vanpoodle

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  1. My guess on that would be the Colonnade if that's any help. I won it through Priceline NYOP last month. The hotel was middling but the location absolutely fantastic. I chose not to put a review in to bring down it's 9.0 rating because it's actually kind of handy if it keeps it in order to be able to identify which property it is! I would stay there again if the price were right, but I'd just want to have some idea beforehand that it's that particular hotel.
  2. There's a ton of hotels in that area. I stayed at a Best Western near there once (because I couldn't find a 4* for less than about $200 a night!) and it was decent, but couldn't' tell for sure from the outside. It's a great location, though yes, Termini area can be a little seedy with lots of gypsies. Have a great trip!
  3. Good to know about the boundary change -- I won this hotel on Priceline as part of Regent's Park a couple of weeks ago. Next time I travel I'll have to re-educate myself as to the zones. Do we have any free re-bid zones for 4* now?
  4. vanpoodle

    London

    Before I start bidding I check to see what Express Deals is offering for Kensington, Mayfair, Regent's park, Notting Hill, Westminster, City, Chelsea and Bloomsbury. Those zones are all very central and I'd be happy staying in any of those zones. Winning bids under NYOP tend to come in more than $5 cheaper tha PRICELINE EXPRESS Deals, sometimes more than $20 cheaper. For Kensington, I take note of amenities and guest rating and go back to retail to see if I can guess which it might be. I also make sure that the hotels with the cheapest price ARE NOT the Copthorne Tara or the Hilton Olympia -- if those are the cheaper than the other Hiltons, Holiday Inns, Marriotts and the like in the zone I won't bid that area unless it is significantly cheaper than the other zones. For Chelsea, I look to make sure the Copthorne Football Club doesn't have stellar deals on the retail site. For Regent's Park, I don't like bidding there if they seem to be promoting rooms for the Quality Inn. (those hotels should be 3* and not 4*). The only thing is, they sometimes use different hotels for Express and NYOP, but it is a greater than 50/50 chance that if you can guess which hotel it is for Express by comparing with retail, that you've also figured out which will be their go-to for NYOP.
  5. Scoped out PRICELINE EXPRESS Deals first to see which zones had the best deals for my dates. Chose not to bid on Kensington this time because the Copthorne Tara and the Olympia looked like potential wins -- that zone was coming in at $130 anyway, while Regent's Park was at $109. (if Kensington is coming in as considerably cheaper than the other zones I will sometimes risk it if other more palatable hotels are coming in cheaper than the Tara and the Olympia on the retail side). The other zones I like, Mayfair, City, Bloomsbury, Notting Hill and Westminster were in the $140+ range. I bid on RP with permutations and combinations and got my first counteroffer of $115 when I got to $88. Then I worked the other more desired zones up to $110 just to see if one of those gave me a counteroffer before I focussed on RP. I also checked out the retail side of Price.Line to see if I could guess the hotel since the one in Express showed a guest rating of 9+ which is highly unusual. I know that NYOP doesn't always use the same hotels as Express, but chances are better than 50/50 that they do. There was this hotel in the zone I'd never heard of called the Colonnade that only one traveller had posted a review of and gave it a 10! Went to Tripadvisor to check it out and guests there seem to like it slightly better overall than other hotels I had stayed at in London and liked perfectly well (but certainly no 10s across the board!). I was going to work the RP zone until I got to $5 below the PRICELINE EXPRESS price because I have a coupon that would have given me a $5 a night discount. When I got to $102 my bid was accepted and it was the Colonnade. It is in a really lovely residential area near Little Venice and not far from Paddington -- walkable. I have gone for canal walks in that area and now realize that I have walked past it. It's a very small hotel. Quite unusual for a winning bid since NYOP in London typically sticks to the big chains.
  6. I've not been able to edit the subject line -- I had chosen the zone on this one and then typed in the hotel name (the web page let me), but when it posted, this other Hilton hotel was in the subject line. Is anyone able to fix it? Thanks!
