Priceline is scaring me

Old May 7th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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Priceline is scaring me

Ok, I booked my flight to London for 27 Aug, arriving on the 28th (at 6:35 a.m.). Shoulda booked the flight directly with American, but c'est la vive. Anyhow, I'm staying in London for 7 days and 8 nights, then off to Birmingham to visit my cousins. After that, I fly to Edinburgh for 4 days and nights.

I splurged a bit on the hotel in Edinburgh, but haven't booked a room yet in London. I know the general area where I want to stay and would like to stay in a decent hotel.

I'm in great shape, so walking is no big deal. I don't want to be stuck out in the boondocks, though. I'm also travelling alone and would like to be fairly close to some nice restuarants and clubs.

I've checked the popular sites for room prices and even went to the specific hotel's sites. The prices are crazy. I'm now thinking of venturing further out of the central areas I was considering (Soho, Mayfair, Bloombury, etc). I'm trying to budget around $125-150 a night.

Was thinking of giving Priceline a try, but have been seeing both positive and negative experiences with them. Is it a crap shoot or should I go for it to save $$?

Sorry for the long post, but this is my hard earned money I'll be spending. Thanks.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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There is a technique to using priceline. Go to biddingfortravel.com to learn the craft.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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Priceline is one of the best cities for Priceline. But don't do ANYTHING w/o first checking biddingfortravel.com

You might also have better luck bidding for two different stays Like 4 nights each. You might end up having to move to a new hotel - but longer stays sometimes don't work as well w/ Priceline.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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London, too!
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Old May 7th, 2006, 04:02 PM
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I recently used Priceline and got a four star in Mayfair for £60.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 04:08 PM
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Here's a neat site to explore:

http://www.smoothhound.co.uk/

Cheers!
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Old May 7th, 2006, 04:23 PM
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LOL, janisj...

To paraphrase another thread here, Priceline is an infinitely better city than Priceline... for which to use Priceline.



Best wishes,

Rex
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Old May 7th, 2006, 04:28 PM
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I used PL in London last June Bid for a four star in Kensington and got the Millenium. It was very nice for the price... I would do London again. I did Paris once and it was not as successful. Locations aren't as good.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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I've had fabulous luck with Priceline for London. Read reviews on BFT. For me, even if we'd had gotten one of the less desirable hotels (mixed reviews), I'm sure I would have been satisfied for the savings. But, we stayed in really nice hotels (Millennium Bailey's and Waldorf Hilton) with Priceline for ridiculously low rates.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:52 PM
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When refering to biddingfortravel.com, I'm assuming you mean reading to see how others had their bid accepted, yes? Also, thanks for the info on splitting my stay. Moving to another hotel is no big deal. In fact, it probably will be a nice change.

Also, is it too early to start bidding for my trip at the end of August/beginning of Sept?

Looks like I got a lot of reading to do.

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Old May 7th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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Well I obviously was typing faster than I was thinking (something we ALL know Robes never does)

&quot;<b>London</b> is one of the best cities for Priceline&quot;

biddingfortravel has more than just bidding advice - it also has lists of all known PL hotels w/i each bidding zone to help you decide where you want to bid.

I'd go ahead and start bidding soon-ish - but keep the bids low. Start out rock bottom. You can always re-bid and raise your offer if necessary.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 07:20 PM
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I second the comments that others have made. I also got the Millenium Mayfair (4 nights) and paid 105 DOLLARS a night! It was a fairly nice room overlooking Grosvenor Square and a very good deal for that price. That is less than I paid using Priceline in Seattle!

