tazzy

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  1. I looked up hotels in Santa Monica on Hotwire and I'm trying to identify which hotels are coming up in the rating levels that I'd consider. it's for an 8/7-8/9 stay. First is $319 a night for a four-star hotel in SM/Venice/MDR with a gym, pool and restaurant. Second is $245 a night for a 3-1/2 star hotel in SM/Venice/MDR with beach, gym, restaurant, business center and internet access. Any ideas which hotels these might be and, given these price points, what a suitable Priceline bid for 3-1/2 to four-star hotels might be? Thanks!
  2. thanks! one of these days I'll get the bidding order right. I'm happy with the $136 especially considering we'll be staying the Saturday and Sunday nights of Labor Day weekend. Not the cheapest time to visit!
  3. Okay, I'm done! I went through the PRICELINE link on this site and booked two rooms for 9/5/09 and 9/6/09 at the Le Parker Meridien in Central Park South for $136 a night. I'm not sure if the administrator will want to use this as my post for the hotel win, or if I should start a new thread. I'll post the details here and he can move them to the right place. Or if I should post elsewhere, please let me know. Every bid was for a four-star hotel. I didn't add any other star categories to my bids. My first bid was $120 for a four-star hotel in ESB. No win. Then I added MTE to the bid, for $125. No win. Next I added MSG to the bid, since that was a free add-on since there are no four-star hotels in MSG, for $127. No win. Then I added LIC to the bid, since again that was a free add-on since there are no four-star hotels in LIC, for $130. No win. So I added MTW to the bid, and upped it to $133. No win. I added TSTD to the bid, and upped it to $135. No win. Then I added Central Park South to the bid and increased it to $136. Winner! I feel like this is a very good deal. The only thing I wonder is if I would have won at a lower price if I'd added CPS to the bid earlier. But I doubt I would have saved more than a few bucks, if that, so I'm quite happy with the result.
  4. thanks - yes, priceline is still an option. I haven't decided yet whether to book a hotel through hotwire and the given price they list, or to chance bidding via priceline. seeing which hotels are on the hotwire list are part of what will help me make that decision. and the pricing I listed was what I'd hoped to get if I did bid via priceline. I realize that using hotwire usually costs about $20 to $30 more per room, or higher, than if I won a bid on priceline. at least, in general. And I'm willing to pay more if the hotel warrants the higher price. For instance, I'd be more inclined to pay $169 for a room that normally goes for $450 a night than I would be to pay $134 for a room that normally goes for $250. I did look at the hotwire list of hotels, but I couldn't figure out which was which. There are three I think I'm most interested in. That is a good idea to request two rooms when checking hotwire prices. I didn't do that. the 3-star in MTE which is closest to my desired price sounds like it might be the Roosevelt, but hotwire says the hotel in question has 760 reviews, and the Roosevelt has 1,014 on trip advisor. And then the four-star in TSTD - is that the Westin? Sounds like it might be but, again, the tripadvisor count is higher than the one on hotwire, but at least it's close, both in the 900's. The four-star in CP might be the Empire, but there is no trip advisor rating given on hotwire, and yet there is a 3.5 star rating on trip advisor. Is Le Parker Meridien the four-star in Midtown Central? Again, which area is best for someone wanting to see a lot of different things, from Wall Street to the Empire State Building? When I've traveled there before on business I really didn't have a lot of leeway or time to see anything, with taxis whisking us everywhere, so I didn't get a feel for the layout of the city.
  5. wanted to add, sorry to ask about so many, but I want to seriously review each one and pick out a match. (Using, of course, the HOTWIRE links on this site.)
