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Everything posted by TBQ

  1. Hi - part of the problem is that your dates are sandwiched between two conventions - a veternarian's meeting at the front and a spa tradeshow on the other end. Neither meeting is a huge one like Comic-Con, however, because the meetings are at the Convention Center, downtown zone hotels become harder to get (since the convention people want to be walking distance to the Convention Center).
  2. Overall cost is a few cents over USD 85 after tax/PL service charge Earlier bids of USD 70 and USD 72 were not accepted. From reading reviews on different boards, the hotel seems to be in good physical shape. The main notes of concern are limited food options and (most importantly) the compromised airport shuttle situation on weekends - they run a shuttle from 06:00 to 22:00 on weekdays. however on weekends. they have some kind of "on-call" shuttle which implies that it is one ride only to be picked up and one ride when departing. In other words, if you want to go back to the airport to catch the train into the center city, you would have to pay a taxi fare of about
  3. This is a semi-educated guess: The 6:00 pm check-in time is there because the hotel is across the street from the Messe (very big convention center & exhibition grounds). When there is a big event (book fair, auto show) the hotel is packed and a 6:00pm check-in time gives them maximum flexibility to get the rooms ready for incoming guests. On days when there is no big show or convention, they are happy to give you your room much earlier.
  4. Not only is it Super Bowl AND Pro Bowl week, the NFL is establishing its headquarters on Ft. Lauderdale Beach for both events (Commissioner Goodell will be at the Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach, which is also where one of the two media centers will be). Between league officials, invited guests and members of the media, I think that FLL Beach is the worst place to try to stay that particular week.
  5. Keep in mind that Jan. 29th is just a few days before the Super Bowl (and the Pro Bowl as well) - this may account for those high prices.
  6. There is a big medical conference (immunologists) starting up in Berlin on the weekend before September 13th, so that may be tying up rooms at the latter end of the OP's desired date range (this may explain that $370 rate).
  7. I would also consider contacting the hotel(s) involved and trying to negotiate date changes directly with them. I hapened to be on the American Airlines website page for travel notices this morning, and noted that they (AA) is allowing some date changes for people affected by the Mexico/Czech Republic change. So this shows that at least one company is sensitive to the abrupt nature of this change, and is showing a little flexibility.
  8. Lots of re-bidding zones for 3.5* in Portland, so I was able to start low and increment upwards. The Sheraton seems to be the 'default' 3.5* property at the airport. I wanted it, as I have an early flight the next morning and didn't want any hassles with the shuttle in the morning (the Sheraton has a 24-hour on-demand shuttle). The total cost with taxes and PL fee came to just under $64 - the lowest rate at SPG.com was $159 :) :) In order to wish the Lakers good luck in the NBA Finals, I began my bidding by entering the PRICELINE site via the good-karma Better Bidding link.
  9. Using recent bid data, I figured that $47 was a good "strike point". First Bid: $45 in LAX zone - rejected Added Lawndale zone, Second Bid at $47 - ACCEPTED at Crowne Plaza Even with having to pay ~$10 for the internet access, it's still a substantial savings from the $159 best rate at crowneplaza.com :) As usual, I began my bid at the world-famous Better Bidding PRICELINE link :)
  10. Just needed a quickie overnight at the airport. BetterBidding seemed to suggest that $40 was the 'strike point'. My lowball bid of $38 was rejected - added North Everett zone and re-bid at $40, with success. Total charges with tax and fee were $53 plus a few pennies. Low rate at the hotel's website was $139 plus tax. As always, I was happy to use the famous BetterBiding PRICELINE link to start my bid - happy to do my part to support BB! :)
  11. The lowest I've ever gotten the Omni for in past years was $93 plus tax & fee, so I was pleasantly surprised to see reported successful bids at $73 and $75. I like the Omni best of the 4* properties because of the nice rooms, the free HSIA, the proximity to the Trolley and the morning coffee. I started at $73, and was successful on the first attempt. :) Total with taxes and fee was $90 plus change. Lowest rate on omnihotels.com was $269 :) As always, I was happy to use the BB's famous PRICELINE link to start my bid - every little bit helps, right?
