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Everything posted by BEAV

  1. You may have something there, Steve. The Vitale never entered my mind (obviously). Not only is it a Tripadvisor match, but also the restaurant and fitness center are both on site as opposed to "neighboring" with regard to the Harbor Court. If this is the Vitale, IMO $119 is a good rate considering the fact this is one of the more pricey hotels in the Embarcadero zone.
  2. I tend to agree with Colfax's guess of the Harbor Court. The hotel fronts San Francisco Bay along the Embarcadero. As to Hotwire's rate of $119 per night for your dates, if you go to the hotel's website they are selling for $97 (3 night minimum stay required). If you're a bit of a gambler, and this is indeed the Harbor Court, you could purchase from HOTWIRE and then file for their double-the-difference price guarantee. If approved, Hotwire would refund you $44 per night based on the hotel's lower rate of $97 per night. As a side note, I think some of the icons are a bit of a stretch on HOTWIRE's part. Hotwire's own description of a restaurant is one that is "on premises". On the hotel's website, it says there's a restaurant adjacent to the hotel which has a different address than the hotel itself. As to the fitness icon, the hotel website indicates discount rates at the nearby YMCA. With regard to the golf icon, I'm not aware of one in the immediate area. However HOTWIRE plays it cool with the golf description not to define distances from the hotel. But despite these oddities, I would still guess it's the Harbor Court. And the 4.5 Tripadvisor rating is a match, too.
  3. After you take away the air fare portion from the total package price, the remaining value is tied to Expedia for the hotel portion of the package. If there was a dollar amount discount for buying air & hotel together as a package, the amount of the discount belongs to the hotel portion of the package. I don't believe any of the discount for buying as a package is tied to the air fare. In other words, I don't believe the airline is giving any "break" on their part of the package. You are buying regular airline tickets at today's air fares. Any discount for buying as a package is a rate cut on the hotel portion. And I would agree with Rick Seaney as the supposed rule of thumb is not to buy domestic airline tickets more than four months in advance. One thing I have noticed, however, in researching Expedia's vacation packages is that one day you'll notice a substantial discount for a certain hotel (like at Parc 55, for example), but when you revisit a week later that discount may be gone (but available at yet a different hotel than last week at Parc 55). So even though it may seem early to buy now for August, if the discount for booking together as a package is at a hotel you'd like to stay at, you might want to reconsider holding off until later to purchase. There's no guarantee that a discount for buying a package at the Ritz will be there next week when you look again. Slightly off topic, however I learned something new yesterday about Expedia packages when my Sister told me she had just purchased a package (air + hotel) to London and Paris in July. She did not have to pay the full package price up front when booking, but rather just a deposit, with the balance due 30 days before departure. It turns out, what Expedia called the "deposit" was in reality the air fare portion of the package (which makes sense). The balance (the hotel portion) is due 30 days before departure. Up until learning that, I just always assumed you had to pay for a package in full upon booking. You may have the same experience if you were to buy a package now for August.
  4. Not knowing your hotel preferences, if you like old world charm, you'll be happy at the Huntington. And by "old world charm", that shouldn't be interpreted as "old and rickety" when it comes to the Huntington, specifically. They didn't earn their 4.5 out of 5.0 Tripadvisor ratings for nothing! If you're looking for new and contemporary, you might pass on this one..... Continued good luck!
  5. Expedia vacation packages are usually pretty good to spell out and identify when the hotel portion of the package is non-refundable. If the package contains a refundable hotel rate, then I believe you're entitled to a refund on that component of the package. As for the air portion, since 99% of airlines tickets are non-refundable, that penalty remains even if purchased as a package. You can take the value of the airline tickets, however, and after paying the airline's penalty, take whatever value is left over and apply to a future ticket within a year the original ticket was issued. If you didn't notice it already, KBKBKB, Expedia shows the breakdown air vs hotel if you click on the 'total price' icon in the box at the top right hand corner of each display in their vacation packages. That way you can see exactly what you're paying for air, and what you're paying for the hotel.
  6. My guess is the Huntington Hotel that has previously been reported here at 4 stars, but has most likely been upgraded to 4.5 stars. Also, the 4.5 Tripadvisor rating that HOTWIRE displays for this hotel is a match for the Huntington. Good luck and let us know if we can help any further.
  7. Starwood's rate guarantee program gives you one of the following two options: 1. Matches the lower price ($99 Hotels.com rate in this example) and lowers further by 10% ($9.90) to $89.10 (plus tax). 2. Matches the $99 Hotels.com rate and gives you an additional 2,000 points in their SPG program. Haven't been to the House of Prime Rib in awhile (2-3 years), but it's always a fun evening, and definitely a San Francisco tradition!
  8. Howdy, Steve. I noticed the same pattern earlier today when searching Hotwire for Reno hotels for Feb 26-28. There is a 3-star for $54 that displays, and when you click to select it identifies the property as Circus Circus. I'm wondering since Expedia owns both Hotels.com and Hotwire if in these cases the opaque Hotwire rate is higher than what you can book conventionally on Hotels.com? So Hotwire just winds up marketing these hotels using this method in order to capture a broader audience?
  9. Since you supplied your travel dates (thank you) I took a look at Priceline Vacation Packages. The best deal within the City of San Francisco is the 3 star Holiday Inn at Fisherman's Wharf. For $1121 (using LAX as the point of origin) you can get this hotel which has a heated pool as well as self-service laundry facilities. With the airline ticket this breaks down to $86 per night, including taxes. As info, the lowest rate, currently, at this property is $190 per night on the Holiday Inn website. However, if you want to try your luck at bidding, I'd suggest starting around $65 for 3 star in Fisherman's Wharf zone based the current pricing of the Vacation Package.
  10. If you're looking for a 13 night stay, it may pay you to check out Priceline's Vacation Package (air + hotel). Even if you don't need flights, or you already have them, you could use LAX as your origin point. A round trip ticket from LAX to SFO would probably run $125-$150 for one person added to the cost for 13 nights hotel. You can simply toss the unused plane ticket without it having any effect on the hotel booking as the two are not tied together. Using this method, you can even select the hotel you want rather than going through the bidding process, which can be difficult as Fall is one of the more peak travel times in SF.
  11. BEAV

