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micawber

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About micawber

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  1. We were hoping for the Millenium, but got this hotel instead, which seemed fine at original glance. Price was $49. Amenities: Fitness Center, Pool, Restaurants, Business Center, High Speed Internet Access (sorry, don't know how to add this to the list) Again, it all seemed like it would be fine. It was near the convention center, light rail, a 15 minute walk to the ballpark and a 5 minute walk to the light rail to take us down to the arena. We weren't going to be spending a lot of time in the hotel anyway. The hotel is undergoing significant renovation. Don't expect all the amenities to be available. There was a list taped to the bathroom mirror describing the improvements, and - for example - putting an internet jukebox in the bar was a higher priority than any of the guest room renovations. i understand that that's probably because it's easier, but i'm not sure that the guests would view it that way. the fitness center was open when we arrived, but then closed the next day. the pool wasn't open when we arrived, and then opened the next day. It is on a street behind the convention center, a 'blind' street in that there are no windows facing the street from the CC. At night it's more than a little creepy. if i had been staying by myself (single woman, or even in a pair) i would not have felt great coming back here at night. downtown STL is no great shakes. there is not much nearby, although the starbucks around the corner in the renaissance hotel was VERY helpful. there are more restaurants several blocks away up washington st. When we pulled into the hotel, the first thing we did was get yelled at by the van driver that we pulled in the driveway the wrong way. I had checked the opening for signs - there were none stating that it was an exit only - and there were cars parked facing the direction I was pulling in. In any event, we were just checking in, and there was no call to yell at a guest, EVER. the clerk at checkin could not have been less helpful. no offer of a map. getting an explanation as to where the parking garage was seemed like an imposition. Parking is immediately adjacent to the hotel and there are spaces earmarked for hotel guests even when there are other events in town. The guards at the garage were polite and helpful. It's a short walk to the hotel. it felt a little less creepy after we did it the first night but there were a lot of people coming in and out, which helped. There is no one at the front in terms of a security guard after 11, but you have to use your keycard to get into the hotel after 11. I don't mind the latter, but if you need that, then have a freaking security guard. The desk clerks were surly or short with guests, cutting them off while speaking, constantly. The parking garage closed one night for no reason we could see, and we had to pay to get out of it (instead of handing the front gate our validated ticket)_. When we mentioned this to the front desk, they first asked for a receipt and when we politely explained that the machine we had to pay didn't issue receipts (and I'm sorry, like this hasn't happened before? they should know), they cut us off and barked that we would get a refund. if the garage isn't manned 24/7, then explain this to guests in advance - we had to get our ticket validated before we left so it's not like they didn't know that's where we were going. It wasn't just us - everyone who had to deal with them was treated rudely (I am a terminal eavesdropper). The hotel was VERY busy due to a football game, the Cardinals in town facing the Braves, *and* Bruce Springsteen playing. I understand that puts a burden on the staff, but if you can't handle it, don't go into the hospitality industry. We got up early one day to go get ballgame tickets, and then took the ballpark tour, and THEN came back to the hotel around 11:30 to shower and change. We didn't know how everything would go or how long we would be gone so we left the "do not disturb" sign on our room door. We went out a few times while getting ready (to get ice and snacks), and were hassled by the maid as to whether or not we wanted our room made up & asked us when we would be leaving. I've never, ever been asked that, except when I was working in a room all day and it was around 5pm. When we came back in the late afternoon, they were STILL on our floor servicing rooms. So I really don't understand the need to rush us or even ask. the lobby is shabby, the restaurant is breakfast only, the sportsbar adjacent has bar food. the place definitely needs renovation, but it shouldn't be a 3 star until it's finished. internet was indeed free and fast. despite the rude housekeeping staff, the rooms were cleaned nicely. i would not ever bid 3* in Downtown STL again and risk getting this place. it was so thoroughly unpleasant that if we had been able to find anything else in downtown STL at any price, we would have moved despite leaving money on the table.
  2. Others have already said this, repeatedly, and I cannot stress this enough: you get what you pay for. No one is being dramatic or off-hand, people are being incredibly sincere and serious. Unfortunately, in New York and environs, ignoring this advice could end up being a fatal or at least dangerous error, and not just a youthful indiscretion, especially since it sounds like you want to go drinking all night and then come back to a "hostel" that I'd raise my eyebrows at based on location and what I've heard about these kinds of places and my own radar. Understand that I have traveled solo as a woman all over the globe (including Egypt, India, and Cambodia) so it's not like I'm some kind of Nervous Nellie. I live here. This is my city. I understand the subtleties, including having built-in radar that goes off if I'm walking down the wrong block at the wrong time or walk into the wrong bar. You pick the wrong place to stay in Manhattan and you can get mugged, held up, or just things stolen from your room. I just had a coworker who ignored all advice and decided to book into a cheap hotel closer to the office (instead of the place we wanted to put him) and he had his laptop taken and one night he heard someone fiddling with the lock on his door. This stuff does happen here, all the time. You are even more of a target if you come back loudly and obviously drunk. Not to mention the target you become if you add oblivious + no street sense + drunk + public transportation. Please understand that it goes against everything I believe in to offer any aid and comfort to the enemy (based on the baseball stadium you are so fixated on attending) but you are demonstrating here, at least, no street sense *at all* and everything you are demonstrating is guaranteed to get you into trouble. Hotels in New York City are expensive during the summer. If you find something that's not expensive there is going to be a catch. If you don't know the city then don't fool around with it. Site mods, sorry if this violates any TOS but I'm just seeing this kid as a headline in the Post this summer. I realize he's not going to listen to anything anyone's said but my conscience is bothering me just leaving this here.
