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Elisa

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About Elisa

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  1. My browser and the PRICELINE website are not playing well together, so an error message is thrown, preventing rebidding. 4/20 $63, 3*, Columbia South, not accepted. 4/27 $60, 3* Columbia South, not accepted. PRICELINE EXPRESS Deals were not promising in Columbia South region, although they were better than a week ago. After studying the hotel lists for a while, I figured that the Express Deal for 3.5* in Columbia North for $75 was probably the Columbia Sheraton, and the 2.5* $63 and $58 Express Deals in Jessup were the Extended Stays. Cheapness won out, although I should have started lower, knowing that the Extended Stay is usually $84/night. $53 was accepted.
  2. 4/26/2016 11:06 am $56 Columbia South - rejected Added Fort Meade and Columbia North, and upped bid to $57 - rejected 4/28/2016 10:05 pm $57 Forth Meade - rejected Added Columbia North and South Saw a screen that I never had before that showed a variety of hotels in the Baltimore area, some with prices close to my bid, some with 20-100% rates higher that were closer to my selected area, offering discounted rates for this one time. Continued with my bid. I won a room at one of the hotels shown on the enticement screen, for about ~$20 less than the special rate. Regular rate at this hotel, according to PL hotel listings, is $132, but the link to the hotel on Priceline gives a rate of $104. FWIW, there was a 2.5* in the Columbia South-Jessup area advertised for a $55 Express Deal on Tuesday, 4/26, that I was planning to use as my backup (it turns out it is $57 today). It's just that I was afraid this deal was the 2* Extended Stay that I had gotten a few years back, and that I was not impressed by.
  3. Priceline has changed categories; this is now "Edinburgh - New Town." Tried "Name Your Own Price" on 5/13: GBP 70 in Old Town rejected; 72 in Old Town + New Town rejected. 75 for Old + New also rejected. On 5/14, 77 in Old Town (only) rejected... and husband got nervous, so we went with the PRICELINE EXPRESS Deal for 78 in New Town. (Which has 139.51 in taxes and fees.)
  4. For the second year in a row, I am booking at the last minute. [sheepish grin] 4/26/2015 12:56 am $55 Columbia South and North - rejected Added Fort Meade, and upped bid to $57 (remembering the problems I had last year, when I had to go above $60 <gasp!>) - Accepted.
  5. Hotel is usually $89 per night, according to Priceline listing. Not spectacular, but good enough. History: 3* Lancaster West, $61. Rejected. 3* + Mountville-Hempfield. Raised to $63. Median retail given as $137. Rejected. 3* + Lancaster East, 65. +Letitz, $66. Both rejected. BTW, Letitz adds a 4* 2.5* Lancaster West +Mountville-Hempfield + Lancaster East + Letitz. (Keep in mind you can't remove areas once selected.) Median retail given as $101. Bid lowered to 60. Accepted. It occurs to me that one gets to the point of dropping stars, it might be time to quit for the day and try again in 24 hours. You *know* that you're going to get a hotel at the lower star rating at that point and the going rate for those hotels is lower. You might as well go back to starting with just your first-choice area.
