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phoebe

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About phoebe

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  1. started bidding at $50 for a 2.5* hotel. Received counter offer for $12 which I declined. At next bidding opportunity bid $54 which was accepted, and star level was upgraded to 3*. Taxes and fees $12.67. Bid through BB PRICELINE link.
  2. opening bid of $70 was not accepted. When I could bid again upped bid to $77 which was accepted. Taxes and fees of $16.10 brought the total to $93.10. Bid through PRICELINE link on website.
  3. People either love or hate this old historic hotel. My husband loved it but first a little background. Years ago pre-internet he and other member of his dojo had to go to Chicago to complete testing requirements for their aikido belts. One of the group picked out an inexpensive hotel. Upon checking in they found the hotel made most of its money renting its rooms by the hour, so to my husband any hotel is an automatic 4 star compared to that one! We are pretty low maintenance/lucky so did not encounter any of the problems others have reported (doorknobs falling off, peeling paint, brown water gushing from the shower, filthy rooms). Our room on the 11th floor, north tower was pretty small. It had obviously once been a larger corner room that had been divided in two. It overlooked the El tracks where, as the old joke goes, the trains went by so often that you don't even notice. The room held a queen bed, one small chair, one bureau, one small closet, and a bathroom with a shower stall only, no tub. There was nowhere to sit except on the bed (my husband went down to the lobby anytime he needed to type on his laptop), and of course no microwave or refrigerator. A small coffeemaker sat on the bureau. That being said the hot water was plentiful and had good pressure and there were hints of the old glory days like the rather thin towels embossed with the hotel's logo. There is no thermostat per se. The only controls on the register were for fan speed so you had to accept whatever air temp was coming out of the vent. For our trip in mid May we did have cool air, and the large windows could be opened for more circulation we were quite comfortable sleeping. The hotel has two restaurants, one open for breakfast only, and the other (Raphael's) serving old standbys like caesar salad, hamburgers, chicken quesadillas, and steak. The lounge has a sports bar vibe and is a bit shabby. Parking is in an adjacent garage and is a steep $44/day. Hotel website promises free wifi but we didn't really use it so can't speak to the accuracy of that claim. Now for the good points. The lobby is absolutely gorgeous: high ceilings, chandeliers, plenty of seating, and pitchers of ice water infused with lemon slices. There were also other seating areas with big windows for hanging out and people watching. The two elevators were a big surprise. The cars were small but surprisingly fast. We only had to wait a few seconds after pressing the call button for the elevator car to appear, and we were zipped up and down quickly and smoothly with no jerking or shuddering. The biggest plus is the location. The hotel is right on Michigan Ave. and a perfect central site for the Chicago visitor; across the street from Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain, 4 blocks from the Washington Library El station (making for a direct shot to/from Midway on the orange line), 2 blocks from a Metra station, and walking distance from Willis Tower and Museum Campus. We are big walkers and spent most of our time in and around the Loop so after commuting in from Midway we didn't have to spend one penny on transportation costs. Yes, parts of the hotel are banged up (door frames on my floor could use some help) and areas away from public view are in sad shape (I peeked in a housekeeping closet--cringe inducing) but for the great location alone I would be happy to stay here again, especially as a visitor who is spending most of the day out sightseeing and not in the room.
  4. This bid took a lot of patience since Chicago is popular this time of year. Looked on Priceline Express Deals and found a 3* available in the Gold Coast area for $127 for the dates I wanted. Now that I had a target and a backup in case my name your own price bidding was unsuccessful I started at $95 and kept playing around with combinations of Gold Coast, Millennium Park, River North, and Riverwalk and going up a little with each bid until I finally got a hit. $116 for three nights plus taxes and fees of $73.17 for a total of $421.17 Bid through PRICELINE links on website.
  5. $67 plus taxes and fees of $16.84 for a total of $83.84. Bid through PRICELINE links on website.
  6. $62 plus taxes and fees of $13.83 for a total of $75.83 Unexpected result here. I wanted a hotel in Daytona Beach but didn't care which zone, I was just looking for somewhere to overnight. On the Daytona Beach area map Palm Coast came up so I assumed this was a suburb of Daytona Beach and used it in my rebidding efforts. When I won this hotel and looked it up I found to my surprise Palm Coast is the name of a city distinct from Daytona Beach. No big deal to me since I didn't need to be in Daytona Beach but I will certainly take more care next time if the location is important to me. Bid through the PRICELINE links on this website.
  7. $80 plus taxes and fee of $15.76 for a total of $95.76. This is the most I've paid for a hotel through Priceline, due to I'm guessing a combination of popular vacation season in Florida and an improving economy. I tried getting a hotel through the name your own price part of Price.line up to $83 bidding both the downtown and airport locations without getting a hit so gave up and went this route. Pleased with the result. Amenities were: pet friendly, outdoor pool, gym, and business center. FYI I noticed if you booked this hotel through Price.line where you see the hotel room for $99 you also get two breakfast vouchers. We are leaving too early too take advantage of this, but others may want to consider this option. Bid through the PRICELINE EXPRESS links on the website.
