AztecWolverine

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About AztecWolverine

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  1. Hi thereuare...The post above needs to be moved to the San Diego thread... BTW, could you please create new dedicated categories for San Diego Priceline and Hotwire? ...If you create them, they will follow! And then it will become more popular. Also, I wanted to mention a few updates that need to be made to your Priceline Orange County Hotel List... Artesia - La Mirada - La Palma is new...It includes the popular Priceline hotel, the Sheraton Cerritos. I have no idea why they changed the name of the zone... The Irvine zones have changed...We now have a John Wayne Airport (SNA) zone that, BTW, does not include some airport hotels that are in the Newport zone. The Newport zone now stands alone, as does a Huntington zone, and Huntington North now includes Westminster. There is a greyed out Irvine-Tustin zone, and Orange County East zone. No Santa Ana zone. The expanded Angel Stadium zone now includes the dreaded Best Western Meridian, a pitiful hotel that for some reason earned 3 stars. The Ayres Hotel Orange should be 4 stars, but is now lumped in with the BW-M, as a 3 star, along with the Ayres ALO (next door), and the Doubletree An/Or (across street), and the Ayres Hotel Anaheim. I noticed that you told someone that resort fees are prevalent in the Disney area... --that's not really true, though it might seem like it, because so many bidders get the Wyndham/Crowne Plaza and the Red Lion. Both of these hotels do not deserve their 3 1/2 star rating--they are often dirty, worn, and with plumbing and/or A/C problems. I wish Priceline would recognize how many of us won't bid in the Disney area (and many others) because of the unfair advantage that these unworthy hotels share by undercutting their competition by tacking on ridiculous fees. Hotels should be required to include any mandatory resort, hospitality, or parking fees in their acceptable bid amount. I am an expert on many Orange and San Diego County hotels, as well as on San Fran hotels, should you ever have any questions.
  2. Ditto Thereuare's post: "I'd call the hotel again and let them know what you'd like to put in a request for a room with two beds (don't request queens... just two beds). If you're again told that they can't change it, ask if there is a pullout sofabed in the room or what the options are regarding a rollaway brought into the room. Then ask if you can upgrade to a room with two beds for an additional fee." I have stayed at this Hyatt Regency many times. Since you may not be tracking replies at this late date, perhaps thereuare could PM you with my post. The front desk there is always very accomodating, even when you have a priceline res. I would not openly state, however, that you have 4 people (have the rest of your family wait in the car out front...they have a huge lobby, and won't notice later when you have more people, especially if you split up in twos!). As I recall, they are up against some fire regs that limit the number of people to certain rooms. They have two towers, and the room setups are quite different. In the south tower there are many Kings and double bed rooms, but their square footage can be rather small (hence, the fire regs). In the north tower they have many nice kids suites (87/240 rooms), 375 sq ft, which have a separate bunk room for the kids. They used to charge an upgrade fee of $40 to get those rooms, but sometimes they'll upgrade you for free. But with Priceline you can't be sure of availability of anything but a King. A King would probably suit 3 of you, but I'd bring an extra inflatable or foam pad and some bedding for the extra child, just in case you're stuck with a King. Mid-July is a very busy time! To get a better idea of availability I'd check the Hyatt special value dates for groups to see if that week is included or not. If it is not, they may have only limited rooms available. They often have large special event groups on the weekends, too (like weddings, etc.) www.hyatt.com/hyatt/meetings/extra-value-dates/index.jsp ***I would definitely join the free Hyatt Gold Passport member program through their special 800 number - 228-3360 (7-10 cst m-f + limited weekend hours). With this, they used to allow early check-in ON THE PHONE in the AM of your check-in date. At that time they will accomodate your special request for two beds, if they have that room type available. This early check-in once saved us from being booted from a Hyatt hotel (through overbooking) one afternoon in Chicago! The other people in line who were being refused rooms resented the fact that we got one! This hotel is lovely, with two separate pools. If one is too busy, go to the other one. I preferred the ground floor tropical one, but you'll have to walk across the large lobby with your bathing suits on, sometimes through a wedding party, etc., so definitely bring cover-ups and sandals! The Hyatt is my favorite Disney hotel. Their free private shuttle is great and punctual, every half hour (shared with the Crowne Plaza, still?)-- it is not the red public Anaheim ART trolley that most hotels use, that may run late and be overcrowded... For parking I used to always park for free at the Marriott Anaheim Suites next door --12015 Harbor (I'd park in front of the hotel, not in the back, which seemed less safe), and never had any problem, but that is a risk you may not choose to take. Check with their front desk, and make sure their parking is still free + I ask them, "If I'm having guests over, do they need to get a parking permit?", and they have said no in the past -- it is not controlled. The Marriott has a great breakfast buffet. Coco's and Outback Steakhouse are nearby, and good, too. Target is across the street, and very handy. I just checked Tripadvisor, and an employee responded to many comments: Nicole Gravelle, Marketing Manager (714) 750
  3. Gallus50, there is a major problem in using BART from SFO -- it costs $8.10 each way!!!! (I think the SFO unions, taxis, & shuttle services wielded their power on this one). It is much cheaper from the nearby Millbrae and San Bruno stops, but I don't know any hotel shuttles that would take you to those stops. Best alternative I found down there is the Caltrain, which only goes about once an hour, and doesn't have full service on weekend nights. It is only $2.50 each way, and cheaper with an 8 ride book for $17. There are several hotels nearby (within walking distance to) its South San Francisco stop -- Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton, Larkspur Landing, Comfort Suites. Another alternative: There is an inexpensive Travelers Inn just one block from the Colma BART station (8007557973). Is reeshu still out there? Please let us know if you got something!
