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Everything posted by betsybug

  1. Amenities: Restaurant, pool, fitness center, business center, spa # of rooms: 2 # of nights: 1 (Thu.) Fee: $15.95. This was 100% fee because there's a tax holiday in Ontario. AAA rates this a 4*. Hotwire probably beat Priceline. Lowest rate I've seen on Priceline for this hotel, which rates it a 3*, is $61. The only other known Hotwire hotel that matches on amenities and star rating is Crowne Plaza.
  2. I think I figured it out. The hotel is the New York Hilton a/k/a Hilton Towers. I just got back and saw an ad by the elevator for "Spa Services". Hilton doesn't have Hi-Speed Internet in all rooms so that is why Hotwire probably is not listing that amenity. Priceline beat Hotwire for the Hilton for my dates. Hotwire $125 Priceline $93
  3. I just got back from a $93/night stay at the New York Hilton a/k/a Hilton Towers. I called the hotel directly with my bed request and added my HiltonHonors number then. At check-in I was not given one of the dreadful, small rooms near the elevators that so many people said the staff called "the Priceline rooms". I showed my HiltonHonors card at check-in. I asked politely for the clerk to "do the best you can for us on the room". We got a renovated, large room on the 30th floor. By putting the HH# in the reservation I got a newspaper delivered.
  4. This comes from the "Unofficial Guide to New York City" 3d. (2002): "Once at the hotel, expect to slip the bellman a dollar per suitcase... When you check out, leave behind at least $1 a day for the maids, $2 a day if the room has a second visit for turndown service or extra care. Tipping the concierge is a question of letting the reward fir the service. If she merely makes dinner reservations, a warm thank you may suffice; if she finagles them in the hottest restaurant in town, or gets opening-night tickets to a Broadway blockbuster, go for the 20% rule." I use $1 as the base rate and work up from there for special conditions and service. $1 a bag for airport porter/shuttle/bellman, $1 a day for maid, $1 for doorman getting cab.
  5. I think we're missing the point of this discusssion of bundling the taxes/fees. Here's the bottom line: PL increased its service fee and won't disclose it to its customers. These are the known facts: 1) PL used to disclose its fee in advance - $5.95 per booking; 2) PL now will not tell its customers the service fee - at any time; 3) The total charges to the customer have gone up. The recently reported combined taxes/fees posted on this board and elsewhere are higher with bundling than when the two were separated and disclosed; and so 4) PRICELINE HAS RAISED ITS FEES AND REFUSES TO TELL ITS CUSTOMERS THE NEW FEE. What does this mean for PL customers? You cannot determine the $ difference between PL and other booking agents. Previously you could consider the fixed $5.95 fee the only extra cost of using PL. You could factor this difference in when deciding whether to buy a known hotel at a price close to what PL would likely get you. As for whether you are paying more Total Charges under the new bundling scheme, I know I did on a recent NY Manhattan hotel. I calculated the fee portion to be $12 minimum.* That's twice the fee as before. If the taxes were paid based on a lower room rate than I paid, i.e. the price PL paid for the room, then I was charged even more than $12 in fees. * 93/night, $279 subtotal, $50 taxes/fees, $329 total, 13.63% hotel tax midtown west Manhattan
  6. I guess no one else can figure this out either given the high number of you who have viewed this post. I checked all the Hotwire package hotels for these dates and none are 4* and the only one with a spa is almost surely the 4.5* Le Parker Meridien, which is on the package this weekend. So can we draw any Hotwire conclusions from this? such as: 1) Sometimes Hotwire makes a mistake in the star rating or amentities list; 2) Hotwire has added a new 4* hotel to Midtown Central that none of our research can identify; or 3) Hotwire's identified package hotels don't match the non-package annonymous hotels they offer on the same dates. I'm not willing to take the chance on it given Hotwire's sometimes inflated star ratings, but I hope someone else will buy this hotel soon and tell us what it is.
  7. I'm not having much luck with Priceline for a NYC stay 6/14-17, so I went to Hotwire and found this mystery hotel. I can't find any 4* with a Spa, but no pool. AAA book and Travelocity can't help because they don't have SPA info. Help me ID it quick so I can decide today. 4* Midtown Central $125 Amentities: restaurant, fitness center, business center, spa I thought maybe the Sheraton Manhattan, but it has pool. The only spa hotels I've seen come up on Hotwire boards are in different areas - Westin Times Square and LeParker Meridien.
  8. In the FAQ hotel section on PL the site refers to lowestfare.com as its "partner" and suggests using it if you want a specific hotel - as opposed to the PL gamble. I thought the site was helpful in getting more lower available fares so I could make a more informed PL bid.
  9. I had the same thing happen on June 9 bidding for NYC for the upcoming weekend. Similar recent very long responses have been reported at TOBB in the New York City PL section. For me the wait was longer when the start level was higher.
  10. # Rooms: 1 # Nights: 1 # Bids: 1 Bid $30 Taxes/Service Fees $8.87 Total Charge $38.87 Across from Pontiac Silverdome and 2 miles from Palace of Auburn Hills. Continental breakfast.
  11. Bid Date: 5/7 - 3 days before Bid History: 2 bids rejected 4* NMA $60 4* NMA+Lincoln Park (free rebid) $65 PL counteroffer: $77 Winning bid: $70 NMA+Midway (free rebid) Rooms: 1 Taxes Paid: $22.36 PL paid estimate: $68 Lowest web rate for hotel & dates: $149 From pre-bid research I expected accepted bid to be lower than $70 because: 1. High room availability due to: a. No conventions; b. No sold out hotels; c. Low tourists due to holiday, Mother's Day. 2. Very low rates on 4* NMA for this weekend, e.g. Hyatt Regency $92; Westin $121; Doubletree $116; Sheraton $109.
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