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Everything posted by dahammer

  1. I made my same day PRICELINE EXPRESS reservation using the links on the board and using a 5% off code for Better Bidding members from the Priceline Coupon page. Here are the amenities: Business center, Indoor pool, Non-smoking rooms, Restaurant. Overall, this was a decent property that is a worn around the edges, but totally acceptable, I would absolutely stay here again. In addition to the listed amenities, the hotel provides a free airport shuttle, free parking, free WiFi, free hot breakfast and a hot tub. The Hot Tub was a great feature considering it had snowed all day and 15 degrees F outside. Room Price:$52.00/night Number of rooms:1 Room Number of nights:2 Nights Room Subtotal:$104.00 Taxes & Fees:$26.96 Coupon:$-5.20 Total Charged: $125.76
  2. PRICELINE EXPRESS had a 2.5* hotel for $45 in the SUNY zone, but for some reason when I went to book I received a message that it was unavailable. I did this several times and one time I was able to enter my payment info, and other details, but after clicking the "make reservation" button, a message appeared that the deal was not available. I saw a 2.5* with a rate of $58 in the ALB zone with the following amenity set: Free Parking, Free Internet, Free Breakfast, Pool, Fitness Center, No Smoking. I also had a 10% off coupon, so after taxes and fees the walk out the door price was $68.17. I used the BB PRICELINE links to make my purchase. This listing allowed me to pick an upgraded room type for a higher rate. Reviews are mixed, but its just one night.
  3. I stayed here a couple years ago, at that time it was affiliated with Choice Hotels Ascend Collection. There is a large trade show at McCormick, getting this place for $98 is a very good deal. AaronJB is spot on, it's in a great location, a block from Michigan Ave. Plenty of restaurants and bars nearby, Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ is steps away. If you're going to McCormick, you can catch the #3 bus on Michigan and it will drop you off right in front. I would absolutely stay here again.
  4. Looks like a new-ish property in Key West, but it appears this place is on Stock Island. Photos look very nice and after the snow yesterday, I want to be in Key West today!
  5. Hotels in center city Philly generally have low occupancy rates on weekends and this past weekend was no exception. The Marriott is the largest hotel in the city and has 1300 rooms to fill and it seems to offer the lowest price in this zone. Started out bidding $54, but was immediately rejected. There are many rebid zones in this bidding area, so I added one and increased the bid to $58, then $62, success! Room subtotal: $62.00 Taxes & fees: $14.96 Total charged today:$76.96 Very pleased with my bid and it appeared as if the Downtown Marriott was available for $68 through PRICELINE EXPRESS, or $118 on PRICELINE's "shop and compare" site. This hotel is a typical big city full service Marriott, with a restaurant, lobby bar, and a $50 overnight parking fee for those on expense accounts. I wanted to take the train but was out-voted and ended up parking in the Gateway Garage a couple blocks away at the weekend special rate of $7 per 24 hour period. No in and out permitted. There are closer options for around $22 a day. The Marriott is accessible to SEPTA's Jefferson Station, just a short walk at the concourse level and up an elevator in the old Penn Central "headhouse". Ended up having breakfast the next day in the nearby Reading Terminal Market as I didn't want to pay full service Marriott prices for my eggs. Across from the Marriott is Maggiano's, and although it's no Ralph's (the oldest restaurant in the City), it fit the bill after a long day of walking. An odd observation, but we had a drink and an appetizer at the nearby Hard Rock Cafe and their menu listed the caloric and sodium content for items. I believe this was mandated by city ordinance a few years ago. Nachos were an astounding 4,300 mg of sodium, a real eye opener. Used the PRICELINE links on the board to commence bidding.