  4. There is a huge Pediatrician (AAP) convention that starts on the 2nd + it is the last home stand for the SF Giants, and all of their games will be sold out (if they aren't already). The Pediatricians are taking 4500 hotel rooms, and are based at the Marriott Marquis and the InterContinental. They have 15 official hotels, including the Parc 55 (which is now Wyndham, not Renaissance anymore) and the Westin St. Francis. The Parc 55 is also used by visiting ballclubs, including the SD Padres, who are facing the Giants that weekend. Do you know how to do permutational bidding? If you want to find the best Priceline price for that weekend, you'll need to use it. And you'll need to bid all the central areas -- Financial, SOMA, USE + USW. Since you are trying for a room with two beds I would not go below 4* -- in SF you will typically get only one bed at the 3* level, and will not even have room for a rollaway. At 3 1/2* level you might get lucky and get 2 beds, but with the high occupancy that weekend I doubt it. Remember, Priceline only guarantees one bed! Even the Le Meridien only had single-bed (King) rooms left for that weekend when I checked last week. Hotwire will give you two beds when you state that you have 4 people, but I checked Hotwire recently for that weekend, and the pickings were very slim. If you do bid Priceline I'd bring two backpacking inflatable pads to sleep on, in case you can't get two beds. I'd also arrive early in the afternoon to maximize your chances of getting two beds. If you call late the night before your stay, sometimes hotels will assign you a room with two beds, even with a Priceline bid. They won't give you a room # though until you check in. Join whatever frequent stay program your hotel has -- they let you input preferences, and even with a Priceline reservation some hotels will honor your preferences. Omni and Hyatt are great at this.... If your dates are set, and you can't win a reasonable bid, you might consider bidding in Oakland, and selecting two rooms. You can often get two rooms there for less than the price of one room in the City (of San Fran). You can take BART to get back & forth to the City. Since Priceline combined the airport and downtown Oakland areas I don't bid there as much as I used to, because I prefer to stay at the airport. The Hilton is often won there, and they have a shuttle to BART once an hour, and shuttle to the airport every half hour, free of charge. The Park Plaza charges to take you to the BART station (they are nearly across the street from the Hilton). The downtown Oakland hotels are within walking distance of the BART station. Good Luck! Let us know how your bidding goes.... maybe we can help you further. :)
  5. Momtime, please let us know if you're still following this thread... If so, I can post more info since I am an expert on San Diego. :) If two double beds would suffice (you didn't mention ages & gender of children), I HIGHLY recommend trying for the OMNI. The OMNI is an extraordinarily superb hotel, with a MAGNIFICENT pool--the best in the Gaslamp. The outdoor pool is on the 5th or 6th floor and has a wonderful view of the trolley, convention center, the bay, etc. It has big sails on it, and elegant deck furniture. The same level has a very nice gym, bathrooms, and even a part of their baseball historic collection on the walls (also found on two other adjoining floors). The restaurant downstairs, McCormick & Schmicks, is excellent and has wonderful breakfast buffets. If you join Omni's frequent stay program (lots of extra bene's, too) you can specify in quite a bit of detail exactly what type of room you'd like. They pride themselves on their service and can nearly always accomodate you if you check in in the early afternoon....If it were me, I'd ask for a corner King with a view (to the southwest) IF I had fairly young children who could sleep on inflatable mattresses. The rooms are quite spacious and have extraordinary views. One younger child could even sleep with you on the King.... You didn't mention if you have a car or not. Parking is quite expensive downtown, and if you do have a car you might want to take that into account. You can park in the convention center lot for $10/day usually, and save a lot of money. Most hotels in San Diego outside of downtown and Mission Valley do not charge for parking.... Unless there is a big convention in town (check the schedule), a 4 * request downtown through Priceline would get you a great rate, and they would accomodate your request for two beds probably 98% of the time.
