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Scorp

Priceline Hotel: 3* Doubletree Guest Suites Santa Monica

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Doubletree Guest Suites Santa Monica

Check-In Date: Saturday, March 8, 2003

Check-Out Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Santa Monica & Marina Del Rey

1707 Fourth Street

Santa Monica, California 90401

310-395-3332

Your Offer Price: $70.00

Number of Rooms: 1

Number of Nights: 4

Subtotal: $280.00

Taxes: $33.76

Processing Fee: $5.95

Total Charges: $319.71

Tax rate of 12.05% suggests Priceline paid $70.

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Well.... I was really encouraged by your post and just placed a bid for a 3* in Santa Monica for $70.... REJECTED :-( ... bummer!

I am not going there until May, so I still have lots of time. Should I just keep re-bidding the same amount every three days in the hopes of getting it??? I am only looking for one night's stay (but it's a Sat.).

JB

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What's the date in May?

Need to compare the rates for the dates above through conventional means (like Oribitz, Expedia above, or the hotel website) and compare them to the rate for date you need. This way can compare if perhaps there is seasonal type pricing in the area or if perhaps there is some special even taking place on the dates that you need which would imply higher prices.

If rates are the same (or similar), then it could just be that Priceline doesn't have any access to inventory right now and i'd continue to try the same $70 bid amount for a few weeks. Not a bad idea to book a fully cancellable back-up in the meantime as well, just so you don't feel any pressure if your bids are rejected for a few cycles.

Keep us updated how it goes. Of course, if finding out the above info raises any additional questions, feel free to ask!

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Just realized the OP's dates already passed (which would make knowing the hotel's rate for those nites tough), so i checked for this Saturday and next Saturday at the hotel's website and the best rate was $189.

I then checked for Saturday nites in May and got the following:

5/3 $189

5/10 $189

5/17 $239

5/24 $199

I would suspect that "something" is happening in town that is resulting in increased demand for the 17th. If that is indeed the date you're looking for, then i would think at this point it would take a slightly higher bid.

If this is the hotel you were "hoping" for on the 17th, i would keep an eye on their rates at their website and if you see a drop in price (even if it isn't all the way down to $189) i would immediately attempt to bid again.

On the otherhand, if you don't need May 17th, i would think your rejection may just be due to lack of inventory and i would continue to try to bid it <frequently>.

Also, regarding you needing a Saturday nite... the Orignal Poster's stay included a saturday nite, so i wouldn't be concerned about that aspect of it.

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Hmm... I do believe the going rate at the hotel was about that amount ($189) for my dates as well. My winning bid was actually placed at the end of January, so I did bid and win some weeks before my stay.

I wonder if a slightly higher bid ($75) might get it, else I wonder if there is a minimum stay requirement for weekends (i.e. I did check in on a Saturday, but the stay was for 4 nights).

I have to tell you I really enjoyed this hotel! I thought they treated me really well, the staff were friendly and efficient, and I loved my two-room suite and its pleasant and comfortable furnishings. While the hotel does not have much of a view, it is a short walk to beaches, shopping, restaurants and bus stops (if you don't want/need a car). And Santa Monica is such a cool place!

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Oooops! Sorry... I should have been more specific in my post. Your research posted above matches mine... lowest rate for that night is $189. The date in question is 5/3.

I really don't want to go much above $70 - $75 because there is also a charge for parking. I'll keep trying for a while. If I can't get anything in Santa Monica, I'll probably try for a hotel near LAX, which I can probably get for MUCH less, since it is only for the one night.

One other question. Does anyone have any experience with 2 1/2* hotels in the Santa Monica area?

And yes, Scorp, I was hoping to get the Doubletree.

Thanks so much for your responses.

JB

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I suspect the 2 1/2* property is the Courtyard by Marriott Marina Del Rey/LAX. If you look at the Priceline map of this zone, it looks like it might include this section of Marina Del Rey. Take a look and tell me what you think...

