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Changed our minds on area of Chicago...

Old Mar 16th, 2006, 05:24 AM
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Changed our minds on area of Chicago...

Hi,
After reading and talking with different ones, we are a bit too South in Chicago. I think we are going to try Priceline but need to know if the "North Michigan Avenue, North River Area" is what we need to use when purchasing rooms. We want to be in the action and it appears that South Loop, Harrison Street is too far south. Can you help me please? I hope we are not too late, we are traveling June 2-6. Thanks so much.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 05:55 AM
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My friend and I did Priceline for a room in Chicago. She bid on North Michigan Avenue and we got the Westin on Michigan Ave. for $100. It was in a perfect location for us.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 06:07 AM
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Yes you are correct, for most tourists, the area around the Chicago River, North Michigan Ave- these are better.

Priceline is great for doing this as you can designate North Michigan Ave/ Water Tower Place area. I don't know when you are coming, but if you have time yet- do bid. You might want to check out www.betterbidding.com to see what 3 star or 4 star etc. might get you.

You can also see what the winning bids have been. Do not overbid if you have time.

My experience is that the timing is everything on this. If this trip is more than 5 or 6 weeks down the pike you may have much more luck than if it is within a month. If you do this 3 or 4 months in advance- oftentimes you can get $400 rooms for around $100. I have.

Last year I got Swissotel for $79 and Hotel Allegro for $69.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 06:09 AM
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I don't see anything on priceline's map about South Loop/Harrison Street.

Both NMA/River North and Millennium Park/Loop/Grant Park are fine areas to bid.

You can go to www.biddingfortravel.com and www.betterbidding.com to see lists of hotels that have come up in each zone and star level. If there are any that you absolutely are not willing to stay in, don't bid that zone and star level. You can also read the FAQs at either site to learn about how to set up a bidding strategy, though that's less important now that you can bid every 24 hours.

Keep in mind, if there are particular hotels you don't want, that a 3* bid could be upgraded to a 4* by priceline, but they'll never downgrade your bid.

Prices for hotels vary widely in Chicago. $100 for a 4* (that's what the westin is) is a good deal for some times, and quite high for others, so don't just put a single number in your head and bid it. You could end up overbidding by quite a lot.

You have a fair bit of time before you go, so be sure to research what hotels are going for directly through the hotel websites, and don't bid too high this far in advance. Be sure to have a backup, cancellable reservation just in case priceline doesn't come through also.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 07:32 AM
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You are so kind with the info!!
We now have reservations, which can be cancelled, at the Travelodge on Harrison St. This one is close to Grant and also the Millennium Park and I thought that was the places that we should focus on BUT not much night life there. I think we will try Priceline...new to me, but time to learn. Thanks much.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 07:39 AM
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No matter what, you really want to re-think that Travelodge where you're currently holding rez. We've bid the N. Michigan Avenue area quite a few times in Chicago and - even at 2.5* have been very satisfied with our accommodations. But don't do the TLodge!
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 08:32 AM
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Thank you. I agree now after listening to some of your advice. What rating should I begin looking for and how much should I start out bidding at this time...June 2 is when we need rez. Thank you so much. You don't know how much I appreciate your info and time.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Do not bid anything lower than a 2.5* (anywhere, anytime). But at the 2.5* level, you can expect to be satisfied. Do go to biddingfortravel.com and do some clicking. You'll find a list of the hotels that typically come up on P'line, in each location and in each star category - many with reviews. That will help you decide whether you want to bid 2.5 or 3*.

Looking over the bid boards (where recent Pline activity is reported), you'll also get a sense of what you can expect for the dollars you want to spend. Good luck.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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It's not really as easy as all that, if you're looking to get the best deal.

What rating you should bid is entirely dependent on your taste and needs. Check out the sites I posted above and you'll see the hotels you're likely to get in each star category. My preference is 4*, but not everyone needs that. If you'd rather pay less and get less, bid lower star categories.

What you should bid is highly dependent on what the hotels are offering for those dates, which is dependent on demand. Some dates have large numbers of people in town for conferences (and correspondingly higher hotel rates) and others don't.

The moderators at either site are skilled at helping you develop a bidding strategy. Most say that the moderators at www.betterbidding.com are friendlier than those at www.biddingfortravel.com but either way, make sure you read their informative FAQ postings first, then actually supply all the info they request when asking for help.

If you really don't want to take the time to much research and aren't set on getting the best deal possible, just browse through the posted winning bids at those two sites to get a rough feel for what the hotels are going for when you'll be there, then bid that. Alternatively, put in your dates and needs at www.hotwire.com to see what's available, then bid slightly lower at priceline.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 10:15 AM
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I should have said in my earlier post that we bid a 4 Star/North Michigan Avenue on Priceline and got the Westin for $100. It is important to bid 4 Stars in order to get a hotel like the Westin.

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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Would you suggest that I bid a 4* in the North Michigan Avenue - River North Area?

How much would you bid first? June 2-June 6 is our time of travel.

Are these two areas or are they combined?

Thanks. I know my questions seem simple but I am new to Priceline and also have never been to Chicago. I do appreciate your help.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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Sorry....I forgot to ask if when you win a hotel res. if you could call that hotel directly after you win the bid and get a rollaway bed? (We have three people to stay in the room.)
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 06:39 AM
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For early June I would bid 4 star for about $84 and then go up from there if you're refused. It is summer and if you don't want to study the winning bids, it would be a good start. If locked out, try again after the lock out period is over. But meantime check Hotwire.

If you have 3 people in the room, it could be problematic. Yes, you can call and ask- but the room will most probably have two full or queen sized beds anyway. They may charge you extra for a roll away, and that's not part of the Priceline deal. It would be up to the individual hotel's descretion, IMHO.

This far ahead you could also get some good picks on Hotwire- most probably. With those you can sometimes tell which hotel it is by the amenitities lists.

If you have 3 people and for these dates- I myself would go high star and do it right now. Don't forget, you pay immediately and there are no cancelations.
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