  6. I have stayed at the LaQuinta in the meadowlands several times and based on your parameters, I think this would be great. You don't want to be in Parsippany, that is a big no. The bus to NYC picks up in front of the LaQuinta and service is frequent. Parking is free, there is a free breakfast, free wifi, even an indoor pool for the kids. There's a Walmart and Sam's club nearby, plus a Marshalls and some other shopping. There are several restaurants nearby as well. NJ Transit bus from Secaucus into the city is clean and safe, I have used it many times, it's a bargain. If you end up taking the bus, there is a $1 a slice pizza place at 40th and 9th. It's always busy, I just wish it opened before 11 am.....pizza for breakfast.
  7. Thanks for the follow up. I'm a big fan of AC and if its any consolation, Saturday nights in the summer, and especially the last two weeks of July and all of August have the highest rates. Your rate of $150 was excellent, you would be lucky to get this for an offshore 3*. The Showboat, like the Claridge were formerly casino hotels, and the new owners are trying to make a go of it.
  8. Aside from "what is the lowest amount per night I can expect to win through bidding" is the other question: can you accept any hotel in the shaded area of Mawhah-Ramsey-Allendale? You might score a great win but the hotel may not have a shuttle or within walking distance of your client. With HOTWIRE you can sometimes identify the property through the amenities, but there is no guarantee. There are a couple of properties available on PRICELINE EXPRESS, but these are difficult to identify. With that said, I am a fan of the Homewood Suites over the Hampton Inn.
  9. I have to say that I was not an ESA fan, but in the past couple of years, many properties have been refurbished. Granola bars, muffins, apples and coffee are offered for breakfast. They now provide shampoo and sometimes coffee for the in room coffee maker. But they still don't have an ice machine. There are four ESA's in the Secaucus area and these are typically offered in the $50-$60 area. For solo travel, it works for me.
  10. With regards to parking, all MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas (and this includes Vdara) will implement a parking charge in the Spring of 2016, you might want to contact the hotel for the exact dates. AaronJB is correct in that you could park at City Center, I have even heard of parking at Aria. The other option would be valet and when I stayed there three years ago it was free, but it's customary to tip the attendant. I'm probably one of the most ardent "no valet" types, but this actually worked out very well for my stay and it is beyond convenient. Which is helpful when you have a little one in tow.
  11. Please post an outcome to your Ft.Lauderdale trip. Have you made any successful bids through Priceline or booked a room through Hotwire that could benefit other board members?
  12. I am a fan of Vdara, the rooms are suites with a seating area separated from the bed with a room divider and include a small refrigerator and a cooking surface. The hotel is very quiet, and from the lobby, the Bellagio Conservatory is about a 5 minute walk.
  13. I'm very pleased with this winning bid for the La Quinta Inn and Suites. I looked at PRICELINE EXPRESS and it appeared as if this property was being offered for $67 due to the amenities plus there was a bed choice available and there was a reference to a Suite. Started bidding at $62 and it was accepted immediately. I have eave stayed here several times previously and it is one of my favorites because of all the freebies, parking, breakfast and HS Internet. As a bonus, there is a bus into Manhattan right in front of the hotel with frequent service. Made my bids through the PRICELINE links on the board. There are also many restaurants area. Room subtotal: $62.00 Taxes and Fees $16.23 Total charged today: $78.23
  14. rock on! The last time I visited Fallsview I received free parking with my players club card. Not sure if that's still offered or not. Do you have the winning rate in USD? With current exchange rates of $1.29, this comes to about $86 USD.
  15. This used to be an "old school" 1960's Holiday Inn with outside entrances and a courtyard in the middle. I think about 10 years ago, it changed over to a Quality Inn. The TGIFridays is still there and very convenient.
  16. Made my same day bid using the PRICELINE links on the board. The rack rate was around $99, so I'm pleased with this win. Offer Price: $51.00 Taxes and Fees: $13.94 Total Charged: $64.94
  17. I don't think there is any website that offers occupancy rates by the month, but generally speaking late August and most of September are kind of off season. It's so hot your tires might melt into the pavement though. Generally speaking, weekends are more expensive than the weekdays (Sunday-Thursday are cheaper). Holidays will increase occupancy, January up until early February is not too bad, but in Mid February through the spring it starts to get expensive. Biking is so dependent on good weather, you will have to keep an eye on the forecast, and book accordingly. I would start with the links on the board and check out several dates using Hotels.com to gauge rates. Also, the number of zones on PRICELINE and HOTWIRE are limited and you may want to stop in a town that lies outside of a zone.
