Satisfaction with Priceline Hotels

Feb 18th, 2007, 02:30 PM
  #1  
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Satisfaction with Priceline Hotels

I've never used Priceline but would be interested to know do people really end up with the quality and location of hotels that they bid on.
Has anyone ever ended up with a "dud", meaning, a hotel far from where they thought or not really the star quality they thought they were bidding on?
I've looked at the representative websites that can help people out with the bidding process and was wondering what others think.
With the price of some hotels I think it's great to get a break once in a while.
thanks for your input.
travelprincess is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 02:44 PM
  #2  
GoTravel
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Because I've always done extensive research before bidding on priceline, I have always been extremely happy with my results.

There are no shortcuts to smart bidding on priceline.

People run into problems when they try to take shortcuts.
 
Feb 18th, 2007, 02:59 PM
  #3  
TKT
 
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Philly and Chicago have worked out very well.

NYC has worked out well when I am by myself, but I did have a room for 2 that was VERY small, priceline gave me a 10% discount on my next purchase as a result.

I have never had a problem with neighborhoods because I checked in advance to make sure the areas I choose are good.
TKT is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 02:59 PM
  #4  
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Thanks GoTravel. I also wanted to know if Priceline "rooms" are their significantly inferior rooms or can you request upgrades if need be even for a price.
travelprincess is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 03:11 PM
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Many hotels (although they don't advertise it) have "inferior rooms" that they give to customers who pay the least - whether it be Priceline.com, Hotwire.com, website discount, etc. It sort of makes sense that the person who pays top dollar gets the top floor view room and the person who paid rock-bottom prices gets the 2nd floor room with a view of a parking garage. For some reason, some people think they are entitled to the very best rooms in the hotel even if they paid next to nothing for the room.

To me, as long as the room is clean, quiet, and comfortable, I don't care what kind of room I get (though I am also picky about smoking/non-smoking and prefer a larger bed). If a room is noisy because it is literally adjacent to the pool (happened to me at a Doubletree in Maine last year), they should not sell that room to ANYONE. If something like that happens with Priceline, you can complain and may even get a refund for the entire stay (as I did last summer). An "inferior" room should still meet a minimum standard, no matter what you pay.

In most cases I've been extremely happy if not delighted with my Priceline rooms. More often than not they are not "inferior" just average rooms. Sometimes they've been nice view rooms or upgrades without asking (depends how full the hotel is). I've used Priceline a couple of dozen times for hotels and swear by them. And like others I do a lot of research ahead of time (BiddingForTravel.com; some use BetterBidding.com) before I bid so I know what hotels I could get. I usually won't bid at all in a particular zone/quality level if I have a chance of getting an undesirable hotel based on my research. Other than my Maine experience I've always done well and in that one case I got a refund anyway. So I have no complaints with Priceline hotels at all.
Andrew is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 03:26 PM
  #6  
 
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I totally swear by Priceline for HOTELS (I'm too chicken to try it for air fares so far)

The single most rewarding moment is after getting a winning bid, and then racing to the hotel's website and pretending to make the same reservation there, to see how much it would have cost.

I have never, ever been truly dissatisfied with a Priceline room, and have had occasional ones that just boggled the mind for how awesome they were for perhaps $40-50 per night base rate.

There have been a couple of times when I wondered beforehand about some ordinary-sounding (non name brand) hotel I got, only to find that it was quite suitable once arriving.

The so-called "savings" are perhaps better looked at as if you are a "Best Western Motel" kinda person who is getting to stay at a Hilton or Sheraton for the Best Western price.

And a nice hotel (if affordable) really enhances a trip/vacation.

The "location" element is slightly tricky in that things like parking charges can significantly reduce the "savings". (like, say, in downtown San Francisco where most everywhere has a considerable parking charge per night).

IDEALLY, when using Priceline, you should NOT be concerned with PINPOINTING your location (as in, you need to be within walking distance of your convention, etc.). Ideally you would be ready to accept and be content with any spot within a mile or three of the particular spot you want to be in.