Being an obsessive planner, I bid in August '04 for my March '05 stay. The key to using Priceline well is carefully research the zones and the rules for free rebids. This enables you to rebid in the same area without waiting 72 hours. For example, if you want a 4 star in Mayfair, you can rebid, adding a zone that does not have any 4 star hotels. I believe the Mayfair and Knightsbridge/Kensington zones are the most popular and also the best for proximity to restaurants, clubs, etc... I would definitely use Priceline again for a trip to London. The savings far outweigh any downsides associated with not getting to pick your hotel. Good luck!
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Old May 8th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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I booked The Royal Horseguards Hotel via priceline-europe which is active hotels. It says there that it's a sister company. How reliable is active hotels/priceline europe? The price rate here was much much lower than any I've seen for this hotel.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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www.betterbidding.com is also a user- friendly site that helps you make your bid. you can ask for advice without getting the third degree.

or copy the advice given to another poster.

but you must study and understand it.
if in doubt.. do NOT add free bid zones you don't want to be in, in case you mess up., or they add a hotel there in the meantime.

lose your fear and go for it.

but i cannot stress enough getting familiar with the priceline site up to &quot;paying&quot;.. to get a feel for it, and also these two helping sites that are fabulous.

good luck.

i got nervous the first time i bid, too,.. but when i won the paris hilton at cdg for $76 i was estatic!
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Old May 8th, 2006, 03:42 PM
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Here's my step-by-step tutorial for how to bid on Priceline for novices.

It was a response to an inquiry about Toronto. But it works with all major cities with multiple bid zones. The zones will be different for London, but the principle is the same for everywhere:

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...p;tid=34707601
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Old May 8th, 2006, 03:57 PM
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We use priceline all the time here in the states. Last month I used it for London and Paris for 2 rooms in each-traveling with my 3 daughters. We recieved Hilton Olympia Keningston for 65 dollars a night this June and Le Meridian in Paris for 103 a nite. I dont know if these Hotels will be giving us the worst rooms in the hotel- but i am pleased with Priceline so far.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 04:27 PM
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It has never been my experience, anywhere, with a Priceline reservation, to be assigned &quot;the worst room in the hotel&quot;. Obviously, for a deeply discounted rate, you're not going to be upgraded to a suite, and you're probably not going to get the best view if the hotel is full.

Even with a conventional booking, you are at the mercy of the desk clerk and front desk manager.

Often, when checking in, I have been offered an upgrade for a nominal additional nightly rate (and I do mean nominal) to a suite, room with a glorious view, etc. At a Hyatt, we wound up (with no charge) on the &quot;honors&quot; or whatever floor with the free breakfast, &quot;happy hour&quot;, etc., which required a special elevator key to access that floor. At Le Parker Meridien, we were offered a suite (awesome) with a view over Central Park (also awesome) for another $15/night.

Year before last, I booked the Marriott Marquis for $110/night for four nights over New Year's Eve! Checking in, I was a bit dismayed over the long, long, check-in line, and how long it took the clerk to assign a room, and then how far from the elevator our room number was. But, the ROOM! A corner room - the biggest I've ever, ever seen in a hotel - overlooking Times Square and where the ball drops!

When I booked the Waldorf Hilton in London with Priceline, the first room we were assigned was an interior corner room with a view of a horrid fire escape and the dumpster. I went back down the the front desk and told them I was sorry to be a bother, but we were staying for 10 nights, so would very much appreciate a nicer view. We were immediately reassigned to a view on the street side with a lovely view. The clerk told me they usually assign the interior rooms first because they are &quot;quieter&quot;.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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Thank you for easing my mind about the reservations with priceline. I hope we will be pleasently suprised
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Old May 8th, 2006, 05:07 PM
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Let us know how you make out!
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Old May 8th, 2006, 05:10 PM
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I've only had VERY good experiences with Priceline. Do your research on www.betterbidding.com.

Once you know which hotel you've &quot;won&quot;, join the hotel frequent stay program if it's a chain. You won't get points for the Priceline stay, but will for any incidentals you may charge to the room. At the front desk I hand them my frequent stay card along with my credit card at check-in - and have even recieved upgrades to the conceirge level - all without asking. I don't expect it of course; just enjoy it!
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