KBKBKB

Hotwire Hotel: San Fran Union Square East 4*

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Betterbidding,

My target: Union Square East, 4*, Amenities: Restaurant, Fitness, Hi-Speed Internet, Business

Recommended in 80% of customer reviews

$106 per night for August 2010

According to the boards the most likely possibilities are:

Westin market street

Grand Hyatt San Francisco

Hotel Palomar San Francisco

Parc 55

I'd be pleasantly surprised by the Palomar and unpleasantly surprised by the Parc 55. Does anyone know which of the 4 is most likely? The new calandar had a lot of Westin wins last August, but I'm not sure that's indicative of anything.

I promise to use the betterbidding HOTWIRE link and post the hotel I get in return for your help!

Kevin

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Welcome to BetterBidding, KBKBKB.

What August dates were you searching when you found this? Were you searching 2 adults/0 children?

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Welcome to BetterBidding, KBKBKB.

What August dates were you searching when you found this? Were you searching 2 adults/0 children?

7 August to 15 August, 2 adults.

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I'm seeing a 4/5 tripadvisor rating on the detail page for the listing. That wouldn't match the Palomar, wouldn't match the Grand Hyatt, but would match the Westin and Parc 55.

Please use the site's HOTWIRE or PRICELINE links to start your purchases and searches.

EXCLUSIVELY at BetterBidding:
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(click here) and use promo code: BBDEC19
(Priceline Express or PrePaid Hotels / 3+ stars / 2+ nites / expires 12/31/2019)


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I'd be pleasantly surprised by the Palomar and unpleasantly surprised by the Parc 55.

If you don't want the Parc 55 you could bid for a 4* in Priceline's USE or SOMA-Moscone zones. Parc 55 is in USE on HOTWIRE but on PRICELINE it's in USW.

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If you don't want the Parc 55 you could bid for a 4* in Priceline's USE or SOMA-Moscone zones. Parc 55 is in USE on HOTWIRE but on PRICELINE it's in USW.

Thanks! What price in the range of $90 to $115 would you suggest I bid on Priceline?

Kevin

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I don't know if Priceline has inventory for August yet, and an 8-night stay can be difficult to win.

If you're ready to commit to a nonrefundable purchase now though you might as well try.

I'd suggest starting low, like at $70, and using rebid zones to bid in steps up to $115 (or whatever is your limit).

Someone can offer a more detailed bidding strategy if you like but first:

Are USE and SOMA-Moscone equally acceptable to you? Or would you like to bid up to your limit in SOMA-Moscone first (to improve your chances of winning Palomar), and then if rejected in SOMA-Moscone bid up to your limit in USE?

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I don't know if Priceline has inventory for August yet, and an 8-night stay can be difficult to win.

Are USE and SOMA-Moscone equally acceptable to you? Or would you like to bid up to your limit in SOMA-Moscone first (to improve your chances of winning Palomar), and then if rejected in SOMA-Moscone bid up to your limit in USE?

I think USE is preferrable in general, I just like the Palomar itself. Are there many bad 4* hotels in USE that you happen to know of?

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Westin St Francis and Grand Hyatt are the only reported 4* in USE. New or unreported hotels can come up at any time, but not likely in this zone.

If WSF or GH are okay and you want a USE Priceline strategy let us know your bidding limit.

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I'm surprised you haven't used Priceline before, KBKBKB. You talk Priceline like an old pro.

Do you already understand about rebidding and how to find your rebid zones?

You've got five rebid zones for 4* in SF. You need to know how to identify the five zones in order to execute a bid strategy. Your trip isn't til August so there's some time to figure it out.

I'll look for the link with the info.

Also what are the Westin St Francis and Grand Hyatt rates for your dates? You should check a few rates before you bid because the hotel websites, or another site like Orbitz or Expedia, might have a better deal than Priceline. Until you see some rates you don't what number you're trying to beat on Priceline.

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Have you already purchased plane tickets?

If you haven't a Flight + Hotel package might be worth looking into. Sometimes the hotel rates in packages are competitive with Priceline rates and you'll know in advance what hotel you're buying.

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I wouldn't mind trying PRICELINE for the first time. I think the upper limit is around 115 for those hotels.

Did you want to bid for a 4* hotel in USE, USW... or whichever is less expensive between the two?

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

EXCLUSIVELY at BetterBidding:
5% OFF PRICELINE COUPON
(click here) and use promo code: BBDEC19
(Priceline Express or PrePaid Hotels / 3+ stars / 2+ nites / expires 12/31/2019)


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

Want to know if Rates Drop?? Get alerts at RateDrop.com

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Have you already purchased plane tickets?

If you haven't a Flight + Hotel package might be worth looking into. Sometimes the hotel rates in packages are competitive with Priceline rates and you'll know in advance what hotel you're buying.

I have not done plane tickets so I looked at Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. Expedia seems to have some decent deals. They have good flight times on Frontier + Galleria Place for $826, Parc 55 for $854 per person, including taxes and fees. Assuming $350 (based on separate searches) for the flight and considering taxes and fees for the hotel to be 15% that would be about 103 per night for the GP, and 109 per night for the Parc 55. That's about the same as Hotwires $106, which could get me either the Parc 55 or Westin (which is slightly preferable to me).

