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Need help figuring out where to stay in the Santa Ana, Irvine area of California

Need help figuring out where to stay in the Santa Ana, Irvine area of California

Old Sep 30th, 2008, 09:23 PM
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Need help figuring out where to stay in the Santa Ana, Irvine area of California

I'll be making a short weekend hop in October and attending the theater two days in Irvine, flying into John Wayne. I need to make this trip as cheap as possible, since I've already been to Sacramento, Boston and St. Louis this summer. For those of you who know me I'm trying to see my favorite Broadway actor in as many productions as I can, but I'm going broke doing it! However, some of the reviews on Trip Advisor scare me and Hotwire doesn't list Santa Ana or Irvine as one of their options in their build a trip (car and hotel) plans. I'm all befuddled and would appreciate some input from those of you in the know. Thanks!
Maggi
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 09:48 PM
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Do you use Priceline?

If you do youcould get a 3* like the Doubletree for around $45 and with taxes and fees it'll be around $60. A 4* could be at about the $65 level with taxes and fees to add on.

Nice thing about these hotels is that parking is free in most of them.

If you haven't used Priceline before, just come back and ask. Don't bid until you've gotten some tips. Fodorites are very experienced in using Priceline and can help you save a bundle on hotels.

You'll have to book a car at John Wayne, tho. Enterprise sometimes has a half price special for weekends.

Good luck!
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 10:28 PM
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Absolutely do Pricline in this area - you can get some great deals on good hotels.
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Old Sep 30th, 2008, 10:37 PM
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I would try Priceline also. The last time I needed to spend the night in Santa Ana I stayed at the La Quinta, not sure the exact name of street but it was Hotel...something.

It was fine, the room was equipped with a small kitchenette and they serve a breakfast buffet,nothing special but it was fine. Seems like a good a good deal by calling the hotel directly.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 05:24 AM
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Thanks for the Priceline suggestions. I haven't yet used it, but I have done Hotwire (with Kal's help) and it saved me a lot of money in Sacramento. I'm a little uncomfortable this time with being not being able to cancel in case of an emergency and not knowing the exact hotel. I haven't ruled it out and will seek more help in this area.

LSky, I was actually already looking into LaQuinta on Hotel Terrace, so it's good to hear from someone who's actually stayed there. They have free parking and free wireless, both of which are important to me.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 11:56 PM
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Maggi, After I posted I looked it up at Tripadvisor and see the review that may have worried you.

There were no bad smells. Although I remember seeing people with a dog. So I should tell you that I too, have a dog and may not be sensitive to doggie smells. (every once in a while I have to check with my non pet owning friends to make sure I don't have bad smells in my house)

There's not many places to eat right around the hotel that I can remember. A burger/bar rest on the corner was okay. Pretty much like the La Quinta itself, functional but not memorable. This didn't matter to me.

I would imagine that all the hotels on this street would have free parking. It's bordered by a freeway a block over and then a residential area.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 12:24 AM
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A year ago, I got the 4* Westin South Coast Plaza for $65 on Priceline. That's the type of deal one may get using PL.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 03:29 PM
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Well I bit the bullet and tried my hand for the first time with Priceline. I narrowed it down to the general area around Irvine, and picked four stars, bid $50. I got an email back saying that if I upped it by $14 they would accept. I thought about it for awhile, checked a few other websites and prices and figures, WTH why not and closed the deal. So, for $64 I'm staying at the Renaissance Clubspot Aliso Viejo. Not too many reviews on Trip Advisor, but from the photos it looks a heck of a lot better than the LaQuinta I would have booked before your suggestions. How'd I do?
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 04:17 PM
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You could have gotten the room for about $57 if you use a "free rebid".
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 04:22 PM
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The way to do it is to ignore the counteroffer. Instead, go up your bid to $57 in a zone that has no 4*. Like Anaheim Hills, Buena Park, Disneyland, Fullerton, Laguna Beach and Seal Beach.

In fact, with so many of these "free rebid" zones, Orange County is one of the easier areas to bid for 4*. You can add one zone and bid $52. If still rejected, add another dollar or two, and add another zone. With that $64 counteroffer, you know they'll sell the room to you for about $57, perhaps a dollar or two less.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 04:23 PM
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Sorry, my last post should read, you raise you bid by ADDING a zone with no 4*, in addition to Irvine/Costa Mesa.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 06:18 PM
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Aliso Viejo is a good area, you should be fine there. Lots of restaurants, shops, etc. The hotel sounds fine.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 06:33 PM
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I guess I have a lot to learn about how to bid. But, honestly, I'm pretty happy about the $64. I could have save another $20 or so, but all in all it's much less than I could have paid. Next time though I'll remember about the re-bidding. I'll be looking for something in Wash DC at New Years. Does Priceline have blackout dates for holidays?
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 06:43 PM
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Hi Maggi- I think you did quite well given it's your first time using Priceline! The very first time I used it came from a suggestion from a friend, and he just told me what to click on and what $ to type in!

Anyway, one can usually get the hotel for less than the counteroffer price. I just used Priceline for London, and instead of accepting a counteroffer for $99, I eventually won the bid at $90.

There is no "black-out" date on Priceline... but if all hotels in a particular zone at a particular * rating on a particular day are sold out, then chances are you won't be able to win one on Priceline. Or if all the hotels are selling their rooms for $400/night, then you won't be getting it for $64 on Priceline. It's all a simple supply and demand issue.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 08:00 PM
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Good for you! Much better than Santa Ana La Quinta and in a much nicer area.
If I ever have to go to that area again, I'm going to try for that place. Thanks
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 04:27 AM
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I so appreciate your kind replies and help!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 07:32 AM
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You are better off in Aliso Viejo then in Santa Ana. I was just at the Lowes in Aliso Viejo yesterday - it is a very family friendly area - you will be fine.

What theater are you trying to see here? We don't have too much...
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Hi Maggi,

I assume you are seeing somethings at the Performing Arts Center? If so, just allow time for traffic and parking before the performance.

The area is heavily congested, especially at evening rush hour.

You will be paying quite a bit to park in the structure.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 09:01 AM
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I manage a fansite for Eric Kunze, a Broadway actor who lives in the area. He's doing Danny Zuko in "Grease" for a new company, the Tustin Light Opera Company, and this will be their debut. It'll be held at Beckman High School performing arts auditorium in Irvine starting in two weeks. For more information and tickets: www.erickunze.com

MomDD and Dayle, thanks for the heads up. I learned on my last trip to Sacramento in August I had to leave myself a huge amount of time to account for traffic, esp. coming back from San Francisco or Napa Valley! I usually try to eat dinner locally before the play and that way I don't have far to go in the evening. Any tips on relatively decent local Irvine restaurants would be appreciated too.
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Old Oct 4th, 2008, 05:39 AM
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Depending on the time of day it should not be too bad getting from A.V. to Tustin - enjoy your time here! John Wayne is very easy to get in and out of
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