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Chicago Hotel for 9/2-9/3: Help With Priceline & Hotwire -- Or Another Website?

Chicago Hotel for 9/2-9/3: Help With Priceline & Hotwire -- Or Another Website?

Aug 23rd, 2006, 08:56 AM
  #1  
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Chicago Hotel for 9/2-9/3: Help With Priceline & Hotwire -- Or Another Website?

Ok, I've not booked my plane ticket yet. But I'm taking a look at hotels. Right now Hotwire shows that there's a 4* in Magnificent Mile/Wacker Drive area for $132 + taxes.

The amenities list shows a tennis court nearby. From betterbidding

http://www.betterbidding.com/index.php?showtopic=642&

I'm guessing this is Swissotel. It's the only hotel listed on the BB page with tennis court in the amenities list for the * level and area.

I'm happy to go with this, but of course it'd be nice to pay less for something comparable. Would someone be able to suggest a strategy for Hotwire, Priceline or another website?

I'm sorry that if I'm sounding like I'm trying to get someone to do my homework for me. I'm not very picky, but since I've not really looked at Chicago hotels before (or at least not recently), I don't want to make any stupid mistakes.

Thanks!
111op is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:01 AM
  #2  
JJ5
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I've gotten Swissotel on 4 star Priceline for $69 in late spring. You often get Swissotel with a bid for that category, IMHO.

My only advice is to do the bids on Priceline and not take the Hotwire "as is" price yet. I love the Swissotel, but others think it is too far East. It has the best views just because of where it's at, I think. And I don't mind the walk back to Michigan Ave/River.

It really depends on time frames. When is this reservation? How many weeks, months away? I always have the best luck with bids when there is at least 5 or so weeks until the stay.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:32 AM
  #3  
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It's Labor Day weekend -- i.e. next Saturday.

I just booked my plane ticket, so the trip will happen.

How could Swissotel be too far East? From an online map, it looks like a long block away from Michigan. Anyway, since the weather will be mild I don't mind it.

Actually I can sacrifice location (slightly) to save money, given it's only for one night. So something cheaper is even better, if that's possible.

Thanks.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:49 AM
  #4  
Kal
 
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Been battling P'line the past two weeks for a 9-28/29 Chicago stay and it's been a tuff sale.

Please let us know what you wind up doing/getting.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:54 AM
  #5  
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What areas and bids have you been looking at, Kal? Thanks.

I'll keep you guys posted. Actually I'm flying to Madison, Wisc., to visit a friend there. I'm still expecting to spend Saturday night in Chicago, but I'm checking with him to see what his plans are at the moment.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 10:05 AM
  #6  
 
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When I bid priceline in Chicago, I'm happy to bid either the NMA/RN zone or Loop/MP. Both have fine hotels. In my opinion, the risk of 4* hotels in the Loop zone is the Chicago Hilton and Towers. It's on Michigan Ave, but fairly far south. It's a fine hotel, with a red line el stop very close and easy access to Grant Park, but it's far from what a lot of people want to do in Chicago. I still think it's fine enough to take the risk that I'll get it, and I've gotten it once.

Swissotel is 1/4 mile or so to get to the corner of Michigan Ave and Wacker, the south end of the Mag Mile. Many people prefer to stay farther north, but I, like JJ5, love the location of the hotels right on Wacker and don't think they're too remote. Especially in nice weather.

I have not been willing to bid 3* generally in Chicago. In the NMA/RN zone I don't want to stay at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza (I do feel this is too far away from where I'd like to be, but it's not a horrible location).

For 3* loop there's a decent chance you'd get a Club Quarters hotel, which I've read are both fine, but very small rooms. I'd probably bid this level before 3* NMA.

I don't think you'll find anything cheaper than priceline or hotwire on other websites, just more flexibility/choice. If it were me I'd:

bid 4* using both acceptable zones and all free rebids (2 zones, I believe) up to a reasonable maximum for day 1 of bidding.

If I didn't get anything, I'd probably consider waiting 24 hours and doing the same thing again, but with a higher 4* limit. If still nothing, I'd bid 3* on this day to some reasonable limit.

Since your trip is soon, perhaps you'd prefer to bid 3* after your 4* bid the first day. Personal choice . . .

In any event, I'd go make a cancellable backup somewhere if your priceline bidding doesn't get you anything today, since you've definitely bought the airline ticket.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 10:32 AM
  #7  
Kal
 
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111,
We prefer No Mich.
I went up to $115 after low balling and using "free" rebids on 4 and then Boutique.

We have had very good luck with P'line in Chicago but with occupancy rates back up, it's getting tougher.

We got a boutique, The Tremont, last Oct for a little over $100.
While it was a bit "tired" the location was GREAT and it is conneceted to Ditka's Restaurant and it's pot roast nachos and Bloody Mike's!
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 11:03 AM
  #8  
JJ5
 
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Most tourists are like KAL and prefer to be farther North than the River area. I do more activities located in the LOOP and South Loop near Printer's Row, so the River is central and perfect for my stay. I can go either direction.

With this short of a timeframe I believe I have never had any luck in the past with Priceline. (Maybe 30 tries experience for about 5 reservations in the last 3 years.) Some say they have. I have great luck with about a 6 week lead.

