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TravelTea

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Everything posted by TravelTea

  1. With 5 re-bid zones (I get 20 bids), started bidding at $150 and increased by $5 increments. When I got to $190; a counter- offer of $248 was given. Since I had plenty of re-bids remaining, continued to go up by $5 increments. Finally, my $220 bid was accepted. Room total for 2 nights: $440.00 Taxes & Fees: $76.96 The Back Bay Hotel website (best) rate: $364 Hotel is in a great location & convenient to two different T stations. :)
  2. Amenities: Smoke Free Rooms, Fitness Center, Pool, Restaurant, Business Center, Laundry Facilities (self service), High-Speed Internet Access Holiday Day Inn website best rate: $181 Close to Carnegie Mellon U.
  3. Stayed @ the Loews Lake Las Vegas (formerly Hyatt) Aug 12-14, 2007 won on PL for $96/night. The Loews was ranked by PL as 4*, not a resort. IMHO, the Loews should be ranked as a Resort as it has all the amenities of a resort: on-site restaurants, small market, 3 pools (1 kiddie pool, 1 slide pool, 1 relaxation pool), putting green, golf course, & basketball court. Plus there is a $15/night Resort Fee. This fee covers free parking (self & valet), use of the gym, pool & children activities, daily USA newspaper, but it DOES NOT include Internet access (extra $10/day). There is a computer in the lobby that you can use (free) to check-in & print out your flight boarding tix. Requested & given non-smoking 2 dbl bed room overlooking relaxation pool. Beds are comfortable w/ down comforters, fluffy towels, 2 robes provided, & nice toiletries. Room safe; coffee-maker; no refrigerator; flat screen TV. Hotel was not crowded as there were plenty of lounge chairs by the pools. Can rent kayaks, paddleboats, or electric-motor boats on the lake. The Loews is isolated in a community of model homes & golf courses; about 35-45 mins. from the strip. The Ritz Carlton & the Montelago Village is just 5 mins. away (by car) w/ a small casino, shops & restaurants. Albertson's, Food4Less, Walgreen's, & fast food restaurants are about 15 mins. away on Lake Mead Pkway. The lobby & veranda (overlooking lake w/ turtle waterfalls) are very relaxing w/ plenty of comfortable seats. All the staff are very helpful & friendly. Housekeeping makes up your room late in the day; so don't expect your room to be ready after going out for the morning. Overall, a very nice stay! :)
  4. Needed an SFO airport hotel for 1 night before my flight. I saw member babyjesus' 8/1/07 $60 win for the Hyatt Regency SFO. 8/4/07 HR web rate=$129. Via savingsbarn.com link to PL, started bidding @ $50, $55, $58 [all rejected]. $60 was accepted! > 50% savings! :) Although babyjesus' savings were greater...8/1/07 HR web rate = $229, $60 seems to be the PL going rate for the HR SFO during this time period. Have stayed here in the past & have used their airport shuttle service for early AM flights. Very happy :) w/ this win.