  3. I have a feeling I helped get your cowboy hat onstage in Sacramento a few years ago. The zone is the Downtown boston zone, but as you'll see on the map, it's very large. But there's a T stop right outside Boston Garden (aka Corporate Name Garden), so you can feel free to stay anywhere in Boston. Most folks in our community are chattering about getting the Hyatt for $70-75 for that particular two day stint in November. I've done nothing towards that myself - I've just heard it anecdotally and in emails - so I cannot guide you towards bidding strategy that would get that for you. If you're driving, be sure to budget $25 a day for parking, so take that into account when you bid.
  4. Only amenity icon displayed was Laundry. We guessed this would be the ESA, and, voila, it was. $63.42 with taxes and fees. We're going down for the Mets weekend series, and had hoped to grab a cheap hotel either near the airport or in Cherry Hill - but everything is either booked or the rates are jacked up, and the Cherry Hill hotel review mine field made us hesitant to try anything there (not that it was inexpensive anyway). Don't know what's going on in Philly that weekend but clearly something is. Booked through the HOTWIRE link on your support/travel links page. Thanks.
  5. FWIW, it's doing it again. My guess is that Orbitz is detecting the referral and popping out into a full window.
  6. Going on a roadtrip to see the Mets play out of town. $26, 3 stars, airport, rejected. $28, added 2.5 stars, rejected. $30, added downtown zone (based on another post here), rejected. $32 was rejected by another member of our party. $35, from another member in our party, was accepted. Was hoping for a little cheaper but we're not going to be in the room for much more than sleeping. Thanks to the board as usual for its advice.
  7. although there was a wealth of information about this hotel from biddingforhotel, i added my own hotel review in the review section.
  8. This is a relatively brand-new hotel, converted from an older office building in a plaza with similar 70's style architecture. Hence the reason the hotel is, at this writing, obtainable at very reasonable prices. It is convenient to 287. This is definitely a 3* and not a 4*, but that said, the hotel is very nice. Parking prices are posted at the entrance to the hotel, clearly indicating that self-park is free. Lobby was clearly brand-new. Spacious and clean. Check-in was swift. The clerk noted that I did not indicate a smoking preference, I asked for non-smoking, he asked if I wanted two doubles or a king, I asked for a king. No problems getting those. Priceline was not mentioned, when reviewing the account he noted "pre-paid via Internet". Asked me about parking, I told him we wanted to self-park, and he gave very clear directions in the garage. Multiple entry is also fine, you just need to get your ticket validated at the front desk each time you want to leave. The elevators are somewhat slow. There was always a crowd waiting downstairs. We found ourselves waiting with a large crowd there for a wedding. Our room was on the 4th floor, facing the side of the building, with a view of the rooftops of the cinema and other buildings nearby. The view was nothing to write home about, but we didn't care. The room was a decent size. Desk, arm chair and ottoman (very comfortable for reading), refrigerator (not mini-bar, which I appreciate). The bathroom was nothing special but clean and adequate. The bed was the nicest thing about the room, Hyatt's competition to the Westin's "heavenly bed". We noted the room service menu, which was reasonable and serving until midnight. The health club looked attractive but I didn't bring workout clothes. For dinner, we walked down the street and there were many options, from casual dining to more formal. We walked down near the town square and found "The Famished Frog" which was a nice local bistro. The food was fine but nothing to write home about. The downtown is quaint but pretty much deserted on the weekend. There is a large Century 21 in the heart of downtown. If you like to self-cater, there is a Kings grocery store near where you'll get off of 287 whether you are coming from north or south. The room did have its quirks - the toilet would run unless you jiggled the handle, one of the lamps was decidedly crooked, and the drapes were not blackout. The only real negative was our room's proximity to either an adjacent nightclub or the ballrooms, as the loud bassline from that area went on until after 1am. If I had wanted to go to sleep early it might have been more of an issue, but since this was a mini-vacation it wasn't much of a problem. But something to keep in mind if you are put on a low floor - if you are a light sleeper you might want to mention that or ask if there were any events at the hotel that might keep you up from the noise. Checkout was swift, they want everyone using the self check out machines, and here I got a chance to put in a FF number since there was no record that I was a priceline member in the machine. All in all, for the $41 PL base price, it was absolutely fine, but not the nicest hyatt ever - and i prefer hyatts. i definitely wouldn't have paid more for this hotel.
  9. Thanks as usual to BB and especially biddingforhotel, we got this hotel. We tried at $37 (3* Morristown-Florham Park), got the counteroffer that would not accept less than $10. So I logged in and we bid $41 and won. We are at a family event nearby and have another event in Jersey the next day so this worked out well, since we are already familiar with the area. I apologize for not using the S-B link - we had been trying last weekend to get the Hyatt in Princeton and each time I remembered to start from S-B but here we had too many open windows and I just plain forgot.
