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nsxtasy's Achievements


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  1. My stay is complete. I LOVED this hotel! It is lovely in every way. In all my contact with the staff, they were very helpful. The decor was amazing. The lighting and plumbing fixtures looked like they came from a design studio, and the artwork was fascinating. The bed was comfortable. I loved having a mini-fridge (which is not that common in luxury properties). And as noted above, the wifi was indeed free to Marriott frequent guest members. (They asked me for my member number at check-in.)
  2. Seems like a great deal. I suspect this is the same four-star hotel available in an PRICELINE EXPRESS Deal for this area for $75. Amenities for this hotel include: Free Internet (in Public Area) Non-Smoking Gym Restaurant Handicap Accessible Business Center It doesn't say free in-room wifi, but this discussion notes that while it's normally $13/day (ouch!), they provide it free to Marriott frequent guest members, even if the reservation was obtained through third parties like Priceline.
  3. I promised to post a review after my stay, so here it is. There was one problem with my stay here, but it was a HUGE one. At most hotels, when guests check out of their rooms, the rooms become available to newly-arriving guests as soon as they are cleaned by housekeeping. If you arrive sooner than the stated check-in time, most hotels let you check in, as long as a room of the type you reserved is available; occasionally such a room is not available, but usually they do. That's NOT what the Millennium does. At the Millennium, check-in time is 4:00 p.m. and they will not check anyone in before then. As a result, instead of arrivals being spread out over the course of the day, everyone lines up at 4:00 p.m. And the number of guests lining up for the 3-4 check-in clerks can be huge, since the hotel has 872 rooms. I arrived on a Saturday at 3:55 p.m. and was the 25th person in line. (Yes, I counted.) It took twenty minutes wait until I was checked in. At that point - 4:15 p.m. - the line extended all the way from the check-in desk on the Sixth Street end of the building, to the elevators for the south tower, near the Fifth Street entrance. At that point, SEVENTY-NINE PEOPLE WERE WAITING IN LINE TO CHECK IN, SO THE WAIT WAS AN HOUR. This was absolutely unconscionable. And it would be so easy to fix, too, by letting people check in earlier, as soon as rooms become available. I didn't experience any other problems. However, I didn't arrive by car, and some of those who did, reported that the parking garage was full - yes, in the middle of the afternoon. The room itself was okay, perhaps a bit cramped but nicely furnished, clean and comfortable. The wifi worked. There were no premium channels on the television, though. The location, in the middle of downtown Cincinnati, was very convenient. Bottom line, if you arrive in the evening, you might find your stay at the Millennium Hotel to be quite pleasant. But if you arrive in the afternoon, you will hate this hotel before you even get to your room.
  4. I had been doing research and was quite sure that I would get the Millennium, and I was right. I was actually trying to avoid the Millennium, because reviews are mixed (e.g. 2.5 on TripAdvisor). If you bid on Priceline, their 3* and up categories all guarantee user ratings of 8 or higher, and I knew this was not true of the Millennium, so I tried bidding there. But my highest Priceline bid of $94/night for a 3* downtown hotel was declined, so clearly it would cost a lot more to get a hotel there. (Note, Priceline also has a 3* PRICELINE EXPRESS deal for $83/night that doesn't say anything about its user rating and is also almost certainly the Millennium.) There were a few reviews of the Millennium posted on TripAdvisor within the past few days that were decent, so I decided to go with Hotwire. I will try to post my own review here after my stay. Amenities guaranteed before they revealed the name of the hotel: Business center Fitness center Internet access Pet friendly Pool(s) Restaurant(s) Self-service laundry Accessible for visually impaired Accessible for hearing impaired 55% would recommend it
  5. I've completed my stay. This hotel was excellent in every way. The room was clean and spacious, and the bed and pillows were very comfortable. The staff was friendly and helpful. Features like the breakfast and room amenities (refrigerator, microwave) were better than usual for a budget chain. The speed/bandwidth of the free wifi was quite good, and was never a problem. Soundproofing of the rooms was excellent. This is a small property (around 20 rooms) with a sense of intimacy, which is very pleasant. Tips: 1. I don't think there is an elevator, so those with less mobility should ask for the first floor. 2. This hotel is between the Encinitas Blvd and Leucadia Blvd exits on I-5. Encinitas Blvd has frequent traffic backups, so using the Leucadia Blvd interchange is often quicker, even when traveling to and from destinations south of the hotel.
