iahphx

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About iahphx

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  1. Yes, it was my first bid -- I did start at "resorts" for $70 with no luck. Based on historical experience, I don't think it will go for less than $65 this time of year, but somebody with patience could try. There aren't really free zones in Palm Springs, but you could try first bidding a little lower for the Palm Springs zone and then adding that other zone (Rancho Mirage, etc.). Or wait 3 days.
  2. Good deal for the holidays. I think some other mid-week days between X-mas and New Years might also be available. I tried for the New Year's weekend at $65, however, and it was not available. But my previous experience with Palm Springs at that time of year tells me to rebid closer to arrival for the peak days. BTW, I've stayed in this hotel and it's a nice one. Not quite the lavish grounds of the "resorts," but better rooms (they really are suites), good location "in town" and there are nice mountain views from many of the rooms. The Hyatt website's cheapest rates are $225, so I think this is my "best value" (at least domestically) on priceline this year.
  3. A couple different nights at this hotel for December at $42. Rejected at $40.
  4. Needed a hotel in the San Fernando Valley (north of LA) and went to Hotwire first to get an idea of what might be available. They had a 4-star Hilton in my zone for $68 (I determined it was the Hilton by looking at the "packages" feature). So I bid on Priceline (3 stars) to see how well I could do. I got the Hilton for $42. That's a pretty shocking differential, and I don't think it's THAT different from others I've seen. Even with all these bonuses Hotwire is throwing out, it's hard to get very enthusiastic about using their service. Sure, given their slightly different business model, you'd expect Hotwire to charge more (there are no "dumb bidders" to soak). But this kind of markup is simply excessive.
  5. Try using this. http://www.megaproxy.com/freesurf/
  6. I've gotten this hotel for a couple more stays since this bid, including one for next week. It's only failed once -- on a night when the hotel was sold out. It's always $70, although I start lower in case another resort (like the Eden Roc) happens to pop up. There are so many "free zones" when you're bidding for a resort in Miami that only your patience is the real limit!
  7. It sure would be nice if they were to indicate INDOOR pools. Frankly, it might make me more likely to use hotwire, since the guarantee of an indoor pool (especially with the kids) is worth something during the colder months.
  8. An excellent observation, skelman. I've printed off several copies as well (you never know when they'll pull the pdf file, although copying the book would work much the same). I would very much like to hear from folks who have successfully received the rebate, especially multiple times using the pdf form. Also, it would be worth knowing whether fees and taxes and be included to meet the $95 threshold. This does now look like a "top 10" travel deal for the next year, and we have a very long window of time to use it.
  9. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. But look, the "Soup ****" sells a lot of soup (in fact, I recently read he's going national). No doubt some people believe the "order" she brings to her board compensates for the sometimes gruff responses and often easy-to-disagree-about posting restrictions. And it's hard to fault her for trying to drum up some business for her affiliate link: these websites don't pay for themselves, and no doubt she feels her advice is worthy of some monetary remuneration. That said, for those of us who believe there is a better way to run a bidding website, and who don't appreciate being browbeaten by the moderator, there is an alternative. And you've found it.
  10. One somewhat unusual place to consider using this coupon is on car rentals -- especially if you're renting few a few days and the cost is slightly above the minimum $95 charge. A 30% discount (on a $100 purchase), for example, would make hotwire the cheapest car rental option in many circumstances.
  11. Very true, bbbb. Every once in a blue moon I hear a true Priceline horror story (like the Charles de Gaulle airport hotel with no plausible way of getting to the airport in a cost efficient manner), but these are extremely rare. In general, booking a hotel on priceline is about as "safe" as booking a hotel directly. The only real difference is that you don't get to choose your specific hotel (just your area and quality level), and you usually save a ton of money.
  12. Generally, no. The really big theme parks (Universal, Disney, Sea World, etc.) usually only offer a few dollars off in coupons in the Entertainment Books. You can get the same discount from numerous other places -- AAA, fast food restauarant coupons, supermarkets, etc. I have seen some local ediitions have valuable 2-1 coupons for more local "theme park" type attractions -- like Polynesian Village on Oahu, Old Tucson in Arizona, etc. If you want to check whether a specific attraction participates, you can comb each local edition on entertainment.com.
  13. It's not 100% explicit, but from the wording I'm 99% certain that the total value of the hotel, car rental, etc. has to add up to $95.
  14. Yeah, you could look at it that way. :)
  15. BTW, whenever someone tries this, I'd be curious if the $95 threshold is before or after taxes and fees. The offer seems ambiguous.