IF you need pinpoint accuracy, then do NOT use Priceline. (though I have done remarkably well at being successful when merely crossing my fingers in hope that I'd land THE SAME HOTEL I got previously through Priceline, when going to areas I'd visited before)

It would help to know who you are in terms of YOUR hotel routines:

Are you someone who rates safety and quality at the top of the list, and who might typically stay at a place with a base rate of $100-200 per night?

I contend that profile of person has room to work with at Priceline, and might get the same room for a base figure of $60-90 base rate per night.

(*** almost never does that mean trading the original rate of $102 per night for $90 per night)

Gen-er-al-ly the $102 per night that you normally pay might be had for the $60-ish range, while the $190 per night that you normally pay might be had for $85-90 per night base rate.

I can remember using Priceline to successfully bid $45 for $175 rooms a time or two.

Anyway, it is usually a great help for your trip budget.

Go for it!

NorthwestMale is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 04:00 PM
  #7  
 
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Is it possible to be guaranteed a non-smoking room w/ Priceline or is that a chance one must take?
Swaying_Palms is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 04:27 PM
  #8  
E_M
 
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What do you mean, do your homework?
E_M is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 04:40 PM
  #9  
 
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I have used PriceLine for Chicago, NYC (many times) and London (2 rooms, 7 nights), each time I read up on biddingfortravel.com and betterbidding.com I also checked the reviews and locations of the "reported" hotels in the areas I am bidding, but also realize that a new one could pop up. I usually stick to only bidding 4 star, especially for London - not that I am a hotel snob but just to be safe and avoid any unwanted surprises.

I have NEVER been given a bad room or been treated rudely because I got the room via PriceLine. Most recently the Hyatt in NYC upgraded us (without asking) to a king room - apparently we checked in at the right time with the right person.
Margo_Chester is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 05:11 PM
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You cannot get guaranteed room type on Priceline. In fact, even if you book directly with the hotel, there's absolute guarantee either.

The way to get the correct room type is to call the hotel (the actual location, not corporate reservations) a few days or a week before travel and request it.

It may also help if you sign up for that hotel's frequent stayer program. I have been given rooms on the SPG floor in a couple of Westins even when I book through Priceline.

I also have never been given a bad room in the dozens of times I've used PL for hotels.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 05:17 PM
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You need to understand the number of stars on Priceline is determined by the hotel itself. Priceline does no inspection - nor do they make any claims for specific hotels.

So - you really need to do your homework - and be willing to be somewhat flexible.

There have been reports in some instances of hotels inflating their stars - so if you MUST have a 4* with certain amenities - realize with Priceline you may not get them. The risk is why you're gatting the great price. If you're really risk averse -and will be seriously disappointed by minor issues - don;t do Priceline.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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I was very happy with Priceline in a few locations--S.F. and Tuscon to name a few I can think of offhand. Yes, do your research first on biddingfortravel.com and you should be fine. In S.F. not only did we get a non-smoking room, but they upgraded us to a suite at the Marriott for $90 through Priceline.
artlover is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 05:19 PM
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Sorry - don;t mean to sound negative. You should have a hotel in the area indicated that is clean and pleasant. But if you're one of the people who is unhappy if the decor is "tired" or the drapes "dreary" Priceline is NOT for you.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 05:25 PM
  #14  
E_M
 
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I got a good rate at Le Parker Meridian in NYC. I told priceline that I wanted a 3 or 4 star hotel on CPS. There were only a handful of hotels in that area at that rating, so...what bad thing could have happened?

I'm not concerned with the room as long as it's clean and quiet.
E_M is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 06:22 PM
  #15  
 
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I don't doubt that some hotels have inferior rooms, but I myself have certainly never gotten one. As advised above, I call a week in advance to make my simple requests (nonsmoking, beds, etc.).

