Priceline Hotel: 2* Philadelphia (Runnemede - Deptford) Runnemede Inn And Suites

By jcr25,

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Dear expert bidders-

Can you help me strategize?

I've got to make a last minute trip to Philadelphia late next week: 4/26-4/29. I wanted to stay Downtown, and in a 3* hotel. I perused this board and saw people winning 3* hotels (Downtown) for between $55 and $65, so I bid $56 - and lost.

I added 2.5* (Downtown) to my bid and upped it to $61 - and lost.

I added 2.0* (Downtown) to my bid and upped it to $66 - and lost.

I added 1.0* (Downtown) to my bid and upped it to $71 - and lost.

Finally, I added 4.0* (Downtown) to my bid and upped it to my top bid - $76 - and, as I expected, lost.

(After this, I went to a few other hotel sites and discovered that the King Tut exhibit is in Philadelphia right now and that rooms are VERY expensive.)

At this point, I have to expand my search area to include areas further out - Philadelphia (University Area), Philadelphia (Stadium Area), or Philadelphia (Airport). (Incidentally, in looking at the very helpful hotel list and map on this site, I don't see any hotels in University Area or Stadium Area, just by the Airport.)

But I'm not clear about something: I think I only have three bids left - one for each of these three areas; is this right?

If so, does anyone have any tips about how much I should bid? (I see winning bids at the Airport in the $50 range, but since this is the last minute, I may need to go in with a higher bid, or even readjust my $75/night budget.)

If anybody can clarify, or give me any other tips, I would greatly appreciate it!


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I suspect that many hotels release inventory to PL on Mondays - I've had several weekend strikeouts followed by wins at lower bids after the beginning of the week.

You can repeat your bid after 24 hours.

Please reread the instructions on using free rebid zones. The key is to add a zone that does not have properties rated as high as the star rating you want in order to increase your bid in the target zone. If you want a 3* downtown you can increase your bid by adding a zone that only has 2* hotels to the downtown bid.

Look at the hotel websites for availability and rack rates for a clue where to start your bidding. For example, if the Hilton Garden Inn City Center is sold out you may have to bid higher than if it has rooms available for $99. (Check the other hotels in the zone too -- I just used the HGI because I have stayed there before.)

Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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I bid and won an offer for the airport in Philly with only about three days in advance. I believe that I won the Marriott, which I hear was very nice, for about 60 dollars. I booked the trip for my husband and did not go but it was on Labor Day weekend and that also is a busy time. He had a car with him so he could get around. I believe that they charged him for parking, though. All in all I bid and received the Marriott for 60 dollars a night during a holiday weekend. You might even do better! Enjoy your stay in Philly! I grew up there so if you need any additional help, I'll try to steer you in the right direction.

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your dates of travel coincide with the 113th running of the Penn Relays This event attracts folks from all over, the games begin on April 24th and run until April 28th. You may have to change your dates of travel or think about staying in one of the PA Suburbs or NJ Suburbs like the Cherry Hill/Mt. Laurel Zone.

Good Luck!

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dahammer and rb-boddabing-- Thanks so much for your help. I wish I could change the date of my trip given that the city will be overrun by track athletes. (Pun intended!) :) But I'm stuck, and will just have to take the SEPTA rail downtown from wherever I'm able to stay.

One more question, then: If I end up staying in Cherry Hill/Mt. Laurel I'll have to take PATCO to SEPTA. Does either of you (or anyone else viewing) have any sense of how easy/hard it will be to get to a PATCO station from Cherry Hill/Mt. Laurel? (I looked at the route map, and it appears that the closest station is at Collingswood, which might be a bit of a hike.)

Thanks again for your assistance. I really appreciate it.

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PATCO is extremely easy to use, I've used it many times going into the city from South Jersey. I believe that many other rail systems were modeled after it. Depending on where you ultimately land will determine the best station. Collingswood is a good one from Cherry Hill, but if you end up in Mt.Laurel, there is a station in the Woodcrest section of Cherry Hill that is just off Rt. 295 that might be better. Good Luck!

PS, I just checked Cheap Tickets (using one of the Travel Links to Help Support BetterBidding, of course!!!) in the Cherry Hill area, it appears that the Homewood Suites in Mount Laurel is available for $89. This is a good rate and you get free breakfast and Managers Reception (Light Beer, Merlot, and pretzels??). Check the cancellation policy and this still allows you to keep looking. I have never seen rates as high as this for Philly, maybe there is a show at the convention center as well....

