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About mclan

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  1. Just wanted to say that we had an overall outstanding experience at the Seattle Westin (stay was 2 nights in September '05, $112/night through Priceline) At check-in we were told we had a room with 2 queen beds. We asked for a king and it was given to us right away, although it was obvious the hotel was brimming with conventions, etc. We had a room on the 21st floor, North Tower, it was luxurious in every way and had a terrific view. Further, the customer service at this Westin is impeccable. We were never treated any differently because we were Priceline customers. We find this (poor service, terrible room location) to be a more and more common experience the more we use Priceline. Treating Priceline customers poorly is a very short-sighted decision, as we would never go back to any hotel that does not treat all customers with the same quality of service. So far, our experience at the Seattle Westin has been the best out of all our approximately two dozen Priceline hotel experiences.
  2. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Victoria for a 2 nights in September of 2005. We paid $105/night through Priceline, but found we could have rec'd the same rate through the hotel's website. It was not a pleasant experience. We found the ever-more-common experience of being given the worst room in the house, due, we believe, to being Priceline customers. Room was supposedly non-smoking (not marked on door but signs in room), but reeked of cigarette smoke. Room was on ground floor, parking lot side, we had to keep blackout curtains pulled at all times for privacy. Furnishings are sparse and spartan, although room size is adequate. Room and linens were clean but aging. Staff was apathetic and not interested in seeing that we were satisfied. Although the hotel has a restaurant on the premises and offers room service, the Holiday Inn is NOT, in our opinion, a 3* hotel. Only good thing we have to say about it is that there is no charge for parking.
  3. Many thanks for bringing in the discussion about taxes and fees from a couple of years ago, very helpful. Disturbing news, but very educational. Ok, so...does the Priceline services fee go all over the place, or is there a spread, something like $8.00 - $10.00 per night? What I'm looking for is an easy way to estimate approximately what you're paying in taxes and what you're paying in Priceline fees? Or is it better to add 10% for taxes on to your hotel bid, subtract the total taxes and fees figure (from the bidding info), and thereby have a decent estimate of what the Priceline fee might be? Thanks!
  4. The taxes and Priceline service fees are lumped together and NOT itemized. Unless you call the hotel to ascertain what the tax is, you won't know how much you're paying for the Priceline service fee. As it turns out, it's rather significant!
  5. Pros: Beautiful hotel with terrific location across from marina, within walking distance to pier and harbor. Large rooms with very nice decor, amenties (special beds/bedding, plush towels, spa toiletries, etc.) Cons: Customer service, poor enough to reconsider another stay Our stay at the Crowne Plaza was 2 nights, May 14/15 2005. We bid $90 on Priceline, first time, and won. (This was based on another person's bidding history that we read about on Better Bidding, so thanks again!) When we arrived at the hotel we were very pleased with the location and very elegant ambience, but were soon treated to some of the poorest customer service ever. The check-in counter was empty, but we were rushed through check-in with a snooty attitude--we chalked that up to being Priceline guests, although we had nothing but a hunch to base that on. Arriving in our room, we could not get the AC to turn on, so we called the front desk, who told us they'd have Engineering give us a call. No call from Engineering, we call again. Still no call. So by pure accident, we discover that the sliding glass door to the balcony was ever so slightly open, and by shutting it, the AC went on immediately. Why the hotel operator or front desk couldn't have suggested this is beyond me. Next morning we left our room at about 11am for an all-day event across the street. When we arrived back at 9pm, our room had never been cleaned! When we complained, we were given a long explanation of staff, duties, etc., and told that in some instances, rooms were not cleaned until 10pm. This, from a classy 3* hotel, made our jaws drop. We snapped back that staffing was not our problem, and that for a hotel with the rep. of Crowne Plaza, a room not cleaned by *late afternoon* should not only be totally unacceptable, but copiously apologized for--and that a room not cleaned by 9pm simply a non-occurrence. Well, they took off the $13/night parking fee. But we left shaking our heads. Again, we chalked it up to being Priceline customers--with nothing but a hunch, but we felt, a good one. We're going to notify Priceline of our experience and hunch, by the way. Otherwise, the hotel completely lives up to its 3* rating. We had only 2 minor complaints: Door from the parking garage to the hotel is non-automatic! Poor planning for guests coming in, laden with luggage, to have to pull open a heavy door. Other thing was that you had to walk about a 1/2 block from the front entrance to the elevators--more poor planning.
  6. I'm certain this question has been covered here before, but I couldn't find the discussion. We're new to Priceline, have only won a few night's stays so far. I'm embarrassed to admit we hadn't paid too much attention to the service fees until now. During our last hotel stay, we realized that we had paid approximately $8.00 per night in Priceline service fees! The actual fee amount was something like $8.33, so we figured that amount had to be a percentage. We wondered if the fee was based on the room charge only, or the total of room and taxes? Needless to say, the deal we got on our hotel room wasn't quite as sweet as we had imagined! Anyone out there figured it out how to predetermine what the Priceline service fees will be? Is it available on the site somewhere? Thanks!
