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About Shingwedzi

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  1. Online rates were $169 for Hyatt, $139 for Hilton at Logan. Last bid before this was $65.
  2. There is a Holiday Inn in Cairns that is well-located, has an attached liquor store, and sometimes has good offers on their website. It is within walking distance to all the action. Try to aim for a balcony from which you can enjoy the bats at dusk. You might only want to book your first night in Port Douglas, if that. There are some unbelievable walk-up rates there--at the best places, too. We ended up at the Rydges there--talk about deluxe! It was a two story condo with full kitchen, washer/dryer and small store and outdoor movies on the premises. The rate was far less than anything we'd seen that could be booked in advance. And it had pickups for the snorkeling cruises from the front office. We were wary of not booking anything in advance there, but were so glad we didn't.
  3. Bid thru savingsbarn.com. Bid $65 3* Pasadena, which failed, but was advised to bid $17 more. Instead added free rebid, Monrovia-Duarte, at $67, which hit. Starwood.com listed this as $179. (Westin was $229, Hilton was $219, Courtyard was $209 on their websites.) Hotwire was showing what appears to be this Sheraton for $79. Priceline taxes and fees were a whopping $16.50, so total was $83.50.
  4. Bid through savingsbarn.com. First bid accepted immediately. With taxes and fees=$75.22. Best Hyatt.com rate for this hotel, this date=$209 or $169 prepaid; best Hilton.com rate for this date, Logan Hilton=$199 or $189 prepaid. Interestingly, says on Priceline acceptance page, under Important Hotel Check-in Details: "For any special needs, such as bed type requests or smoking preference, please contact Hyatt Customer Service at plhelp{AT}hyatt.com or call toll free at 866-674-8149." Nice touch, Hyatt.
  5. Ummm...happy anniversary? You get my vote as the logical replacement for Shatner. Thank you for consistently sharing all those SSF wins.
  6. Went thru savingsbarn.com. Marriott website currently shows a $119 weekend rate for these dates. Previous 2.5* bid failed at $40, and suggested increasing by $12. 2* bid for $40 was originally won for these dates. Hotel won was StudioPlus. Confirmation page clearly showed that the room would have only one queen bed. This was unacceptable as the occupants are to be one father with his teenage daughter (and you can bet Dad would've ended up sleeping on the floor). Called Priceline, explained the problem, and they kindly cancelled the StudioPlus reservation.
  7. Our favorite bidding site was mentioned in the LA Times travel section today. Los Angeles Times
  8. I think snorkeling at Hanauma Bay is a must. It is closed on Tuesdays. I recommend bringing snacks and drinks, getting there early, seeing the orientation (no, it's not another time share! :) ), and then heading right out to the far edge of the main visible reef. If your folks like sea turtles, they will be thrilled.
  9. Got two rooms, went through savingsbarn.com, and GIFTCARD06 worked like a charm, making the rooms effectively $40 per. The grand total was $95.95, so the entertainment rebate is next up. :) Still is listed as 3.5* with restaurant, pool, fitness, business.
  10. Stayed here for two nights in May. Was given two double beds and a nonsmoking room as requested. Was on 17th floor of red tower. Had Heavenly beds, coffeemaker with Starbucks coffee, Sony Dream Machine CD player/radio alarm, Speakman double shower heads. No minibar. One robe, though I requested another in a note I left with my tip for the maid, and the second robe was there when I returned the next day. Fairly small pie-shaped room. Stained rug and tub. Wayport available $12.95/day, from time of purchase until check-in time on the next day. Room service breakfast prices: continental= $13 +17.5% service charge + $3 guestroom private dining charge + taxes; full breakfast= $24 +17.5% service charge +$3 guestroom private dining charge + taxes. On one morning the fire alarm went off but a subsequent message informed us that it was a false alarm. Purchased a meal from a small Panda Express-style restaurant on the 4th floor--it was truly awful (had probably been on the steam table all day), we gave it to a homeless man outside the hotel. Nearby Ciudad, Cafe Pinot, CA Pizza Kitchen and Koo Koo Roo are all better eating choices. Parking was $25. Guests are supposed to be able to phone down so that the car will be ready. This worked on one morning. However, on the second morning, getting my car turned into a fiasco. I then wished I had parked in the lot across the street. The water archway was broken in the lobby. For me this was symbolic of what this formerly grand hotel has become. The Bonnie is serviceable, however, and remains a bargain through opaque bidding sites.
  11. Extremely useful. Thank you, Thereuare! :)
  12. Another vote here that it could be the Holiday Inn. The rate changes to $162 AUD on your Monday per their website. BTW, I have stayed at this Holiday Inn and it was fine. Good breakfast buffet and within walking distance of all the action. Has an attached liquor store. Particularly enjoyed watching the fruit bats/flying foxes from our balcony in the evenings.
  13. This may not be helpful to you, ufjoe21, but perhaps this will be a good idea for somebody: When I get to my destination and I want to go swimming, I save a local opaque plastic bag from whatever small purchase I have made there--the junkier the bag, the better. Into that bag I will put my key/some money/sunscreen/bug repellent/towel/water bottle/whatever. I don't carry my backpack/wallet/purse around. During the many years I have done this, I have never had the bag or its contents stolen from any pool or beach. It doesn't look like something worth stealing.
  14. Bid through savingsbarn.com. Got a "raise by $13" when first bid $47. $53 bid was last previous bid to fail. Two nights, $55 per, $133.84 grand total. (Expedia was showing Millennium Biltmore at $115, Wilshire Grand at $116, and Westin Bonaventure at $169 per night for these dates.)
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