  5. I stayed @ this HGInn twice this summer (6/22/07-6/25/07) and (7/12/07-7/14/07) on a winning PL bid of $50/night for both stays. By coincidence, I was assigned the same room #419 on both visits (requested non-smoking 2 double beds). At first I thought this was a "Priceline" room as it was the first room next to the elevators & ice/vending machines. But this room was fine (I did not hear the elevators' "ding" or traveling up/down the shafts nor the ice dispensing). B/C this hotel is located directly across Albany airport (ALB), you will hear the airplanes taking off, but since this is a small aiport, plane traffic was non-existentant after 10pm. The only noise you will hear is from the A/C window box unit. It is controlled by a thermostat, and when it kicks on & runs, it is loud. This may bother some people, not a problem for us. It is hot & humid in the summers here & you'll need the A/C on during the day. Fortunately, it cooled down in the evenings & the A/C was not running over-night. The beds are *very* comfortable (& if you are exhausted--you'll sleep like a baby (A/C noise or not). During our 1st stay the bedding was vellux blankets, however, they have since changed the bedding (to down comforters in duvets) & changed the shower curtain & bar (to the bow-type for more room in the shower/tub); Neutragena toiletries, plenty of fluffy towels for 4. Everthing was clean & updated (not old or worn); however a few stains on the desk chair & room's club chair (oh-well). In room refrig & microwave & coffee maker (complimentary coffee, tea, hot water provided in lobby as well). Small gym & indoor swimming pool downstairs (not too crowded) & use of a business center (copy machine & 1 PC w/ high-speed access). Sometimes you have to wait in line to use the computer, but most guests are quick (logging on for airline check-in, or map direction print-outs, etc.) Did not eat @ downstairs restaurant, but there's a 24 hours pantry (for purchasing drinks, ice cream, snacks, sundries). Plenty of free parking, location is very convenient (across the street from airport) & plenty of restaurants & stores on nearby Wolfe Road. Definitely need a car to get around. Guests were mostly business travelers (weekdays) & families (weekends). A great base for visiting nearby colleges: Siena College (Loudonville), Univ of Albany, SUNY Albany, Rennsalaer Polytechnic Inst (Troy) and Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs). The front desk, housekeeping & staff are friendly & helpful. Overall, two wonderful stays, would love :) to win this hotel again.
  6. Stayed here during July 1-4, 2007 (holiday). Got our King casita room on PL for $60/night (a little savings on the hotel's current Summer Splash special for rooms starting @ $89/night). Front desk check-in did not mention Priceline, but our check-in envelope contained a card that showed our assigned room number & also stated that room was pre-paid through Priceline. At check-out, the clerk mentioned that the resort was only 20% occupied during this Fourth of July holiday. He mentioned that our stay was pre-paid by Priceline & that we are being charged the $25 per night Resort Fee (ouch!). Supposedly, the Resort Fee covers: - daily newspaper (we didn't get a paper on our check-out day :) ) - high-speed Internet access - free use of tennis courts & fitness center - free parking IMHO, the Resort Fee is a bit high considering many hotels these days usually include all the above in the room price. If you want to use the sauna or jacuzzi spa you have to pay a fee even if you don't use the spa services. The La Quinta is a really classy place in the old "Hollywood" style, classic California Mission/Adobe architecture w/ lots of Mexican tiles & pavers. Beautiful lawns & flower beds w/ lots of fruit trees & water fountains. Very peaceful & relaxed atmosphere. Rooms (casitas) are arranged in clusters around a small pool (about 30 pools on this property). There is a large pool w/ cabanas (for rent) next to the tennis courts & fitness center. Since the resort was not full, it was considerably quiet (not crowded; plenty of lounge chairs) during our stay. However, there were lots of families here. Some noisy kids, some well-behaved kids. Fortunately, our neighbors & pool was very quiet. Our king casitas was very large w/ fireplace, small refrig w/ ice maker, two sinks in bathroom w/ shower-tub combo. It was 100-120 degrees during our stay & our central A/C worked very well. Bed was so comfortable; nice & firm w/ down pillows & comforter, good quality linens & fluffy towels. Did not eat @ on site restaurants, as there are plenty of restaurants nearby. Very convenient to gas stations, Vons/Albertsons/Trader Joes, Walgreens, Target, etc. The resort itself is about 30 mins from Palm Springs (downtown Palm Canyon Drive) & the PS Aerial Tram. It's about 45 mins to the Desert Hills outlet mall in Cabazon. The housekeeping & grounds staff were friendly & hard-working. All in all, this is a great resort w/ a lot of charm. Just don't expect it to be a fancy modern bustling resort w/ all the latest ammenities. Very happy :) to stay here again.
  7. Just returned from our stay (July 1 - July 4, 2007) @ the La Quinta Resort & Club. Yes, they did charge us the $25 per night Resort Fee, even though we did not have any other charges to our room bill.
