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Everything posted by BEAV

  1. IMO this area is tough because there are many more smaller, independant "mom & pop" type hotels/motels that generally don't participate w/Priceline. Even worse is Santa Barbara, a couple hundred miles down the coast where they are very few major national chains (Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, etc).
  2. Hotwire has upgraded the Serrano Hotel (San Francisco USW zone) 3.5 to 4 stars. This per Hotwire vacation package search April 15-21. Amenities appear to remain unchanged: Boutique Fitness Restaurant Business Center Hi-Speed Internet
  3. Do you prefer to stay in USE? Reason I ask is because if your preference is for USE, you have several free rebid opportunities within USE before having to resort to adding USW to your second bid attempt. Just want to make sure you are aware of how "free" rebidding works. Thanks for posting your bid success and enjoy your stay!
  4. Welcome to Better Bidding. If you've not already located it, the amenities you posted are a match for the Embassy Suites South San Francisco (SFO-Oyster Point North zone) listed on the Hotwire Hotel List on this board. As info, the Embassy Suites Burlingame is in a different zone (SFO-SOUTH) and is currently rated 4 stars. Good luck and keep us informed on your progress!
  5. Sorry I didn't get here fast enough! What a difference a day makes, because today Hotwire IS displaying the TripAdvisor rating that distinguishes as the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental. The Mark Hopkins is nice, however I agree, the Huntington nicer!
  6. $110 is an excellent rate this far in advance for peak summer at a highly-rated hotel. Le Meridien has been discounting big time lately, not only with PRICELINE and HOTWIRE, but also special rack rates. Note to thereuare: Move to SF Priceline forum and retitle from 4.5 to 4 star?
  7. BEAV