  7. You can rest assured, we will ask for help next time--we learned the hard way! :)
  8. I have added a review of the Handlery Hotel on the Reviews forum. As you say, the value was terrific, so I had no complaints. However, had I paid $109/night, I wouldn't have been anywhere near as pleased with the place!
  9. The reviews for the 3* (for Priceline) Handlery Hotel in San Diego (Mission Valley) on are very poor, so I was ready to be disappointed. However, I had no real complaints about this hotel. Especially considering we got rooms for $45/night on about a week's notice for April 8, a Friday night. We had two rooms, they were identical in all ways. Pros: Clean rooms, only slightly showing age, decent furniture, restaurant, beautiful resort-type pool and jacuzzi. Comfortable bed--not as firm as I like, but absolutely acceptable. We both had king size, by the way. Hotel is built like a fortress--ugly but very safe. All interior doors, good security, etc. Cons: Unprofessional and poorly trained staff (more like a motel than a hotel), ugly architecture and very plain rooms, tiny televisions (18" screens), buildings difficult to find your way into, long walks to the furthest buildings, parking $8 night (we had it waived due to having a handicapped placard) I'd definitely recommend this hotel at Priceline prices. The lowest rate I could find was $109.00 night, so we paid more than 50% less. Not much to look at, but a great home base if you're not going to spend a lot of time in your hotel room.
  10. Please add the Holiday Inn to the 3* list for Victoria--we were surprised (and disappointed) to get it, not having seen mention of it anywhere on this forum. Holiday Inn Victoria 3020 Blanshart St Victoria, BC 250-382-4400 Used this forum to check out prices for 3* hotels in Victoria last September, $90.00. According to posts, 3* hotels were either the Mariott Inner Harbor or the Laurel Point Inn--either of which would have been great. However, we ended up with the Holiday Inn, you can count on a review after we return from our stay. Bid history: Bid starting at $60 in increments of $10 until we reached $100, then had offer for counter-offer of $122. Disregarded, bid $105 and got the Holiday Inn Victoria. (Could not change zones (greyed out) or dates, so had to wait the 72 hours between each bid.) Checked for rates, found we had saved only about $20 per night, lowest rack rate we found was $124 night for the same dates in September. Also checked availability for the other two hotels mentioned above, and found no availability for our September dates on either Expedia or Orbitz?? Were surprised at this so far in advance. Maybe some big convention happening on those dates or some other event explains the not-so-great deal from Priceline.
  11. We have been bidding on Victoria 3*/4* for the last several weeks for dates 9/13-15/05. Started out with $60, had to get up to $95 before we got the "re-bid" offer of adding $22 to our $95 bid. So that gave us a good hint, will try $105 and figure to get a 3* hotel in Victoria for around $110/night. Same dates last year were seeing winning bids at $90, so prices are definitely up. Will let you know.
  12. After reading the helpful posts on this forum, figured the lowest I could bid on a 3* hotel in Mission Valley would be about $45 and that I'd get the Handlery Hotel. I was right! First bid was $45 on Mission Valley area only, got the Handlery. Knew hotel gets poor reviews on, but figured one night would be ok, especially at that price. Best advertised rate I could find was $109/night. Will post my opinion of the hotel. By the way, parking is $8/day, I called and confirmed. However, I have a handicapped placard--when I mentioned this, the front desk told me the parking fee would be waived. I've also heard that if you complain and say there's nowhere else to park but in their lot, they'll waive the fee.
  13. Thanks so much for your post! We are going to the Redondo Beach Bayou Bash May 14 and 15. Last night we bid $90 on Redondo Beach/Manhattan Beach area only, got the Crown Plaza. Two nights, May 14-15, $90/night. Best advertised rate: $189.00. Not bad!! Thanks again.
  14. Thanks for the info, will know next time to just wait out the 72 hours and bid in between initial bid and the suggested re-bid from Priceline. Actually, it's a really good hint, isn't it?! Westin Hotel and Towers, Seattle (downtown) September 8, 9 2005 Initial bid, $90; Priceline suggested $112, bid $112 We had selected only the downtown zone, by the way
  15. Hi, I'm a newbie, just placed our first bid on Priceline last nigh. I've been perusing this very helpful forum for the past week and want to say thanks to all for a great place to learn about Priceline and Hotwire! Fairly certain this situation/question has been covered before, however, couldn't find with any search terms I entered. So here's our experience: When bidding on Priceline for a Seattle 4* (downtown) hotel last night for dates in September 05, we entered a bid of $90. Priceline searched, then came back with the answer that they could not find any hotels willing to accept our bid. However, if we'd up our bid by $22, they'd allow us to search again and waive the 72 hour waiting period. Well, after our research on this forum, we figured we probably needed to go up to at least $100. Since we were only staying 2 nights, we decided to go for the additional $22 and see what happened. Almost immediately, Priceline came back with the Westin Seattle. What about this option, folks? Was it wise to go for it? If we had entered anything other than a $112 bid, would our bid have been rejected? Don't know if it makes any difference, but we are located in Southern California. Thanks!