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Chicago Hotels - Liar, Liar Pants on Fire??

Old Jul 9th, 2002, 02:53 PM
  #1  
Pull
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Chicago Hotels - Liar, Liar Pants on Fire??

I've read some other posts about super deals for Chicago Hotels that have left me skeptical, yet curious--especially since I'm looking for a good deal myself!

Travelocity, Quikbook, and others don't even come close to what people say about Priceline (which I have never used --isn't it too risky?)

C'mon!!--Is it really true you can find what I read... "4 star hotels for $55. The Hyatt Regency and Sheraton. They were both gorgeus.." or ..."Fairmont...$149/night and the hotel is beautiful..."? What's the catch?

We are looking for a nice, clean place in the center of the Magnificent Mile for $150-$200 this summer, but anything rated over 3 stars I've found on-line is well over $200.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 02:55 PM
  #2  
Suzy
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Priceline certainly has its risks -- principally, that you ahve to pay in advance and they don't give refunds. But you should read up about it at www.biddingfortravel.com and you might find that it suits your needs.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 03:34 PM
  #3  
Kris
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Priceline does have its risks (non-refundable, can't change hotels) but you can also get great deals there. The drawback, of course, is that you get very little input on which hotel except that you get to choose it's general location. I just bid on a hotel in London for $75 per night for a 4 star and got it. Is it the hotel I would have chosen? Nope, but it's hopefully better than paying $90 for a 2 star on Travelocity.

I just saw the Fairmont at $149 per night on the www.877chicago.com website for weekend nights. I haven't used that booking service so maybe do a search here to see if it's reliable. There are blackout dates so don't expect those rates for the weekend of the Air Show or other busy weekends.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 03:35 PM
  #4  
Les
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After checking the bids on biddingfortravel.com, I bid $40 on Priceline for a 3-star (or higher) hotel in downtown San Jose. My bid was accepted, and the hotel turned out to be the Hilton. It was beautiful, in exactly the location that I specified, and the desk clerk, having NO indication of the rate I was paying (it's not in their computer if you use Priceline), gave me Tower access (which included the hospitality room and free continental breakfast).
If you know you won't cancel, I'd say go with Priceline.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 03:43 PM
  #5  
Pull
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Let me ask you this...I just took a glance at biddingfortravel, as suggested, and noticed you are bidding for the room, so there would be no guarantees on the number of beds...the hotel isn't obligated to provide more than one. What about those of us with kids that need more than one bed...Has anyone encountered a problem with this type of a situation?
 
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 03:43 PM
  #6  
Nick
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The rates, as always, depend on when you are staying and for how long. However, I found the Peninsula on quikbook for $250 a night. This hotel is centrally located in the very center of the "Mag Mile," and is a spectacular property. The rate was for a Grande Deluxe room no less. This is an insanely low rate for the Pen which usually runs $400+ a night. Another hotel, although not as good as the Pen is the Swissotel. It is not in the center of the Mag Mile but is close and is very reasonable around $130 a night. This is a four diamond hotel. You shouldn't have any problem finding a good rate and it takes away all the nervousness and guessing that comes with Priceline.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 03:52 PM
  #7  
FrontDeskClerk
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Les, I work at the front desk at a major hotel chain and we (major hotel chain) have a fixed negotiated rate with Priceline. So....if our fix rate is $59/nite and you bid $79 per nite, then Priceline keeps the $20. Consider yourself lucky that you got bumped up to the Tower level. Our policy is to try to give the guest their request such as non-smoking room or king size bed but the bottom line, it is only a request. We will always accomodate the guest that's paying $189/nite first before we go out of our way to accomodate a Priceline guest. This is the risk that you take when you use Priceline for your hotel booking.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 04:03 PM
  #8  
Marty
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I've never used either priceline.com or hotwire.com but they both sound interesting. I'd like to try using this within a week of leaving so I'm 99% sure my travel plans won't change. Is hotwire.com the best or ??? VirginMarty
 
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 06:48 PM
  #9  
Zita
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I used Priceline to get my Chicago Hotel. I bid $100 for a 4 star hotel and got the Westin Hotel Chicago at 909 North Michigan Avenue. Some people think it is not a 4 star, but all admit that it is a great location.