  10. The deceiving thing about Park2Go is their web site is totally professional - so when you roll up to a tiny lot with a trailer on it, you're immediately suspicious. I had an early morning flight so I arrived there around 5am, after verifying that they were open 24 hours - their web site says so and I called to make sure. All the lights were dark. I was about to turn around and go find another lot when the lights went on and the trailer door opened. I still thought about leaving but I was concerned about making my flight. I chose the lot because it said, "Valet parking". I had a heavy bag I didn't want to be lugging around. The attendant said, "Oh, the lot's not full, just go find yourself a space." So much for valet parking. I said, I have a heavy bag, I Thought you offered valet parking. "That's just when the lot is full," he replied. That isn't my definition of "valet parking" but, okay. When I returned to the lot after my trip, the woman at the desk complained to me that they would have had my car brought up front, but "you refused to leave us your keys", so yes, I would have to carry my bag to my car by myself. The attendant who was there when I arrived was standing behind the desk at that moment, when I informed this woman in no uncertain terms of what had happened when I got there. He tried to interrupt me by saying he would take my bag to my car, etc etc etc. but at that point I just paid and left. It's not car damage but I think they are a very shoddy outfit who completely misrepresent themselves.
  11. First: I am not a "fan" of TOBB. I have had my posts removed for what they call "tag-team bidding" (which is what happens if a couple try to bid together), I have had the exact same experiences as many of you. I think I have been banned but I've changed email addresses and computers so many times I wouldn't really know for sure. I just really actively dislike the use of the B word and think it inappropriate and below the tone of this forum. For those who don't know, TOBB did get into legal trouble with Priceline because they have a TON of press coverage at one point a few years back. Priceline almost shut them down and this is part of the reason for most of the restrictiveness. They don't want to get sued by a big company because they helped Joe M. of Missoula get a cheap hotel in Boise, ID. So they have to shut stuff down because they did have the spotlight turned on them by PL. Do I know this for certain? No, but I do remember when the press coverage happened so I know that part of it is true, and the rest of it certainly seems plausible to me. So, grain of salt and all that. The other point I will make is this: I am sure the board got started because the admins wanted to help people. Not all of us are born with customer service skills and some people get thrown into areas they don't have the skills for. Right, no one asked them to run the board but I am sure at the beginning it was a lot of fun, before they had thousands of users screaming when the board was down or why didn't you answer my post? And if you think they make a ton of money and so therefore everyone has the right to demand things from them or be abusive when they don't get what they want when they want it - internet advertising stopped being profitable in about 1998. It's likely a few bucks but no one is quitting their job because of that income. Having said all of this, from my perspective, the admins - at least some of them - are burned out and don't know how to deal with it well and it would probably be GREAT if they had someone they trusted to offload the work to. But, again, this being work for FREE, it's harder than you think. I know this because I once ran a very popular web site that started as a fun little thing and over a year or two exploded into a site that got over 10,000 visitors a month. I wasn't equipped for this, but I didn't want to shut my hard work down, and I liked helping people, and I thought I had something to contribute, and it's nice when work you do gets recognized and is successful, isn't it? But I too burned out and people would offer to help who had NO skills, background, or talent and who we didn't trust to help (oh, and when we started out, there were five of us on the project, which dwindled to two very quickly once people saw how much time and work was involved). Does Sheryl need help? Yes, but she probably can't find qualified people willing to work with cranky customers for free. Does Sheryl need some customer service skills? Right, but no one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to go to that board. Has TOBB lost valuable contributors (and intimidated others - come on, *frightened*? What can she really do to you besides post really nasty???) as a result? Absolutely, and that's their burden to deal with. Is Better Bidding a 'friendlier' forum? Sure is. I appreciate that I can ask for help and not get deleted or my head chopped off if I use the wrong font color. but I wonder what would happen here if USA Today did an article about them and suddenly tens of thousands of users flooded the forum asking for advice. But does it make you a better person than Sheryl when you come here and call her a bitch? Um, no. And it disgraces this forum, IMHO. Say whatever you want in private - I have - she's really upset me too with some of her responses to me when she's deleted my posts - but the namecalling in public is just wrong, IMHO.
  12. Got it on first bid (which was the lowest I had seen posted anywhere for the airport area at this time). Major convention downtown means zero inventory and high prices. We tried to duplicate the HGI bid above but could not, so opted for the airport as affordable. Even with cab fare to and from we are cheaper than anything else we could get at this time. Used SavingsBarn. Thanks, BB.
  13. yeah, but unless we can take a cab to and from the gig so we can drink, we might as well just drive back home. i am actually considering the airport area now, even with $40 in cab fare to/from it will still be better than anything else we can come up with.
  14. That's a standard HGI room. MAJOR convention in Philly that weekend. If you check websites, everything downtown is sold out. You are lucky to have gotten the HGI for $70. We are going to see some friends play a concert on the 10th and we'll probably just drive back to NYC because the prices are ridiculous.
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