Courtyard by Marriott Marina Del Rey/LAX

13480 Maxella Avenue

Marina Del Rey, California, United States, 90292

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Hi Scorp...

I did look at the map but to be honest, I am not at all familiar with Los Angeles so I'm not sure where that property is. I have about 24 hrs. in LA before I join a tour, and I'd like to poke around Santa Monica. If I can get a room there at what i feel is a reasonable price, that would be great. If not, LAX is not really that far from Santa Monica and I will have a rental car.

Since it is only for one night, I am not that fussy about amenities.... just want it to be clean and safe!

JB

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I understand!

If you look at Priceline's zone map for Santa Monica/Marina Del Rey, I think the Courtyard by Marriott would be located in the lower right section of the map, by highway 90 and just above where it says Marina Del Rey, so I am guessing that it might be the 2 1/2* property for that zone.

It might be a good choice for you, because parking is free and it is still only 3 or 4 miles from the Santa Monica Pier, I believe. You would be sort of half-way between LAX and Santa Monica itself.

I am only guessing, but I would try bidding for that one around $40 and would expect to get it for $40 - $50.

Perhaps thereuare has some thoughts also....

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Perhaps thereuare has some thoughts 

Now there's a BIG leap of faith! :)

Hard for me to say since i don't know the area at all, but since called upon....

Most of the Courtyards that i've seen are indeed rated 2.5* by Priceline. It also seems as if the shaded region of the map was intentionally drawn with that hook on the bottom right. Would seem more intuitive to have a straight line running parallel to Washington Blvd (or at the very least, cover the entire water area with shade). So i would agree that the map was probably drawn that way to include some hotel in that area.... whether or not that is the Courtyard it would be tough to say without knowing the area.

Also, it doesn't look like there are any re-bid zones for this area, so if i was looking to go for this hotel i would give myself plenty of 72 hour periods ahead of my planned stay. If you'd be just as happy at LAX, i would keep that in mind and make sure you don't overbid this area, as the LAX zone can get pretty cheap (3* for $32+/nite)

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Thanks so much to both of you for your advice.... it is really helpful to me. Since I am not leaving for another 6 weeks, I have a lot of 72 hr segments to play with!

Just to clarify, you think I should try around $40 for a 2 1/2* in SANTA MONICA, right?

I'm keeping the LAX area as a sort of 'last resort' option (maybe the last week) as I know I can get it somewhere in the $30+ region (plus parking, of course).

JB

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Well, if it were me, I would go for the 2 1/2 * in Santa Monica because it might end up costing half the amount of the Doubletree, once you include parking charges. The Doubletree is a decent hotel, but for only one night (and since you will have a car) I think you will get more value for your money at a 2 1/2 * and I personally would be quite happy with a Courtyard by Marriott. To me, it would appeal more to stay in Marina Del Rey, just south of Santa Monica, than at the LAX properties.

To clarify the zone, I am referring to Priceline's "Santa Monica & Marina Del Rey" zone which is contained within the city/area of Los Angeles. (Santa Monica and at least some of Marina Del Rey are BOTH contained within this zone.) There might be another hotel at this level right in Santa Monica but I agree that the zone looks 'stretched' to accomodate a property in the area of the Courtyard (which Marriott calls the Courtyard by Marriott Marina Del Rey/LAX, but Priceline divides up the zones in its own way....)

I am guessing about the actual hotel and the winning bid amount, of course. But others do agree that the Marriott Courtyards are usually 2 1/2*. I think I would start bidding at $40, but you do have some time to play with....

I'll be very interested to find out how things go for you!

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Well... the saga continues. I did bid $40 for a 2 1/2* in Santa Monica and was rejected. Today, I again tried for a 3* in Santa Monica for 5/3, with a bid of $72. I got the following message in return:

We searched hundreds of options to find your hotel room, however we were not able to find a hotel that would accept your price for $72 per room, per night. If you are willing to raise your price by $22, you can try the same request again right now. 

