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About rgdave

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  1. Bid 3* and 3.5* and got Hyatt Place, which is what I was hoping for.
  2. First bid $59 accepted. Used better bidding PRICELINE link. Holiday Inn not in Better Bidding Priceline Hotel List yet for Lake George - Saratoga Springs.
  3. Westin Pasadena 2 Nts. 10/29-10/31 $84. When searching, a $79 for this 3.5* with the same amenities in Pasadena (so VERY likely same hotel) came up, but when I went to book later it was $84. Soon after I booked, I went to check on a second room for a friend on his computer (who had never been to Hotwire before), and lo and behold, it came up as $79. I had my laptop with me, fired it up, and did the same search on Hotwire, and on my computer it came up as now $86!. I went back and forth between the 2 computers, with both Firefox and IE on each computer, and mine always came up as $86 and his $79. The difference? I was a regular Hotwire customer with a hotwire cookie, and he wasn't a Hotwire customer and didn't have a Hotwire cookie in his browsers. Then I searched Google about Hotwire price discrepencies, and lo and behold, there are dozens of posts about the price discrepency between different browsers and computers for the exact same searches. While Hotwire makes public denials that it charges it's regular customers more, I saw it happen --- and made screen captures. This experience really reduced Hotwire's appeal to me. And yes, I used the Betterbidding HOTWIRE link to book. I thought that may have been the cause of the price difference. So I went and used the Better Bidding link on my friend's computer, and his computer still came up with a $7 lower price, so using the link wasn't the cause.
  4. I'd recommend trying for 2.5* and 3* in Chelsea. Walking distance to theater district and Greenwich Village, not as hectic as the theater district / MTW areas. But this is VERY far out to get good priceline deals. I find that hotels start dumping discount inventory at good prices into priceline about a month out. When the economy was strong, September was typically a very busy month for NYC, so the hotels didn't discount a lot. They're probably hoping things improve and they'll have another good fall this year, but likely it wont be a peak month. I'd recommend booking a refundable reservation somewhere, like the HI Express MSG, the Red Roof Manhattan, or the Hampton Inn, so you have something. And then start playing around with Priceline starting in mid-August. You can tell a lot about what the hotels are thinking in terms of discounting by checking out Manhattan rates on Hotwire. If you start seeing 2.5* and 3* Manhattan hotels coming in around $150, it's time to start Priceline bidding around $100. (You'll probably get something 2.5* or 3* for September around $125). But if you want to make sure you have a place, guaranteed, at a price better than you'll get with a refundable reservation, you'll probably need to be in the $150 or- $160 range on Priceline now.
  5. I'd go for 2.5* or 3* Chelsea first. For 2.5* Likely to get the HI Express MSG, which is a very good newer construction hotel with free breakfast. 3* in that zone is likely to be the Holiday Inn 6th Ave., also new construction, similar rooms, no free breakfast. The other possibles you may get in this zone at 3*, the Hilton Garden Inn and Four Points Sheraton, are fine, too. Not far from west side subways (1, A, C, E), walking distance to Greenwich Village and the Theater District. Not as hectic as the theater district options.
  6. Bid $45 for 3* Albany-Airport. Rejected. PRICELINE offered immediate rebid if I increased my offer by $13. I thought Priceline probably offers an immediate rebid higher than the bottom line for a 3* hotel in that zone, so I decided to wait 24 hours to rebid. At 24 hours, I bid $52 for a 3* Albany Airporr and got the Hotel Indigo (which is what I was going for.) Was $71 on HOTWIRE (from what I can tell from the Hotire Hotel List.) Used the PRICELINE link on this site to bid.
  7. What star rating are you trying for? If you're trying for 4* only, the 2 hotels that typically come in in the $150 range in January are the Grand Hyatt and Barclay, both MTE. The Hilton Garden Inn, while well located, isn't in the same category. Check HOTWIRE, there seem to be plenty of hotels in the price range you're looking at, and a 4* (likely the Barclay) at $175. Generally I find that if a hotel plays on both Hotwire and Priceline, that their bottom line Priceline price is about 10% to 15% below their Hotwire fixed price. So if the Barclay is coming in at $175 on Hotwire, you might be able to get it for $155 or $160 on Priceline, but probably not $145. That's my general experience, not any hard and fast rule. Keep in mind, though, that if youi go 4*, everything will usually be extra --- breakfast most certainly, as well as internet access, and at the Barclay and Hyatt, you won't find coffee makers in the room, so room service coffee will set you back about $15 with the delivery fee. If you're looking at your overall budget, a 2.5* or 3* can be a better deal, even if its not as luxurious.
  8. Had hoped for the Hyatt Place (got that all fall for a $75 2.5* bid in this zone). Hyatt Place hasn't shown up as a winning bid on Betterbidding for a couple of months, it seems. The LQ is OK, I've stayed there a couple of times before, but the service is much better at Hyatt Place. The rate on the LQ website was $179 rack, $161 AAA/AARP, so $75 is a great rate. Booked through the Savings Barn link. For those of you who get the LQ Secaucus-Meadowlands, one note. The new renovated decor is actually quite stylish. But they no longer have blankets or comforters on the beds. Actually, pretty strange. When you check in, ask for blankets to be brought up to the room. On my last stay, I wanted one later in the evening, and all the housekeeping staff were gone. When I went downstairs to get one, there was only one staff person on the desk, and he couldn't leave to get me a blanket because "I'll be fired if I leave the desk." Overall, that is kind of my experience with the service attitude at this hotel --- and I've stayed there on both 'regular' and Priceline rates.
