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Priceline Hotel: Priceline HK counteroffer Seattle 1* 370 HKD/$47US

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Priceline HK once again does some things differently than Priceline.com, notably in the area of sending out counteroffers manually! http://www.priceline.com.hk

I wanted a hotel room in Seattle for Labor Day weekend, August 29-September 1. Even the 1* Travelodges in Seattle have a direct rate of $116 USD (I've read that these hotels have come up before on 1* Priceline bids). The 2* hotel which I had before from Priceline, Inn at Queen Anne, is not allowing bookings from their home page, although some reseller sites seem to have it at a high price.

So I did some exhaustive bidding with Priceline.com (through SavingsBarn), Priceline Singapore, and then with another computer Priceline HK. In USD equivalents, I ultimately ended up tried $45 for a 3* (a distant hope of getting the Marqueen), and up to about $42 for a 2*. On Priceline HK, my final bid was 320 HKD (about $41 USD) for a 1*.

As happened to me before with a Victoria bid, I got an email from someone in the Priceline HK customer service department who suggested that if I raised my bid I would succeed. Priceline HK allows bidding if you raise your bid by 50 HKD. So if I understand correctly, I would succeed with a 1* bid if I raised my bid to 370 HKD. That is about $47.44 USD (+ taxes and fees of course). Since prices seem relatively similar across all the sites, I think there's a fair chance that a 1* bid in Seattle Downtown will require close to a $47 bid on Priceline.com for those dates.

I decided not to take the counteroffer. I'd rather wait it out and see if I can get a higher star hotel if I am going to pay that much.

I know some people would be happy to stay in Bellevue, and likely get the 3* Hyatt or Doubletree, but I'd much rather be downtown.

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Tonight, since Priceline HK allows rebidding after 24 hours, I tried again.

Using rebids, I tried up to HKD 357 ($45.77 USD) for a 2* for Downtown Seattle + Lake Union. I'd be fine with either area.

I then bid HKD 330 for Downtown Seattle 1*.

Next, I tried HKD 337 (US $43.21) for Downtown Seattle + Lake Union. Note that Lake Union does not have 1* bidding.

All bids failed. :) I'm really hoping low-priced inventory opens up nearer the dates.

I booked a backup reservation here - http://www.hiseattle.org . My daughter does not mind staying in a hostel if I don't succeed on Priceline, so long as I take her to her favorite rock bands at the Bumbershoot festival! I wouldn't be surprised if the Bumbershoot festival is what is making bidding difficult.

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Using North Seattle as a free rebid zone (since it currently only has 1* and 2* hotels), I tried up to $45 on priceline.com (going through savingsbarn.com) for Downtown Seattle + Lake Union for a 2.5 star hotel - and failed again.

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I went up to $51 for a 3*, some intermediate amount for a 2.5 star (can't remember now), $45 for a 2* on Priceline.com and I think $43 for a 1* through savingsbarn.com. I failed.

Then I tried the 370 HKD for a 1* just now only to find that it did not work - not sure what would have happened if I had followed through at the time - but I guess that shows there is always a risk to trying to undercut counteroffers by waiting them out to try again.

Hotwire lists a 2* with a single amenity of Restaurant. It is $52 per night if you look at it on a single night by night basis for my dates, except for 8/30 (Saturday) when it is $104. If you try to get the hotel for any date including a Saturday, it is still $104 per night.

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Any advice welcome!

I'm still unsuccessful. I think I last went up to $45 for a 3* and $43 for a 2* and then a 1*. I did go past $45 to $51 on the 3* a week ago or so, but not in the last try. I know the answer is probably to throw more money at Priceline :)

Rates for the most likely hotels are often 35-50% higher than rates a week later.

I've also tried bidding just August 29-31, and just August 30-September 1, at the same rates. That hasn't worked either.

I was considering bidding just for August 31, since that's the date that rates start to drop at some hotels. If I do this, how many chances do I get to use the extend nights feature?

The worst night for prices seems to be August 30.

If I were to bid for August 29 (Friday night), how likely is it that I would make a future bid for August 30 (Saturday night) very difficult, because some hotels prevent Saturday night check-ins with Priceline or only offer greatly increased prices? I don't mind two hotels, but 3 might be a bit much for a 3 night stay.

I am bidding both Downtown Seattle and Lake Union zones.

1* Travelodge prices from its web site are $116/night. Holiday Inn (a 3* in Seattle) has a web rate of $152, but its rate drops to $105/night on August 31. Inn at Queen Anne (a 2*) is unavailable, except through consolidators.

