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About dahl

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  1. Depending on season and day you will notice a wide variation of prices on 4* hotels in the North Michigan Ave area. The same room sold for $60 on one day will sell for $249 the other day. Why??? I believe that it comes down to demand and revenue stream. I theorize that the day that you place your bid two areas are looked at, the first being bookings and booking demand for the date(s)desired AND revenue stream for the week that you bid. I believe that if your bid is placed in a week where the hotels business is very slow, they will accept a more reasonable bid. Paying up front via Priceline offers great incentives for hotels to increase their weekly sales during slow periods. I have no proof of this but that is the way that my bids unfolded. So keep bidding, re-bid again and again.
  2. Success didn't come easy this time around but perserverance paid off. The Knickerbocker like many Chicagao Hotels in the Magnificent Mile area like the Drake is ab older hotel but very well maintained. I rate it a solid 3 1/2 -4 stars depending on what room you get but it is a full service hotel and the staff is great. The lesson to be learned here is to bid in February for late spring/summer accomodations and you should score something decent. Rates on 4* Chicago Hotels seem to vary very widely.
  3. I have been bidding unsuccessfully for a 4* hotel in the North Michigan Ave for the last month and tried again tonight. PRICELINE reports that the mean price for a 4* hotel in that area in early June is $247. I said OK lets give it one last try and pay a bit more. Our bid of $135 was accepted on the first shot. From what I can gather there are periods in a hotels booking schedule where rates drop during slow periods. Priceline with the buy now/ pay now terms gives a revenue stream to hotels in these slow periods. Such a period appears to be mid February as the same situation happened to us two years ago. Ironically we got the Mellenium Knickerbock hotel at that time as well. Its an excellent hotel, with well decorated rooms and a great staff. Ideal to lodge at and its right in the middle of the Magnificent Mile shopping and restaurant area. We are very happy and did use the BiddingHelper.com above. BTW, the rooms look exactly as they are shown on the home page of the hotels website.
  4. At $150 I am at my limit for a 4* Chicago hotel in the Magnificent Mile/River North Area. Since the date is far off I'll just play the waiting game.........and yes I did use the BiddingHelper.com. Unfortunately it wasn't successful on this try but patience is key that some hotel will bite at the carrot. The fall back position is to book in Northbrook about 22 mi North of center city. There you can definitely get a 4* for $100 or less and FREE parking instead of paying $40 a night. Is Northbrook a good area to lodge in? I won't give those creeps one nickle more as I know these hotels rent for less. On three trips to Chicago I've been able to get 4* for $100 or less; The Whitehall, Drake and Millenium Knickerbocker all accepted this rate or less. The economy can't be that good that they can play the independent game and win. We'll see who wins this one.
  5. I've always been able to get a nice 4* Hotel in Chicago for around the $100 range and so far the bidding for 6/4/13 (Tues) is up to $135 and no luck. As pointed out on another thread its a busy time of year there and if you do a search of the "buy it now" prices are significantly higher than my bid. We have a few months to go, so waiting it out is now my strategy. If I have to get hosed, best to get it later rather than sooner. My theory is that as we get closer to the date the hotels may be willing to let unsold rooms go for a lower price, but really now, is $130 + $40 extra to park that LOW? Considering the 3 1/2* star hotels there but they too seem to be priced very high. If anyone comes across a decent deal please pass it on.
  6. Actually we are coming in on the Capital Limited (Amtrak) and picking up a car at Union Station. We are headed up to the Wisconsin Dells that weekend and if all else fails we will just try staying on the outskirts of the city. We only need to lodge in Chicago the nights of 5/30 and 6/4 so if we have stay in the suburbs its no big deal. We usually get a 4* hotel in Chicago in the range that I reported on PRICELINE but not on this trip. I'll give the bids on last trip in CHI next month and see what results.