  6. ======================================================================== PLEASE DO NOT USE BRET'S DISNEYLAND LODGING LINK MAP, OR THE RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY HIM (DISNEYLANDGUY@YAHOO.COM)!! (http://www.geocities.com/ashpsyche/DisneylandLinkMap.html) Because of his recommendations, and my desire to keep an extended family near the East gate, because of young children who needed naps, we booked several rooms at the Del Sol Inn and the Desert Inn & Suites, next door to each other. They have the same miserable ownership, and the same pitiful conditions. I found giant live cockroaches in my Del Sol room two nights in a row, and brought them, alive in a cup, to the front desk. The best they could do was take $40 off of our final bill (of about $240). Next door at the Desert Inn & Suites, our guests found unspeakable things under the bed, and stuck on the wall. The mattresses were filthy and extremely uncomfortable. The door lock was broken and they wanted to wait until the next day to fix it. Only after persistent and firm protests did they finally agree that it was indeed a safety issue, and wouldn't wait until the next day. The AC didn't work well, the elevator was awful, dirty, and crowded, and the pool & jacuzzi was jammed with screaming kids and an outrageous amount of chlorine. The fumes were overwhelming. The continental breakfast was a joke. We only stayed there because of the location, and we really lived to regret it. It was a very busy time at Disney, and rooms were expensive, but no one could pay us to ever go back to these two hotels. It would be better to get one room at the Candy Cane for nap taking, since they have their own private air conditioned shuttle every half hour, and then get the other rooms on the outskirts of Disney -- Knott's, Cerritos, La Mirada, Fullerton, John Wayne Airport vicinity, etc. This is assuming that Priceline rooms are unavailable below $70, and you have budget minded travelers. The John Wayne Airport vicinity hotels (on Dyer sp?) are great buys and charge far less in hotel taxes. So if you need multiple rooms multiple days in high season you can save a bundle by staying there. And the hotels I've stayed in there have pools, too. The drive is only about 20 minutes, as I recall. Note that though I wrote to Bret and shared our terrible experiences with him, he NEVER adjusted his high recommendations of these two hotels one iota. In fact, he still recommends them highly!! I, for one, AM CONVINCED he gets kickbacks from these hotels. I hate to admit that his map IS useful when trying to find hotels close to Disney, but it cuts off numerous hotels to the south that Priceline bidders often get (the Hyatt Regency Orange County, and the Crowne Plaza, for ex.). These two hotels share a private shuttle bus, which is very rare in the Disney area, and they run every half hour, just like the Candy Cane. Because they are private, the shuttles run like clockwork, unlike the red Anaheim shuttles, and they are rarely crowded. The slight inconvenience of having to plan your timing, and wait for one at the shuttle area, is nothing compared to the horrendous experience of staying in a proximate flea-bag hotel. The only hotel near the east gate area that I would stay in, because it is within walking distance of Disney, is the Fairfield. Nice rooms with two beds + nice small sofa bed and frig. Great value for families, if you can fit into one room, though the pool is relatively small for the size of the hotel, and it can get crowded and noisy... Note that many of the rooms at the Candy Cane can be cramped.