  12. I live in the area, but needed a room for post-NYE-party sleeping without joining in the "Amateur Hour" cavalcade of drunks on the road (and risking a DUI). First bid of $48 was accepted - total was just over $61, once tax and Priceline fee was included. Considering that the lowest bookable rate on Marriott.com was $189 plus tax, I'd say that PL (and BetterBidding) :) did me well! As usual, I used the BetterBidding PRICELINE link to start my bid - happy to do so.
  13. I forgot to mention that, because the Hyatt Regency uses T-Mobile HotSpot as its internet provider, and because I already have a T-Mo HotSpot subscription, I'll be able to save another ten bucks on high-speed internet access!
  14. Need was for a quick overnight layover at the airport. Business travel must be at a low point, as most ORD-area rated seem lower than usual. First bid attempt @ $45 was accepted. Total with tax + PL fee was $59.04 Best rate at Hyatt.com was $139 + tax. Savings are somewhere in the neighbohood of $90 - not too shabby :) I did my part to keep Better Bidding going by getting to Priceline via BB's easy-to-use PRICELINE link.
  15. I live in the FLL area and in fact stayed at this hotel on New Years Eve (so that I didn't have to drive after a party). At that time I got the hotel, it was very clearly listed as a 3* (upgraded from my original 2.5* bid). The room was fine - spotlessly clean with no hint of mustiness (and I'm sensitive to that). I will note that my room (a corner room) did not have the flat-panel televisions, so I don't know if that room received the updraded TVs later of if some rooms just didn't receive them. It definitely had the new Marriott bedding, which is outstanding. I'm guessing that there is a reason for this hotel's increasing and agressive use of Priceline - not only is this the low season for hotels in this area, this particular hotel is very much a business oriented hotel (it is near the world HQ of the Citrix Corp. and also next to regional offices of Microsoft and Sprint). With the economic slowdown, it's probable that business travel is markedly down, causing them to scramble to fill more of their rooms. One nice thing about this hotel is that, rare for a full-service major-chain property, high-speed internet access is free.
  16. Needed a room in my home area for guests. Have used this hotel in previous years. The "strike point" had been somewhere around $40 in the past, and I'm happy to report that it still is, $40 first bid accepted - $51.94 once tax and fee have been added in. The lowest rate available on courtyard.com was $119 (about $132 with tax). So a $80 savings - not too shabby. :) To help support BetterBidding, and to ward off any Tribbles out there, I entered the PRICELINE website via the Betterbidding link. Completely painless and I'm happy to do so.
  17. I was accepted here last week with a bid of $60, however, today my $60 bid received the silly "ADD $17 MORE" offer screen :o So of course, I ignored the message, added my re-bid area (Lawndale) and was accepted at $64. Total with tax/fee was a few cents over $80. The beat rate on crowneplaza.com was $199 :) This hotel is perfectly fine for an overnight stay, and staff is friendly. The only bad thing is SLOOOOOOOOW wireless HSIA. To avoid litigation with the notorious Boston Legal, I made sure to enter Priceline via BetterBidding's PRICELINE link - very easy to use and, more importantly, it helps support BB :)
  18. $60 seems to be the "strike point" for 3* in the LAX area. With Hotwire offering 3* for $79, and with guidance from other BetterBidding users, this seemed to be a fairly good bet on Priceline, so I bid and and received the Crowne Plaza at $60. The total with taxes and fee was $75 and change. Lowest rate on the IC Hotels website was $179. To prepare myself to gaze upon William Shatner's ugly face, and to help support BetterBidding, I entered the Priceline site via BetterBidding's PRICELINE link. I hope that everyone reading this does the same.
  19. Airport hotels are tightly booked for this date, so I was expecting higher-than-usual PL rates for the airport-area 4* hotels. Re-bids up to $88 were rejected last Friday night, so I decided to wait until the day before the trip to try again (by comparing what HOTWIRE was offering, I was led to believe that I could get something on PRICELINE for around $80 to $90). I started bidding today at $65, then $75 and $80 before the $85 bid was accepted. With tax and PL fees, the total was $104 and change. The best rate on the SPG (Sheraton) site was $194. As usual, I entered the magical mystical world of Priceline via BetterBidding's PRICELINE link, because it's important to support this valuable asset.
