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Everything posted by BEAV

  1. You brought up a good point, Gallus50. I've found pricing on LMT "all over the map". Like you, I've found some of their rates are higher than what you can purchase on a retail basis. Having said that, they were selling the Intercontinantal Miami for $84 on a date in November when the hotel's website was quoting $239. I also found them selling the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in NYC for $299 while everyone else was quoting $545. I do like that fact they sell high-end 5* properties in many cities, something Priceline and Hotwire rarely does. As always, do your homework!
  2. Forgive me if this is old news, however it's new to me thanks to a post I found on the Cruise Critic message board. Turico Holidays is the parent company of Last Minute Travel. Using a link from Turico Holidays will enable you to identify any Last Minute Travel opaque hotel property. Click (and bookmark) the link below from Turico's website: http://www.touricoholidays.com/en/PageHote...ocalTgsProvider Whatever hotel you're looking at on the LastMinuteTravel.com website, click the link for "more info". When that page comes up, look at the URL address. It will contain the phrase HotelID= followed by a bunch of numbers. Take those bunch of numbers and plug it into the Turico website (link above) in the same place where the numbers following hotelId= is I spent about 30 minutes using this process and was 100% successful identying any hotel at LastMinuteTravel.com I researched. Good luck.
  3. To add to my post from yesterday, today I logged onto two different computer terminals at work. On one terminal I was able to bring up Expedia's unpublished rate hotels, but not on the other. And I can bring them up on my home PC. I don't get it......
  4. All I can add to Thereuare's response is yet another request for you to begin posting your Priceline/Hotwire/Travelocity Top Secret purchases for the benefit of others, just as you have benefitted from other members posting their results. It's a two way street.....
  5. I stumbled onto these unpublished hotels a week or two ago while randomly surfing Expedia. So far I've seen unpublished rates in SF, LA, NY, Reno and Oakland/East Bay. In my SF search yesterday for 9/4/10, Expedia listed a 4.5* in Union Square East for $125. On Hotwire, there are two known 4.5 properties in this zone, that being SF Intercontinental and Taj Campton Place. On Expedia, you're able to zero in on a map the general location of the unpublished hotel. Interestingly, the Taj Campton place was within the area of the zone, however the Intercontinental was clearly outside the area. So while I assume Expedia was selling the Taj Campton Place, the question that comes to mind is whether or not Expedia rates unpublished hotels the same as published. My Campton Place assumption was based on Expedia rating hotels the same between the two different products. Below are links to other Internet chatter about this new Expedia product. In one article, it states I find that statement interesting because I cannot bring up any unpublished hotels when on my computer at work (even though I'm logged into my Expedia account), but they display for me on my home PC. I'm no tech wizard, but I'm wondering if there's any correlation between their statement and my experience at work vs home. Could this also be why Colfax wasn't able to display the unpublished rates on his computer ???? http://www.tnooz.com/2010/06/23/news/Expedia-integrates-hotwire-distressed-inventory-in-hotel-booking-path/ http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2010/8/3...ublished_Rates_ Should this thread be moved to the "Off Topic Run of House" forum where it may get more exposure and possibly more feedback?
  6. Steve, sorry that happened, but I'm glad they refunded you so that you can start over again. Good luck on the second go-around! Mods: Should this be moved to the SF Hotwire board? I confuse easily, so it took me awhile to realize it wasn't a Priceline booking!
  7. Thanks, and I was able to locate the package rate you mentioned earlier. As Kayla posted earlier, the $440 for two package rate you're seeing translates to an approximate $115 per night (pre-tax) bid rate on Priceline. You may want to try some bids lower than $115 and see what happens before you buy the package deal. If you're unsuccessful bidding up to $115, then perhaps the package is the way to go since I assume you need air fare anyway? Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
  8. You can do NYOP at Oakland airport, however take into consideration you pay several types of airport taxes and fees when renting cars at airport facilities. For just a 24-hr rental it may not be worth it in the end. PRICELINE will add to your bid price the taxes and fees, so you know the total going in before bidding. Compare the TOTAL amount of your NYOP bid with a local rental rate before you pull the trigger.