  6. The OP mentions any zones in the title. And I hadn't previously noticed the dates, April 1-3. The prices for those dates are higher than the dates I had tried, probably because they're a weekend and I had tried weekday dates. The lowest prices shown on PRICELINE for 3.5* or more on April 1-3 are $184 for a traditional reservation, and $201 in PRICELINE EXPRESS deals; the lowest price on HOTWIRE is $178 for an opaque reservation and $174 for a traditional reservation. Based on that, my guess is that the best you're going to do by bidding on Priceline is probably in the $150-170 range. But again, you can always try lower, then raise your bid at the permitted two-hour intervals. Given those prices, I'd probably start at $120 and raise it by $10-20 every two hours. If those prices are outside your budget, you'll need to consider a lower star rating. Another thing you can try is calling a few hotels directly, to see what they can do for you. Since you're booking three rooms at a time, maybe they'll give you a better rate when you contact them directly (since they're not paying commissions to a travel service like Priceline).
  7. A couple of thoughts cross my mind. I use the traditional (non-opaque) room rates and the PRICELINE EXPRESS Deals rates to estimate prices. For example, I entered arbitrary dates of 4/12-15 to see what rates are for 3.5- and 4-star Priceline Express Deals. The lowest rate for those star levels was $134; for traditional reservations, $136. If I were guessing, I would guess $110 is possible. The other thought that crosses my mind is, why not just try it? IMHO the biggest mistake people make with Priceline is starting their bidding too high, instead of starting very low and re-bidding every two hours with incrementally higher bids. Some people don't realize that they can bid again every two hours, so it makes sense to start low - even unreasonably low - and rebid with higher and higher prices. If I were you, I would start at $80 or $90; then, if and when it gets rejected, raise my bid by $5 or $10 every two hours until it's accepted (or until the price is too high for you to accept). That way you won't be "leaving money on the table" by starting out too high. Also, don't forget to check HOTWIRE. For the same dates, Hotwire has a 4* hotel in the Monterey-Cannery Row-Aquarium area for $115.
  8. So that was my winning bid, $58 for 2* in this zone north of San Diego. The only amenity shown before the bid was 7+ Priceline user reviews. After I won my bid, amenities shown with the winning bid were: Free Breakfast Free Internet (in Room) Free Parking Pet Friendly Outdoor Pool Non-Smoking Note, Priceline's Express Deals show a 2* hotel in this zone - almost certainly the same hotel - for $70. I was checking this every day, and on one day only, the price on Express Deals was $57, but it went back to $70 the next day. I had been trying several star levels in the zones north of San Diego. Here are all the bids I tried which did NOT win: $65 for 3* Del Mar - Rancho Santa Fe - Solana Beach $62 for 3* La Jolla – UCSD $65 for 3* North County Coastal – Encinitas $65 for 3* Sorrento Mesa $61 for 2.5* La Jolla – UCSD $61 for 2.5* North County Coastal – Encinitas $61 for 2.5* Sorrento Mesa $57 for 2* La Jolla – UCSD $57 for 2* North County Coastal – Encinitas
  9. I just submitted a Priceline "name your own price" hotel bid which was rejected. I thought I would then have to wait 24 hours to rebid, unless I want to change my areas, star level, or dates, other than rare occasions when the website tells you you can bid again right away. But I tried it again anyway, and below is the message it displayed. It seems that it will allow me to rebid after only two hours. Is this a new policy by PRICELINE, to have a two-hour delay instead of 24 hours? Or does the time frame vary with some unknown parameters? It sure sounds like it's no longer always 24 hours. I looked up the Priceline website's FAQ for name-your-own-price hotels and it says: That last part makes it sounds as though the time frame may be flexible or shorter, rather than the flat 24 hours I've been accustomed to. (Also note that they don't actually give the time frame on the screen that rejects the bid as insufficient; you have to then go in and submit your identical offer - with a different price if you want, but otherwise identical - and it's only when they reject the bid because you just submitted a similar bid, that it tells you the time frame in which you can resubmit.) Maybe the 2 hours was a typo and it really meant 24 hours...? I'll try it again in two hours, and let you know whether it allowed me to rebid. Here's exactly what the web page said when I tried to submit the same bid, and it told me I could do so in two hours:
  10. The price was $56 (mentioned in the first line of my writeup), the hotel is in Priceline's Valley Forge area (not the Valley Forge North area), and the reservation is for the evening of August 5, 2015, which is a Wednesday night. This site (i.e. betterbidding.com ) has a standard way in which winning bids are entered, and so all this information is displayed in a standard format. If you look at the title of this discussion topic, either at the top of the page when viewing it or when viewing the list of topic titles on the Priceline-Pennsylvania forum, you'll see it's called "2.5* Philadelphia Suburbs (Valley Forge) Comfort Inn Valley Forge National Park". In both places where the title appears, it is followed by a subtitle in a smaller gray colored font that says "$56 ... 8/5/15-8/6/15". Thus the title combines the star rating (2.5*), the Priceline bidding area (Philadelphia Suburbs Valley Forge), and the name of the hotel, and the gray subtitle combines the price ($56) and the dates (8/5/15-8/6/15). This is true of all the Priceline and Hotwire topics when winning bids are reported by clicking on the "SHARE YOUR WIN" button on the site.
