What were your best Priceline bargains?

By lwitchel,

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I'm just curious about people's success stories.

My best are probably

My first bid on Priceline in mid 2000 when they offered crazy promotions, like $25/night credits. I stayed at the Sheraton Towers in Seattle for 3 nights for $77 total.

London, October '03. The Marriott Marble Arch for 2 nights at $65 per night (used a $10/night bonus) - total of $81 a night. My parents were staying at the St. James Club for close close to four times the cost. My room was just as nice.

Brussels, May '04. The Renaissance Brussels for about $60 total for a night. A lot of luxury on the cheap.

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Back in the PL/UK bonus days ... I booked 13 nights in small blocks at the Hilton Garden Inn Oakbrook, Il for an average of $8 a night with tax (bid 3 pounds)

With a mistake on Expedia way back ... I booked the Stratosphere for a buck or two.

The best best best deal which remarkably is still going has to be the Hyatt Regency on the Hudson for $37.

................................ahhhhh Priceline :) :) :o

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The Westin Santa Clara for $30 during 2001-02. Even though it was the bottom of the dotcom bust, published rates there were still in the $200s on workdays.

The Grand Hyatt in downtown Seattle for $40 during the summer, also back in 2002. Back then, tons of downtown 4* Westins and Hyatts were going for about that much on weekends all over the country, but this one sticks out.

In the days of the $20/night American Express bonus, sub-$10 bids were commonplace.

Internationally, I nailed the Zurich Marriott once for some $60 or $61 for March dates.

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The golden age of priceline is definitely over. With the dot com bubble over, I guess they had to make it a real business. :)

That said, it's still pretty good. I'd hate to have to go back the bad old days when hotel expenses were the back-breaking burden of leisure travel. Even without priceline, though, I think the internet guarantees some sort of hotel "deals" will exist, at least in the larger markets.

Back in the bubble years, I stayed at the Marriott Camelback Resort in Scottsdale on priceline for $25/night. I remember we cut short our visit to the Grand Canyon (no priceline!) to return for more cheap pampering at the Camelback. We thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Looks like we were right!

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My best deal may be in the works - as I mentioned elswhere on the board, I got the U.S. Grant in San Diego for late August for $40 at 3*. The place is going to close in a couple of weeks for renovations and is supposed to reopen July 4th after morphing into a 5* Starwood Luxory Collection hotel. Strangely, it looks like there's still Priceline availability at $40 for dates through the end of the year.

Other than that, I would definately agree that I've gotten my best deals at the Hyatt JC.

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One of our best buys was the Hyatt Tamaya in New Mexico. It was near Albuquerque (hope I spelled that right) on the Santa Ana Pueblo. This hotel is stunningly beautiful, built like a big Adobe structure with sculptures and immaculate grounds. We stayed for 8 nights with Priceline, the first 5 nights at $69 and the other 3 at $74 over the 4th of July week 2003.

Our room was well appointed with many touches of the Southwest, such as a Native American wall-hanging, dark brown leather headboards, and even a stone shelf in the bathroom which resembled a drum. The room itself was fairly average and simple, but it was the Southwestern accents that made it special.

They had free activities to sign up for like baking bread with the Pueblo women and free bikes to rent. There was storytelling and horseback riding for a fee. There were 3 or 4 pools and a big waterslide. We loved this place.

If I had it to do over again, we would have stayed maybe just 5 nights and stayed the other nights in Santa Fe or somewhere else. We did most everything there was to do in 5 days and would have probably enjoyed moving on to something else those other days. But lounging by the pool is pretty wonderful too.

Pomcoach :)

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I knew some day all my old receipts would come in handy--to go down memory lane! This was from Feb. 2002, the good old days. $28 for the Residence Inn in Anaheim, by Disneyland. Given a 1 bedroom upstairs suite (2 beds in the bedroom + sofabed), full kitchen, living room with fireplace, dining room, balcony overlooking the pool. Free parking right below the room, free shuttle to Disneyland, free breakfast for everyone. Even at that time the room went for $179. Sadly, we don't see this property coming up on PL any more.

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  • 4 weeks later...

That said, it's still pretty good. I'd hate to have to go back the bad old days when hotel expenses were the back-breaking burden of leisure travel. Even without priceline, though, I think the internet guarantees some sort of hotel "deals" will exist, at least in the larger markets.