  9. I live in Walnut Creek and you are correct there is no Priceline "NYOP" option here. The only non-airport location in the Bay Area where Priceline accepts NYOP is SF Downtown as you've already discovered. I believe Avis and Hertz are the only two local agencies in Walnut Creek that are open on Sunday to return a rental. You can price check rates at www.carrentals.com. I can also recommend www.autoslash.com/coupons to see if you can apply any coupons to lower your rate. Good luck.
  10. Would you mind sharing with us what website you're seeing the flight/hotel pacakge for $440 at the Hyatt Regency Financial District? Priceline's vacation package for these dates is quoting $600 (for two) and Expedia's quoting $658. Thanks!
  11. Sorry you're not having any joy .. yet! I did a quick overview (on Expedia) of SF hotel prices for your dates and rack rates are fairly high at many hotels. Usually, prices are cheaper on weekends, but the rates I'm seeing are just the opposite, which indicates it's a fairly busy weekend in SF. Having said that, have you checked alternatives, such as 4* HOTWIRE prices as a basis of comparison? Also, LastMinuteTravel.com is showing a 4.5 star "on request" for $125 or a 4 star "available" for $139. Continued good luck and keep us posted!
  12. Huntington: Old World-style very established hotel at the top of Nob Hill. Good location to/from Union Square IF you don't mind the steep climb up/down the hill. Westin St Francis: Located in the heart of Union Square. Many Priceline/Hotwire reports of being assigned small rooms in older section of the hotel with one double bed. Additional $$ required at check-in for larger rooms with a king bed. Intercontinental: Located in Priceline's SOMA district (USE on Hotwire). New, sleek, contemporary hotel a few blocks south of Market Street. Adjacent to Moscone Convention Center. If you prefer old-world charm, I'd go with the Huntington. But if you like new and comtemporary, you'll probably be happy with the Intercontinental. Both hotels enjoy good customer reviews. Huntington has never been reported on Priceline, so no chance there to find it cheaper. Intercontinental is rarely reported in Priceline SOMA zone as most people usually get assigned the Marriott, Westin Market St or Palace Hotel. The St Francis is a toss-up between that and the Grand Hyatt. If any of the 3 hotels are attractive to you, I wouldn't nickel-and-dime on Priceline if you don't have to. Good luck...
  13. I'm a local (live about 30 mins south of Napa) and agree if you're looking for a holiday weekend in the wine country, don't stay in Fairfield. On the other hand, Santa Rosa is very much a part of the wine country, so I would include that in your Napa/Sonoma searches IF you simply want to be "in the wine country" in general vs. specifically in Napa or Sonoma. I'll do some price checking around and hopefully come back with some suggestions. While you're definitely not going to get bargain basement prices over a holiday weekend, I don't think it's time to push the panic button either. At least not four weeks out...
  14. As long as you don't bid higher for 4 star in SOMA than you did USE, then you're not risking an overbid. However, you might as well bid each 4 star zone separately, in your order of preference, so as to give yourself the best chance in your preferred zone. If by chance two zones had hotels available for the same price, you may be assigned your least preferred zone when you could have scored in your preferred zone had you bid it separately. Continued good luck!
  15. You have correctly named the 5 free rebid zones when bidding 4 star in San Francisco. Regardless of their location within the SF area, they are free rebid zones solely because they don't offer 4 star bidding. If you're okay with winning a hotel in USE, USW, SOMA or Embarcadero, then I would select your order of preference first. For example, let's say your first choice would be to stay in USE, followed by SOMA, USW and then Embarcadero. In that scenario I would bid as follows: Bid 1 - USE Bid 2 - USE, free rebid zone #1 Bid 3 - USE, free rebid zone #2 Bid 4 - USE, free rebid zone #3 Bid 5 - USE, free rebid zone #4 Bid 6 - USE, free rebid zone #5 If you don't get an accepted bid to any of the above, then to back to the Priceline home page and do this next: Bid 1 - SOMA Bid 2 - SOMA, free rebid zone #1 Bid 3 - SOMA, free rebid zone #2 Bid 4 - SOMA, free rebid zone #3 Bid 5 - SOMA, free rebid zone #4 Bid 6 - SOMA, free rebid zone #5 So on and so forth.... Get the picture? Don't do that! You never want to add a zone with the same star level while increasing your bid amount simultaneously as that can cause an overbid. For example, if you start out with USE zone at $70, then add SOMA and bid $75, you never gave the SOMA zone a "chance" to score a room for $70. Give each 4 star zone the chance to score a room at your entry level bid price because you have no way to determine which zone has the lowest price. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
  16. Congratulations and thanks for posting your winning bid. What price did you begin your bidding? And throughout your bidding, did you ever bid lower than $150 in USW zone, specifically?
