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London Priceline hotel experts, please help

London Priceline hotel experts, please help

Jan 22nd, 2005, 12:58 PM
  #1  
yk
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London Priceline hotel experts, please help

I am planning to try for a PL hotel in London for 3 nights in March. I have used PL & biddingfortravel.com many times for US hotels and have great success each time. This will be my first try for London hotels.

I also have lived in London for 1 year in the past, so I am familiar with London neigborhoods.

Right now, I am planning to try for 4*s in either Kensington, Westminster, Mayfair, or Bloomsbury. But before I do so, are there any "unpleasant surprises" in any of these 4 areas or the hotels? I tried to read most of the reviews on biddingfortravel but my head starts spinning because there are so many.

Thanks for your help.
yk is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 01:05 PM
  #2  
 
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The only way to know what matters for you is to go through that whole list carefully. But this is what I've observed from paying attention for a couple years. I have a good memory, plus I'm always thinking of going to London!

Copthorne Tara Kensington used to get mixed reviews, but has been renovated and seems to get good reviews now.

Hilton Olympia (Kensington zone) comes up only occasionally but is a little less convenient than the more likely Kensington options.

Dolphin Square in Westminster has mostly positive reviews, but some think it fairly simple.

Russell Hotel in Bloomsbury has several types of rooms which vary in quality.

I don't recall any problem with Mayfair.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 01:12 PM
  #3  
yk
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WillTravel-

Thanks! I was hoping you would reply since you are such an expert on London hotels. I am quite low maintainence, the main issue is to be sure the hotel is close to a tube station and in a safe neighborhood.
I am a little bit hesitant with Bloomsbury because of Euston Sq (Novotel?) but seems like the reviews are ok as well.

The alternative to PL hotels would be staying at a B&B in Bloomsbury, but I think those are probably still more expensive than a PL hotel.
yk is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 01:15 PM
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It's true that part of the Bloomsbury zone is really more like Kings Cross. I can't say I'm familiar with the neighborhood of that Novotel, but others here have said it's fine.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 01:18 PM
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Hi yk - try a search of this forum for previous posts on this very subject. Not having used Priceline before I don't really understand it, but it seems folks have had good luck with getting 4* hotels in S. Kensington and also Mayfair, so maybe you don't have to consider Bloomsbury.
Best of luck!
taggie is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 01:30 PM
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I agree. Bloomsbury is the least attractive
in terms of options. My best luck recently has been in Mayfair (usually get the Waldorf Hilton for $105-$110), but others have their own preference.
One advantage for me is that this hotel is a 5 minute walk from the Covent Garden tube station.
pilgrim is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 01:54 PM
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I'll preface this by saying I haven't used PL because I usually rent a flat in London. But I have carefully studied the BFT info several times just in case and the areas I would feel secure are 4 or 5 star in Mayfair/Soho and 3 or 4 star in Westminster. I would be happy in any property in those two sections. Every other area has at least one problematic hotel that I would hate.

There are good hotels in all of the areas - but the chance of gettiing a dog would scare me off except for Mayfair/Westminster
janis is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 05:55 AM
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The two "safest" areas for PL are Mayfair and Westminster. Kensington is also good, but there are a couple hotels that aren't quite as convenient. We've stayed in Bloomsbury a few times and liked it, but some of the PL hotels in Bloomsbury are around Euston Station area - not ideal.

On my last Priceline bid, I started with just Mayfair, then added Westminster. Both bids were rejected so I kept my bid the same ($82) and added Kensington and got the Copthorne Tara. The BFT moderator suggested that I shouldn't have added Kensington (since it is a lesser-priced area) and that I should have started a new bid. But I'm very pleased with $82/night.


We've been very pleased with the hotels we've gotten in London thru Priceline (Dolphin Square in Westminster and Copthorne Tara for our upcoming trip in February.)
Kayb95 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 06:46 AM
  #9  
yk
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Thanks for your input so far.
Looking at the winning bids on biddingfortravel, it appears that 4*s in Kensington & Bloomsbury are being won around $80, whereas 4*s in Westminster & Mayfair are going for >$100. Since we will be staying for 3 nights, I will have to see if I want to spend the extra $60-70.
yk is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 07:18 AM
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i don't know much about pl. what happens if you have to cancel
realtorseena is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 08:07 AM
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They offer some kind of travel insurance you can purchase before you place your bid but I've never used it so I'm not sure what the terms are. But generally, once your bid is accepted, your credit card is charged and you own it - no changes or cancellations. One of the risks of Priceline.
Kayb95 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 08:15 AM
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First of all, start with Mayfair as your safest bet. Bid for a 4* hotel. I would bid between $80 and $100 since that is what historically Priceline has awarded bids to. If your first bid is rejected you can try a trick to get a FREE rebid immediately. Heres how, go back and add South Bank - Vauxhall to your bidding and raise your price. This is a good rebid because Priceline does not offer 4* hotels in that area so basically you are just rebidding on Mayfair. If that doesn't work you can rebid the process gaian after 72 hours using the same process.

