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Everything posted by betsybug

  1. No need to respond. I see this hotel consistently posted as a 4* on this this board. Thank to all for posting your bids on this site.
  2. Is this Sheraton a confirmed 4*? TOBB still lists it as a 3* for PL. Has this board had other winning bids for this hotel as a 4*? If so, your data base is better than TOBB. Good job!
  3. Good idea to drop Saturday night. But I respectfully disagree with some of our esteemed moderator's advice. In Chicago you cannot get a Saturday night check-in on PL. It's one of those few cities that has been marked with a "Saturday night check-in" problem on TOBB. And my personal experience verifies this in the past two years. So never split a bid in Chicago where one of the check-in dates is a Saturday. It's a high risk to get no PL room.
  4. Thereuare - Shouldn't this post be moved to Priceline board?
  5. Amenities: restaurant, pool, free breakfast, laundry This is the Comfort Inn at 5909 Milan at intersection of SR 2 & US 250 four miles from Cedar Point. I was pretty sure it had to be a Comfort Inn or Fairfield with free breakfast and was pretty sure it was this one since it's the only one with a restaurant + free breakfast at the start level of 2-1/2 * - which is usually a Comfort Inn, Fairfield, etc. I am very pleased although I found out the AAA rate is $116 so I didn't save much. But Priceline usually has no rooms in Sandusky/Cedar Point. Hotwire may be a better choice for that area. No. Rooms: 2 No. Nights: 2 Price: $105 Subtotal: $420 Taxes/Fees: $54.95 Total: $474.95 The 12% hotel tax means that my Hotwire fee was only $4.95.
  6. Charleston, West Virginia Got this 3* hotel on first bid for $50. With taxes & fees = $61. Lowest web price was $88. This is the only 3* hotel that I've seen for PL in Charleston. There's an Embassy Suites there but I haven't seen it come up.
  7. With $51 fees the total for 3 nights = $342. First time this has come up in a while and bids still have to be high to get this. Earlier this year it was dropped off Resort and made a 4*. Starting bid $75. Counteroffer of $22 more. I tried five times to undercut the counteroffer but to no avail. So I bid the $97. Hotwire had it for $119. This is half what the lowest web price was on westin.com of $199. I hope this is worth paying double what the north Dallas 4* hotels are on Priceline.
  8. Lowest rate for Thursday night $149. Garage parking is $8/day self park and $16/day valet. Bidding strategy was to start at $45. Added 5 free re-bid zones. I bid this zone instead of Galleria because the rates for this night in Med Center/Astrodome were $100 less. It pays to research the rates for bidding strategy. I don't think I could have gotten a $250 hotel in Galleria zone for $60.
  9. This bidding tip applies to people using their local airport and who will be parking their car there while they are away. You need to consider the total cost of hotel + parking in deciding whether to bid on PL/HW vs. using a hotel/parking package from the hotel. Airport hotel bidding is more complicated because many airport hotels, for a slightly higher rate, will give you a week or more of free parking. So while the hotel rate may be higher than a PL/HW hotel rate, with the free parking for enough days, you may save money in the long run to take the hotel/parking package. There are higher hotel taxes on the higher hotel rate, but those may be more than offset by the free parking. To calculate whether the PL or Hotwire rates are good for you you need to know the total parking charge for the number of days you need at the airport lot. Add that parking fee to the PL or Hotwire accepted bid rate that you think you can win. Add the hotel tax to the estimated hotel bid. Add the estimated PL/HW fee. That's your total hotel/parking charge you need for comparison. Then check the hotel web sites for the airport area hotel and scroll down all the rates for your date until you see the hotel/parking package. Make sure to click on whatever link shows you all the terms of that package - including the # of free parking days and the daily cost of extra parking days. Add the hotel tax. Use that as your comparison price on booking through the hotel. For a link discussing this for my recent bid on a Detroit airport hotel see Detroit airport hotel
  10. This week I bid on two hotels in different cities for the same night on PL. First I won a bid for a Houston hotel for my husband and me on my PL account. Then I starting bidding on a Detroit airport hotel in my name for my daughter for the same night in my name. We are checking her in for that hotel before we fly to Houston. When I put my travel date in for the Detroit hotel I got a warning message from PL that was something like this: "Do you know that you have already booked a hotel for this same night? Do you want to continue." I can't remember if the message noted that the first hotel was in a different city. I clicked to continue and the bid proceeded normally. The lessons are: 1. Ignore the warning on duplicate booking. 2. PL will let you bid on one PL account for more than 1 hotel per night even if it is a different city. I've never heard of this warning coming up before when you bid the same city for the same night. That happens all the time when you want to add more rooms to your travel party. Maybe it just comes up as a friendly reminder when you book in different cities for the same night.