  7. This is the Hilton Kensington -- NOT the Olympia. Note that this hotel is now in Kensington and not Notting Hill. (I examined the map carefully before bidding this zone as it was coming up as one of the cheaper hotels on the retail side at $191, the infamous Tara was at $196 and it was a factor in my deciding to stick with working at the Kensington zone rather than trying another zone -- map boundaries have changed). Express Deals had Kensington at $283. I worked Westminster, Bloomsbury, Mayfair, City, Regent's Park, Notting Hill, Chelsea (The Copthorne at the FC shows Hammersmith on retail side now, though the NYOP map still has it in Chelsea, so that was a bit risky, but express in the zone was at $367 so the FC seemed unlikely), and Finsbury. RP had a PRICELINE EXPRESS deal for $188, bid that zone up to $161, but now that the Quality Inn Regent's Park is an option for the zone thought I'd best to be careful and try another zone before returning. Bid Westminster up to $161 as well (had been getting a counteroffer of $185 a few days ago which disappeared in the past 24 hours and the express deal went from $175 to $205). In studying the zone, chances were I'd get the Park Plaza Riverbank which was a 10 minute walk from Vauxhall tube station and not as central as I'd like, calling it Westminster is a bit of a stretch and I'd only have opted for it with significant savings. Kensington had been giving me a counteroffer of $182 once my bidding on that zone got to $138. Bloomsbury gave me a counteroffer of $226 once my bids in that area reached $171 (express deal of $212 for the zone). I worked that zone plus Chelsea, Finsbury, Mayfair, City and Notting Hill up to $180, then went back to work on Kensington. $162 was going to be my last try at Kensington before resuming with Bloomsbury because it was reaching the point where the risk of getting the Tara wasn't giving me a low enough price compared to the other zones. I seem to have turned this into a novel, but just thought other bidders might want to know how things in London are going this days for bidding! I'm not totally thrilled, but it's a very expensive time of year and I suppose it's okay. I think the property is quite nice, but it's actually in Shepherd's Bush and not actually Kensington. And there are no Shepherds and no Bushes there, it's all concrete with a giant mall.
  8. That's a really risky strategy! I'm currently working the other more central zones for June 27 - July 1. Lowest on priceline.Express is Westminster at $175. Docklands shows $154. I'm up to $142, with Westminster being counteroffered at $185. Once I land something I'll create a thread for it. Is this the scenario you see when you work to get the Canary Wharf Hilton? You got it at $108, what was priceline.Express showing? I'm intrigued. Not sure if I'll chance it, but I'd take that hotel if we could save a bit compared to staying closer in. Right now I'm guess Westminster will be the Park Plaza Riverbank which is at Vauxhall tube anyhow.
  9. I did a little more research into this zone and the Marriott West India Quay could also be close enough to the tube to make this zone worth bidding on. However, I can't tell for certain if the Aloft or Novotel London Excel are in the Docklands zone or in Limehouse -- does anyone know? If in Docklands, then bidding in the Docklands zone would be far too risky and not worth it. The Hilton Docklands is also in this zone and it's not near the tube, but has a riverboat stop right out front which makes it pretty quick to get to the city. Does anyone know if that is the same cost as a tube ride or if it's a lot more? For my dates it appears that the Hilton Docklands is the likeliest by its price in the regular retail side.
  10. wow, that's an incredible price for June! I gave up bidding at about $160 for an October stay in Rome and used Air Miles!
  11. Interesting -- I've been bidding for a visit the last weekend of June and the bidding is getting up there for the more central zones. This Hilton hotel is right on the Jubilee line. Hmmm, I'm wondering if I should give that zone a go? Any ideas what the % chance would be of me ending up at a more logistically difficult hotel if I bid that zone? Is the Hilton the usual go-to for PL in Docklands or is it more evenly spread out among a few other properties? We'll be spending time either in the city itself or possibly heading out to the countryside via train for some hikes through villages.
  12. Wow, I'm very impressed with the hotel you got. I have toured its lobby, it's an architectural gem and its restoration was a fascinating story. They offer tours of the hotel. Location at King's Cross will be very good for getting to all the sights scattered across the city.
  13. You can also take a look at the pl.Express Deals for your dates -- NYOP will come in at less than that for those dates, anywhere from a couple of dollars to a lot of dollars less. At least you'd know the most you'd be looking at needing to pay and which zones are offering the best prices.
  14. A really good way to get a sense of the highest you'd have to bid to get a room in your chosen zone is to take a look at what they have for pl Express. NYOP always comes in cheaper than that, sometimes by only a few dollars, sometimes a LOT more. In looking at that, it might be tough to get something under $200 for the zones you like for 5*. They've got 4* in Notting Hill with a 9 rating for $213. I'd be interested in bidding on that zone since I really like it and the hotels there tend to be nice ones. It might be the Hilton Hyde Park which has a great location and is a decent property -- mind you, their worst hotel in that zone is a Hilton closer to Shepherd's Bush which my husband stayed at. He liked the property a lot, but it was a little ways out. A Mayfair 5* is at $267, and I have no idea at what price you'd win a bid on it -- but we know that's the highest you'd have to go if that's what you have your heart set on. I think it all comes down to whether it's price or location that are more important!
  15. It's a decent hotel in a convenient location, I stayed there in October. Same-day bidding is hard to do!