  20. Yet another convention had Downtown/Gaslamp/Harbor Island rates sky-high. Priceline bids of up to $140 failed. So I thought that I would have to use my $179 plus tax cancellable backup, in an area several miles away from the Gaslamp Quarter. However, yesterday evening about 8:00pm, a 4* Gaslamp Quarter 4* hotel suddenly became available on Hotwire for $144. The 4* was labeled as a CUSTOMER FAVORITE and listed Fitness Center, Pool(s), Restaurant(s), Business Center and High-speed Internet Access as attributes. Hoping for the Omni or the Solamar, I purchased, and got the Solamar. With tax/fee, it came out to $166.00 and change. Best rate on the hotel's site (and Kimpton Hotels site) was $269 plus tax. It gets more interesting: Today at about noon, I looked again and the same listing was still there, but the price was now $169 plus tax/fee. And looking now (at 8:00 pm EDT) the price is up to $229 plus tax/fee. (best rate on the hotel's own site is up to $289 plus tax) I find it very interesting that they adjust their pricing so often (maybe it is their yield management software that does it), but it shows the importance of checking the sites early and often :) As always, I entered HOTWIRE via the BETTER BIDDING SUPPORT LINK :)
  21. I live in the FLL area but needed a room for "Amateur Night" festivities :) With the Orange Bowl fans in town, all of the usual suspects had jacked up their rates for NYE evening, but I proceeded as follows: 2.5* bid of $50, 55, and 60 all rejected The $60 bid generated a "raise your bid by $17" option box. Instead, I added a re-bid zone and bid $65 (still at 2.5*), and was accepted with an upgrade from 2.5* to 3* The property assigned is the 3* Ft. Lauderdale Marriott North. I'm quite happy with this result, as this is a good location for my needs, they have just refurbished their rooms and best of all, wireless HSIA is *free* :o Total price with tax and fees was just under $81. The best rate listed on marriott.com was $209. My guess is that they were holding rooms for fooball fans, but decidedto release the rooms to PL. All bids were made via the Savings Barn link. PS - GO MICHIGAN!! (Gator-hater here :) )
  22. Your intended dates match up with the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show, which could mean that PL and HOTWIRE room inventory may be limited, FLL does have a decent amount of nightlife, but nowhere near to the degree that it can found about 15 miles south :)
  23. Started with a $38 bid - rejected. Added the Stadium zone (no 2.5 hotels there) and rebid at $40 - accepted! Lowest rate on their website was a $81.00 summer promotional rate. Note: Conversion to the Hyatt Place format is under way. I heard no construction noise (they are working seven days a week) but then I'm a VERY sound sleeper. I had one of the renovated rooms with the 42-inch LCD tv - verrrry nice.
  24. Bid histories here on BB show that the two Hyatts on the airport property often come up on PL, so in addition to checking the BB listings, I looked at Hyatt.com and also at Westin.com. Nonrefundabe rates were $115 at the recently-opened Grand Hyatt and $89 at the older Hyatt Regency property. 4* bids at $45, $50 and finally $58 (1/2 of the hyatt.com rate) failed, re-started with a $40 bid at the 3* level. A counter-offer was received to add $12 to my bid, so instead I later tried again, and my next bid, $45, was accepted. The HR is not new and flashy and the rooms there do not have the 32" flat-panel televisions, but they HR rooms do have the new Hyatt Grand beds :) Hyatt Regency DFW Dfw Airport North - Dfw Airport International Parkway Dallas, Texas 75261 972-453-1234 Check-In Date: Fri, May 12, 2006 Check-Out Date: Sat, May 13, 2006 Your Offer Price: $45.00 Number of Rooms/Nts: 1 / 1 Subtotal: $45.00 Taxes & Service Fees: $13.85 Total Charges: $58.85 I entered Priceline via the SavingsBarn.com link. If you are reading this posting, please consider using this easy method of supporting the valuable resource (and the respectful, humane place) that BetterBidding is. .
  25. One possible explanation is that the Marriott is located across the street from the Messe. If there is a smaller or medium-size meeting or fair, the Marriott and the Mairtim (the two closest hotels) can sometimes sell out, while the hotels closer to the Hbf and the center still have rooms available. Of course, when one of the really big shows (like the book fair) is on, everything sells out.
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