Just noticing that Priceline's suggested retail price for a 1* in Downtown Seattle is $116. Maybe they just took the rate from the Travelodge web sites.

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Given Hotwire rates, i think this is going to be tough.

I don't know anything about location, but Orbitz is showing a Travelodge and a HoJo in the $50's and $70's. It also seems that rates don't move that much (thru Orbitz) between 3* and 4*... both start at about $130. I'm trying to look at QuickBook but their site appears to be down right now.

Hotwire does show a 2* hotel at $52 for the 29th, but the other 2 nites jumps to $104 (i don't recall if it's the same hotel or not, but i don't think it was).

If the hotels anticipate selling out, they may not offer inventory to Priceline at any price.

My guess is that you're going to have to throw more money at somebody.

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Thanks, thereuare.

I think the HoJo and Travelodge you are describing are a little further out than we want. Our backup choice is to stay at the youth hostel one block from Pike Place, which is not too bad, particularly as my daughter is half-price. So they would only charge us $39 total/night inclusive - but of course we have to put up with all the disadvantages of a hostel!

Given I got such a good price and location in Seattle earlier this year, which was even cheaper than the hostel, I keep hoping for a repeat even though I can see that's most unlikely. I tried to persuade my daughter to go to Portland instead, but she does not want to miss Bumbershoot!

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I decided to try August 29 only through savingsbarn.com. $35 with Downtown Seattle for a 1* did not work. But I added Lake Union and bid $40 for a 1*. Note that Lake Union has no hotels less than 2*, but it's conceivable I could get an upgrade.

Now, I got a counteroffer screen from Priceline to raise my bid by $12. I don't have any rebid zones left, and I think the price is too high anyway so I won't take it, but at least there are some signs of hope :).

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Hi WillTravel!

I was thinking you might want to try adding the University District (Hotwire) or Seattle North (Priceline). The University of Washington is located here and this area will have frequent bus/transit service to the downtown area, and I know you are not afraid of using public transit! :)

Check King County Metro for routes and schedules, but I don't think it is more than 15 - 20 mins to downtown and I am sure there are several buses to choose from.

You might even want to include Lynnwood-Edmonds (Priceline or Hotwire) which has up to 3* and includes things like Embassy Suites, Courtyard by Marriott and maybe Residence Inn. You could get a bigger room (suite!) and are still within good transit distance of downtown, although the travel time would be another 10 minutes or so, I think. Kind of a suburban area here, I believe, but also near Alderwood mall.

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I checked Hotwire and Bellevue South has two properties for your dates. A 2.5* with Laundry, Kitchenette and Fitness Centre for $40 and a 2* with Kitchenette and Laundry for $32. I don't know which properties these might be, but this area looks like it may be close to the Transit Center and a fairly direct bus link to downtown. But I don't really know the area at all!

Still, the price looks pretty good, doesn't it?

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Those prices look great!

The sad thing is, though, that the main 3* properties in Bellevue are all about an hour bus ride (give or take) from downtown Seattle. We're coming in to Seattle by Amtrak, so won't have a car. Plus we'd probably want taxis on some occasions.

Hotwire for the University District is showing prices in the $120-140 range for 2* and 2.5*.

Obviously this is a bad time for me to pick in terms of getting a cheap price.

I did some low bids for Seattle North on Priceline for both 2* and 1* and failed (up to $31 for a 2* and then a 1*). I did not want to bid more at this point, because the taxi rides to a further out area could add up significantly (we'd probably want at least three taxis), plus I'd feel more comfortable with Seattle North if there were any indications of previous wins there, but I haven't seen any.

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Well, if that 2* is the Homestead, then the way I read the bus schedule is that it is an eight minute bus ride on MT222 to the South Bellevue Park and Ride and then you can catch the Seattle Express (ST550) right into downtown which is another 15-20 minutes, depending on time of day/week. Because it's a connection, you have to add some waiting time, but the bus ride looks reasonable to me. But I doubt you would want to take many taxis back and forth!

Maybe I'm not helping much, but I guess I am wondering if you will be able to get a decent price closer to downtown. :)

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Thanks for all the input - you're helping :) I want to make sure I consider all the options, so this is useful.

I discussed the matter with my daughter and she says she'd prefer a more central location over a nice hotel, so if we don't get something within our price range downtown, we'll probably stick with the hostel at Pike Place. We'll keep on trying, but without much chance of success. I hope we'll have more success for our spring trip!