  6. any suggestions on the best part of Manhattan to stay to have easy access to the usual tourist haunts and then not too crazy far from the port of new york where we'll be leaving on labor day on a cruise? I will be in town the nights of Sept. 5 and Sept. 6. with friends, so we'll need two rooms. my one-year-old son will be traveling with us, so if any of these areas are easier to navigate with a stroller than others (close to bagels for b-fast, coffee, drug stores, etc, that is helpful.) I went to hotwire, and these were the hotels that came up. can you help me identify them? 4-star hotel in Central Park area - $169 - boutique hotel, fitness center, restaurant and high-speed internet access, no TripAdvisor rating given 4-star hotel in Midtown Central - $175 - fitness center, restaurant, business center, high-speed internet, spa services, TripAdvisor rating 3.5 from 540 guests (last reviewed Jan 09) 4-star hotel in Downtown/SoHo - $184 - fitness center, pool, restaurant, business center, high-speed internet access, TripAdvisor rating 4.0 from 520 guests (last reviewed Feb 09) 3-star hotel in Midtown/East - $134 - fitness center, restaurant, business center, high-speed internet, TripAdvisor rating 3.5 from 760 guests (last reviewed Feb 09) 3-1/2-star hotel in Midtown/East - $173 - fitness center, restaurant, business center, high-speed internet, TripAdvisor rating 3.5 on 5 stars, from 260 guests 4-start hotel in Times Square/Theater District - $169 - fitness center, restaurant, business center, high-speed internet access, spa services, TripAdvisor rating 4.0 from 940 guests (last reviewed Feb 09) Thanks!
  7. it is too early for me to bid for a room and get a good rate for NYC for Sept. 5-6, 2009? I need two rooms and I see that there are some bids already accepted for those dates, with the Westin Times Square, a 4*, at $169, and Morgan's, a 4*, at $164. if I could, I would like to get a 4* or even a 3.5*, but I'd like to stay at $120 to $130. is that possible in NYC? when is the best time to bid to get the best rate? I have booked my cruise leaving out of NYC already, and my airfare, so I am definitely going on this vacation even though it's seven months away. being able to cancel isn't my concern, just getting a really good price on a great hotel room. I'm not even sure where to start with this bidding. I am comfortable staying anywhere in Manhattan. I don't know the area well enough to have preferences. thanks!
  8. We're back from our stay. We were given a "spacious double" room instead of the "business queen" that we were in last time. It is listed as $10 more a night for the double but it was worth way more than that. It was a 320 sq. ft. room vs. the 225 sq. ft. of the business queen and that extra 95 sq. ft. made a huge difference in our comfort level with the space. They didn't have any $25 upgrades available, it was $50 to upgrade to a king suite. We opted against spending that much extra. We were happy with the double room.
  9. I bid on a four-star hotel in the San Antonio Downtown-Riverwalk area and won the Emily Morgan for $88 a night, for a two-night stay from 8/7/08 to 8/9/08. I bid over the course of two days, beginning with trying to nab a resort hotel in the West area of San Antonio. I started those bids at $62 a night and increased my bid with rebids over the two days until I topped out at $134, still no luck. Location isn't that important to us this time, just want a nice hotel, so I added in the four-star category as a whim, at $40, for all areas in San Antonio, since they were all showing up in my rebid. That bid was rejected. I then focused on four-star hotels in the Northwest area of San Antonio, bidding from $60 up to $102 with rebids before calling it quits. I was avoiding the four-star hotels in the Riverwalk area because I was feeling more suburbia for this trip. I wasn't keen on staying at the Emily Morgan again, since we stayed there last year and the room was really small and this year we have a baby and will need more space for his crib, but I decided to go for that area anyway since you can usually upgrade for $25 to a bigger room at that hotel. So I added back in the four-star hotels for the Downtown-Riverwalk area and started my bid this time at $50. I bid in $5 to $8 increments, with my last bid at $78, then I jumped up to $88 since that bid worked last year for that area. Wa-la, it worked this time, too.
  10. We were staying at this hotel for a business event for two days, before we moved on to a hotel of our choice. This was a basic, no frills hotel that I would give two-and-a-half stars at most. It was in a convenient location right off of the 281, but not a neighborhood we could feel safe walking around in at night. We had a room with a king bed and the bed was comfortable and the pillows soft. But the room had a wall ac/furnace unit that rumbled very loudly when in use and that made controlling the room temp a bit difficult. It was always too cold or too hot. There was a mini fridge in the room, which was handy, and a coffeemaker and a microwave. There was a small pool and a large jacuzzi, both of which were busy on the Saturday night we were there. The staff was friendly and the free breakfast was decent. It was an okay hotel for a fast business trip, but definitely not luxurious by any means. Not that anyone expects a Holiday Inn Express to be luxurious. We paid $84 a night for our room with a company discount, but the rack rate was $134. I would never pay $134 for this room. At $84, it was reasonable enough but via Priceline we found another hotel, a four-star, for $88 and stayed there the last two nights of our vacation for a much better experience.