I myself with the short time between Labor Day and today, would take the Hotwire Swissotel "possible" for the $132 plus taxes. This is a Holiday weekend in a great weather part of the year and on short notice. It's a good price considering all that.

The reason I said farther EAST, was because Swissotel is the Easternmost point (on landfill jutting into L. Michigan) and as such it is really more than just a block walk. It's actually at least 3 long blocks to Michigan Ave. & the River. (Like Vegas distances, hotel and downtown city maps are deceiving).

BUT you need to know this in your consideration; Swissotel connects to Hyatt plus other venues in an underground walkway that also includes many shops and interesting connections.

It has marvelous views from the gym/pool (extra fee for this) and good, quiet rooms. The Palm is the in- house restaurant and I had an excellent lobster there as well.

All of the above posters have given excellent first hand experience. Now it is up to you to decide. I don't think waiting will help at all.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 11:31 AM
  #9  
 
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The pool was no extra charge when we stayed at the Swissotel (via priceline) in May. Not sure about the gym. They also have great views from the windows in the elevator bank areas on the higher floors.

I would slightly differ from JJ5 in my approach - I would bid on priceline first, maybe up to $100 or so to see if I could beat the $132 price. I might even consider bidding on 3* after 4* if price were a big concern, just to see if I could get something cheaper. It only takes a few minutes to bid, so I'd take the risk that in that few minutes time the hotwire rate would hopefully still be there.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 03:41 PM
  #10  
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Thanks guys for the comments. I'll see what my friend says regarding the hotel booking since I'll have to coordinate my plans with him. I'll try to wrap this up tomorrow if I can.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 03:48 PM
  #11  
 
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111op, need any subway help for this trip?!
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 03:59 PM
  #12  
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Subway? As in El?

I actually know both Madison & Chicago, but I'm shockingly unfamiliar with the two. To the extent that I sent a friend an e-mail about Chicago and asked, "Well, is there some American icon I absolutely shouldn't miss? Like Sears Tower? [Insert smiley face.]"

For the record, I've been to Sears Tower.

I'll definitely be seeing the show on Harry Callahan at the Art Institute. I've liked all his photos that I've seen during auction previews.

I know about the King Tut show at the Field Museum, but I'm confused about the gold/platinum options, etc. I've not had the time to figure out what I should buy yet.

Actually there's a great deal I missed in Madison also. I considered going to Taliesin even though I've visited before. But there won't be enough time for this trip.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:03 PM
  #13  
 
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It was a lame joke about the other board.

Do you know about the Architectural Boat tours?

I'd love to see Taliesin. I love T West in Scottsdale. And, want to take a road trip to see Fallingwater.

Have a great trip!
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:09 PM
  #14  
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I've been to Fallingwater. I still think about my visit there even though it was way before I spent time looking at art and architecture. Wright's vision was unique. And that building, in particular, was really a watershed (in my opinion, anyway).

I've not been to Taliesin West.

I've heard about the boat tours, but I'll look more into them now that you've mentioned them. Thanks!
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:13 PM
  #15  
 
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Here's a link -
http://www.architecture.org/tours.aspx

If you go to Scottsdale, be sure to visit TW. They offer a Friday night tour that is amazing. You can almost imagine his winter "camp" in the middle of the desert - although Phoenix/Scottsdale has crept up to the doorstep. So much amazed me - including his theory of entrances.
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Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:23 PM
  #16  
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Thanks. I need to travel more in southern and southwestern US. It's the part of the country I really know nothing about.

The website looks interesting. I'll take a more careful look at it. But I saw the tour on Mies and maybe I should coerce my friend into driving me out to see the Farnsworth House (assuming that he's driving to Chicago). NYT reported that Johnson's Glass House will soon be open to the public.

I'm already thinking I need more time in Chicago. Next trip.


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Aug 25th, 2006, 03:49 AM
  #17  
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Just a quick update. I'm going to try to book my hotel within the next few days. Hotwire is pricing the Swissotel "possible" at $141 now + taxes. I'll try to bid on Priceline later today.

Other options in Hotwire -- 4* in Loop for $106 + taxes, 4* in N Mich Ave/Water Tower for $161 + taxes.

I think that I can afford to try a bid on PL to see what it looks like. The comments here are very helpful. I'll also take a quick look at BFT to see what's been said.
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Aug 25th, 2006, 03:59 AM
  #18  
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Looks like the $106 + taxes is Palmer House, as the amenities includes a pool -- I crosschecked against Betterbidding. Someone had won a bid there on BFT recently.
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Aug 25th, 2006, 05:51 AM
  #19  
JJ5
 
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I would grab the Palmer House for that price right now, the date you need is CLOSE.

You can't go wrong with that price.
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Aug 25th, 2006, 08:13 AM
  #20  
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Thanks for the Palmer House suggestion. Now that I checked BB again, and it looks like Hilton Towers can have "pool" listed also. But I've not seen that hotel come up recently in BFT.

I've tried a PL bid for 4* Loop. With the 3 free rebids, I failed at 75, 80, 87, 92.

I'll probably try another PL bid and book on Hotwire if everything fails. (The prices look the same as they were a few hours ago. Hope things won't change for another couple of hours.)
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