The question to me then becomes cancellation fees. I know I can't cancel Hotwire and I really don't plan on changing trip dates, but...life happens. Does anyone know much about Expedia's cancellation policy for the hotel/flight combos?

Overanalysis!

Kevin

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There should be fine print regarding cancelation policy on Expedia - for a flight/hotel combo, I'm guessing that it would not be refundable - although the details should be posted on the check-out portion of the website.

EXCLUSIVELY at BetterBidding:
5% OFF PRICELINE COUPON
(click here) and use promo code: BBDEC19
(Priceline Express or PrePaid Hotels / 3+ stars / 2+ nites / expires 12/31/2019)


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I believe Expedia's cancellation polciy is friendlier than the Hotwire and Priceline ones (see bottom of post). I think I have a good understanding of the quality-of-hotel per dollar vs. ease of cancellation for hotwire/priceline, traditional web travel agents (Expedia, Travelocity, etc.) and direct purchases from hotels/airlines. I'm going to mull this over a bit.

I'm having fun with this game, thanks for all your help!

Kevin

Expedia's Vacation Package Cancellation Policy:

"Different cancellation and change rules apply to each vacation package. Factors include whether a flight was purchased (and, if so, which flight); how many days prior to the departure you are attempting to make the change or cancellation; and which hotel, rental car, and/or attractions were included. Most vacation packages cannot be cancelled but can be changed for a $50 change fee, plus all additional supplier fees and penalties.

If your vacation package includes a flight, keep in mind that most economy/coach class flights have an airline-imposed penalty fee of $150 or more per passenger for changes and cancellations, plus any applicable increase in the fare. Tickets are nonrefundable, but can be applied (for a limited time) toward future travel with a vacation package, less any applicable penalties."

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When I suggested a package I meant a package deal on a hotel where you want to stay. A good package deal at Parc 55 doesn't help since you don't want to stay there. Can you find a package deal at the Palomar or another hotel that you prefer?

If you don't locate a package are you still interested in trying PRICELINE for a 4* in USE?

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Expedia vacation packages are usually pretty good to spell out and identify when the hotel portion of the package is non-refundable. If the package contains a refundable hotel rate, then I believe you're entitled to a refund on that component of the package. As for the air portion, since 99% of airlines tickets are non-refundable, that penalty remains even if purchased as a package. You can take the value of the airline tickets, however, and after paying the airline's penalty, take whatever value is left over and apply to a future ticket within a year the original ticket was issued.

If you didn't notice it already, KBKBKB, Expedia shows the breakdown air vs hotel if you click on the 'total price' icon in the box at the top right hand corner of each display in their vacation packages. That way you can see exactly what you're paying for air, and what you're paying for the hotel.

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Thanks Colfax and BEAV,

Colfax: The PARC 55 at a lower price and that is refundable is ok with me, it just wasn't a good deal to me from HOTWIRE because of my slight dislike of it.

BEAV, you're right, almost all of the Expedia packages had refundable hotel stays. Is the leftover value from the plane ticket tied to the airline or Expedia?

I looked at the breakdown and read about when to buy airline tickets and think I'll wait until April to make this purchase (if you disagree feel free to let me know, I'm still in learning mode for vacationing). The main advice I am basing that on is from Rick Seaney who says that 4 months before the trip is the best time to look at airfare based on looking at lots of data.

Thanks for all your help!

Kevin

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After you take away the air fare portion from the total package price, the remaining value is tied to Expedia for the hotel portion of the package. If there was a dollar amount discount for buying air & hotel together as a package, the amount of the discount belongs to the hotel portion of the package. I don't believe any of the discount for buying as a package is tied to the air fare. In other words, I don't believe the airline is giving any "break" on their part of the package. You are buying regular airline tickets at today's air fares. Any discount for buying as a package is a rate cut on the hotel portion.

And I would agree with Rick Seaney as the supposed rule of thumb is not to buy domestic airline tickets more than four months in advance. One thing I have noticed, however, in researching Expedia's vacation packages is that one day you'll notice a substantial discount for a certain hotel (like at Parc 55, for example), but when you revisit a week later that discount may be gone (but available at yet a different hotel than last week at Parc 55). So even though it may seem early to buy now for August, if the discount for booking together as a package is at a hotel you'd like to stay at, you might want to reconsider holding off until later to purchase. There's no guarantee that a discount for buying a package at the Ritz will be there next week when you look again.

Slightly off topic, however I learned something new yesterday about Expedia packages when my Sister told me she had just purchased a package (air + hotel) to London and Paris in July. She did not have to pay the full package price up front when booking, but rather just a deposit, with the balance due 30 days before departure. It turns out, what Expedia called the "deposit" was in reality the air fare portion of the package (which makes sense). The balance (the hotel portion) is due 30 days before departure. Up until learning that, I just always assumed you had to pay for a package in full upon booking. You may have the same experience if you were to buy a package now for August.

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When you're ready to purchase, KBKBKB, please let us know what you decide.

Did you make note of the lowest airfare currently available? It will be interesting to see if Seaney's got it right and airfare for your August dates comes down in April.

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