    San Francisco

    The $99 rate continues this week. However, the rates seem to be loaded into the system just 24 hours in advance. For example, on Saturday the rate for Monday was over $200, however on Sunday you could book Monday for $99. This is now the second week of this pattern. No telling how much longer it will last.....
  12. BEAV

    San Francisco

    So far every day this week Expedia has been selling the Le Meridien San Francisco (Embarcadero zone on Priceline & Hotwire) for $99. While not unusual to find a rate like his on weekends, it is highly unusual to find weeknights priced at $99 as this hotel is located in the business/financial district of SF. I have no idea how far out they are selling this rate, however if you are looking for a good deal within the next few days for a last minute hotel, you may get lucky. Of note: When you ask for multiple night stays (anything over 1 night), the $99 rate does not appear. In order to see the $99 rate display, you must look at each night separately. Good luck.
  13. I am posting this on behalf of a friend of mine who made this successful bid today. Her first bid of $75 was rejected, however second bid accepted at $78. Parc 55 55 Cyril Magnin Street San Francisco, CA 94102 Offer Price Per Room, Per Night: $78.00 Subtotal: $312.00 Taxes and Services Fees: $59.64 Total Charges: $371.64 Expedia and Hotel's website: $175 per night. I gave her the BB link to PRICELINE, however cannot confirm she bid through it.
  14. Yes, that's correct. If your Expedia booking is refundable, you could start the process all over again, this time starting by booking direct with Omni, filing their claim, etc. May not be worth all that hassle, but for someone else starting out from scratch, it's a great way to get the room for roughly $70 ($94 less 25%).
  15. Thanks for the 'heads up', Steve. I'm going to check some alternate dates and see how long these great rates are available. I noticed for Feb 19-21 the Omni website is charging $135, so if you filed for their best rate guarantee, they will not only match Expedia's lower rate, but also discount it another 25%. :)
  16. Congratulations on your success, BLBG, and for posting your results. Moderators, please move to SF Priceline board when convenient. Thanks.
  17. We stayed at this hotel over New Years weekend (not on a PRICELINE or HOTWIRE purchase). It's a very nice property, and included in your room rate is complimentary internet, parking and a very nice expanded continental breakfast. Enjoy your stay!
  18. I would give the 'edge' to the Carmel Valley Ranch because the Hyatt (Highlands Inn) is located further south in Carmel Highlands. PRICELINE's map of this zone doesn't extend far enough south to include the Hyatt. Also, as info, HOTWIRE sells the Carmel Valley Ranch, so it's quite possible PRICELINE is now, too. What are your travel dates?
  19. Thanks for posting your winning bid, even if a bit disappointing in terms of a percentage discount over booking directly. It is always best to check retail rates before you bid on Priceline. Especially so in the current economic environment. Throughout this past year, hotels have gotten very aggressive in their own direct-book pricing. Enjoy your stay and good luck with your future bookings.
  20. Are you still looking to stay the nights of Dec 30 and 31st? If you take a look at Priceline's Vacation Package (air + hotel) you will see a wide variation in prices, with hotels in the Embarcadero zone the cheapest. For example, a two-night package for 1 person from LAX to SFO is $730 at the 4* Hotel Nikko (USW zone). In contrast, the same two-night package is only $321 at the 4* Hilton Financial District (Embarcadero zone which is still easily walkable to the Union Square area). Keep in mind the air fare portion of each package is the same. The huge price fluctuation is the hotel rates. Looking at the vacation packages gives you a good view of what's what and can be a helpful tool when trying to figure out which zone is going to produce the cheapest hotel rates. Good luck!
  21. You may want to research winning bids in both the Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ areas as well as Palm Springs, CA. These two areas have a lot of resort category properties that often go very inexpensively. We used to see rock bottom rates in these areas during the summer (off-peak season), however given the current economy, they are more year round at the moment. Although more than 365 days ago, 3* bids of $25 were being upgraded to the Resort category La Quinta Resort in the Palm Springs area. At first, people were bidding 4* $40 and getting assigned to the La Quinta resort. And then someone tried bidding 3* $25 with the same results (including yours truly).
  22. Priceline has upgraded the Concord Hilton (Concord-Lafayette zone of Oakland/East Bay) back to 3.5 stars per VP search 12/31/09-1/02/10.
  23. Priceline has split the Santa Rosa/Rohnert Park/Petaluma zone in two. The change also gives an additional free rebid when bidding 4 stars in either Sonoma or Napa zones. Santa Rosa 3.5 Hilton Sonoma County 3.5 Hyatt Vineyard Creek 3.5 Flamingo Resort 3.5 Fountaingrove Inn 3.0 Courtyard Rohnert Park-Petaluma 3.5 Doubletree 3.5 Sheraton Sonoma County
  24. Typically, the Embassy Suites displays the Oceanfront and Complimentary Breakfast icons, which sets it apart from most other 4 star hotels in this zone. And although I couldn't get Embassy Suites to display for your travel dates, I have found in the past that if you enter 3 people in your search, often times the Embassy Suites will display for a few dollars higher than the Hilton or Hyatt does when entering 2 people. So this is a good exercise to do in the future for anyone trying to target Embassy Suites. No guarantees it will happen every time, but I've observed it on numerous occasions.
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