  8. GA Atlanta Ramada Plaza Atlanta Capitol Park This hotel seems to get wildly differing reviews. We won this for $58 and had no problems although we stayed during a presumably slower part of the week (Sunday through Wednesday) and also were out of our room for the greater part of each day, using it only to sleep. The hotel offers good economical rooms. No fridge or microwave in the rooms (these can be requested, first come first served at the front desk). We didn't ask for either one and some have reported the hotel running out of stock or long delays until they were delivered. Parking is $18/day with unlimited in and out. You can get a discounted rate of $12/day if you are a Wyndham Rewards member and I was pleased when the front desk clerk volunteered to sign me up as I was checking in so I could get the cheaper rate. I was already a member but appreciated her taking the initiative to save me some money. She even recommended a restaurant and printed out driving directions for me. The hotel has a small dining room and separate lounge area. Breakfasts are not complimentary and unfortunately there is no dining in a comfortable walking distance. The hotel does have a free shuttle that runs every half hour from 7AM until 10:30PM within a three mile radius. The hotel is a little over a mile and a half from Centennial Park and what some would consider true downtown Atlanta although it falls within Priceline's definition of downtown. Hotel has a good sized roof top pool and a surprisingly well stocked exercise room with machines, free weights, and even balance balls. In closing I felt we got our money's worth but others might prefer paying more for a more central location and more consistent customer service.
  9. room for three nights $174 plus taxes and fees of $40.80 for a total of $214.80. bid through PRICELINE links on this website.
  10. Winning bid of $40, taxes and fees $14.33 for a total of $54.33. First bid of $40 was accepted which I hate because it makes me think I could have bid lower, ha ha. Bid using Priceline link on support page.
  11. Had time before the stay so started bidding at $50 and went by up $1 every other day until the bid was accepted. Taxes and fees were $20.62 Bid through the website PRICELINE link but forgot the discount code. Argh!
  12. Bid $50 for a 2.5* but got upgraded to the 3* Shilo Hotel. Oh well . . . it's only for the one night. Total with taxes and fees: $61.90. Started my bidding from the PRICELINE links at the top of the forum.
  13. Started bidding at $34 for a 3* then just kept adding free rebid zones in different combinations while going up $2 with every bid until it was finally accepted at $52. Total with taxes and fees: $66.30. Started all bids from the PRICELINE links at the top of the forum page.
  14. Won this hotel for $55 for a stay July 1-4 2006. Very easy to reach from King St. metro station. Exit the metro on the side facing the bus stops and cross King St. at the crosswalk. Turn left and walk towards Joe Theisman's restaurant, then right onto Daingerfeld Rd. then two blocks to the hotel. Parking is $15/day which we avoided by leaving our car at a metro station--free parking on weekends and federal holidays! Early checkin was no problem and we were given a one bedroom suite on the 8th floor. Very nice room--small kitchen area with fridge/freezer with icemaker, two burner stove, microwave oven, 12 cup coffeemaker, and dishwasher. Small packets of tea, coffee, popcorn, and dishwashing detergent were provided. There is free high speed internet in the rooms. Our queen bed had no bedspread, just a bedscarf in a pretty red and gold pattern. Bed had plenty of pillows (5) and a comforter with a subtle white on white striped design. There was extra bedding in the closet for the sofa bed. My only complaint was the skimpy dresser space. The four drawer dresser under the TV was the only thing for clothes besides the closet. Plenty of cable channels--ESPN, HBO, CNN. The hotel will also shop for you with the only charge being for the groceries which are added to your room bill. There is a Whole Foods only a block away and a Trader Joe's in Old Town. Housekeeping was a little TOO efficient, ha ha. I had set aside some newspapers (hotel gets quite a few-- USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, and a local Alexandria paper all free in the lobby) and plastic bottles to recycle and when we came back from breakfast housekeeping had taken them all away and loaded and run the dishwasher with two glasses we had used for water the previous evening. There is a very nice hot breakfast--make your own waffles, sausage, scrambled eggs, tortillas and salsa for wraps, french toast (avoid), cereal, yogurt, cut up melons, bagels, hot chocolate, tea, juices, and one of those coffee maker gizmos for flavored coffee that you just load with a sealed packet. The workout room on the second floor had treadmills, bikes, and free weights. There is also a four foot deep indoor pool. The one time we went to peek the lifeguard was on a break and so the door was locked. There is also a guest laundry. The only problem we had was NOT the hotel's fault. Sunday night Alexandrua got hit by a very heavy thunderstorm and about an hour after it ended the power went out in a two block square that included our hotel and didn't come back on until Monday night around 11pm. There was lighting in the hallways and one of the three elevators kept running but other than that no power. Still, there was plenty of hot water and the hotel staff did the best they could and cheerfully. They rolled out a continental breakfast and for the evening reception (free beer, wine, or soda with a limit of two alcoholic drinks per guest and a free light meal) they made up ham sandwiches on different rolls and laid out cheese, chips, tomatoes, and salad with two types of dressing. I think one family checked out early but heard other guests commenting how they appreciated how the staff were carrying on the best they could. The hotel also offers a free shuttle to Old Town and the metro station which we never used. I enjoyed our stay and I feel this hotel offers a great value.
  15. Thanks, Travelguy. I have been to DC several times but always spent most of my time on the Mall. I look forward to exploring Old Town.