Priceline and San Fran. Help Pretty Please

Old Apr 20th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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Priceline and San Fran. Help Pretty Please

I'm asking nicely so I hope I get lots of help. First, what is the website that reports recent deals for priceline so I know what might work? Second, I need a hotel in San Fran. May 2-6 in the Union Square area just for myself and I was planning to use priceline. Should I wait until closer to my departure or should I go ahead and book it now to get the best deals? Third, is that particular week in May the high tourist season in SF?

Thanks for the help from all you Priceline and SF Veterans.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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www.biddingfortravel.com

It is not too soon to try Priceline now. If you can't get rooms at the rate you want, you'll still have time to bid again (you have to wait 72 hours).
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 02:38 PM
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yes, it is www.biddingfortravel.com, and if you READ the info there, you can learn that there are "tricks" that Priceline veterans take for granted, that brand-new-to-Priceline people don't know.

If I were in your shoes then as soon as you are "CERTAIN" of your trip plans and nights you'll need, it would be time to make first attempts at securing a room through Priceline.

When you click on San Fran, at www.priceline.com, and it takes you a step or two toward the final bidding process, there is a point where you can select which AREAS of "San Fran" you would be willing to accept.

I understand that your ONLY area to accept is "Union Square", BUT it makes sense to educate yourself AT PRICELINE about which other areas have what hotel ratings.

IF YOU are convinced that you want no less than a 4-star hotel in the Union Square area, then you might proceed as follows:

First trip to priceline you bid $50 for a 4-star in Union Square...

THEN, if you are rejected, you can add another area WHICH DOES NOT HAVE a 4-star (or higher) hotel to give you, while raising your bid offer maybe $5 or $10 per night.

BECAUSE THE OTHER AREA does not have any 4-star (or higher) hotels, it becomes IMPOSSIBLE that you could really be stuck staying in that undesirable area. Yet you can still use that **trick** to gain an edge at Priceline and not have to wait another 72 hours to bid.

Observe that this would NOT work for 2-star hotels, because every area has them.

Go ahead and start bidding soon, but read enough at biddingfortravel.com to understand the "trick" I just mentioned. (called a "free rebid" at biddingfortravel)

You'll feel great if you win a certain bid very soon, especially after you rush right over to that hotel's website to find out how much you would have paid for the same nights at their hotel.

In short, start bidding at Priceline now and try to be patient if the winning bids aren't coming your way. No use eliminating the potential savings by bidding too much now in a desperate attempt to get a room booked, when you have a bit of time left.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 02:50 PM
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Yes, Priceline is fun and I have loved the results. To me it is always an adventure as well. You don't get stuck in a rut.

I've done SF Priceline and I'm sure you will get something very nice, but do start bidding now.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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I've used Priceline twice in SF and had exellent luck. Definitely start bidding now. If you don't get a bid accepted, then you have plenty of time for rebids.

My latest SF Priceline reservation was in December for Union Square east - $60/night for the Grand Hyatt a half block from Union Square. It was great.

With any hotel in that area, when you call the hotel with any special requests or when you check in, ask for a room on as high of floor as possible - we were on the 5th floor last time and the street noise was pretty loud.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am going to START READING to get the scoops that you seasoned pros already know. I will post back soon -- hopefully with my SPECTACULAR RESULTS
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 05:22 AM
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Northwest Male gave a pretty good summary of free rebidding, but switched around what I consider to be a very important aspect!

Definitely check hotel web sites and other sites to see what the going rates are for the types of hotels you're likely to get. It sure would be disappointing to bid, say, $75 on priceline only to find out that you could have gotten a similar hotel for $85 by some special they're offering. If you do a little homework first (and it sounds like you are) you'll be much more satisfied with priceline and will only use it when you can get a truly good deal with it.

And if you're confused about anything you read at BFT, don't hesitate to ask about it here. Lots of us are experienced with priceline and happy to help.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 05:47 AM
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We stayed in Union Square two years ago over Memorial Day weekend. I would definitely bid now on Priceline. We started at $60 and used our free bids to get up to $65 for a 4**** -- got the Hilton Towers. With taxes & fees, came out to $75 per night.

Be sure to read the biddingfortravel section on how to make free bids.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 08:05 AM
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There is a another aspect that jlm mi has rightly touched on. If even with switching star categories etc. you do not obtain a winning bid- be very careful that you don't go too "high". May 2-6 is a "longer" stay than most for the Priceline agenda, and it is not that distant from today, April 21.

Therefore, if you reach a point that you are over say $90 (that's just my limit, yours may be different)and you still are not getting the winning bid (you have a 5 day stay after all)- then I would heavily check out the other discount sites as well. For instance at that point I check Hotwire for it's most definitive (mine) preferred area (Union Square) and see what their specials are for 4 star, resort etc. categories. You may find something there and read all the amenities and like what you read, at say $83 a night.