  8. Have been bidding for months to get some kind of resort in Las Vegas. Failed (w/ bids up to $150) to get any Resort (too much over my $120 budget). Was hoping to get the JW Marriott in Summerlin--but no luck. I decided to go for the only reported hotel in Henderson, the Loews Lake Las Vegas (as it used to be a Hyatt Resort). Not sure why it's not rated by PL as a Resort, but is rated 4*. Very happy :) to get this win! Lowest web rate = $119 As always, Savingsbarn link to PL using this strategy: Bid Henderson 4* $65 [rejected] Add LAS airport bid $75 [rejected] New bid Henderson + Nellis $80 [rejected] Add LAS airport bid $85 [rejected, but counter-offered to add $22 more to my bid] New bid Henderson + Summerlin $91 [rejected] Add LAS airport bid $96 [ACCEPTED!] The last (accepted) bid seems to follow the "formula" of adding half the counter-offer ($85+$11=$96) Thank you, thereuare, for all your help on Resort bidding.
  9. Used SavingsBarn link to PLine to bid for a Resort in Palm Springs. Won the La Quinta Resort and Club (located in La Quinta, CA). Web rate = $89; not too keen on the $25/day Resort Fee; but it is expected that all Resorts in Palm Springs charge some kind of Resort Fee. Used this bidding strategy: Rancho Mirage/Indian Wells/Palm Desert zone Resort *: $50 [rejected] Add Indio: $55 [rejected] New bid: RM/IW/PD and Palm Springs zones Resort *: $60 [ACCEPTED!] La Quinta Resort And Club Rancho Mirage-Indian Wells-Palm Desert 49-499 Eisenhower Drive La Quinta, California 92253 Offer Price: $60.00 Subtotal: $180.00 Taxes & Service Fees: $31.28 Total Charges*: $211.28
  10. Started bidding on PL using the SavingsBarn.com link w/ this strategy: Summerlin: $90 <rejected> Add Conv Ctr: $95 <rejected> Add Fremont: $100 <rejected> Add Henderson: $105 <rejected> Add Airport: $110 <rejected> Add Nellis: $115 <rejected> Add W of Strip: $120 <rejected> No luck, no counter-offers. :) Luckily, I still have plenty of time for bidding; will try again. Patience is a Virtue. Or maybe increase my budget (closer to travel date)? Will also monitor the (Resort) JW Marriott's web price (to see if it goes up or down). Thanks so much for your help!
  11. I would like to get a Resort (e.g. the JW Marriott in Summerlin, as this is the only zone that currently offers Resort). Did not see too many posted wins for Resorts (as most people desire to stay on/near the strip). I need 2 rooms & the JW Marriott web rate = $194/night (for 8/12 to 8/14). - How much would it take to win a Resort? - Would Resort bidding be influenced by the finicky pricing of the strip hotels? - My max budget is $120/night, possible? - May be too early to bid for Resort? I also checked Hotwire & no resorts are offered for my dates. Any comments/feedback is very much appreciated. :) Thank you!
  12. Dear humble, I have no clue what the probability of getting the Hilton Suites b/c it's up to PL to make the hotel assignments. There is nothing you can do to influence which hotel you will get. There are many 3* hotels in the Disneyland zone, so I could have gotten any one of them. Good Luck!
  13. Here's my review of the Hilton Suites Anaheim/Orange. Stayed here for 3 nights, Apr 9-12, 2007 (won PL bid $45/day). Arrived @ 3pm & was given a N/S 2 Dbl bed room (as requested) on 3rd floor by the elevator. Check-in clerk mentioned stay was pre-paid via PL. I consider this a "priceline" room as the hotel was not full during our stay & it would've been nice to be given a room w/ a better location. Our room was facing the freeway, but with the windows & balcony sliding door closed, we could not hear the freeway noise. However, we could hear the elevators' occasional "ding" as well as the "moaning" of the glass elevators traveling through the shafts. Since Disneyland was opened 8am-12midnight (CA Adventure 10am-10pm), we were out the entire days & were too tired to be bothered by this noise during sleep. Our suite consisted of a separate living room with pull-out double sofa bed, a club chair, a table w/ 4 chairs, a kitchenette (microwave, mini-frig, wet-bar sink, coffee maker). The bedroom had 2 dbl beds w/ down bedding. Extra bedding (down pillow + vellux blanket + sheets) for sofa bed stored in closet. Access to the bathroom can be reached from both the living room & bed room. Plenty of storage (closet & dresser). 2 TVs (one in each room). Plenty of free parking in the hotel parking lot. Room & bathroom (separate tub + shower stall) was updated, clean, towels large/fluffy. A/C worked fine & was quiet. We had trouble with a very slow shower drain; water pooled @ the bottom of pan, potential over-flow. Informed front desk on day 1, but when we returned (very late) from DL, the drain had not been cleared :) . Informed front desk again on day 2, drain was fixed when we returned late. Did not use the pools (a bit too cool this April spring week), but a few kids were in the outdoor pool. Swim towels are provided next to pool. No one was using the indoor (heated) pool or hot spa (both kind of small). Used gym (kind of small), not crowded, we were the only ones there. Did not eat @ hotel. We went to The Block (a shopping mall/restaurants) just a few blocks away & plenty of restaurants near the park. We did not use the shuttle, we drove to the park every day (~ 15 mins away via surface streets or via freeway depending on traffic + lights). You cannot walk back to the hotel from the park (a car/shuttle is necessary). Very nice :) stay, we would definitely stay here again if won on PL!