  6. Two observations: 1) It probably saves money and definitely saves anxiety if you book more than a week ahead. 2) Pay attention to what you actually bid on Priceline. It might not be what you had intended. Here's the bidding history: Sunday, 4/27, circa 5 pm Eastern: Columbia North 5/1-5/4, 3 stars, $53. No. Added Jessup & Fort Meade, same price. No. (I attend the same event on the first full weekend in May every year, so I know that I got a hotel for $51 when I bid on 3/27/2013 and for $53 on 4/16/2012) Changed dates to 5/2-5/4. No. Changed to 2.5 stars. No. changed to $55 and added Ellicott (which I believe has one hotel, 3.5 stars). No. Did some research and found mystery 3-star hotels on PL for $89 in Hanover/Ft Meade and on Hotwire for $80 in Laurel. Monday, 4/48, circa 9:45 pm. Columbia North, Jessup, Fort Meade; 3 stars; 5/2-5/4. I *meant* to type $60. I actually typed $66. Won. Oops. I stayed at this hotel in 2011 and 2012 (albeit for about $10 less per night); it's nice and in a good location. When you factor in the PL fees ($10.28) but not the taxes ($16.92), it's a rate of about $71, which is a good deal. My husband points out that $20-30 over two nights is hardly going to break the bank...but it's the principle of the thing. :-)
  7. Started off with 3* in Columbia North and a bid of $51, which was rejected. Added Columbia South - Jessup, Ellicott City, Hanover - Fort Meade at same 3*, same $51 bid, and won. I stayed at this hotel last summer while my husband was on a business trip; his company's must-use-official-travel-agent not only had a rate of about $100, but this hotel was inconveniently far away from his meeting in Arlington, VA. (But it is perfectly fine for the Howard County Fairgrounds, which is where *I'm* going.)
  8. First bid of $67 worked. When using Priceline maps and trying to find a hotel in the northern part of Baltimore, it's easy to forget about Timonium and Towson. However, the AAA guidebook includes these suburbs in the greater Baltimore area. I'm actually visiting an office in the Baltimore (University) area, but this is good enough. And I just saved my company $56.49. This also demonstrates that you CAN get a room via PRICELINE at the last minute.
  9. Just adding a data point: Traveling on business, so I have the option of NOT bidding. Bid 55, 60, 67, adding Glen Burnie (no 3* hotels) and Baltimore West (also no 3*) along the way. There are basically only two 3* hotels in the Baltimore-University (Carlyle-Cross Keys) area (Radisson Cross Keys and Doubletree), and there's a risk of getting the Doubletree, which charges $24/night for parking, so I didn't dare go higher. Regular PRICELINE price for the Radisson is $125. The moral of the story may be: don't wait until the last minute!
  10. Started off with 3* in Columbia North, and added Hanover - Fort Meade next, and then the other areas in turn. Initial bid of $50 not successful (all four areas (Columbia North, Columbia South - Jessup, Ellicott City, Hanover - Fort Meade) at 3* + 2.5* levels). Next bid of $53 worked. This is the same hotel I got last year, and I'm quite content with it.
  11. With taxes and fees, actually comes out to $121.90 per night. Probably could have done better (Priceline has a "deal" for this hotel at $116.87, and there's a listing at $113 on Hotwire that probably matches). There's a huge price increase on hotel rooms for New Year's Eve, so I don't think we could have done MUCH better.
  12. Bid of $53 not accepted at 3*; changed to include 2.5* and obtained this hotel, which is rated at 3-diamonds in the AAA tour book.
  13. I wasn't successful Monday or Tuesday with 3* in Ellicott City, Columbia North, and Columbia South-Jessup (in that order), going up to $61. Last year, I stayed in this same hotel for $58, and found that the location allows me to approach the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival on less-traveled roads, thereby avoiding some of the traffic jams. So today I started with Hanover-Ft Meade, with the intention of adding the other regions in turn if the initial bids failed. First bid of $55 worked.
  14. Failed to get Newton-Waltham 3.5* or 3* at $50; eventually selected all four regions (Bedford - Burlington, Lexington - Concord, Natick - Framingham - Sudbury, Newton-Waltham) and obtained Staybridge Suites Boston Burlington for $51. It turns out to be one of those extended-stay suites places with a full kitchen (but no Wi-Fi access in the standard guest rooms, alas!), so we're pretty happy.
  15. Oops! Was "fishing", and didn't realize that Hanover-Fort Meade was a little further from my destination (Howard County Fairgrounds, West Friendship) than I had intended. Bid of $50 was rejected in Columbia-Jessup; Bid of $53 was rejected in Columbia-Jessup + Ellicott City.
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