Priceline Hotel: 3* Santa Barbara (Solvang-Santa Ynez Valley) Marriott Santa Ynez

By TheBugster,

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Hi guys,

I'm having real problems with Santa Barbara for the above dates of Aug 4-6. I'm probably having issues as it doesn't appear to be too competitive compared to the likes of SD and San Fran.

I'm up to $184 now for the 2 nights....I would look elsewhere, but unfortunately I somehow (NO IDEA HOW) but during the hundreds of re-bids I have done, I clicked on Solvang and so got the Marriot there for $120!! Priceline did cancel this, but only 1 night refund so far. I'll only get the full refund if I get the 2 nights in Santa Barbara minus a $25 fee.

So at the moment I am kinda stuck - luckily I have ages to go so can go up in $2 increments....but I may have to decide soon whether to swallow the cost of $139 and book somewhere directly as it's getting pricey!

I've looked at the history of wins and I am quite a bit above (I realise it is summer and could be v busy then).

I just hope Priceline haven't flagged my account so I have to pay extra? (I'm assuming this is definitely not the case but you never know!!) - has anyone else got experience of having cancelled a hotel room because the wrong area was selected and winning the correct area at a decent rate?

Sure nobody can really help me - but maybe I just need to wait a little and somehow the rate could go down?

Many thanks

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What I actually won, but accident, was the Marriott in the Solvang/Santa Ynez region for $120 from the 4-6 August (probably too high for that region!)

Luckily PL cancelled the request for me, but I am now $139 inc tax down as they would only refund 1 night stay - so in order to get the other $139 refunded, I need to win a 3* hotel, in SB, with the same dates!

I'm not too sure how high to bid now!

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Thanx for the follow-up and the addition for this new property to the BetterBidding Priceline Hotel List

Santa Barbara is/can be a really difficult and expensive zone to bid at. Current rates for your dates are very high.

What would your max budgett be/night before tax/fee?

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.


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Glad I got a new hotel on to the list for free (kind of)!

Well, if I hadn't have screwed up and got the Marriott in Solvang, I'd have probably have said around the $180-200 mark and possible looked away from Priceline. I will probably have to up that slightly now as I've got $139 to recoup, otherwise I'll lose that!

I'll need to do some maths and add $139 to an Expedia rate for example to ensure that won't be less expensive than bidding through Priceline (minus the $25 change fee of course!)

Just with everything I have won so far, this is going WAY more expensive than San Diego, Anaheim, Monterey, San Fran etc - I suppose those are just particularly good prices! I think comparing it to standard hotels in England where I have stayed recently (for weddings etc which is approx $250 inc tax per night) - I would look to make that a maximum!!

I still have LA and Vegas to book too for other dates during the trip

Thanks for your help

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My guess would be that you're looking at $180-200. But like i said, this zone is very difficult to deal with so it's hard to give an estimate.

But i guess you have to keep bidding untill your limit is reached.

Keep us updated and let us know if we can be of further help along the way.


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Maybe there are no rooms available at the hotels in the zones-or would it say?

No, PRICELINE would never give you an indication to stop bidding. But like i said, rates are very high for your stay. And it might be that the hotels don't have any opaque inventory for the moment.

Keep us updated and let us know if we can be of further help along the way.

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.


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Your dates are a Thursday and Friday in peak season. Based on prior summers' experience Priceline may not have anything at all in Santa Barbara, no matter how high you bid, especially for the Friday night.

If the SB hotels do give Priceline inventory it may not be until much closer to your August travel dates. Did Priceline give you a deadline for getting a 3* bid accepted in Santa Barbara? If no deadline I'll suggest keep trying to $200 once a week or so. If you eventually win something for $200 that would be considered a bargain for a summer weekend.

If you've only got a week or ten days to win something then unfortunately you might have to write off the $139 and be grateful that Priceline refunded you one night, which they weren't obligated to do.

Would you consider a 2.5* in Santa Barbara? I know Priceline rules say you have to rebid for your original intended quality level, which was 3*. But if you tell Priceline you've bid to $200 for 3* without luck they might make a one-time exception and let you try for 2.5*.

Or ask Priceline if they'll let you bid up to $200 for the Thursday night only, since $200 won't work for Thurs + Fri. Then if you win something for 8/4 try Add a Night for 8/5 or pay retail.

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Thanks for the reply/tips

I've tried most of what you've suggested..first said I have bid far more than I wanted to and would they refund me somehow, and also asked if I can bid for the Thurs/Fri seperately (as you say, I think the Thurs is a lot cheaper than the Friday!) - their email replies don't make too much sense - I'm not sure they understand what I am writing to be honest! I may call up and try my luck. But as you say, they weren't obligated to do anything for me...

If we are definitely going to be staying there on the Thurs/Fri - I have worked out a maximum I should bid to before I should write off the $139 and stay somewhere else.

They seem pretty intent (fair enough) on the same person, card, star, correct area and same dates must be won to get the refund back. I'm not sure what would have happened if we were only staying 1, or more than 2 nights!! I have also asked about if there is a deadline for when I have to win....and it seems not; rather I don't think they have read the emails properly but they didn't say there was!

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Are you tied to staying in Santa Barbara? The Marriott Santa Ynez you won by mistake is $229 for your dates so it's a good deal at $120. If you don't want to pay what Santa Barbara costs this seems like a decent alternative in that area.

It's in S.B. County, but it's far from S.B. and a PITA to get to each day.

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Mapquest says 36 miles from Marriott Santa Ynez to Santa Barbara. That's not especially convenient but the OP has been rejected up to $200 in Santa Barbara and he might not win anything in SB even if he bids higher. In that context $120 for Marriott Santa Ynez seems like an alternative worth considering anyhow. The other option is to try for 2.5* or 2* in Santa Barbara, but that wouldn't qualify for the refund the OP wants.

Btw, I'm a little surprised that you were rejected to $150 for April dates in Santa Ynez when the Marriott is $213. I wonder if the Marriott doesn't use Priceline on Saturday nights. (The OP won for a Thurs/Fri stay.) If you dont want to bid higher than $150 I wonder if something like $80-120 for just Friday might work. Then if you get it use Add a Night for Saturday or pay retail.

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Is add a night always offered?

Even when offered it's not always available... PRICELINE can come back with one of three responses when you try to add a nite:

1) accept your add a nite request

2) availability exists but only at a higher rate, PRICELINE gives you the option to accept/reject the higher rate for the additional nite(s)

3) inform you that there is no availability for the additional nite(s) you're rejesting

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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I live in this area and you are showing up during "Fiesta" which is the busiest weekend in an already busy tourist season. It is really hard to get a hotel for any decent price during Fiesta. I have tried to PRICELINE Santa Barbara for guests visiting us, and if it is during the high season it seems there are NO PRICELINE rooms at all. There are two routes from Santa Ynez to SB, you can take the pass which is hilly but very scenic, or you can take the coast which is more of a straight shot but also very scenic. Your only other choice besides paying up the nose is to find some last minute VRBO condo that is discounted (unlikely), stay in one of the hostels, or consider staying in Carpinteria or Ventura (also a drive). I hope you have a good trip, Santa Ynez has some great wineries and you might enjoy coming down from the crowds of SB's Fiesta.

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