    air ticket strategy

    Priceline is telling you the price you've bid was not accepted by any airline. The price they're offering you is called a "counteroffer". How much difference in price (approximately) is their counteroffer from the price you've been bidding?
  8. The Hotwire Vacation Package product does list a pool for the Hilton. So it's possible the pool icon "comes and goes" in their opaque hotel-only product.
  9. Welcome to Better Bidding! As you're discovering, this site is a wealth of information. If you haven't already run across the Hotwire Hotel List for California, you will see this is a match for either the Doubletree Sonoma County or the Fountaingrove Resort. Both properties display the same amenities. However, when I pulled up your travel dates on Hotwire, this property is listing a 3.5 star TripAdvisor rating. I went to Tripadvisor.com and the Fountaingrove Resort has a 4* rating, whlie the Doubletree is rated 3.5 stars. So I believe what you're seeing on HOTWIRE would be a match for the Doubletree. Hotwire Hotel List Good luck with your decision and let us know if we can be of any more help.
  10. Thanks for your reply, and again, congratulations your first PRICELINE success!
  11. Thanks for the reply. If HOTWIRE is still selling at $129 for your dates, that's a great price for a stay of that length, especially during the middle of summer. The low rates I got on Expedia were last minute during off season. While you might be successfull at a lower rate through PRICELINE, if for any reason you're looking to target the Le Meridien, HOTWIRE would be the way to go since it's easily identifiable. Best of luck to you!
  12. Thanks for posting your Hotwire purchase. Could you post the date(s) of your stay? Note to thereuare: I guess this confirms the 4.5 to 5 star upgrade at this property. Great price for a 5 star hotel! :)
  13. Welcome to BetterBidding and congratulations on scoring a great Priceline deal. Can you look at your confirmation and determine if this hotel is rated 4 stars as opposed to 3.5 that you've reported? A Priceline vacation package search (air + hotel) of your travel dates indicates the Hilton is still rated 4 stars (as it has been for a long time). Please confirm the star rating if you can. Thanks for posting your results!
  14. You are correct this is a match for Le Meridien. What are your travel dates? Reason I ask is because this hotel has been running some pretty low rates on sites like Expedia, Hotels.com, etc. I stayed there two weekends ago for $83 on Expedia. So don't automatically assume HOTWIRE will be your lowest rate.
  15. It's a very little known fact, but you can bid for air fare unlimited numbers of times by entering a different origin and/or destination city. The 'trick' is to start each bid over from scratch. Example: Bid 1 SFO to OGG - bid of $140 rejected. Go back to the Priceline home page and start over with a new bid. Bid 2 Burlingame to OGG - select SFO as your departure airport. Bid of $170 rejected. Bid 3 San Mateo to OGG - select SFO as your departure airport. Bid of $190 rejected. Bid 4 Livermore to OGG - select SFO as your departure airport. Bid of $250 accepted. Priceline considers bids 2, 3 and 4 as NEW bids because you're entering a different origin city every time, even though you're selecting SFO as your departure airport on each occasion. In other words, your origin city does NOT have to a city with an airport, but any city/town in the area surrounding the airport you're flying from. This feature eliminates the need to select red-eye, 2-stops, non-jet, etc if you'd really prefer not to add those components to your bid. Having unlimited bidding opportunties allows you to increase your bid by $1 at a time until you finally "hit" Priceline's rate. Do you recall your last bid price before you successfully bid $250? For example, if you bid $225 and were rejected, and your next bid of $250 was accepted, you could actually have made 24 more bids by using the above example, increasing at $1 per bid, possibly "hitting" at some price point between $226 and $250. Congratulations on a great price compared to the going retail rate as Thereuare mentioned.
  16. Welcome to Better Bidding and thanks for the feedback and information. Would you post a new thread on the SF Hotwire section detailing your Ramada Limited purchase (date of travel, price paid, etc). After you've done that, the Ramada Limited can be added to the SF Hotwire hotel list and will benefit others in the future. Thanks!
  17. Will you be in the area for a tourist trip or some other occasion/event? Reason I ask is by your comment about Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. If your plans require you to be in the East Bay, then so be it. However, if this is a tourist trip/vacation, I would recommend SF over the Doubletree in the Berkeley marina area. Although it's a nice setting there on the Bay, there isn't all that much available from a tourist standpoint, especially compared to San Francisco.
  18. Like Priceline, will Hotwire show ratings changes if you access a previous purchase when it was a lower rating?
  19. Priceline has now lost my business in two out of the three areas I bid most. This is due to their erratic ratings system. In one area, they have common- rated brands such as Summerfield Suites (limited service and amenities, exterior-only access, etc) with full service hotels that feature restaurant/bars, room service, concierge services, and valet parking & laundry. In the other zone they have downgraded a previously-rated 4-star hotel to 3.5 stars (effectively eliminating 4-star bidding altogether in the zone), a move which now combines a truly superior first-class hotel (which enjoys a 4.5 Tripadvisor rating) with two "cookie cutter" run-of-the-mill properties. The previously-rated 4 star property also has a very large membership-only fitness center (aerobic & yoga classes, tennis, raquetball, etc) that hotel guests enjoy complimentary in addition to a full-service spa. Others may not find these disparities where they routinely do business with Priceline, however this is the case where I have done the majority of my bidding. Simply put, when you have 7 different rating categories (1 star through Resort), I cannot understand Priceline common-rating brands who's amenities and services are so widely different within the same zone.
  20. Sorry, BABYSKIN, I didn't see your question until now. Yes, we spent one night at the Mark Hopkins about a month ago. Since we were only there briefly, I can't offer too much about the hotel other than we had no negative issues with our room. It was very nicely furnished with Asian-style decor, large draperies, etc. The bathroom was very nice as well. This is a full-service hotel, meaning everything is a la carte, such as Internet, parking, etc. They do serve a very extensive breakfast buffet on the top floor (Top o' the Mark), albeit pricey at $28. Although we didn't try room service, the menu was very extensive (and pricey) as well. For the right price, I would purchase this hotel again on HOTWIRE.
  21. Yes, that is correct since you can no longer select 4* category in this zone in the name-your-own-price product.
  22. Hotwire sells cruises, however not at a discount such as you find with their hotel product. They pretty much sell them at the going rate you can find through any traditional or Internet agency. If you already have in mind a specific cruise ship sailing on a specific date, you can utilize a terrific service called www.cruisecompete.com. You enter the cruise ship & saliing date, type of accomodation desired (inside, outside, balcony or suite) and submit your quote request. It will be sent to participating Travel Agents and they in turn will reply back to you via email with quotes. We have used this service several times and always select the agency selling at the best rate and offering the most perks (shipboard credits, prepaid gratuities, etc). Good luck!
  23. 4 star bidding is no longer available in the Oakland/East Bay (Lafayette-Concord) zone with Priceline downgrading the Renaissance Club Sport to 3.5 stars. (Note: The 4* Lafayette Park Hotel hasn't been reported in several years). Personally, this is a very disappointing move as I frequently used this hotel via Priceline to house guests as it's right up the street from my condo. It is a very highly-rated hotel, as evidenced by the 4.5 Tripadvisor rating and is a definite cut above the 3.5 Concord Hilton and Crowne Plaza.
  24. Note to thereuare: The Smoke-Free, Fitness & Pool amenties I listed in post #3 I've also seen appear a number of times in the hotel-only product (in addition to the VP). So a 'heads up' differing amenities seem to display at this property.
  25. Confusing is an understatement. Orchard & Orchard Garden are sister properties, according to the home page on each hotel's website. The Orchard has been around for a few years, while the Orchard Garden is fairly new. By that fact alone, I would tend to lean toward the Orchard because I wouldn't think the Garden wouldn't have 760 TripAdvisor reviews being as new as it is. I remember the Orchard used to serve a complimentary continental breakfast, however as Colfax stated, none of this is mentioned on either hotel's website. It might be worth a call to each hotel to confirm/deny complimentary breakfast.
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