  11. Okay, I'm done now. I bought a 2.5* room in the Valley Forge area for $56 on PRICELINE EXPRESS. Here are my Priceline bids which were declined: $57 for 3.5* in Valley Forge$52 for 2* in Plymouth Meeting$51 for 2* in Valley Forge North$41 for 2* in HorshamI posted all the details about my hotel purchase in this topic. Thanks again to everyone for the advice!
  12. This $56 listing on PRICELINE EXPRESS has been shown as low as $54 a couple of weeks ago; this week it has been listed for $56, $58, and $59. You might be able to get this hotel for less money using the name-your-price feature on Price.line for a 2.5* hotel in this area; I was reluctant to do so because 2.5* in Valley Forge didn't show either free parking or a 7+ user rating as a guaranteed amenity. The Comfort Inn Valley Forge National Park has a 7.5 user rating on Priceline and a 3.5 overall on TripAdvisor, where recent user reviews are very favorable. Based on the star rating, amenities, and location, I was pretty sure beforehand that this would be the hotel I would be getting when I actually went through with it. Here are the guaranteed amenities shown before I made my purchase: Free ParkingBusiness CenterFree InternetFree BreakfastFitness CenterHere are the amenities listed along with the hotel name after I made my purchase:Free BreakfastFree Internet (in Room)Free ParkingNon-SmokingGymHandicap AccessibleBusiness CenterHere are room rates if you wanted to book this specific hotel without using an opaque site like Priceline; I assume these are all cancellable:$99 Expe.dia, Price.line, Travel.ocity, TripAdvisor, Booking.com$89 OrbitzThere was also a non-refundable non-cancellable rate of $71 on the Comfort Inn website. However, the only rooms with that rate were smoking rooms; non-smoking rooms were $76. Taxes and fees on that site were $5 less than Priceline ($6 vs $11). In trying to name my price on Priceline, I was aware that some hotels in the area (yes, even in the suburbs) charge as much as $20 for parking, so I was only bidding on areas and star levels which were shown with free parking or which I was pretty confident had free parking. I was also leery about bidding on areas and star levels which didn't show high user reviews on Priceline. Here are the bids I submitted, which were all declined: $57 for 3.5* in Valley Forge$52 for 2* in Plymouth Meeting$51 for 2* in Valley Forge North$41 for 2* in Horsham
  13. Thanks. I'm in the same boat and I may consider Horsham, even though it's out of my way (I'm headed west from there). I'm up to $49 bids getting declined on 2* in PM/Conshohocken. You mentioned staying at the Days Inn and ESA when bidding on 2* rooms in Horsham. Do they charge extra for parking? I see Priceline doesn't specify free parking when bidding for 2* hotels in that area. They also have a 2* in Horsham for $53 through Priceline Express but again it doesn't specify free parking.
  14. I'm in a very similar situation, trying to bid on a hotel in this area (or nearby Valley Forge) in August. I too am willing to accept a 2* hotel if it gets good user reviews. And I recognize that some hotels in this area are charging for parking, which is very unusual for a suburban area - and paying $20 more for parking turns a bargain-priced room into maybe not such a great deal. It's interesting, in the Plymouth Meeting area, Priceline name-your-price bids for 2* and 1* come with free parking, but 2.5* and up don't show that. So if you're not willing to pay extra for parking (and I'm not), you're limited to the 2* (or less) places. Right now I've found two pay-in-advance options with free parking, and I think they are both for the same hotel. One is a Priceline Express 2.5* in Valley Forge for $58 ($69 with tax), with 7.0 user rating. The other is the Comfort Inn in Valley Forge, which Priceline considers 2.5* and has a 7.5 user rating; booking it through the Comfort Inn (Choice Hotels) website with a pay-in-advance shows it at $71 ($76 with tax). If I can't do better by gradually increasing my bid, I will take one of these options. Regarding the question about how low to bid, start as low as you like, and then raise your bid every 24 hours. (It says 2 hours above but this is the first I've heard of it - did Priceline change their policy?). You can use "phantom" areas to rebid without waiting if you're bidding on a high-star property (e.g. 3.5*) but if you want free parking, you have to bid 2*, and there aren't any phantom areas for two stars. I started at $30 - clearly unrealistic, but I've got plenty of time - and have been rejected at $43 so far. If my bid is accepted, I will post on the appropriate forum.
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