  11. We just returned from our trip to San Antonio and our stay at the Emily Morgan hotel. I paid $88 a night on Priceline. It was well worth the $88. I'd pay up to $125 a night to stay there and still feel as if I received a great deal. It's a beautiful, historic hotel, built in the 1920's or 1930's, according to the bartender. The queen room we stayed in was small, but I've come to expect that in historic hotels I've stayed at in cities such as San Francisco. Room size wasn't a priority back then. But the room was large enough for two people and our suitcases, a desk, armoire and a chair. The bed was queen sized and was quite comfy with a down comforter and a choice of four pillows - two soft and two firm - perfect for the picky traveler. I also liked that the room had its own thermostat so that the temperature could be easily regulated. None of that furnace/AC unit on the wall kind of thing that never works properly and blasts oh-so-loud. We didn't eat in the restaurant, Oro, because it is closed for dinner on Sundays and Mondays, but we did order room service breakfast and it was well-priced and delicious. We also spent one evening in the hotel bar, and the drinks were great and the bartender friendly (but aren't all bartenders friendly?!) It's about two blocks from the Riverwalk, so a very short walk to all the restaurants and sights of that tourist attraction. And it's across the street from the Alamo. Literally. We jaywalked and were at the Alamo gate in about 10 seconds. It's also just a block from a large shopping mall anchored by Macy's and Dillard's and that also houses an IMAX theater and an AMC theater if you're in the mood for something more laid back during your trip. Overall, we were quite pleased with the hotel and found the $20 daily valet parking fee reasonable given that other hotels in the area were charging $25 for the same service. Our car never took more than 2-3 minutes to arrive and the hotel staff were very pleasant and friendly.
  12. We just returned from our trip to San Antonio and our stay at the Emily Morgan hotel. It was well worth the $88. I'd pay up to $125 a night to stay there and still feel as if I received a great deal. It's a beautiful, historic hotel, built in the 1920's or 1930's, according to the bartender. The queen room we stayed in was small, but I've come to expect that in historic hotels I've stayed at in cities such as San Francisco. Room size wasn't a priority back then. But the room was large enough for two people and our suitcases, a desk, armoire and a chair. The bed was queen sized and was quite comfy with a down comforter and a choice of four pillows - two soft and two firm - perfect for the picky traveler. I also liked that the room had its own thermostat so that the temperature could be easily regulated. None of that furnace/AC unit on the wall kind of thing that never works properly and blasts oh-so-loud. We didn't eat in the restaurant, Oro, because it is closed for dinner on Sundays and Mondays, but we did order room service breakfast and it was well-priced and delicious. We also spent one evening in the hotel bar, and the drinks were great and the bartender friendly (but aren't all bartenders friendly?!) It's about two blocks from the Riverwalk, so a very short walk to all the restaurants and sights of that tourist attraction. And it's across the street from the Alamo. Literally. We jaywalked and were at the Alamo gate in about 10 seconds. It's also just a block from a large shopping mall anchored by Macy's and Dillard's and that also houses an IMAX theater and an AMC theater if you're in the mood for something more laid back during your trip. Overall, we were quite pleased with the hotel and found the $20 daily valet parking fee reasonable given that other hotels in the area were charging $25 for the same service. Our car never took more than 2-3 minutes to arrive and the hotel staff were very pleasant and friendly.
  13. it seems high to me. I just looked at san antonio 4* for instance. I paid $88 for my 4* room yesterday. They're showing a 4* room being $100 for the Downtown/Riverwalk area of San Antonio. They're saying a 3* room is $90. yeah, right.
  14. interesting topic. many, many years ago I wrecked a Thrifty rental car and the clerk on the phone told me (minutes after the accident) that "now, you know we can't bring you another car." And then later they told me that I couldn't rent with Thrifty again. I found that strange/funny considering I had insurance, etc. As if I was the first person that ever wrecked a Thrifty car... So I've simply never rented from them again. Not sure if the ban is still in place 20-some years later!
  15. Okay, I didn't use Hotwire in the end, I switched to Priceline and bid on 4* hotels in the downtown/riverwalk area. Ended up with the Emily Morgan for $88 a night for 8/19 to 8/21. Figured I might as well save more rather than pay $106 a night via Hotwire since the Emily Morgan seemed likely. Thanks for your help!