  11. Room Price: $65 Taxes/Fees: $15.36 Total: $80.36 With the 14% room tax, this makes the PL fee about $6.50. Lately this is about the fee I've been seeing on my one room bids in this price range. The lowest web rate on the hotel web site was $89. This is the second time this year I've gotten this hotel for $65 with a lowest rate under $100. At the Detroit airport, if you need ariport parking too, you need to consider the parking charges in evaluating the PL deal. For self-park at the airport right now use the $6/day available in the Blue Deck at the Smith Terminal At your parking days to the PL rate. Then compare this to the rates the area hotels charge for a room which includes at least 7 days of parking with the room rate. For example, this Westin had a $139 rate which included 8 days valet parking at the airport garage across the street from the hotel. All the area 3* hotels offer a rate of around $90 - with anywhere from 6-10 days of parking included. For me the hotel/parking rate of $139 was not a better deal because I needed 10 days of parking. The two extra parking days at the Westin is $28/day = $56 additional parking fees on top of the $139 rate. So for me it was better to get the low $65 PL room rate and pay $60 parking in the Blue Deck. Especially when the 14% tax is added to the room.
  12. The lowest rate for this date for this hotel was $99. All other 4* were $99-119 so I expected a lower accepted bid. The bidding strategy was to start at $45 and add $5 for each of three free rebids.
  13. First bid $60 accepted. Lowest available rate on radisson. com was $85. With 14 day advance booking lowest rate $58. Offer Price: $60 Taxes/Service Fees: $13.58 Total Charges: $73.58 Hotel taxes = 11%. So the fee was $6.98. I saved $20 over the $85 lowest rate.
  14. This was the lowest winning bid I've seen and was made on the day of arrival. It is, however, higher than expected because the lowest rate on hotel web site starwood was $79. Bidding History: 4* DTW $55 rejected Added 4* Dearborn $60 rejected Added 4* Downtown (free rebid) $65 accepted
  15. Your price is comparable to Priceline rates for that hotel on those dates. It's a great hotel, but parking is expensive. If you can figure out how to get to Lower Michigan Avenue (it's on the east side of Michigan Avenue and underneath your hotel), there's a cheap parking lot under the street and next to the river for $11. Other lots in that area are cheaper than on the upper street - about $25 a day. My only complaint about this hotel is the high charge to use the fitness center. The pool is free, but the gym costs over $10 a day.
  16. Alaways check the Chicago Convention and Visitor's Bureau convention calendar for large conventions on your travel dates before you use Hotwire or Priceline. The site lists all the small and huge conventions by dates. The CVB conventions calendar is at Chicago convention calendar Large conventions mean low PL availability, sold out rooms, and higher or unsuccessful bids.
  17. The 4.5* Midtown East is probably the Millenium UN-New York. Only hotel in area with "tennis nearby". The only Midtown Central 4.5* with a spa that's been reported here is LeParker Meridien, but I've seen it listed on Hotwire's vacation package with High Speed Internet, too.
  18. I got the Sheraton Toronto on Hotwire in August 2003 for $53. I believe that either (1) Starwood has recently started participating more; or (2) The hotels that participate are locally owned franchises.
  19. Effective August 1 HiltonHHonors will give stay credits or airline miles only to reservations made with Hilton (by telephone or web site) or a travel agent. Hilton now excludes reservations made with any other web site.
  20. I recommend the Midtown West (MTW) or Midtown East (MTE) zones for tourists. MTW goes from about six blocks south of Central Park to Times Square. MTE is just to the east of Times Square. The Central Park Zone (CPS) has fabulous 4* hotels but they usually cost you at least 25% more than the other two zones. Our web host can give you the link to his discussion of the NY hotel zones on this site. It's very helpful. You can view the list of NY Priceline hotels reported on this site to date by scolling down to the New York section.
  21. The Sheraton was listed as a customer favorite and those reviews influenced my decision to use HW this one time. I didn't know the Sutton Place came up on Hotwire. It might be a higher star rating, since PL rates it as a 4*. I'd also note AAA rates the Sheraton Toronto as a 4*so $53 is a deal in Toronto in the peak month of August. Although I have used Priceline over Hotwire until now, in this one city and zone it's worth considering Hotwire to avoid some undesirable hotels that come up with PL. In the downtown Toronto 4* PL bidders can get the Metropolitan, which blatantly discriminates against PL customers on the rooms and service. In the 3* catergory is the Strathcona, which many customers say is not worth a 3* in quality, and AAA rates as a 2*.
  22. How did you find out the fees and taxes? I thought Priceline started combining these two items months ago so we cannot tell anymore how much their fees are. Why weren't yours bundled? Or did you book this before the bundling started last spring?
