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Everything posted by BEAV

  1. I often research Priceline's vacation package (air + hotel) even though I'm only looking to bid for a hotel under "name your own price". Viewing the vacation package can often give you insight to help you prepare for your hotel-only purchase. I did a SJC package search for your travel dates and out of the three 4-star hotels that came up in the display (Marriott, De Anza and Doubletree) the De Anza was FAR cheaper than the other two. That is a pretty blatent indication that a low "name your own price" bid will probably land you at the De Anza, which is exactly what happened in your case. If I were looking to avoid this hotel, I would never have bid that zone and that category based on the information provided in the vacation package. Good luck the next time around, and I hope you begin using the various tools that can greatly assist in your bidding experiences.
  2. Welcome to BetterBidding and congratulations and thanks for posting your winning bid. Did you start your bidding at $200, or at a lower price point and work your way up? Thanks!
  3. Congratulations and thanks for posting your winning bid. Was $180 your first bid, or did you start lower and work your way up? Thanks....
  4. I don't think you're doing anything wrong. You just have to accept the fact you're trying to get a "deal" on a multi-day stay during San Francisco's peak season. Keep in mind prices (both PRICELINE / HOTWIRE and retail) are determined by occupancy factors. Just the age-old theory of supply and demand. As additional info, your travel dates are over Fleet Week in SF, which is a huge, annual event. Given these factors, what is the absolute highest price per night you're willing to spend?
  5. Whichever property you're viewing on LastMinuteTravel.com, jot down the hotel ID number you see in the URL address. Then click the link below and replace the current ID number with the ID number of the property you're trying to identify. http://www.touricoholidays.com/en/PageHote...ocalTgsProvider
  6. There are several conferences with the larger ones being the American Academy of Pediatrics (12,000 attendees requiring 4400 rooms) from October 2-5 and CTIA Enterprise & Applications (16,000 attendees requiring 3500 rooms) October 6-8. http://www.sfcvb.org/convention/calendar.asp
  7. According to the Hotwire hotel list, this appears to be a match with the Sheraton Sonoma County Petaluma. Here's a link to the hotel list so that you can verify.... California Hotwire Hotel List Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
  8. Oakland/East Bay Dublin/Pleasanton zone. The 3* Holiday Inn Dublin (formerly Radisson) is downgraded back to 2.5* per Priceline Vacation packages.
  9. Unlike PRICELINE, Hotwire does not have a name-your-own-price product. Instead they just tell you the price for your dates/star level, give you a list of amenities for that particular hotel and reveal the identity after you purchase. What are the 4* Hotwire prices for your travel dates? PRICELINE will often come in a little cheaper than HOTWIRE, however researching Hotwire's prices for your travel dates can give you some insight as to whether the prices you're bidding on PRICELINE are reasonable or not (major hint-hint, wink-wink going on here). Each hotel contracts prices with outside, 3rd party vendors and there's no guarantee PRICELINE is going to be the cheapest. I think your biggest challenge here is a 6-night stay. In order to achieve success, Priceline has to not only have inventory at the price point you're bidding, but also that same rate for 6 consecutive nights. Let's say 5 out of 6 nights Priceline has inventory available at $115, however 1 of those nights the hotel has heavier occupancy and their Priceline rate is $150. In that scenario you'd have to bid $150 for all six nights in order to obtain success. Take a look at a PRICELINE vacation package from LAX to SFO for 1 person 9/23-9/29. The least expensive package for 4* hotel is $1266 (currently) at the Wyndham Parc 55. The air fare component of this package is $99. Subtract that from $1266 and you come up with a hotel cost for 6 nights (including taxes/fees) of $1167. That's a per night hotel rate of $195 (tax included). If I were you, I'd investigate the availability of the $115 rate at the Hyatt Embarcadero through LastMinuteTravel. Continued good luck and keep us posted.
  10. Thanks for the follow-up. Glad you've got the rebid system down pat!
  11. Thanks for posting your bidding history as it's always helpful to others. While you're correct the Marina district does not offer 4 star bidding, both the Financial District and USW most certainly do have 4 star hotels. I'm curious what made you think they didn't? Knowing your free rebid zones is one of the most important factors in bidding on Priceline, so that you don't make a costly mistake! Again, have a wonderful holiday weekend.
  12. Thanks for posting your winning bid. Was $85 your first bid, or did you start lower and work your way up? Enjoy your Labor Day weekend in SF!
  13. New York can be tough to bid on Priceline during peak fall season, so I wanted to share how I was able to obtain the rate of $201 for the New York Marriott Financial District. First off, I have bid approximately once every 7-10 days up to $200 in MTW, MTE, Times Square and Downtown NYC zones on Priceline without success. I have bid both 3.5 and 4 star categories. There are also no reported wins for this time period on this site's Priceline/Hotwire calendar of wins. I reserved directly on the Marriott.com website a refundable rate of $279 for Oct 30, 31 and $459 for Nov 1. EasyClickTravel.com is selling the same hotel for $229 Oct 30, 31 and $345 Nov 1. I filled out and submitted Marriott's "Look No Further" best rate guarantee claim form based on the lower rate w/EasyClickTravel. Marriott has one of the most liberal best rate guarantee programs in the industry as they will not only match a lower rate, but further discount it by another 25%. My claim was approved by Marriott for a rate of $172 for Oct 30, 31 and $258 for Nov 1 for a per-night average of $201. My reservation with Marriott may be cancelled up to 24 hours before check-in without penalty. I will continue to bid on Priceline right up to the end in case I can do better than $200 as our travel dates become closer. If not, we'll keep the Marriott reservation and be happy we're not getting soaked during New York's peak fall season. It's nice to have options and choices. Good luck out there....