  7. To get current list: go to Hyatt.com, click on Meetings & Events, choose Meeting Special Offers, Under Dividends choose Extra Value Dates. Then click on "all available dates," and you'll get a list of all Hyatts that participate (even international sites like in Mexico, Jordan, China, Thailand, and Australia, etc.). Below are the current low season dates for both the Hyatt Regency Orange County, and the Hyatt Regency Irvine -- another popular Priceline hotel for Disney proximity, with very good Priceline rates. Note that the HROC has been upgraded to 3.5*. The HRIrvine is rated 4*. NOTE: Bids have been won recently for $41-45 for the HROC, $55-65 for the HRNewport Beach, and $55-64 for the HRIrvine. Hyatt Regency Orange County 11999 Harbor Blvd., Los Angeles, California ****NOTE: HOTEL IS NOT IN LA -- I believe it is in Anaheim, just a stone's throw north of Garden Grove.***** Hotel Information Extra Value Dates June 1-9 , 2008 Aug 17-20 , 2008 Sep 1-13 , 2008 Sep 18-22 , 2008 Sep 26-30 , 2008 Oct 1-11 , 2008 Nov 1-5 , 2008 Dec 7-31 , 2008 Apr 1-12 , 2009 May 3-16 , 2009 July 5-18 , 2009 Aug 1-18 , 2009 Sep 11-20 , 2009 Oct 11-18 , 2009 Oct 22-31 , 2009 Dec 1-31 , 2009 Hyatt Regency Irvine 17900 Jamboree Road, Orange County, California Hotel Information Extra Value Dates July 1-6 , 2008 Sep 1-4 , 2008 Nov 23-26 , 2008 Dec 21-28 , 2008 Jan 1-4 , 2009 Apr 9-12 , 2009 May 25-28 , 2009 July 1-5 , 2009 Sep 7-10 , 2009 Nov 22-25 , 2009 Dec 20-27 , 2009
  8. If this is the Holiday Inn Express SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN, at 1430 SEVENTH AVE., we had some very disgruntled family members who stayed there last December. Though the hotel knew that they would be having a water outage the first morning of our family's stay, they did not notify them in advance, giving them a chance to get another hotel. As it was, our family arrived late at night, and had planned on sleeping in in the morning to recuperate from jet lag. They were forced, however, to wake early before the 8 AM water shutoff. And the hotel was a funky old motel that even the greatest renovation in the world can't transform. The street noise and postage stamp pool are pitiful. It is right next to Ash Street, one of the busiest streets downtown during rush hours -- it leads right to the 163. I noticed that right now the pool is under renovation. If you were counting on that amenity, and Hotwire listed it, you might have an out. For me, I think there are much better options. The Courtyard Old Town is a nice property, and though they don't have a complimentary breakfast, they do have a reasonably priced breakfast buffet that is quite good. And you can park for free on the street adjoining the property to the south (also to the north). The Holiday Inn charges $14/day, and there are no free parking options downtown. The Courtyard is a MUCH higher quality hotel, and you can take the trolley to Downtown if that's where you need to be. Just a 5-10 min. walk from the hotel.... The rooms are decorated nicely, and you can request a courtyard facing room the night before. The rooms facing the freeway are insulated very well, and have not been a problem in the past. We have gotten the hotel many times for $50, bidding in the Point Loma...Old Town zone. The Courtyard was just upgraded to a 3*, and the 2 competitive hotels at that level are much more expensive, so you are likely to get the Courtyard. Other good choices are the 3 or 3.5* hotels in Mission Valley, if you have a car. For $70/night we just got the Doubletree Mission Valley, which is a lovely hotel. And though they say there is a parking fee, you can park in the adjoining Hazard Center parking garage for free -- just move your car once a day so as not to stand out... :) (The Doubletree simply cordons off an area of this very same parking garage...)
  9. SAN DIEGO bidding has been transformed with the new 3.5*classification. I used to avoid Mission Valley 3* bidding because I didn't want to get either the Holiday Inn Stadium, which is really next to I-15 in Murphy Canyon, and I didn't want the Handlery, which is now rated 2.5*. Now we can bid 3.5*, and get options of the Hilton, Marriott or Doubletree Hotels, all good properties. We just won a bid for $70 at the Doubletree for Nov. 3-5. For the Point Loma-Shelter Island-Old Town zone, we can now bid 3 Stars and get the option of the Shelter Pointe, Humphreys, or my old inexpensive favorite, the Courtyard Old Town, without risking getting the Best Western. For the Downtown zone, both the 3 and 3.5* zones have good options, with no standout bad hotels, though I'm not crazy about the Holiday Inn on the Bay (my father, who is a steel structural engineer, said it would probably be one of the first structures to fail in San Diego during a big earthquake, because of pancaking and liquifaction. But it is in a TERRIFIC location for visitors, right on the Embarcadero, close to the Midway, Star of India, Russian Sub., Seaport Village, etc. For San Diego Coastal, it is now possible to avoid the Hotel La Jolla at the Shores (pool not heated much + bad location), by bidding 3.5 or 4*s. For the 4* level, the Hilton Torrey Pines often comes up, and is a nice hotel that was even kind enough to upgrade us to ocean & golf course views. However, the location is awfully far north, and rush hour traffic through the University City / Golden Triangle area is a bear. I think it should be placed in the Del Mar zone.... For 3.5*s, the Paradise Point is great, though you might want to check on their heated pool availability, but the San Diego Marriott La Jolla is also an option. The Marriott is on La Jolla Village, near the Hyatt Regency (4*), and both hotels suffer from the University City / Golden Triangle traffic problems during rush hours. For Rancho Bernardo, the new 3.5* level allows for bidding for the Doubletree Golf Resort, without risking getting many of the 3* hotels that are scattered about. For the Del Mar zone, the new 3.5* option serves to separate the 4 likely hotels into 3 and 3.5* levels, allowing for more rebids, and probably more competitive bidding.... THEREUARE: Your Announcement -- IMPORTANT!! New 3.5* Priceline Star Rating -- did not have a date on it -- I had to go to the forum on it to find the date of the post... A copy of my post above should probably go into the California Travel Tips and Advice forum. PS: Could you PLEASE separate San Diego from the rest of the Priceline "all other cities" in the California subforums? It is, after all, bigger than San Francisco AND Orange County, and has more posts than most states that now have their own forum. It is a pain to weed through all the other areas in California when looking for San Diego County listings.... Thanks!! :)