Mayfair is a good choice because the 4* hotels in Mayfair are mostly good choices. winning bids in this zone have included Sheraton Park Lane on Piccadilly, Thistle Royal Horseguards, Thistle Charing Cross, Marriott Grosvenor Square, Hotel Inter-Continental, Kingsway Hall, Millenium Hotel, Radisson Edwardian May Fair Hotel, Holiday Inn Mayfair and The Waldorf Hilton

The problem with all the other zones is that many offer hotels in distant locations as follows...

Kensington - The Hilton Olympia is way out of the way. If all else fails you can try Kensington and hope you don't get the Hilton Olympia. I haven't really seen it awarded recently anyway. The 3* locations in Kensington are also OK and can be had for around $60. I have stayed at the Kensington Close and thought it was nice.

Westminster - Most are centrally located except for Dolphin Square which may not be too close to a tube. Victoria Park Plaza may also be out of the way.

You can look at biddingfortravel.com and it will tell you what hotels Priceline is awarding and what people are paying.

If you need help with London Hotels email me, I know the city very well.

Also have you tried londontown.com for a deal?
richardab is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 10:34 AM
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richardab: Just to clear up one thing in your otherwise really useful post.

Both Dolphin Square and the Victoria Park Plaza are w/i easy walks of tube stations and conveniet for getting anywhare. The Victoria Park is VERY close to Victoria tube/train/coach stations and Dolphin Square is about a 5 min walk from Pimlico tube station.
janis is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 11:39 AM
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I don't even think it's a 5 minute walk from the Dolphin Square to the Pimlico tube station - I would say three minutes, tops. We were a bit nervous after we won that hotel on Priceline, but it turned out to be very convenient. Only one short stop from Victoria and two stops from Green Park (on Piccadilly.) I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.

In fact, when I bid on Priceline last week for our February trip, I was hoping to get the Dolphin Square.
Kayb95 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Kay: I think you are closer to it. I could probably do it in 3 minutes too. I've rented flats in St Georges Sq and on Lupus street several times (haven't stayed in Dolphin Square since the mid-70's) and it is a very short walk -- UNLESS you stop at Goya for a coffee/liquer .

Anyway - It most definitely is not out of the way. It sounds a bit like richardab was using of a review from somewhere and hasn't been to either property
janis is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 12:45 PM
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We used Priceline to get 2 rooms for our teenagers and ourselves which we used for 8 nights week between Xmas and New Year. I used the biddingfortravel.com web site as background research to help determine how much to bid. We got our rooms about 4 months in advance of travel, just before the dollar took another dive against the pound. We got the Holiday Inn Forum in South Kensington for $75/night/per room. We thought this was very good. It is a VERY large, impersonal hotel. But after being crammed into a charming French style hotel room in Paris for a week, we loved having all the space. We needed 2 bathrooms by then, each room had a mini fridge large enough to store some essentials, and a teapot to make instant coffee, hot choclate, and tea. It is a stone's throw from the Glouchester Rd. tube and the bus on Cromwell Rd. which takes you to Harrod's, the V&A, Science Museum, History Museum. The food in the hotel is horribly expensive, but lots of small cafes nearby and also a Waitrose (maybe Sainsbury) grocery store, and Starbucks. We would stay there again. They were very nice at check in, no mention of PL and gave us an upper level room with nice views of London.
aliska is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 12:49 PM
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where's Monica? she got a fabu centrally located place for 100 bucks a night (bucks).
flygirl is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 12:59 PM
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Monica used the same strategy i listed above.
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Jan 23rd, 2005, 01:20 PM
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I bid on a 4* in Mayfair and got the Millenium Mayfair for $105/nt for four nights in late March. I'm booked at Covent Garden Hotel for the other three nights ($$$), but I am still considering trying my luck with a 5* in Mayfair for those nights, which would probably save enough to pay for all our theater tickets. My theory in splitting the week at two hotels was that if I got something I wasn't especially pleased with for the first 4 nights, I'd have something better to look forward to.
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Feb 19th, 2005, 06:25 PM
  #20  
yk
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Here's an update:

I have been bidding for 3 weeks straight (7 times total) for a 4* in either Mayfair or Westminster, with a max bid of $110. I was ready to give up today, as I am leaving in 1 week. I finally won the bid tonight for $105/n at the Mayfair Waldorf Hilton.

Very happy that my patience paid off.
yk is offline  

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