I'm also looking for that weekend for the Blues & BBQ Fest, and rates and availability are brutal. There's a huge convention in town (35K+ attendees) that has most of the rooms downtown and in the quarter locked up. The best hope is that they don't use all the rooms and release some, probably 3-4 weeks before, but getting something nice under $100 is a long shot.
  11. You mean 4*, not 5*, right? In any case, are you sure you chose the FQ/Canal zone hotel? I see both DT and FQ 4* hotels for your date, at similar prices ($85 for DT, $92 for FQ) and with similar amenities. If you did really select the FQ hotel, you have grounds to ask Hotwire for a refund, as the IC is clearly in the Downtown zone, based on the current zone maps on Hotwire.
  12. This is a new hotel, opened only a month ago. The building used to house the Wyndham Chateau Bourbon. Enjoy your stay.
  13. Wait to get the car on Monday. The FQ zone is your first choice, but any hotel in the Convention Center or Downtown zone will be within about a 10 minute walk to the Quarter. If you head to the Garden District you can take the streetcar, and even if you decide to head somewhere else away from downtown, roundtrip cab fare will be less than the cost of the car plus the cost of parking. When you do get the car look for a downtown rental. Budget has a location right near the FQ on Canal St, Enterprise has one nearby that will offer pickup service, and the other agencies have locations in some downtown hotels. Renting downtown instead of at the airport will save you a bunch by avoiding the airport fees and taxes. If you're flying back out of MSY, you should still be able to return there with no extra dropoff fee.
  14. The last couple of years, French Quarter Fest has gotten almost as bad as Jazzfest as far as hotel prices & availability. And a single night, Saturday night stay will always be the hardest. The cheapest on HOTWIRE in those areas right now is $237+, if that's any indicator. Lastminutetravel has an "on request" listing at $153. That's probably as good as you'll get, but I'd try calling them, since it's a weekend, if you book online, they might not confirm/reject it until Tuesday, and that's a long time to be committed for you when the deal might get denied. Failing that, best bet might be waiting until the very last minute, friday or even saturday, see if any hotel with available rooms releases them at a discount then. Good luck.
  15. Bidding for rooms during Jazzfest has gotten tougher over the last year or two. Last year, I got rejected repeatedly for a room for first weekend, until finally having success around $100 just 2 days before check-in. This year may be even tighter. I think the target range for deals would be $100-175, but I wouldn't expect them more than a week in advance, and it's possible they may not come at all. Of course, it doesn't hurt to keep trying now anyway, you never know.
  16. A big part of the increased demand for that weekend is the Essence Festival. Since the fest is held at the Superdome, the Downtown Zone demand will be greater than a typical high-demand weekend in NOLA, when most folks just want to be near the French Quarter. My advice would be to add the Convention Center zone to your bidding strategy, you may have more luck there than in the DT zone.
  17. Bingo. It's not as busy as Friday and Saturday nights, but enough people come in a day or two early to push prices up.
  18. French Quarter Fest weekend, one of the busiest of the year. Now put down the Starbucks and get yourself a cafe au lait with your beignets. :)
  19. The French Quarter is your first choice, but deals there are fewer than in the adjacent zones and usually more expensive. In the Downtown zone, 4* at the farthest, you're looking at the Hyatt, which is 2/3 mile walk (or a 3 minute cab ride) to the quarter, but you might also get the Sheraton, which is right across the street from the Quarter. Similar for the Convention Center zone.
  20. New Orleans needs lots of updates. For Priceline: The Fairmont re-opened two years ago as the Roosevelt (Waldorf Collection). It's a 4* on the PL direct booking page. And it needs to be moved to the Downtown zone (not CC). The St Louis was completely redone last year and is now called the Hotel Mazarin. If it's still on PL, it's likely at a higher star rating. For Hotwire: The Monaco became the Hilton St Charles (which you have as a 4*) years ago. The Hyatt just finally re-opened after 6+ years, and may likely be rated higher than 3.5. The Park Plaza is long closed. The downtown Holiday Inn Express is now the Cotton Exchange.
  21. Yeah, rates are definitely up that weekend. There's a pretty big photog convention starting Sunday, maybe that's part of it... Hotwire has a Downtown 4.5 for $105 for your dates. That usually is Le Pavillion, which is just a 5 minute walk to the Quarter. I haven't seen any Hotwire wins at the newly re-opened Hyatt, so that might also be a 4.5 star possibility.
  22. There are relatively few 4* hotels in the French Quarter zone. Have you considered including the adjacent Downtown and/or Convention Center zones? Those are both walkable to the Quarter, and add a lot more 4* possibilities.
  23. It's not unheard of for Jazzfest deals to come before the new year, but those tend to be lower rated (2* & 3*). 4* deals are more likely as the dates of the festival approach, maybe popping up in February and March and becoming more likely in April. It never hurts to bid early, of course, but I'd avoid overbidding.
  24. No bike-sharing, sorry. You can rent a bike, Bicycle Michael's is pretty convenient, jus two blocks outside the FQ. http://www.bicyclemichaels.com/rentals.php Anything within the FQ, DT, CC districts is walkable in about a half hour, end-to-end. There's also decent public transit, including buses and streetcars, see www.norta.com for details.
  25. The new look is sharp, much more up to date than the old one. Very nice. Appearance aside, are there any functional improvements or new features that we should be on the lookout for?
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