  14. Stayed 2 nights (3/16/07 - 3/18/07). All rooms at the Marriott properties are now all Non-Smoking (woo-hoo!). We were given a King suite on the first floor facing the freeway, amazingly quiet (as long as your windows are closed). The living room sofa-bed opens into a twin size only. Comfortable king bed w/ down blanket. Extra bedding supplied in closet for sofa-bed. Room/kitchen/bathroom all very clean. Housekeeping came late in the aftenoon. Didn't get to use the pool, was closed for maintanence. Included hot breakfast buffet was terrific, plentiful & attendant constantly replenishing breakfast items. Very convenient location next to freeway (680), BART station, and very close to Stoneridge Mall (w/ restaurants). A car is still needed (not w/in walking distance). Overall, very nice stay.
  15. Got this win by using the following bidding strategy: - Disneyland area 3*: $40 <rejected> - Add Anaheim Hills: $42 <rejected> - New bid, Disneyland + Laguna Hills: $43 <rejected> - Add Anaheim Hills: $45 <ACCEPTED!> Very happy :) to receive the Hilton Suites Anaheim/Orange @ these savings! (Hotel Web rate= $161.00) It has a separate bedroom (from living room), plus a kitchenette (refrig + microwave oven), plus FREE PARKING! I continue to use the SavingsBarn link to PL. Many thanks to this website!
  16. Used the SavingsBarn link to PL for both winning bids. Also, this is a new hotel to report in the Albany Airport ALB zone, 2.5 stars: Hilton Garden Inn (Albany Airport ALB) 800 Albany Shaker Road Albany, NY 12211 Started out bidding over the past week for 3*in ALB zone (was hoping to get the Marriott Airport as seen on past posts). Failed up to $65, probably takes more than $65 for this 3* win. Marriott web prices for my stay dates were $125 & $140 respectively. Also, tried 2.5* in Latham zone, all failed up to $60! Too much for my budget! Finally, decided to try 2.5* in ALB zone using this bidding strategy for 6/22/07-6/25/07 dates: - $47: ALB zone 2.5* <rejected> - $50: Add Latham 2.5* <accepted!> Latham is also 2.5* zone, but already knew from previous failed bids this lower bid wouldn't win in the 2.5* Latham zone. Hilton Garden Inn web price = $101, a 50% savings! For my second stay 7/12/07-7/14/07, the Hilton Garden Inn web price = $84 (cheaper than my earlier dates). Used this bidding strategey for these dates (using $50 as my max from my previous win, hopefully getting a cheaper bid): - $42: ALB zone 2.5* <rejected> - $44: Add Latham 2.5* <rejected> - $48: New bid ALB zone + Schenectady zone <rejected> - $50: Add Latham <accepted!> So it seems Hilton Garden Inn's PL inventory price = $50, regardless of the web price differences for different stay dates. Overall, I'm very happy :) w/ the savings for these 2 wins @ the Hilton Garden Inn. Will add a review for this hotel after my stays. Many THANKS :) to this website & community!