  10. Thereuare, these posts should be transferred to the Priceline board (they bid, and received a counter offer!)
  11. JUST A NOTE: I'd more specifically ID the Holiday Inn as the "Holiday Inn Mission Bay Sea World" on Sports Arena Blvd., since there are about 10 Holiday Inns in the area, causing much confusion. And if I wanted to be on Mission Bay or Shelter Island I'd be sorely disappointed to get this Holiday Inn, in the middle of a very busy shopping area (Target, Home Depot, Marshalls,etc.) and the Sports Arena. But it is conveniently next to a Bakers Square restaurant, and is only about 5 minutes from Sea World. I'd go for the Dana or the Hyatt Islandia -- both are even closer to Sea World, but have frontage on the bay, a tropical atmosphere, and beautiful pools. The Hyatt's pool is torn up right now --through early 08-- but they allow you to use the beautiful large Dana pool and big jacuzzi, across the street.
  12. AztecWolverine

    san diego

    I don't know if the poster actually came to town, since the BYU game was cancelled because of the fires, but the following will apply if you return in December: For both the Holiday Inn Old Town and the Courtyard Old Town the parking fee can be avoided by simply parking on the street. I have never had a problem finding a space, though if you arrived midday perhaps on a very busy summer weekend there might be a problem. But there is also the Old Town Trolley parking lot in a pinch ( a 10 minute walk). The two hotels used to be owned by the same people (probably still are), and they share a shuttle van. I spoke with the Courtyard manager once and he was very conscientious and friendly. The Courtyard has a very nice breakfast buffet -- that you have to pay for. Make sure you check your bill at the end of your stay -- they once tried to charge us the parking fee anyway....So insist when you check in that you do not need the garage.
  13. AztecWolverine

    In need of advise for San Diego hotel

    For a great value for a one night stay in San Diego, I highly suggest Priceline bidding in Old Town area, 2 1/2*, for about $50. Hopefully you'll get the Courtyard. Ask for a room facing toward the courtyard... And yes, you are probably bidding too early. I know for a fact that the downtown Hilton doesn't make rooms available for Priceline until 30 days out... If you are only in San Diego for one day, you could take the Old Town Trolley -- just a few blocks away from the Courtyard, and get on & off privileges to all the downtown and Coronado main tourist areas. Alternatively, and more cheaply, you could have plenty to do just by taking the red SD Transit Trolley from Old Town (either walk, or park your car in their lot) to the Santa Fe or America Plaza stop downtown, and walk along the waterfront, see the Star of India and other boats, the Midway, Seaport Village, have a drink at the top of the Hyatt for an incredible sunset view, walk south along the waterfront by the yachts, past the Marriott, and down to the middle of the Convention Center, where there are sculptures, and steps (and elevators, which don't always work) which go up and over the Conv. Ctr, just south of their white sail covered convention hall. When you walk down the other (east) side you'll be facing the entrance to the Gaslamp Quarter, the Gaslamp Trolley station across the street, and the Hilton and Omni hotels. If you really would like to splurge, try checking Travelzoo starting in Sept. for $99 deals for the Omni. You can also try bidding 4* downtown, but you could get the Hilton, or others. These hotels charge a fortune for parking though. There is a Padres Parcade parking garage across the street from the Omni which is much cheaper. You could either take the trolley back to the hotel from the Gaslamp station, or if you still have the energy, walk up 5 th Avenue for a very entertaining walk, and dinner if you like. Return to the Santa Fe Station to get back to Old Town. If you take the trolley back from the Gaslamp Station, you have to change trains at the America Plaza station..... PS: San Diego is impossible to do in one day.....If you are an early riser, try driving out to the Point Loma Lighthouse before you do what I've suggested above... Terrific view and visitors center....
  14. AztecWolverine

    3 Very Big Changes to Priceline

    If not on this board, FLYERTALK also had a long thread of discussion on this subject, including mention of real names from that board that you could google and learn more about..... :)