  9. Just finished my stay here. Really nice, friendly staff --- from the front desk to housekeepers. Rooms have been renovated to the new La Quinta standard (but not yet to flat panel TV's.) There's a Red Robin restaurant attached to the hotel. Across Route 3 there are 4 or 5 restaurants in the Clifton Commons shopping center, but you have to walk north and then back south to get there if you don't have a car. Target, Stop and Shop grocery store and Barnes and Noble in the shopping center next door. I usually stay in the Harmon Meadows area of Secaucus, which is about a 15 to 20 minute bus ride from Port Authority. This LQ in Clifton is a little further west, about a 30 to 40 minute bus ride to Port Authority. Buses are pretty convenient. I had a car, and drove to the Park and Ride in North Bergen and caught the bus from there. If you don't have a car, travelers using this as a case for NYC may be a little happier at Harmon Meadows even if its a bit more expensive.
  10. Your best bet for convenient transportation to/from NYC is to stay in the Harmon Meadows area. The 320 bus runs every 20 minutes until late at night, when it comes back about every half hour. Takes about 20 minutes from the Harmon Meadows area hotels. I stay there all the time. Parking at all the hotels there is free. The best way to get a hotel on the bus line in Harmon Meadows is to use Priceline and go for a 2.5* hotel in Secaucus-North Bergen (NOT Meadowlands-Rutherford, which doesn't have as convenient transportation.) A 2.5* win in Secaucus-North Bergen should get you either the Hyatt Place or La Quinta (more likely the La Quinta this far out.) If you bid a 3* in Secaucus-North Bergen, you could get the Holiday Inn Harmon Meadows (which is across from Hyatt Place and also a great location) or the Crowne Plaza. The Crowne Plaza is fine, as well, but the bus service to NYC isn't quite as convenient. (Compare NJ Transit schedules on their website, www.njtransit.com, for the 320 Bus, which runs to Harmon Meadows, and the 191 Bus that runs to the Crowne Plaza -- I'm pretty sure that's the bus number.) Because you have this much time out, if you want to make sure you get something in Harmon Meadows on the 320 line, you may want to keep trying for a 2.5* in Secaucus-North Bergen, because you have the luxury to wait the 24 hours to make your next bid, upping your bid by $5 each time. You may want to start at $75, because that seems to be the Hyatt Place minimum bid price. Getting the LaQuinta for that price would be fine, too. Both, by the way, have free breakfast, while its an extra charge at the 3* Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza's. Good luck.
  11. I'm a pretty frequent 'stayer' at properties in the Secaucus-Meadowlands area (for convenience to NY), at least a couple of times a month. I've gotten Hyatt Place twice in the past couple of months as a 2.5* bid on Priceline (and the La Quinta twice, as well), but have never gotten the Hyatt Place when I've selected a 3* on Hotwire (I've gotten the Holiday Inn Harmon Meadows and the La Quinta Clifton). (I don't think I've seen a 2.5* choice for Secaucus-Meadowlands on Hotwire.) I don't think the Hyatt Place in Secaucus is doing Hotwire. But if you get it on Priceline, its a great place to stay. One good check to see if you're likely to get it or the La Quinta for a 2.5* bid on Priceline is to check regular availability for Hyatt Place --- its often sold out, which the La Quinta Secaucus is seldom sold out.
  12. Just got this for $59 a night. Slightly different amenities on Hotwire now (than is showing on Better Bidding hotel list): Breakfast Pool Laundry High Speed Internet This will be my first time at this hotel, a little further west than the Holiday Inn and La Quinta in the Harmon Meadows area of Secaucus, but checked out bus scheduled and there is still reasonably convenient (although less frequent) bus service to/from Port Authority.
  13. It is nice, and REALLY convenient to Manhattan. I stay in the hotels in the Harmon Meadows area every couple of weeks. The 320 bus will take you directly into the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan ($3.15 one way, no exact change necessary on the way in, but for the return trip, you need to stop at one of the ticket machines in Port Authority to get your ticket.) Port Authority is at 42nd St. and 8th Ave. Just walk east on 42nd St. to 6th Ave. and turn north (left) to get to Rockefeller Center, which is at 6th Ave. between 47th and 50th. The skating rink, the tree and the Today show studios are between 6th Ave. and 5th Ave. You'll see them.. To get from there to Chinatown, take the 6th Ave. subway (B or D trains) to Grand Street. Tip: Don't buy individual tickets for each subway ride. Buy a $10 card at the Metro Card vending machines. It gives you 6 rides for the price of 5. One other tip. If you're going to the theater, its much less hassle to buy discount theater tickets at www.broadwaybox.com. No standing in line, and you can see what seats you're getting. Discounts are typically in the 40% range rather than the 50% at the TKTS booth, but saving time and hassle is well worth the few extra bucks. Hopefully the stage hands strike will be over by the time you come. If not, there are a lot of good Off Broadway shows to see. Have a great trip.
  14. Was trying for the Barclay. Bid $127 for 4* MTE and rejected. Waited 24 hours. Bid $137. Rejected. Bid $140 and accepted at the Grand Hyatt. Rate is $329 prepaid on Hyatt site.
  15. Hi, all, I bookedon Oct. 11 for 1 nt for Fri. oct. 13 at the Hyatt Jersey City. Got $85. First tried 3* for Secaucus-Meadlowlands at $75. rejected. Added Jersey City and increased to $85 and got the Hyatt.
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