  17. Bid $38 in Oakland-Eastbay (Pleasanton-San Ramon 2.5* zone) & accepted on my first bid! Hotel site= $99/night (Wow, more than 50% savings! :) ) Your Offer Price: $38.00 Number of Rooms: 1 Number of Nights: 2 Subtotal: $76.00 Taxes & Service Fees: $16.25 Total Charges: $92.25 Very happy :) to receive this hotel. Breakfast is included. Used Savings Barn link!
  18. I would like to bid 2.5* in the Oakland-East Bay (Pleasanton-San Ramon) zone. I thought my only re-bid zone was Union City (it has 3*, No 2.5*, 2*, etc.). So I chose 2.5* Pleasanton-San Ramon & was rejected. I noticed (in the rejection screen) that PL had automatically selected/included 3*. I did not choose 3*, plus I cannot de-select it. If I use the Union City zone as my 2.5* re-bid (zone which has a 3* & no 2.5*), do I risk getting the Union City 3* hotel? (Which I do not want.) Why is PL automatically selecting 3* when I choose 2.5*? In this instance, are they lumping 2.5* & 3*... meaning an automatic upgrade? How can I get rebids just for 2.5* in the Pleasanton-San Ramon zone? Please advise. :) Thank you!
  19. Stayed 1 night (Sat) on PL bid of $75. This is a 4* hotel. Entire hotel is NON-SMOKING! (Yea! :) ). Received King room & asked for a roll-away; no extra charge, was included w/ "pre-paid" room (no mention of PL). Even though there was construction for the hotel restaurants, there was a Starbucks & a small cafe available right off the lobby (near the elevators). King room had plenty of room for roll-away; down pillows & blankets, comfy bed. Nice, strong shower w/ Bath & Body Works toiletries, large fluffy towels, clean bathroom. Iron+ironing board, coffee maker, no refrig. Always an awaiting elevator on lobby level. No waits for elevators. Located right off of Hwy 50 & Sunrise Blvd. Room is surprising very quiet. Our room was on the 5th floor overlooking the parking lot. Plenty of free parking. Very convenient location near Sunrise Blvd. for lots of restaurants (fast food & other chains), stores & gas stations. Staff (front desk, housekeeping, food workers, bell staff) were all very friendly & helpful A+! Kudos to the management & staff at this Marriott Rancho Cordova hotel. Very nice stay, love to stay again! :)
  20. 4* Marriott Rancho Cordova, CA. Hotel website price was $104. Was bidding for a month prior up to $70 max. Finally, raised my bid to $75 & accepted. Was disappointed bid was higher than expected (only ~ 25% off direct website price). Was hoping to get room for $60 or less. This is a Sat. night stay, but Rancho Cordova is a suburb north of downtown Sac, usually a business hotel, w/ availability. I guess the discounts aren't as deep these days??? Still happy w/ the Marriott & to save $. Your Offer Price: $75.00 Number of Rooms: 1 Number of Nights: 1 Subtotal: $75.00 Taxes & Service Fees: $18.60 Total Charges*: $93.60
  21. Needed a 4* Miami downtown pre-cruise hotel (near the port) . I mostly use Priceline (over Hotwire) as I set a max budget of $85-90. In general, I find that HW is 10-20% more than PL. But this is an instance where Hotwire was a better match for my needs than Priceline. Had been bidding on PL for 4* Miami downtown +5 rebids (Dadeland, Key Biscayne, Miami Lakes, N. Miami, SW Miami): $60, $65, $70, $75, $80, $85 all rejected for a period of 10 days. I know it's still early, but this is near Christmas timeframe, & I wanted to secure something now rather than wait & continue bidding closer to the holidays. The two 4* DT hotels listed on this website are: Hyatt Regency & Intercontinental (prefer this hotel over HR). Just for fun, I checked Hotwire & they offered the Intercontinental (again, thanks to the wonderful info on this website) for $$93. (The Laundry icon was the difference between HR & the Int.) For peace of mind, I decided to take this deal to get the Intercontinental. The Int direct website listed availability @ $225/night. If I continued using PL bidding, I might have to go up to $90 anyways, & also risk getting the Hyatt Regency. W/ Hotwire, I can specify 2 adults & 1 child for bedding preferences. In conclusion, I think Miami DT is difficult to get any bargains (due to the proximity to the cruise port & Bayside market?). From this experience, HW & PL pricing is close, +/-$10.