I'm relatively new to Priceline as I was skeptical about whether you actually got cheap deals. Once I started reading this board and TOBB, I realised that the hotels being offered were good hotels and at great rates.

My experience in Europe is that the PL rate that I get is not the cheapest accommodation that I could stay in. However, for the same price as a lower quality, not well located hotel, I can stay in a 4* name brand hotel in a good location. That is the bargain/benefit of Priceline.

From my experience (bidding in San Francisco, SFO airport, Napa, Sonoma, Paris, Budapest) I think it is safe to say, that if you are comparing prices for a particular hotel, PL almost always is cheaper than any other online rate. Where it might only be marginally cheaper is when you compare it to airfare/hotel packages.

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Add me to the fans of the deals at the Hyatt Regency on the Hudson in Jersey City, NJ. Over Christmas, I obtained a rate of $37 a night for this 3* hotel, which opened in 2002. This March, my brother will be staying there for $48 a night. The hotel's web site is offering special rates for prepaid rooms at $219 for the same period, $229 if you don't want to prepay. The hotel is beautiful with spectacular views of NYC. And it has such easy access to NYC via the PATH subway that you feel like you're actually staying in Manhattan.



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On my very first Priceline bid I received the Renaissance Skydome, in Toronto, for my initial bid of $50, 2 rooms. I read up on the hotel and knew that they had rooms which "looked into" the Skydome. So when we checked in my husband laid on the Southern charm and got us upgraded to the Club level. He jokingly asked the friendly clerk about the Skydome rooms and she put our 3 teens in one of those rooms. They typically went, at that time, for $300+. they have to see parts of 2 different baseball games and even saw themselves on t.v., looking out of the room. We have always received great view rooms, just for the asking. My husband looks for the clerk with the smile and takes it from there. It is sort of like winning the lottery. Some of my favorites:

$34 at the Westin-Houston Galleria- Christmas 2002-just before it was upgraded from 3-4* but after

all of the renovations were done. I think the valet parking was more expensive than the room.

$75 at the JW Marriott Washington D.C.-Easter 2003-last minute, the hotel was sold out but we still l

managed a view of the Washington Monument

$79 at the Venetian just before Memorial Day 2002-a strip view and one of the rooms a double/double

$75 at the like new St. Louis Renaissance-New Years 2003

$60 at the Hyatt in San Antonio-New Years 2002-with a view of the Alamo

$50 at the Renaissance in Sonoma-one of the all time best rooms even though only a 3*

We are so spoiled that it is almost painful when we have to pay a normal discounted rate at a hotel because of a convention or because Priceline is not available. After our Hawaii trip next month ($139 for the Waikiki Mariott) our next Priceline trip is to New York and after checking the Manhatten hotel rates, even on Priceline, we decided to stay at one of the board favorites, the Hyatt in Jersey City. Hopefully our luck will hold out and we will love it as much as others do. I fear, however, that we will not see the wonderful bargains of the past again. Many of my favorites no longer seem to participate in Priceline, or, if they do, their rates are much higher. Hotels also don't seem to give far reaching inventory to Priceline as many of my best deals were booked months in advance. I've been trying for Philadelphia for Memorial Day weekend with no luck, so far.

I am so greateful for boards like this one and for the great vacations we have had-thanks to lots of research and luck!

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Based on my Priceline cost compared to the lowest rate available it would have to be the Omni Golf Resort in Tucson. $75 for a $300 room gives me a savings of $225. :)

I just won another bid for the Omni for $45 a night but it is during the off season so the regular rate drops to $119. Still a great deal. :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

$9 ($20 AMEX bonus) for the Sheraton San Marcos resort in Chandler AZ. As an SPG Platinum member, my wife and I received a huge cheese/cracker plate as our amenity...they must have had leftovers from catering. Our second $9 stay got us a bottle of wine and a fruit plate. The rooms at the property were nothing to write home about, but for $9 (+$20 from AMEX) I'm sure they still lost money on us.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Millenium broadway in Times Square New York. 4* hotel

We stayed on the 50th floor in a corner room that overlooked times square. The guy at the front desk who checked us in was very nice and from MA, so we got to talking and he ended up upgrading us for FREE to a deluxe room!!! MTV and the center of Timesquare were right below us, You could even see the river from that high! Fantastic room and views from two sides since we were on the corner of the building. Very high class hotel. Surprised it was a 4 star.

I paid $105 a night!! May 28- June 1 2003

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  • 2 weeks later...
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