  18. I didn't have a lot of time to make bids, so I used BetterBidding's WinAlert app to check pricing for both HOTWIRE and PRICELINE. I saw a 2.5 * for $46 with the following amenities: Free Parking Business Center Free Internet Free Breakfast Indoor or Outdoor Pool Fitness Center Ended up with the Best Western Plus Brampton and received a room with two queen beds. There is an indoor pool with a hot tub just off the lobby. Room Price: $46.00 Taxes & Fees: $11.48 Total: $57.48
  19. Used the links on the board to buy this Price.line Express deal. The following amenities were displayed: Wifi, Breakfast, Gym, but no rating score or much else to go on. A leap of faith was rewarded. Room Price: $48.00 Taxes & Fees: $17.60 Total: 65.60 This hotel is close to the Sheraton and the Hyatt Place and directly in the landing path for runway 31 at LaGuardia Airport. Light sleepers might want to look elsewhere. But for $48 it's a good deal given the rack rate of $125. Parking is not included, but there is a city owned lot across the street ($1.50 an hour, 8 AM - 10 PM, after 10 PM it's free) Finding a space is akin to a shopping mall at Christmas, just pull off to the side and patience will be rewarded. Just pay attention to folks walking towards their cars; I was distracted for a moment and the guy behind me pounced before I could reach for my turn signal. There is a privately operated lot nearby that charges $20. I ended up with a non smoking room with a queen bed, very small, but fine for one. Went to Picnic Garden Korean BBQ, a carnivore's delight, for dinner.
  20. Started bidding at $54 in an attempt to get the Clarion (former Holiday Inn) but was rejected. There was a PRICELINE EXPRESS deal for $68 that looked like the La Quinta so I upped the bid to $58, then $61. Room Price: $61.00 Taxes & Fees: $14.37 Total: $75.37 This is a fairly new La Quinta that gets good reviews, all my favorite free-bees are included: breakfast, parking, wifi. Rack rate was $125 so I will take this any day. I used the PRICELINE links on the board to make my bids.
  21. I have flown twice out of Trenton and would do so again. Haven't flown out of PHL though. On a recent trip to Miami, I missed out booking a $15 fare out of Philly as my plans were not set. They are following a similar business plan as that of Spirit Airlines and to a lesser extent Allegiant which is to derive revenue through fees from baggage, confirmed seat charges, and such. I think it's just human nature to complain rather than praise, but I've flown on both Spirit and Frontier a total of 6 trips and haven't been burned. But, there's always a first time. Good luck with your trip, it would be great to hear back about the flight and if you make any bookings on Hot.wire or Price.line.
  22. Made this bid through the PRICELINE links on the board, tried to get a convertible for $20, wishful thinking. I almost had a little regret getting this accepted right away, but I guess it's the offseason. Ended up with a 2015 Camry and I was pretty impressed with this car after a week. Daily offer price: $16.00 Number of days: 7 Taxes & Fees $92.99 Total charged: $204.99
  23. I have attended several trade shows at McCormick, I strongly recommend that you take AaronJB's advice, he is a local and well informed. I like the River North and Water Tower zones, there are plenty of dining options nearby and there is activity in the evening. The trade show organizer will list all of the hotels with shuttle bus stops, just walk to the nearest one in the morning for a ride to the show. You just need a show badge to get on the bus. I usually buy a multi day CTA pass and use it on the train from the airport and sometimes to get to McCormick. The # 3 bus goes right down Michigan Ave and makes a stop in front of McCormick. I also have taken the Green rail line to Cermak and walked a few blocks. If your plans are firm, it's always a good idea to book a room early. I've attended trade shows where the nearest available Hotel room was way out by O'Hare and the only room available in the city was at a hostel.
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