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Everything posted by BEAV

  1. I think you've hit the nail on the head. Between conferences/conventions and Fleet Week, many hotels, at the moment, do not need to dump excess inventory via PRICELINE. As we get closer, that can change if retail hotel bookings don't materialize as the hotels are hoping/expecting. As upontop did, book a retail rate that fits your travel budget, that you can cancel without penalty, and continue to bid on Priceline. With regard to the bid history you posted (thanks for doing that) I'd like to make some observations and suggestions. 1. When raising your bid price while adding zones with the same quality level (4 star in this case), you may be overbidding (paying more than you need to). For example, you bid $85 for 4* USE only, but $95 for 4* SOMA. Had $85 been enough for a winning bid in SOMA, you would have overbid by $10. As you continue to bid for this stay, I would suggest the following bid strategy: $85 - USW $90 - Add South SFO (free rebid) $95 - Add Civic Center (free rebid) $100 - Add Fisherman's Wharf (free rebid) $105 - Add Marina (free rebid) Go back to PRICELINE home page and start over: $85 - USE $90 - Add South SFO $95 - Add Civic Center $100 - Add Fisherman's Wharf $105 - Add Marina Go back to PRICELINE home page and start over: $85 - SOMA $95 - Add South SFO $95 - Add Civic Center $100 - Add Fisherman's Wharf $105 - Add Marina Using the above strategy, you never bid higher for one zone at the 4 star level than another, eliminating the possibility of an overbid. #2. In your previous bid history, you added (lowered) the 3.5 star category with your last (highest) bid. In theory, it doesn't make sense to bid $85 for 4 stars and $105 for 3.5 stars. This is a very common mistake, and can cause an overbid at the 3.5 level. Good luck with this and let us know if we can be of more help.
  2. Take a look at HOTWIRE's vacation packages (air + hotel). Use any origin city, enter your dates, and look at the various offerings for Monterey. There are 2 four-star hotels in the display that are designated as boutique hotels. It's often customary for Hotwire to list more (additional) amenities in the vacation packages than they do in the opaque hotel-only product. My guess is that the hotel you're looking at is one of the two boutique hotels displayed in the vacation packages. Also, take notice that the hotel you're looking at is currently priced at $116 per night for your travel dates, while it was $109 when you posted a few days ago. Displaying different prices is a normal thing and doesn't necessarily mean what is displaying today is a different hotel than you were seeing on Sept 3. Good luck with your homework!
  3. Priceline has upgraded the Walnut Creek Marriott from 3 to 3.5 stars per vacation package search Sept 6-8. Oakland East Bay (Concord-Lafayette) zone.
  4. At the moment, the pool icon is back again when searching for 9/26-9/30. The 4.5 Tripadvisor ratings also points to the Intercontinental. I've stayed there twice, both on HOTWIRE purchases, and never had an issue (or complaint) with room assignments.
  5. I've seen Colfax's shoes, and can verify he does indeed wear "good ones". :)
  6. The only time I've ever been bumped was on a Hotels.com booking at an Embassy Suites. Like Priceline, it was a fully prepaid reservation, however we weren't given the courtesy of advance notification. We just showed up at the hotel at midnight after a long flight and were shuttled to a nearby Doubletree (Embassy Suites and Doubletrees are both under the Hilton flag). Just my opinion, but when it comes to bumping, I don't necessarily think fully prepaid, non-refundable reservations should be the ones selected for bumping 48 hours in advance of check-in. Obviously, Le Meridien thought it best to bump those who paid the lowest rate (Priceline). But if it were my hotel, I think I would instead offer guests who were registered Starwood customers (in order of their status) to be reaccomodated at a higher Starwood brand (such as the St Regis) which is very close to Le Meridien. In that scenario, everyone wins, assuming a Starwood customer would be happy to be upgraded to the St Regis product, and the Priceline customer left intact at Le Meridien.
  7. I'm seeing TripAdvisor information appear in a number of Hotwire displays today. However I'm seeing only the Tripadvisor rating, but not the number of reviews as we've seen in the past.
  8. Give the fact you're looking for Saturday night of Labor Day weekend, plus the fact it's the Sonoma Wine Country Festival, I would bid up to $125 on PRICELINE (start with 4 stars, then 3.5, then 3). If unsuccessful, then book the Hotwire hotel you're seeing for $125. http://www.sonomawinecountryweekend.com/ Not the easiest weekend to book in the wine country, however good luck to you and keep us posted.
  9. Yeah, I just reported it yesterday in the Zone/hotel changes thread. I noticed it on Expedia and had the same initial thought as you. Funny thing on Expedia is that it's appropriately named as the Hilton, however has a photo of the hotel with the Sheraton logo!
