Priceline Hotel: 3* Harrisonburg Four Points cheaper direct

By iahphx,

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Perhaps another sign that the golden age of priceline is over. Needed this property for a weekend in June, looked at the hotel website and it looked wide open. Bid $40, which (according to another message board) has been repeatedly successful. Rejected.

Called Sheraton direct -- told them I had a half off coupon (the usually worthless ones Starwood sends out, and I suspect the Entertainment 50% off rate would net the same). Viola -- $39.50 + tax (saving me the $5.95 priceline fee, too).

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I think this is just more evidence that consumers need to be educated as far as what other offers are avialable. (kudos to you for doing your homework)

Perhaps what we're seeing is some hotels willing to discount their rates more (for direct customers) do to the weak economy. I think that Priceline still offers great savings in most areas, especially major metro areas. Once the economy rebounds and the hotel industry gets stronger, i would expect them to stop discounting their prices as much as they are now. Look at how the airfare savings via Priceline have just about dried up completely (not that i am a fan of their airfare product). This too will probably change once pricing power comes back to the airline industry.

It's also possible, that along with their new interface of combining taxes and fees, there's a new algorithm in effect and they're requiring bids at more than their cost. (look at the higher bids now required for the Miami Hyatt... $27 rejected but $38 accepted)

I'm still hoping that Hotwire begins to get more competitive with Priceline so we have more options. Unfortunately, it seems as if they're getting more competitive by Priceline raising their prices, rather than Hotwire lowering theirs!

I think Hotwire should be using this as an oportunity to gain market share by offering a coupon/discount of some sort (Hotwire, are you listening?)

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

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I have seen mention elsewhere that some of the bigger hotel chains have recntly put more sophisticated sifwtare in place to track occupancy trends and do forecasting, in part as a way to regain some direct booking for business that was going to PL. I think the bargains will continue to appear but may be less abundant than in the past. I just about always check HW and at least two other sources plus a direct booking site or two before bidding. Sometimes I can't get the deal I want on PL but someone else comes through. As long as I can travel for less.... that's what it's all about!

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Another factor here is that Four Points is running a major summer weekends sale (the "Celebrate Summer Sale") - I received a direct e-mail and it is also on their website.

Note that the sale says "from $49" but in past Starwood-brand promos there are always some properties that are lower tan the stated minimum. The advantage besides the price, of course, is that these rates earn StarPoints :)


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  • 2 years later...

I returned to this property after 2 years. Again, I bid up to $40 on priceline and was rejected. This time I used a Starwood weekend reward which cost only 2000 points. Dirt cheap, given that the weekend rate on the hotel was over $90.

FWIW, I believe Priceline still characterizes this as a 3 star hotel. That would be inaccurate. While there are some nicer rooms in the Tower section, most of the ordinary rooms (which is what they'll likely give you as a priceline customer) are in pretty sorry shape, and in need of rehabilitation. I would classify these rooms as being 2 star at best. I would certainly not want to pay over $50 for such a room. Above that price point, you'd be better shopping around, such as at roomsaver.com, where you can get one of the newer hotels in town (like the Sleep Inn) for about that price.

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