  7. Trying to get a 4* hotel in River North/Streeterville area of Chicago via the PRICELINE link for 5/30/13 and 6/4/13. FIrst bid $100 and no luck. Then bid $115 and no luck. Can anyone tell me what do these hotels go for in that month? Is it benefical to wait a longer time before bidding?
  8. You are probably correct but HOTWIRE also references Trip Advisor for ratings so that's where I base my comments. However, we have been using PRICELINE / HOTWIRE for several years now and have only been disappointed once at a hotel in Carlisle, PA. It was rated 3*s but it was a generous two at best. There are in fact services that help boost hotel ratings but a bit of checking beforehand and with the help of this forum we usually score something very good to excellent. In the case of the referenced resort we booked a very nice 2 bedroom, 1080 sq ft condo for $94 /night. We will write a review after our stay.
  9. We booked the same way that you did on the above HOTWIRE links and are staying at this resort the week before you in early May. According to our research this property has a very good rating. Each unit is an apartment as such w 2 BR's a living room, dining area, kitchen, laundry and balcony. The booking price is not the total price as I am under the impression that they charge a resort fee of $15 per night and maybe even an internet fee as well. Does anybody know for sure? I expect that with a 4* rating the accommodations will be decent. On a separate note, I distrust the Hotwire ratings as some hotels hire outside firms who pay individuals $5 for writing a favorable review. This can stack the deck and make a 2* hotel into a 4* property. We haven't gotten burned so far as we do our homework before booking and the good folks (and forum owners) here, by sharing info, are very helpful.
  10. We just booked a Orlando Hotwire trip in that date range and I can tell you that prices appear to be rising for May stays. The 4 star properties are all going for around $92-$120 + an added resort fee. You will probably end up with some old outdated, dirty, unmaintained, and worn 4* property for $55 a night. This time of the season $55 might get you 3* lodging but I have my doubts about that.
  11. 4* Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa (previously 3.5*) Amenities: Condo, Resort, 2BR, Restaurant, Pool, Fitness, Hi-Speed Internet, 24hr Front Desk, Free Parking, Kitchen, Laundry (in room), Spa Purchased it tonight via the above links on Hotwire.com. Listed as a 4* for $92. There is also a 4* listed for $96 which we did not bid upon. One thing that is mentioned is the "resort fee" which we view as just another way to squeeze a few more dollars form you. We hope that this is a nice place to stay but is is close to Disney World.
  12. A good friend of mine is going to Chicago in a week or two and needs a room suite for he, his wife and two teenage children. His two children are male and female and obviosly need separate beds. How do you bid on a rooms with a queen and two single beds or two dbl beds and a pullout couch?
  13. We got the J.W. Marriott on Canal Street. Actually the priceline savings was nil for the Wednesday and Thursday nights (as we could have booked direct for that price) BUT the rate went up to $249.00 per night for Friday and Saturday nights so there was a $200 savings. Hope this place is really a four star property and that they've taken steps to eliminate the bed bug problem that hit NOL last year.
  14. As pointed out in my other post, I guess that the 3 festivals going on in NOL at that time heavily influence the pricing of lodging. One month we see wins at $70 and a few months farther out we get $150.00 at the same hotel. In checking June (early summer) is generally a busy time for NOL vacations. As the summer progresses and the temperatures rise I am told that it slows down and rates drop in August (late summer). The only thing that concerns me about NOL and the J.W. Marriot hotel is that there have been incidents of bed bugs reported there but the Omni and many other upscale hotels there have reports as well. I hope that they have the problem under control.
  15. Had a very hard time booking these dates as early June must be a busy month. I see forum members posting lower prices in May for the same hotel. I started bidding at $100 with no luck in either the French Quarter or the Warehouse Arts District. Went to $120 and finally to $150 9French Qtr only) on advise from Priceline. I don't know if the fact that we took the cancellation insurance has any bearing on the pricing but we succeeded. I hope that the Marriott is 4 stars as advertised. Another successful win on the link.