Good luck, as it is actually quite fun to me. My best was getting the Cupples Station Westin looking into St.Louis Cards' stadium for $65. We were put into a suite with spectacular peach marble bathroom that was bigger than most entire NYC hotel rooms and had a "window" into the bedroom. And actually I have never had the poorer room in any place I have stayed through either Priceline, Hotwire, or hoteldiscounts.com.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 09:42 AM
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TG: Though nobody's mentioned it, I'll just note the fact that parking can be a costly horror. I love the City, and Union Square. But if driving in to San Francisco, expecially for a several-day stay, abandon the car. You can do a search on this forum for extended discussions on the subject.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 10:15 AM
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The first week of May is not a high point in the tourist season. The week-end after, though, would be crowded due to the Bay to Breakers race being run on Sunday, May 15.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 10:24 AM
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No one has yet mentioned BetterBidding.com, a similar, but in my experience, better moderated and more helpful Priceline/Hotwire help site than BiddingForTravel.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 10:46 AM
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I use Betterbidding.com when using Hotwire, as that's the only site with such info. But for Priceline, it has much fewer reports than biddingfortravel.com.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 04:06 PM
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BetterBidding.com does have fewer Priceline reports, as of yet, although I find following the fluctuations of what people are getting on Hotwire as shown on BetterBidding to be valuable information for Priceline bids (which, of course, should always be proportionately lower than Hotwire is giving for a comparable date and property.) But in my opinion, if you read the messages and discussion behind the reports, you also find more insightful and helpful moderators, and a more sophisticated and knowlegeable clientele, at BetterBidding than at BiddingForTravel, making it definitely the more useful site overall. It's the only one on which I post my reports now.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 04:48 PM
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Just a few minutes after I wrote my post above, I happened on another thread where the BetterBidding.com vs. BiddingForTravel.com comparison has been discussed this PM, and I just topped it--it's called "Budgeting for Hawaii Vacation" or something very close to that. If you're choosing where to go for help, note the comments posters Biker and maw put there a couple of hours ago.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 05:09 AM
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JBC411 - Why is it so either or with the sites? I understand you prefer betterbidding, and that's great. So you use it exclusively. That's great too. I use both, because they have different info. Why shouldn't others do the same? You seem so adamant that people shouldn't use BFT because you don't like the moderator. FWIW - not everyone gets rude responses from her either. I've been happy enough there, though I've posted very little. Both are excellent research resources.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 05:56 AM
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I suppose my response is the same, jlm, as it would be if you had a good experience at a hotel or restaurant which I found dirty, and the staff uncaring and discourteous.

I'm happy for you that your experience was better. But I recount mine for the same reason people always give reviews here: others may have limited resources, in this case of time, and also may want to avoid being mislead and having plain ugly experiences. We help each other make choices by exchanging what we have experienced and observed.

You may disagree with my views, but such exchanges are what this site is all about. Why are you here if you object to people expressing their opinion that one place is a better choice than another?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 06:08 AM
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You misunderstand me. I think it's great that you shared your experience. But I also feel that you're being so insistent that BFT is not good, and only betterbidding should be used. I just don't understand why someone can't be presented with both sides (which happened) and make a choice where to go, instead of coming back and repeatedly saying how the other side sucks. That's all. You can say it, I'm only pointing out that I think it's extreme.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 11:22 AM
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Why is it "extreme" for me to say that I think that a restaurant's food, a hotel's service, or a web site's "help" is not good and should be avoided in favor of others? These are value judgements with which others may not agree, but people are making them all the time in this forum, and come here to read others.

I don't think you'll find anywhere I have told people they should not check the bids won postings on BiddingFor Travel if they have the time and inclination. I do recommend going to BetterBidding.com, or this forum, in preference to BiddingFor Travel if one is seeking bidding help from a moderator or others, because I have found the quality of BFT's "help" dubious, and I, as well as others who have reported their experiences with BFT here and on BetterBidding, have been subjected to utterly needless moderator abuse there which I would like to help people avoid. And, frankly, I don't think a business which frequently treats its clientele with such gratuitous personal ugliness should prosper.

I don't see anything more "extreme" about my taking that position than if I had said--as I have on occasion--that a particular restaurant may have a great view which makes it a nice spot for a drink, but I'd recommend avoiding dinner there because I've found the food questionable and the waiters rude. You may have a different opinion and experience and of course the right to lay it out alongside mine, jlm, but it is your repeated insistence that it's "extreme" for me to recommend that people avoid a place which I think gives poor service that's out of line here. We've expressed our differing views, neither of which is "extreme," on these two web sites, so now let's let others freely consider them as they wish.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 11:40 AM
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You still definitely misunderstand my point, but this is silly. I don't care what you post about either site, really. I was just trying to understand further.

I'm sorry I upset you. That was not my intent.
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