  17. Go to the link below and you can see which 4* hotels are in which zone. Priceline Hotel List California As info, HOTWIRE is selling what is a match for the Intercontinental (on 8th & Howard) for $173 per night for your travel dates (4.5 star USE zone). While more expensive than the $146 rate you have reserved, Hotwire offers a unique best rate guarantee program where they pay you double the difference if you find a lower rate. Is the $146 rate you have a rate available to the general public? If so, and you can provide documentation of your reservation at $146, you could purchase through HOTWIRE and file for their best rate guarantee claim. A successful claim would reduce the per-night price to approximately $119. If you're not a gambler and don't want to try the option above, then I agree with slruud that you've got some time to low ball here. At least you have a decent back-up price as I believe $146 isn't too bad for a 6-night stay during San Francisco's peak Fall season.
  18. Welcome to BetterBidding. Which Intercontinental (there are two in SF) do you have a back-up reservation for $146?
  19. Sorry you didn't get the Intercontintal. In this case, the clue that Hotwire wasn't displaying the Intercontinental lies in the TripAdvisor ratings. Hotwire shows this hotel with a 4.0 Tripadvisor rating (which is a match with the Campton Place) while Intercontinental is rated 4.5 stars. At any rate, I have heard/read good things about Campton Place, so hope you enjoy. You certainly can't beat its Union Square location. Enjoy your stay!
  20. Matt, I'll jump in here since Colfax is a bit of a night owl and may not be "on duty" yet! Colfax didn't suggest you bid zone #5 (SFO North) with the intention of your actually being assigned a hotel there, but rather was referring to the 5 SF area zones that are considered "free" rebid zones. Knowing how to determine your free rebid zones is the single-most important factor of bidding on Priceline. Please read the information linked below, then post your 5 free rebid zones and we'll take things from there. Priceline Re-Bidding Explained Good luck!
  21. New York Midtown East - no more 5 star bidding availabe While the Waldorf Towers is still rated 5 stars in Priceline retail and vacation packages, 5 star bidding is no longer available in the MTE zone.
  22. In the end you may be glad you scored Le Meridien as IMO it's a nicer hotel than the Hyatt Regency. Nothing wrong with the Hyatt, but Le Meridien is just a notch above IMO. Although you can't beat the Hyatt for location, Le Meridien is just a few blocks from Market St where you have access to various modes of public transporation. Enjoy your stay... Mods: Suggest removing "Parker" from the title of this thread ... just to save any confusion to others reading.
  23. I know it's too late for this to help the OP, but in case anyone reading finds themselves in a similar situation, the answer to this would have been to book a "multiple destination" ticket. For example Frankfurt to Baltimore, with a return from Greenville. This is also commonly known as an "open jaw" itinerary and is not considered to be two, separate one-way tickets. We often fly into Orlando, but return from Ft Lauderdale. For cruises, we fly to Barcelona (where the ship embarks) and return from Venice (where the sailing ends). Same scenario as the OP's.
  24. I'm just across the Bay on the east side, however get to SF every chance I get! Congrats on some good networking directly with the hotel. It sounds like you're doing your homework for what should be a wonderful 12-night stay. Since it appears you enjoy the cocktail scene, I can suggest (at least one night!) walking a couple blocks west on California St to the Huntington Hotel for drinks at their Big Four Lounge. It's a wonderful, old world atmosphere where Michael Parsons plays the piano six nights a week 5:00 to 11:30pm. It doesn't get much better..... http://www.big4restaurant.com/ Enjoy!
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