  14. That makes sense, and something I've been meaning to experiment with but haven't got around to yet.
  15. I have also found inconsistancies with Easy Click and Last Minute Travel hotel ratings compared with not only Priceline, but sites like Expedia, Travelocity, etc. For example, the New York Marriott Financial District hotel is only rated 3 stars on ECT and LMT, whereas other hotels of similar calibur and amenities will be rated as high as 4.5 stars. As to location, I've found discrepancies there, too. There is a 5 star hotel with a San Francisco listing that is actually located 25-30 miles south in Half Moon Bay (Ritz-Carlton). Only in the fine print does it mention Half Moon Bay, yet it's clearly labled as San Francisco. Using the tool through Tourico Travel to identify is a godsend, especially for the rating and location discrepancies.
  16. The link in the first post of this thread still takes me to the Indian Creek hotel in Miami, where you then replace with the ID of the hotel you're looking for. You cannot ID hotels off the Tourico home page.
  17. Thanks for posting. That's an excellent rate for a 5 night stay.
  18. Thanks for the follow-up. I've stayed at the Intercontinental twice (both times through HOTWIRE) and was very pleased. Enjoy your stay! Mods: Please move post to SF Hotwire board.
  19. Great - you're on the right track. Continued good luck and keep us posted.
  20. When you're on PRICELINE's website and on the page where you select the zone you wish to bid, as an exercise, check off each zone, one at a time. Jot down on paper which zones do not offer 4* category bidding. For instance, the Civic Center zone is at the top of the list of zones to select. Select the Civic Center zone and you'll see 3.5 and 4 star is greyed out and the highest category you can bid in this zone is only 3 stars. Do the same exercise with each zone. Any zone that doesn't not offer 4* bidding is a 'free rebid' zone and you cannot be assigned a hotel as long as you keep your bids at the 4* category. Based on the way you described your bidding experience yesterday, it's best not to keep adding bids with the same star category while simultaneously raising your bid. In your previous bidding you started with $75 for 4* in USE, but your first bid for 4* in USW was $95 or $105. How can you assume USW will require a higher amount ($95) when you didn't give that zone a chance at $75 like you did in USE? Hypothetically speaking, if USW had a hotel available for $75, but your first bid in that zone was $95, you would have overbid by $20 for each night of your stay. If you wish to bid several different zones that offer 4* hotels, it's better to bid one zone at a time, and if rejected, go back to the Priceline home page and start a completely new bid from scratch, this time bidding4* in a different zone, but at the same price you entered on your previous bid. That way you give every zone the opportunity of your lowest bid price, simultaneously eliminating any chance of an overbid. I hope that's helpful for your continued bidding. In order to determine if your current bid prices are within reason, what is Hotwire currently charging for 4* hotels on your travel dates? As info, LastMinuteTravel.com is listing a 4.5* hotel on an "on request" basis for $114 per night for your travel dates. As info, this property is the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero. From what others have posted here, you usually get a reply back from LastMinuteTravel within about 48 hours when selecting hotels that are on an on-request basis. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
  21. Welcome to BetterBidding! Two questions: 1. What are standard (retail) rates for your travel dates? (check Expedia to get an overall feel for retail pricing). 2. What is Hotwire charging for 4* hotels on your travel dates? The lower Priceline rates you're seeing other people getting aren't neccesarily on your same travel dates. Hotel pricing is date-specific and is determined by demand. Report back to us your findings and we'll take it from there. :)
  22. Thanks, thereuare. When I looked this morning, there was no TripAdvisor info available. Just another example where you have to come back and look more than once a day since the TA info comes and goes.
  23. Thanks for confirming back. It was tough to know the 4*+ in your original post was supposed to mean 4.5*. Looking at the SF Hotwire hotel list, the 4.5* for $179 is a match for both the Intercontinental and the Taj Campton Place, so that would be our best guess. At the moment, HOTWIRE is no longer displaying a 4* in USE for $172. The only 4* in USE Hotwire is currently showing is a referral to Hotels.com for $192 and is the Westin San Francisco Market St. Good luck and let us know if we can help further.
  24. Another idiosyncrasy I've discovered with LMT is not all hotels are categorized in the proper area. For example, the Ritz-Carlton Central Park in NYC is listed under "Midtown New York" while LMT has an area of the city described as Central Park. I've seen many other examples of this in not only New York, but other cities as well. So having the ability to unmask the identity of any LMT hotel before purchasing is especially useful in this case so that you don't get stuck in one area of town while LMT leads you to believe the hotel is in another area.
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