London areas and Priceline

Old Jan 28th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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London areas and Priceline

Hello to anyone who knows London,
I am considering Priceline for 3 nights in London in May. I have seen MANY winning bids at the Hilton Olympia in Kensington, and Copthorne Tara/Kensington. There were a couple of interesting places in Mayfair/Soho and in Westminster.
One was the Marriott/County Hall. the other was Thistle Royal Horseguards.
I know it's hit or miss, but is one area better than another for location? Horseguards looked great and easy tube access.We will be doing 2 full days in the city ---

Thanks!
Liz
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:05 PM
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It mostly depends on how much you are willing to bid. The Hilton Olympia or Copthorne tara will be much cheaper and are in the Knightsbridge/South Kens/Earls Court zone.

You would have to bid MUCH higher - and in the Westminster zone to get County Hall.

Westminster zone used to be the most reliable PL zone but now there is one fairly inconvenient hotel south of the river in that zone so it is no longer a guarantee to get a good location.

Most of the other zones do have good hotels/locations but also have areas that are not so hot.

Many people will complain about getting the Olympia Hilton - but it really is a nice hotel w/ large rooms and very good bus but less good tube connections. I've "won" it twice - and for the $75 I bid last Feb you really can't kvetch.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:12 PM
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Liz,
Kensington is not too far from the tourist sights in London and it has some of its own charms.

We do however prefer Mayfair/Soho because it is right in the middle of it all. This is the West End Theater District and it is very central to Covent Garden and lots of attractions.

We ended up with the Waldorf Hilton (I think it was a 4*) in the Theater district a couple of years ago for $100 a night. BiddingforTravel.com (maybe .org or .net) will let you know what is popping up these days.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:20 PM
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I'm a fan of Bloomsbury/Marble Arch, even if you might get a hotel near Kings Cross (like the Novotel St. Pancras). I'd prefer this to the western areas of Priceline's Kensington zone.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:20 PM
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Marriott County Hall is a great location. I've stayed at Horseguards and it is a very nice hotel. It is pretty convenient to the tube. I found the area immediately around the hotel to be a little bit dead at night.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Another option to consider is Hotwire, although I think their zones match up pretty close to Priceline, so you may not have any advantage in this case.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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the chances of getting the Marriott CH or Horseguards are not very good. They are both VERY nice hotels w/ normally pretty high occupancy rates.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for the tips. I think I am leaning toward Mayfair. The 2 most recent wins have been Thistle Charing Cross & Horseguards. Both with good reviews. I'm going to watch a bit longer and look around.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:51 PM
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The only problem with Mayfair on Priceline is that it will likely be really expensive, in relative terms. It would likely still be a bargain compared to booking a 4* Mayfair hotel directly.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 07:47 PM
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Keep an eye on winning bids at Betterbidding and Biddingfortravel, also Hotwire on Betterbidding.

We've had fantastic luck with Priceline for London.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 02:02 PM
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We've stayed twice at the Royal Horseguards - thru American Airlines Vacations. Lovely hotel close to the tube and w/in walking distance of many attractions.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 02:10 PM
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If you bid for a 4* in Westminster, you have to expect to get the Riverbank Plaza on the south bank, and which is not particularly close to the tube or attractions.

Or you might get the Jolly Hotel Ermin, which has some not so great rooms, according to reviews.

Neither of these would dissuade me from making a Priceline bid (although Westminster would not be my first choice of zones), but you have to keep in mind that a realistic outcome for a 4* hotel in the Westminster zone probably involves one of these two hotels, and not the Thistle Royal Horseguards.

Similarly, you have to expect that you'll get something like the Hilton Olympia if you bid for a 4* in the Kensington zone, and that the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum (a super-convenient and fairly nice hotel) is rather less likely.

It's also possible some unknown 4* hotel will pop up, but it will still be in the specified zone.

I always figure out the worst case possible before I bid on Priceline.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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Bookmarking - thanks!
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 03:51 PM
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Thanks for that info on Westminster. I had seen a recent win for a 5*--$179--for the MArriott County Hall, relatively speaking, that was a good win on a great location.
MAny of the 4*'s in Mayfair looked ok. Not sure about the Sheraton. I am not crazy about the Hilton Olympia location, or Copthorne Tara ? in Kensington, so I don't think I want to bid there. I would really like to stay in Mayfair--or Westminster.I'm still checking Londontown & watching the bids.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 05:06 PM
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I've never used Priceline, so this may be a dumb question....How do you know what others have bid?
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 05:40 PM
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In answer to the above post: check biddingfortravel web site. People post winning bids and bidding strategies. I recently bid $95 per room for 4* in Kensington and received the Hilton Olympia (as I expected). The location is fine for me and the price great.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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Priceline used to be fantastic for winning nice Thistle hotels at very good rates. My friend got Horseguards for about 100 USD, while DH and I got Marble Arch and Charing Cross for about that amount, too.

Those days seem to be over...according to biddingfortravel, Thistle doesn't seem to be showing up anymore. They must not participate in Priceline now.

We'll still be bidding PL for our stay in March 2008, and hope we get a good room at a good price. Good luck with your bid!
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