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I stayed at that Seattle hostel about 3 years ago, and I have to say that it was a very enjoyable time. Clean, well-run, and they had a bunch of group activities as well (trip to Bainbridge Island, Mariners baseball game, etc.). You should call ahead and ask if they have any private rooms available; very similar to a hotel, and a heck of a lot cheaper. (I had a two-bed room for one stay there, then a 4-bed room for another stay.)

Bumbershoot is definitely a bad time to get a room; I was lucky enough to bid early and got a room at the Sheraton this year for $65+$10B, but a friend that wants to join me is having no luck getting a room now.

Orbitz.com shows some out-of-town 2* hotels (4-5 miles away) in the $50 range; maybe it's worth getting something like that and using the savings to rent a car to get around? Even with the downtown parking charges, you still may save money!

Alan

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Hi Alan, good to hear the hostel is fine. I did ask about private rooms when I booked a week or two ago, but all they had left were the $99 deluxe ones - which I could possibly equal on Priceline anyway if I wanted to spend that much.

The Travelodge web site is currently down, but Orbitz says the two downtown Seattle Travelodges have no rooms available.

I've upped my bids a little, but still haven't had any success.

I still have a faint hope inventory might be released at the last moment.

The Sheraton is actually Bumbershoot's official hotel - the deal they are offering is $139/night, so you did great with your bid. The fact that you succeeded before and your friend cannot succeed now shows why bidding in advance can sometimes be very useful and profitable.

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After trying progressively higher bids, I decided to split my bid. I still haven't succeeded for 8/29-8/31.

I did get the 2.5* Summerfield Suites, which is a Wyndham property, for a bid of $52 on 8/31. If you get the web prepaid rate (about the same restrictions as Priceline re refundability) from the Wyndham site, the cheapest rate is $127. So it's a good deal, and the room on the web site for the property looks great. I just wish it were for more than one night!

I have done so many bids over time that it's hard to remember for sure, but I am fairly certain I had just tried a bid of $50 for 8/31 that failed, so any overbid has to be slight. This 2.5* result was actually an upgrade from a 2* bid. I hate to be paying London-level prices for Seattle, but so it goes. I'm hoping we get the free good-quality breakfast that other guests get. I have signed up for Wyndham by Request and tried to attach my membership number to the reservation. We'll see if it works.

I did try higher bids for 8/29-9/1 for 2* and 2.5*, and higher bids for 2* and 2.5* for just 8/29-8/31, but I did not succeed. I'm going to keep trying for 8/29-8/31 and see if I get lucky.

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I tried with Priceline HK up to 400 HKD (just over $51 US) for a 1* for 8/29-8/31, and did not succeed.

So I tried 340 HKD (a little less than $44 USD) for a 1* on 8/29 and failed.

I added Lake Union and raised to 351 HKD ($45 USD), and succeeded. I got the Sixth Avenue Inn - http://www.sixthavenueinn.com. The rate on Expedia (which rates it 2*) is $84 and $119 on Orbitz (which rates it 3*).

It's a Starwood property according to the web site, but I couldn't find it on the Starwood site. On the hotel web page it looks great, but the reviews on TripAdvisor are not stellar. I'm sure we will manage fine for one night. It's across the street from the Westin, so the neighborhood is probably ok, and it's very central.

Priceline Hong Kong still has the old system where you can calculate the room cost from the taxes. The taxes are 54.96 HKD, and the Seattle tax rate is either 15.8% or 15.6%, depending who you ask. This indicates a room rate of either 348 or 352 HKD (the latter would be explained by exchange rate oddities). So very little overbid, if any :)

So now I just have the middle night 8/30 left. We might end up with three separate places, but we don't really mind after all. We will just take a walk each morning and go to the next place.

My daughter had threatened to skip bathing if we stayed at the hostel. Priceline has spoiled her. Now we will have at most one night at the hostel :)

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It will be a miracle, I think, if I get 8/31 at the rate I want to pay. I've tried and failed several more times.

Last night, Expedia showed the downtown Days Inn with a rate of $308 USD!

Admittedly, many other higher-star hotels are somewhat cheaper.

I also read that 400,000 people attend Bumberfest.

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Moving around among three places was not a big deal. There is a free downtown Seattle bus service that took us within a couple blocks of each place. After 7 PM, though, the service is not free.

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