For the past few weeks, I've been bidding on the city of San Francisco - ALL the zones (Civic Center, Financial, Fisherman's, Japantown, Marina, SOMA, Union Square), all the way down to one *, up to $110. No luck. There is an Oracle convention that starts on the last day so the city is pretty booked up. It seems like the only choices are either cheap hostels or hotels $200-$400. I ended up booking a hostel with shared bath at $70/night for backup and was resigned to stay there. :) Then I found out that Oakland downtown is about 15 minutes away from San Francisco's Union Square via the BART (subway). So I put in a bid for Oakland/Alameda: 3*, $55. And I won Marriott City Center on the first bid! :) The rack rate at the hotel's website is $149/night. There is nothing higher than 3 *. There are only two 3* (Marriott City Center and Courtyard) in this zone and they are both close to the BART station. The Courtyard is $129/night for days one and two, and $289/night for day three. Plus, there are 4 other zones with no 3* so that means there are 5 total chances to bid. Perhaps I overbid, but the price was great so I'm happy. I just wanted to share this because, for those of you out there who want to stay in San Francisco city around the same time, you might consider the Oakland alternative.