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Tried Priceline, but no luck! Need assistance please.

Tried Priceline, but no luck! Need assistance please.

Old Aug 29th, 2003, 11:01 AM
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Tia
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Tried Priceline, but no luck! Need assistance please.

Upon the advice of several Fodorites, I tried Priceline. I tried $90 for a 5 star in Bloomsbury. No luck. Added Westminster for a free bid of $100, but no luck. Added Kensington and $110. No luck!! Then added Mayfair, but still NO LUCK!!! I quit at that point not knowing what to do.

My question is on my next try in 72 hours, Can I start with a bid for a 4 star in Westminster at say a price of $80 (not thought of prices at all yet, just throwing out a number). Say that?s rejected. Can I then come back with a 5 star in Westminster or Bloomsbury and up the price without having them still checking on 4 stars in either area for the new higher price???? Or should I start bidding at a 5 star and then add 4 star vs the other way?

I was just surprised that one of my offers for a 5 star wasn?t accepted based on what biddingfortravel.com was saying. I?m getting nervous now. We?re leaving four weeks from tomorrow with no place to stay yet. I do have another two star in mind, but it?s $100/night. I?d MUCH rather have a four star for the same price, but wouldn?t we all??!?!?! Anyway, I was hoping someone might have some suggestions for me. Thanks!

Tia
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 11:12 AM
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Check:
hotel-assist.com
lastminute.com
londontown.com
smoothhound.co.uk

But...
$90 for a 5-star translates to about 50-60GBP--you're expecting a lot for that amount of money, especially for September, which WAS shoulder season but has become very popular. How many in your room? If you're seeking a 5-star (and there aren't that many) for TWO people for 50-60GBP--even harder.

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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 11:20 AM
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If you are bidding at the 4 star level, you are also including 5 star hotels in your bid, but excluding 1, 2 and 3 star. If you bid only at the 5 star level, you are excluding everything else. So to answer your question, if you bid at the 4 star level, you cannot formulate another bid in less than 72 hours for 5 star hotels. However, you can immediately start all over again, at the 3 star level.

If you are willing to pay up to $110, then why don't you just book one of the 4 star Thistle Hotels, which are in your price range. I've written about the Thistle Bloomsbury which is a wonderful hotel, or at least I thought it was comfortable, pleasant, and it met all of my needs. You can either check out the web special directly at through www.thistlehotels.com or looking at www.londontown.com.
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 11:23 AM
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Since you were only bidding at the 5 star level before, you can start all over again right now, and bid at the 4 star level, which if you use the same bidding structure ($90-$120) will exclude the 5 star hotels (your previous 5 star bids didn't get you any bites from $90-$120) because the 4 and 5 stars would be included in your bid.
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 12:22 PM
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Hi Tia,

First, DON'T PANIC! Leslie gives good advice, but I would do it a bit differently. I would wait until tomorrow to rebid as more inventory may become available. BTW, are you actually using biddingfortravel to help you construct bids? You should.

You can only bid star levels DOWN (ie from 5* to 4*) not up, so you've got to start at 5*. And once you've mentioned an area, say Bloomsbury at 5*, if you then add another area (say Mayfair) & ALSO add 4*, you may wind up with 4* in Bloomsbury-not a good option in my opinion. So when you bid again, either stick with all 5*s OR stick with areas where BOTH 5* & 4* are good, which to me are

Kensington
Mayfair
Westminster (no 5* at all, but good 4*s)

By the way, Southbank/Vauxhall area has no 4 or 5*s listed so is a good area for free rebid.

I have some observations from looking at biddingfortravel. There are very few winning 5* bids posted in these areas for Sept. & the ones there are are for the beginning & the end of the month, not the middle. It may be that Priceline inventory is tight. ( It may also be that the power outage in London yesterday has affected computer inventory!) The accepted bids were for $95 (Bloomsbury area Churchill Intercontinental) and $132 (Kensington area for the Conrad Hilton). Maybe next time try odd numbers (ie $97, $112 etc.)

In the interim, I would try looking on Laterooms and lastminute etc. as Melj suggested (you don't have to buy anything) & see what's available.

I would also look on londonnights.com and londontown.com to see availability for your dates in some of the priceline hotels. Good luck. I'm sure you'll get something.
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 12:24 PM
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Got the Thistle Bloomsbury for $85/night!!
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 12:38 PM
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Congratulations!
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 12:39 PM
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Tia, congratulations on your winning bid at the Thistle Bloomsbury. It's where I like to stay when I'm in London. The location is ideal, and the hotel rooms were remodeled within the past two years.

I honestly don't know if you got a good deal or not, so check your $85. winning bid against Thistle's website. Thistle includes VAT in it's advertised price, and breakfast is usually included, but not for Priceline customers.
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 12:48 PM
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Tia, you got a great deal through Priceline. I just checked Thistle's website for the Thistle Bloomsbury for September 28 (your arrival date) and the best rate that I could come up with was 96 pounds (for 2 people), which is approximately $151 per night. I also checked the rate for 5 consecutive nights, and the rate did not fluctuate. That rate did include VAT and breakfast. You should be very happy.
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 01:32 PM
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Good deal, Tia!

Have a great trip!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 05:20 AM
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Tia
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I am so EXCITED!!! I did much research before deciding to use Priceline, so I kind of knew what to bid and what not to esp. considering our budget. The Thistle Bloomsbury looks very nice from the pictures and I have heard good things about it, so I'm very pleased. I would've rather stayed at a smaller place, but with our budget this worked out much better. If we don't get breakfast, so be it. We're looking forward to eating those wonderful English pastries we got a taste of while in the Cayman Islands and hoping to find them in London!! Either way, I'm just busting with excitement! Now that the hard work of getting tickets and a place to stay is out of the way, I can start on the fun planning!! Thank you to all who posted!!!

Tia
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