Normally you are required to change additional items (add zones, star level, or dates) in order to try your request again. However we are able to extend this one-time opportunity to you because of the zone, quality level and dates you requested.

So, I upped my bid to $75, and immediately got this:

Please increase your price by at least $22.

I've gotten the counter offer in the past, but never a simple refusal to consider anything but their counter offer.

At this point, I will just keep bidding either $70 or $72 for a 3*.

JB

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I think if you want to bid lower than their counter offer, you need to start the bid over again from scratch and use a re-bid zone. If i recall, you don't have any rebids in this area, so if $75 is acceptable to you i would by all means try it again in 72 hours.

However, just a reminder to NOT get wrapped up in the bidding process... you always have the LAX zone as a back-up if you need it. :)

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Also, keep in mind that there are other 3* hotels in the Santa Monica zone. The Holiday Inn has also come up recently and personally I do not think it is nearly as nice a hotel as the Doubletree. Although it is a bit closer to some shopping areas or the Pier, it also seems to be in a very busy and noisy spot. And it charges for parking also. And looks more 'dated.' And the rooms do not look as nice.

Depends what is most important to you, but I would keep trying for the 2 1/2 * up to $50 or $55 (especially since you may get free parking at this level, while parking will add $10 - $20 on to your cost at the 3*). I didn't want to rent a car while in Santa Monica, so 3* was a better choice for me.

The real problem is that there are no free rebids so you have to balance the choice of upping your bid amount every 72 hours or hoping that Priceline has access to new inventory. But you do have some time... and as thereuare says, there are always those inexpensive LAX properties available (and probably right up until the last minute....)

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Once again, I really appreciate the input from both of you. I also did a search of hotels on the net, just to see what else is there.

The real advantage to me of getting a 3* in Santa Monica is the ability to walk around and not have to worry about where to park when I get there. I think the area gets pretty congested with traffic, particularly on weekends. If I am not successful at getting a 3* right in Santa Monica, then I'll just go for the lower price of LAX hotels.

But time is on my side, and I will just keep submitting my bid every 72 hrs.

JB

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You are so right about traffic congestion! I walked all along the beaches on the Sunday I was there and there was lots of aggressive (honking and gesturing) would-be parkers in the lots adjacent to the beaches.

And everyone leaves about the same time at the end of the day, so it can be a real zoo. But the Santa Monica police are incredible, they come out in force at the busy times and they are very efficient at getting the traffic moving.

Keep in mind that Santa Monica has a very good bus system (Big Blue Bus). And the funny thing is that the #3 route runs from LAX right through Marina Del Rey and then on to all the Santa Monica hotspots. There may be a stop near many of the LAX hotels, there is a stop right near the Courtyard at Marina Del Rey at the intersection of Lincoln Blvd and Maxella. It only costs 75 cents and the drivers are quite friendly and helpful. If you end up at one of the LAX hotels OR the Courtyard at Marina Del Rey, this bus route could be a good option for you.

Check their web site at www.bigbluebus.com or the Greater LA site at www.mta.net (it has a neat trip planner feature).

Thereuare, am I getting too far off the subject of bidding...??? Please feel free to pass my email address on to ufauxreal if he/she would like to contact me directly with any questions. :)

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Thereuare, am I getting too far off the subject of bidding...???

Not at all!!

This website if for users to help other users, and you are providing valuable information <thanks for posting it>.

I was even going to suggest that you put some of this bus info in the "California Tips" section (like a new thread in the same area where the SFO Parking info is) as it may help somebody else down the road. Please feel free to do so if this is a viable bus route that many would take if "they only knew about it."

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(click here) and use promo code: NEW30NEW
($200+ Hot Rate Hotel purchase / NEW CUSTOMERS / expires 2/23/2020)


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