  10. Just to a reminder to anyone reading that Priceline will not accept bids under $40 when bidding at the 4 star level. Any bid under $40 will automatically be rejected, which was the experience of the OP in this thread.
  11. The Sheraton in Burlingame, CA (SFO zone on Priceline and Airport South/Burlingame zone on Hotwire) is now the Hilton San Francisco Airport Hotel. Priceline vacation package Sep 5-7 confirms the hotel is still rated 4 stars, however I cannot locate the hotel in the Hotwire vacation package to confirm star rating/amenties at the moment.
  12. Since your stay is still 3 weeks away, I would continue bidding on PRICELINE routinely two or three times a week right up until the cancel period kicks in on your retal reservation at the Grand Plaza Hotel. I believe your six night stay might be the single most thing deterring you from getting a winning bid this far out. But, believe me, 3-4 weeks is a LONG time away in the PRICELINE world! Also, one piece of advise if you're bidding both 4 and 3.5 star categories. Make sure your 3.5 star bids are seperate (independant) from your 4 star bids. Often times people start out bidding 4 stars, let's say at $80, get declined, drop down to 3.5 star and bid $90. Whatever you do, don't lower your star level while raising your bid price simultaneously. Doing so can cause you to overbid at the 3.5 star level. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
  13. Regardless of what event(s) is going on in San Francisco during this timeframe (October is typically a busy month for conventions in SF), if hotels are either fully booked or at very high occupancy levels, then it's possible they are not allocating any inventory to PRICELINE right now. Bidding on Priceline usually takes quite a bit of patience when you're dealing with high occupancy rates due to popular events and/or conventions. My suggestion would be to book a retail rate that allows for cancellation without penalties up until 24 hours before your arrival. And in the meantime, keep trying to bid on PRICELINE about once a week or so. Once we get into September, begin bidding a little more often, two or three times a week. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
  14. Thanks for posting your bid history....very helpful! Since you're new to the site, are you familiar with the "free rebid" system? If not, let us know and someone else can post a link to how it works (I can't locate it at the moment!!). Sept/Oct can sometimes be difficult to get a winning bid for a 4 night stay this far in advance in San Francisco. Fall can be busy with conventions, etc. You got a great price for a 4 night stay, so congratulate yourself.
  15. Welcome to BetterBidding and congratulations on your first PRICELINE win. Was $85 your first bid, or did you start lower? Could you please post your travel date(s). Thanks!
  16. Your statement above leads me to believe that perhaps you've used Priceline and/or Hotwire before? If correct, would you be willing to share your Priceline wins and/or Hotwire purchases with the board by posting in the appropriate forum(s)?
  17. Congratulations on your success. I'm glad you didn't have to go too far over your bidding limit before finally landing something. And now you know from your own experience that PRICELINE will accept less than their counteroffers.
  18. Hotwire changes in Oakland/East Bay (Concord-Walnut Creek-Lafayette) per vacation package search 8/14-8/16 3* Holiday Inn Concord downgraded to 2.5 stars. Amenities remaind unchanged -- Fitness, Pool, Restaurant, Business, Internet. 3* Holiday inn Walnut Creek has been converted to a Holiday Inn Express. Internet has been added to previous amenities of Fitness, Pool, Restaurant & Laundry.
  19. 4* bidding is once again availabe in this zone. However, the Renaissance Club Sport remains at 3.5 stars (downgraded earlier this year from 4 stars). So it appears the Lafayette Park Hotel is once again participating in "name your own price". It's also the only 4* hotel in the zone in both the vacation package and retail side of Priceline.
  20. I assume the 8-bid strategy worked without any problems or glitches? If so, you're doing VERY well for your first time bidding on Priceline! Continued good luck and keep us posted!
  21. There are two different types of counteroffers. One that is common, the other not so common. It's my opinion you got the not so common type and Priceline won't accept anything less than $170 (unless a 4* hotel lowers their Priceline rate from this point forward). If you want to continue bidding 4 stars, my advice would be to book a retail hotel reservation that you can cancel without penalty. If not, are you willing to lower your quality level as Romelle suggested?
  22. Did you receive any counteroffers along the way between $80 and $120?
  23. Note to Thereuare; This is a newly reported hotel not currently on the Hotwire hotel list. Portola Hotel and Spa oceanfront nonsmoking fitness swimming restaurant business internet golf tennis spa
  24. Hotwire only lists a total of 8 amenities (the ones you have listed) on the display you're seeing. However, under the amenity display, click on "see all amenities". This will produce a pop-up page listing all the amenties, which include tennis and spa. If you look at the Hotwire vacation packages, as well as the TripAdvisor information given, this would be a match for the Portola Hotel and Spa. So that is my best guess.
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