  22. - Stayed Sat night (8/12/06) before our early AM flight to Hawaii on Sun. - Shuttle runs 24 hours; every 15 minutes--very good service! Since our flight was so early, the shuttle was not crowded & we did not have to stop by the Marriott to pick-up other passengers & our airline was the 1st drop-off stop. Shuttle is 3rd party not run by Hyatt. Got to airport w/in 10 mins! Plenty of time to wait in check-in & security lines @ airport. - Check-in & check-out was quick & easy; no mention of PL. - We were placed on the 5th floor in 2-bed non-smoking room (as requested), however facing freeway (noisy), but were able to fall asleep. No rooms available facing atrium (if light sleeper, these rooms are quieter). - Room had refrig, double-sheet blankets, nice firm mattresses, clean bathroom, strong shower, nice toiletries. - Pool is small; gym is small, but was not crowded & good equipment. - Did not eat @hotel, plenty of restaurants (fast food or sit-down) nearby (however, not w/in walking distance). - Parking is $20 overnight. We did not leave our car @ hotel; friend dropped us off @ hotel. Street parking is farther away (@ least a couple blocks); not sure if this would be safe to leave car on street. :) Very nice hotel. We would stay again if won on PL.
  23. Stayed 1 night on 7/23/06. Hotel room was nicer than expected from the looks of hotel exterior---like a Holiday Inn w/ outside hallways; lobby is a bit dated. Hotel is located directly across from the Ventura marina; very convenient since we had 8am tour to Channel Islands Nat'l Park w/ Island Packers (minutes away @ marina by car; too far to walk). Did not eat in hotel restaurant as there are plenty of places to eat nearby. Hotel staff very friendly & hard-working; front desk mentioned that our room was pre-paid by Priceline. Originally was assigned a smoking King room on 1st floor, asked for & given a non-smoking room on 3rd floor. Hotel was not full that day. Plenty of free parking; elevators efficient; complimentary USA Today. Room is large, clean, comfy bed w/ lots of pillows (European square pillows), mini-refrig, balcony, bathroom sink is outside of tub/shower/toilet area. Nice touch---energy conservation w/ room key. When not in room; all lights off & A/C turned down. The only negative is the the noisy wall A/C unit. We turned it off @ night & opened our balcony door for fresh air. Very nice stay; would return again. :)
  24. Started bidding on Mon 7/17 3* Ventura-Oxnard $65 <rejected> + 2.5 * Camarillo $70 <rejected> Bid again on Tues 7/18 $75, $80 <rejected> Bid again on Wed 7/19 $85 <rejected> $90 <accepted!> Sheraton Four Points The savings wasn't as big as would have liked. Price on their direct website was $129 for the Sunday night (7/23) and the hotel was not full. Oh well...it's still a savings of $39! :) I think the 3* hotels in Ventura bid higher b/c of their locations on/near the beach & this is prime summer vacation season.
  25. Been bidding for 4* SFO for 3 days. Need room & shuttle service to SFO for early AM flight the next day. The two 4* hotels' direct sites showed availability @ Hyatt Regency ($109.00), Sheraton Gateway ($99.00). Hotwire offering $88 for 4* in this SFO/Burlingame zone. $50 was my max budget; figured I can try to do better than Hotwire :) . Day 1 & Day 2: failed biddings SFO $40 + Cathedral Hill $44 + South SF $45 + Civic Center $46 + Fisherman's Wharf $48 + USE $50 Day 3: successful bid SFO $45 (rejected) + Cathedral Hill $48 (rejected) + South SF $50 (rejected & PL gave no counter-offer) + Civic Center $52 (on a whim decided to up my budget by $2 & won bid!) :) A little more than 50% off their $109.00 website rate. Total including taxes & service fees ($14.82) = $66.82 Will also post a hotel review after stay. THANKS!
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