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I recently went through what you are doing and it is frustrating because 4* hotels in March were going for $65 and now you can't get a 1* hotel for that. I finally used Hotwire but I just checked, in all the zones only one hotel came up and it was $207 for a 3* at Penn's, any place downtown is going to kill you with parking. I decided to cancel my rental car and just use a taxi it was much better and way more convenient. Then I searched Cherry Hill and nothing but Newark and others not in Cherry Hill came up. Boy this just doesn't look good. I thought last week was tough, this looks worse. Just for kicks try to book a room at a hotel you would like to stay at through their website. When I did this many of the hotels were not even taking them, you might find out some information this way, which hotels actually have rooms and which don't. Post your results, I am very curious about the outcome.



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Barry- I guess it is just my lucky weekend. :)

I'll check Priceline again tomorrow morning in case they get any new inventory (per Beach Bum's suggestion, below). If not, I'll try to find a hotel out in the suburbs and use SEPTA to get to Center City.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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Just for kicks try to book a room at a hotel you would like to stay at through their website. When I did this many of the hotels were not even taking them, you might find out some information this way, which hotels actually have rooms and which don't.

It's a good idea to check pricing/availability at a few hotels in the target zone before bidding. Not so much "just for kicks" as to be able to make a bidding strategy that is likely to succeed.

On other note, I have had PL success in extremely tight cities with a lot of sellouts, within 48 hours of my stay. Book a cancellable room and keep bidding every 24 hours within your budget.

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In my opinion if you find a hotel out of the city with parking convenient to mass transportation you will save in two ways. The hotel will be cheaper and the parking won't kill you. I would make this my first option if I were you, that is if you can get to where you want to go with mass transportation. Give you an example what parking can be. We had someone come by and show us around the city(at 11:30) and then we went to Collingswood for a show. We had lunch, took a cab to Independence Hall area and then left for the show at 4:30 from the parking lot that was close to the hotel, actually part of the garage was actually under the hotel, $20 (ouch), that is almost minimum wage just to park your car.



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park at the Philadelphia Gateway Parking Garage, 1540 Vine Street for $16 per 24 hours, on weekends its $5 from 5:00 pm Friday - 9:00 AM Monday. There are no in out privileges, though.

Oldrelayer, great idea about not renting a car :)

HOTWIRE is showing a 3* Best Value for $61 with the following amenities:Fitness Center, Pool, Restaurant, Business Center. This could possibly be the Holiday Inn Select in Trevose or even the Holiday Inn, Bensalem. The SEPTA R7 station in Cornwells Heights is probably the closest to the hotel, this station has parking, I'm unsure of the cost, though. Driving into the city in AM rush hour traffic will be bumper to bumper, but during other times, its an easy drive down I-95.

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Dear everyone who helped me- I found a room! It's a 2* property - Holiday Inn - in Philadelphia (Gloucester-Runnemede-Deptford, NJ), and I got it for $85/night. It's not ideally located - it is in New Jersey - but it is close enough to a PATCO station to be acceptable, and the PATCO train will get me right downtown to Philly where I need to be.

I'll post the win in the appropriate fashion for others to view, but I wanted to say thanks again to the people who posted here for all your help!

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Because of the Penn Relay Races in Philadelphia during my visit, I had a very hard time finding a room. (See my plight here: Last minute trip to Philadelphia)

I've been putting in a series of bids every day for the past four days, and finally won. I'll give you a sense of today's bids; I'm not sure I can remember them all.

I started bidding at $80 on 3* properties in Philadelphia (Downtown), and gradually began expanding my search zone - to the Airport, Stadium, University, and City Line areas - and lowering my standards to 2* properties. I was rejected at $90, $100, and $110 in all of these areas. I added Philadelphia (Cherry Hill-Mount Laurel) but dropped my price down to $70 and was rejected. Then I added Philadelphia (Gloucester-Runnemede-Deptford, NJ) and bumped my price to $85 and was accepted. Bid info is below. And thanks again to everyone who gave me helpful suggestions.

Your Offer Price: $85.00

Number of Rooms: 1

Number of Nights: 3

Subtotal: $255.00

Taxes and Service Fees: $45.98

Total Charges*: $300.98

Next time I go to Philadelphia I'll make sure the city isn't expecting thousands of high school track athletes.

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