  23. I started using Priceline recently, but this week used Hotwire for the first time. There was a problem with the hotel room assignment that Hotwire's customer service helped me solve. Given the numerous complaints about PL's customer service, I was very impressed with Hotwire. The details of the problem are posted in this section in two beds? non smoking. Basically, the hotel wanted to give me only 1 double bed in my two rooms and claimed to have no non-smoking rooms, even though their web site said otherwise. Another way Hotwire excels over Priceline is they enforce their "double occupancy guaranteed" rule. Priceline claims even a tiny, 1 double bed room, qualified. Hotwire told me, "One double bed is not a guaranteed double occupancy", and fixed that problem quickly by an immediatle call to the hotel, with me on the other line, and then told me I was confirmed in a king rooms. I still think Priceline almost always beats Hotwire on price, but do others see Hotwire's customer service as superior?
  24. I have resolved the problem with help from Hotwire and the hotel's reservation manager. The resolution took four phone calls to the hotel - two from Hotwire and two from me. Because the hotel is "oversold" supposedly, my NS rooms are just on request. But I did get the beds I wanted. No 1 double bed room for us, although hotel does have "a few of these". I would not likely have gotten this far had I got the evidence from the hotel web site and help from Hotwire. Here is what I learned, which has great relevance for other bookings. The first step, as thereuare recommended, is call Hotwire. Their customer service is great. The first agent was told the same thing I was - 1 double bed in each smoking room. She got me to Andy, the supervisor. He told me, "One double bed is not a double-occupancy room. We guarantee double occupancy". He called the hotel and got results. The hotel told him that I had always been booked in king rooms. Not likely to be true. The second step was to call the hotel to confirm the new room type. When asked about the NS rooms, the first agent said, when confronted with the web site availability evidence, "We don't give those rooms to Hotwire bookings. Those are more expensive rooms." I told her, "Do you charge more for non-smoking rooms?" "No", she replied. I asked to talk to the manager. The third step was to talk to the reservations manager, who could not have been nicer. She asked me if the rooms showing no-smoking availibility were club floor rooms. Yes, some were, but at least one of each type was not a club floor rate. After I complimented Sheraton's reputation for not discriminating against HW and PL customers, she gave me the last NS King room, a handicapped room, and requested the NS 2-double bed. From her I learned this about how Hotwire and Sheraton work. 1. On the day the booking is made by Hotwire, Sheraton is paid. They know nothing about the room request and do not then assign the rooms as non-smoking. So it makes no difference to them that Hotwire requests NS. 2. Rooms are assigned closer to arrival. It's only then that the hotel looks at the requests made by HW for room type. 3. This Sheraton does not give the 1 double bed rooms to Hotwire or Priceline guests. She was adamant that they treat all their guests the same on room assignments. 4. Hotwire can sell you a room in an overbooked hotel. This risks being walked or not getting good rooms. The upshot is that I think the hotel did try to assign us to the tiny 1 double bed smoking rooms, but Hotwire stopped this. The clerk who made this dicrimination decision probably was acting on her own and not pursuant to hotel policy. The bottom line is: you must call the hotel early and often to confirm your room requests because (1) the Hotwire NS room request may be ignored; and (2) at some hotels you may be assigned inferior rooms. I will take your advice and check-in very early, since I am staying the night before at the Hilton around the corner.
  25. Do Hotwire customers have a problem with getting a no-smoking and bed request in cities other than in NYC? I usually use Priceline, but yesterday I booked two rooms in Toronto with Hotwire because the price was comparable and I could figure out the hotel, thanks to this site. When I called the Sheraton this morning, I was told I was booked in smoking rooms and could only get one double bed in each. I insisted on non-smoking and requested 1 King room and 1 two bed room, since the second room is to be occupied by a teen boy and girl. The hotel clerk gave me little hope of satisfying my request. She said the hotel had no rooms available that met my request. I have proof that the hotel lied to me. I immediatley went to the hotel web site and was able to book 9 room of each type that I wanted - non-smoking king and non-smoking 2 double beds. I probably could have booked more, but the maximum the web site would book was 9. I printed the web booking info. I am calling Hotwire to see what they can do, but I'm wondering if either: 1) Hotwire is not routinely requesting non-smoking. This has been a problem with Priceline. 2) This Sheraton, or other Sheratons, are putting PL and HW guests in their smallest rooms that will only accomodate one double bed. PL guests report that Hiltons are notorious for this. I am also calling the hotel and asking to speak to the person who handles the Hotwire contract. If I get no satisfaction there, I'm calling Starwood and asking for the Hotwire contact there. It has long been suspected that some hotels discriminate against HW and PL customers by giving them inferior rooms. Is this another case of that? Any suggestions on how to proceed with the complaint to Hotwire?
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