I suggest you check prices on Hotwire and then bid lower on Priceline.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 07:01 PM
  #10  
Starcrazy
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If the Westin on N. Michigan is a 4star hotel then the Four Seasons is an 8 star.
Who assigns these ratings?
They're so far out of whack.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 07:22 PM
  #11  
Lynne
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Hey...I don't know about Star rating but I think the Westin on Michigan Ave. is a really nice hotel. We stayed there and had a nice view of the lake, computer hook-ups in the room, thick terry cloth robes, newspaper each morning, down comforter with turn down service each night, room service that was faster than any hotel I've stayed in. We stayed there for 5 nights and could have not been more pleased. The location is excellent!! I'd give it a 4 star if this means it's excellent in all respects. Lynne
 
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 06:33 AM
  #12  
Ann
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Just out of curiosity, I looked at the site for Homewood Suites in Chicago. It's a terrific place, just off Michigan Ave. and perfect for family travel as it has a seperate bedroom and full kitchen, and also includes breakfast in the price. So, I did a search for a random 5 night stay in August, and I was quoted $139 per night! That's a terrific price since you'll save money by not paying for breakfasts. Anyway, hope this helps.
 
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 06:37 AM
  #13  
w
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I checked Hotwire this morning looking at the Michigan avenue area and found a 4 star place for $96 and a 3 star for less
 
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 06:38 AM
  #14  
AnotherFront
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Front desk clerk is right. We do the samething. You might get a great rate but we do try to take care of the higher paying rates first. Also the rooms with the great rates are usually in less desirable locations within the hotel (near the laundry, elevators for example).
 
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 08:59 PM
  #15  
Pull
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What I'm especially worried about is getting stuck in a room without two beds, sicne we are taking the family and the bid is for "the room." No guarantees on getting what you ask for. Anyone have bad experiences with that?
 
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 09:16 PM
  #16  
Frankie
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Not that anything is guaranteed, but when I booked through hotwire.com I called the hotel directly requesting a smoking room with 2 beds (I was travelling with my brother). They noted the request and sure enough, this is what we got upon check in. I do think hotels make their best effort to accommodate their guests. Frank
 
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 09:18 PM
  #17  
Mina
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Hello...

I don't think anything is ever guaranteed, as far as beds, but since you mentioned taking family, I thought I might mention the Hotel Monaco.

I love this hotel because it's funky! The rooms are bright (depending on how old your kids are, they're going to love this). Pale green striped walls with splashes of red (curtains, etc). Sounds tacky, but somehow it works. There's also a huge mirror in the shape of a sun...usually strategically placed near the bed. But, er, you have kids, so let's not discuss this.

Also, if you get a room with a river view, there is a twin size spot to lay out by the windowsill. (If you don't get a view room, it's kind of a bummer, since you face another building).

For turn down service, they leave pixie stix, or other fun candies on your bed. If you feel lonely, they'll loan you a goldfish (I've never personally done this, but I hear they do.) My co-worker was there over July 4th weekend and said they have started giving out a mixed CD you can play in the room, and you are free to take it home. They also have wine and cheese in the afternoon.

It's not on Magnificent Mile...about 2 or 3 blocks off. Still very centrally located. I stay there every chance I get. The friend I mentioned above got a rate of $119 for her stay. During the summer, you can get pretty lucky with rates for this hotel.

Have a magnificent time.
 
Old Jul 11th, 2002, 04:38 AM
  #18  
todd
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if you know you'r not going to cancel and do not have to stay at a specific hotel then Priceline is the way to go.
I was skeptical last week too but tried Priceline anyway because all of the hoetls on Michigan Ave. were out of our price range and got the Chicago Hilton for $62.00. Then last night we got cubs ticket (short notice) and i had to find a hotel room for one night next week..July 15th. Tried Priceline angain and got Palmer House Hilton for $58.00.Everywere else those hotels were well over $100-150.
 
Old Jul 11th, 2002, 06:04 AM
  #19  
Jan
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But the reason the Hiltons are on Priceline to begin with are that they're not the greatest hotels around and location isn't optimal for people wishing to be on N. Michigan.
BUT: for $50-70 it's hard to ignore the great value.
 
Old Jul 11th, 2002, 08:06 AM
  #20  
Laurie
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Pull My Leg, what dates are you looking at?? You can get almost any hotel except the Ritz, Four Seasons and Penninsula for under $200 on either Expedia or Quikbook. We stayed at the Hotel Intercontinental over Memorial Day for only $103. We now have family coming in over Labor Day and again are planning to stay downtown and most of the rates I have seen for 4 star hotels are under $200. In fact, I think we are going to stay at the Millenium Knickerbocker for $119. Even the Drake is available for $169. Both of these are from calling the hotel directly. The people we are taking downtown are interested in older hotels but there are many hotels that are in the same price range. The Westin Michigan Avenue is only $120 and you can't ask for a better location than that. The hotels you mentioned: Hyatt, Sheraton, Fairmont and not in the Center of the Mag Mile but are all well under $200 on expedia - at least over Labor Day. Maybe there is something going on the week you are looking at hotel rooms are at a premium. I would not use Priceline if you have specific needs.
 

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