I started out looking for something in Manhattan, bidding $101 for a 4-star. I was appalled that, in addition to the usual "taxes and fees," they tacked on $28 for a "hotel fee," which I'd never seen before.
I decided to go ahead anyway, but my offer was rejected and they counter-offered with $155 (not counting taxes, fees, and more fees, of course). I turned it down.
Today I tried again, trying $111 for a 4.5 star in Manhattan. I got the same "hotel fee," this time of $30, and my offer was rejected.
Then I tried Jersey City/Hoboken, first with an offer of $101 for a 4.5 star property. No hotel fee, but it was rejected with a counter-offer of $126. I turned it down and bid $111 for 4-star, and this was accepted.
Taxes & fees:$26.15
Total charged today:$137.15
What is this "hotel fee,' anyway? The last time I used Priceline's name-your-own price, in December, I booked a 3-night stay in Charleston, SC, and there was no such thing. Is this an attempt to extract the last penny from people staying in the most expensive areas?