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About realgem

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  1. The resort fee is now up to $22 per night. Fortunately I knew I would be paying this after checking other reviews prior to checking in, so I made sure we drank the expensive water! Also, when you are accessing WiFi they will not charge you the $10.75 (or higher for premium access)if you have already been charged the resort fee - so make good use of the access. Hotel is okay. Room was very nice, on the third floor facing the freeway (with a peek of the ocean). Not the best location because we were next to a service area which had back-up beeping vehicles running throughout the night, so it was impossible to keep the window open which might have cooled the room. They have provided free standing air conditioners which are plumbed to a gap in the window, so the window never really closes which might have provided some further sound proofing. We left the AC running while we were at dinner, then turned off the noisy thing before retiring, and used the overhead fan for some relief -- even though it was not an unusually warm day/night. Coffee and small fridge in room. Sheets and towels in very good condition, comfortable bed and pillows. The hotel has a nice gym and a beautiful setting, with lots of gazebos and seating areas overlooking the golf course. If possible try to get a map of the resort so that you can request a different room location, and stay away from uneven numbered rooms in Buildings 5, 4 and 3 which get the afternoon sun and freeway noise. Even numbers get a view of the pool and maybe the golf course.
  2. Used PRICELINE link to get a hotel in Monterey at the last minute. Started bidding at $95 and progressed through the areas, increasing $5 each time. No success. Checked regular booking site and most hotels (including the Portola) were showing no vacancies. Changed browser and credit card and tried again, on first bid of $122 was offered $155. Declined and continued to bid again through the areas. Successful at $137. This was pretty high - Priceline commented that I had saved 23%! But the worst part was being charged $22/day resort fee upon arrival. Oh well, at least we didn't have to pay for parking. Every once in a while we don't hit the best deals, but still love the process, and it was nice to see the new, easier to navigate Better Bidding website. Especially appreciate when people post their wins - that really helps. Happy travels all!
  3. Our June 2011 stay at the Holiday Inn Portland Airport was a good deal on PL. Our king room was a little small for all the furnishings -- desk with chair, TV armoire, and easy chair -- but was modern and very clean. The public areas of the hotel, however, are in need of updating, and the hallway carpeting shows dirt in the middle walk areas The guest laundry was just one washer and dryer, in a small dimly lit room. The configuration of the lower level is quite depressing with an indoor pool which is open to a conference area and a windowless restaurant. The odor of chlorine is offputting, and rises to the lobby area above. The workout room on this level was small but had adequate equipment in good condition. The coffee and scones served in the lobby area is a nice touch. We did take the MAX into the city from the nearby Cascade station, which was convenient.
  4. First bid. With tax, two night total is $109.64. Pleased with this outcome, and of course, clicked through to PRICELINE from this board.
  5. Thank you, thereuare, I appreciate your feedback. I think I was fixated on the Marriott and thought a $60 bid would get me that property. This is a learning experience, and I so appreciate all the posts and your feedback for gaining knowledge as we travel.
  6. Disappointing! Upon arrival I decided this wasn't the 3*hotel I was hoping for. I checked online for rates and discovered I could have booked on the Yarrow website for $62 for the room we got on Priceline for $60. It was acceptable, however, and we decided to stay an extra night, which I was able to book at the front desk for $55! Will post a review when we get home, and hope for better outcomes as we travel through Wyoming, Montana, British Columbia, Washington,Oregon, etc.
  7. Tax is $14.16 for a total of $74.16 First bid, wanted the Marriott, but this looks fine for our needs. Will review after our stay. Yes, I clicked through to PRICELINE from this board.
  8. This is a delightful property, nestled in the trees, but handy to I-5 without the noise. The rooms were clean and looked freshly updated. The linens, pillows and towels all were good quality. I particularly liked the shelving next to the closet, very handy for two people to stash their toiletries instead of balancing them on the sink. The desk had a roll out table, which increased the work space nicely. Breakfast is not included, but I particularly liked the "bistro" where there are a variety of choices for breakfast at reasonable prices. The patio just off this area looked very welcoming as a place to sit outside on warmer days. There is a Starbucks across the parking lot. Lake Oswego is just a few minutes drive, and provides upscale shopping and dining options.
  9. Bid on Priceline for a 2.5* hotel, and won the Red Lion Inn. Not one of my better "wins" - can't believe it is 2.5* It is a large, rambling, two-level motel, probably built in the 1950s. It appears that Red Lion has tried to give the rooms a facelift, but they are still dreary. The bathroom was well appointed, but the lack of light has provided a cozy home for mildew in the shower. Towels and linens were good quality, and the pillow top mattress is probably quite new. The desk was well worn around the edges, the tv was older and boxy, but the coffee was good. I am thankful that we were not in the bank of rooms that runs adjacent to the freeway.
  10. Won on first bid. A delightful hotel that exceeded our expectations
  11. I tried for a couple of months to book this location, usually starting at $55 and giving up in the low $70s. Finally, a week prior, I broke the stay into two segments (two weekday night and two weekend nights) and the result was that I had to pay more for the weekend. $81 ... 9/22-9/24 $88 ... 9/24-9/26 Accessed PRICELINE from this site.
  12. Won on first bid. I was hoping for the well-reviewed Holiday Inn Express, but ended up in this depressing hotel that I cannot imagine is accurately rated 2.5* I will post a review in the appropriate forum. I accessed PRICELINE through this site.
  13. Stayed here 9/22 to 9/26 2010. Our interaction with three of the front desk personnel was easy and they all were personable and helpful. The room itself was okay, although I have experienced better Marriott Courtyards. We had two queen beds. Each bed has four pillows, double sheeted with a lightweight down-like blanket. I was surprised that none of the bed linens had been ironed. The nice deep blue piping on the sheets and pillows was crumpled and not attractive. The breakfast buffet with cooked-to-order eggs and omelets cost $10.75, so we passed on that; a lighter continental buffet costs $7.95. This hotel met our needs to be close to Edmonds and the ferry, but will not go on my list of inviting places to return to.
  14. I'm hoping to get the Courtyard in Lynwood Edmonds for August 20 through the 24. I bid $55, no deal; I added Kirkland and bid $60, no deal. Later i tried $65 and got a message that if I added $15 I could get the deal for $80. I did not accept, and plan to try again tomorrow for $70/$75, which would be in line with the deal Arsenic got. Any thoughts on this strategy would be appreciated. Also, if anyone knows what the $10 promo code is that Arsenic used, that would certainly help for this five night stay. Thanks!
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