My strategy for PL in a city I'm not familiar with is to print out Biddingfortravel's list of the reported hotels in the PL zones I'm familar with, then go to Biddingfortravel's message lists. For each win, I note the winning bid on the line next to the hotel's name. This yields not only a clue as to the amount I shuld bid, but also shows which hotels are coming up most.

When BFT adds a hotel to the list, they add it at the bottom of the group for that zone and star rating, so that's another clue to what you'll be more likely to get.

PL does change the zone boundries from time to time, so be sure you're checking the current maps.
Anonymous is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 06:24 PM
  #16  
 
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I think by "do your homework", people generally mean to take a few steps that can make your Priceline experience more rewarding. I generally do the following "homework" before bidding on Priceline:
1. I check biddingfortravel.com to see which hotels tend to come up at each star level in the different areas of the city I plan to visit.
2. Check tripadvisor or Fodors for reviews of those hotels. By doing this, I find out if I need to avoid an area or star level to avoid the chance of getting an undesirable hotel.
3. Check current prices of those hotels on their own websites before bidding on Priceline, as well as check to see if there are any major events planned during my stay that might limit hotel availability.

This takes a few extra minutes, but I've never been disappointed with my Priceline results. My most recent Priceline experience was in Louisville, KY last month. I was able to get a room at the downtown Hyatt for $55, when the cheapest room on the Hyatt website was $125. That was definitely worth the 15 minutes of research!
BetsyinKY is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 06:41 PM
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I first started using Priceline when visiting my daughter at school in Miami in 2002. It was GREAT--we almost always got the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, a very nice Hyatt, for $45-$60 a night. It felt positively like stealing! We also used it in New York, Washington, Mexico City (this city is especially good, you often get the JW Marriott for $70 even nowadays), etc.

I personally feel that the bargains are harder to come by in many areas now that people are traveling more again. However, the only hotel I ever got that I disliked enough to leave early was something called the Grand Bay Miami. Priceline recently combined the Coral Gables and Coconut Grove areas, and I think the Coconut Grove properties leave a lot to be desired. The Grand Bay was formerly a Wyndham, but is now some nonbrand with real shortcomings. I gues I will have to stop using Priceline in Miami if this property is a possibility!
marilynl is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 05:07 AM
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I just got back last night from a trip that involved two Priceline stays: one in Boston, the other in San Francisco.

Both hotels were good. We got a view room in Boston, and we had a courtyard room in SF, good because it was in a noisy area.

In Boston, we could have booked an Embassy Suites in the same area for about the same amount of money once you factor in the cost of breakfast at the Hyatt. In SF, no one in Union Square would accept my bid, but I got the Sheraton in Fisherman's Wharf.

The Sheraton is boring and full of cruise passengers and tourists, but then we were tourists, too. The staff were excellent, the breakfasts expensive but good (and there was an 24 hour IHOP across the street) and the bedding and towels were wonderful.

On the other hand, I tried to book a one-way auto rental on Priceline, and the system just plain crashed. I clicked on its own airport lists, and it told me they were invalid. Over and over again.

So if you absolutely positively are going to be somewhere, I think Priceline is wonderful for hotels. If your plane might be cancelled or your plans might change or your aunt goes in the hospital, you are out the money.
Ackislander is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 05:18 AM
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I only did a Priceline hotel once -- in New York for one night only and it was a night when virtually all hotels were full, so this may not be a great example. We booked about a week ahead and although I studied a bit, and my first bid was refused I got a rate of about $160 at the Times Square Hilton. But their own special internet rate was well over $250 for that night. The room we got was on a low floor and a special "handicapped" room. That was OK, except we had a step in shower with a hand held shower only that literally just dripped water. I took the shower head off to try to get any kind of water out of it.
I went to the desk to see about getting a different room, and I was rather abruptly told that since we were there for only one night and since we had gotten a bargain rate on Priceline, there was really nothing they could do. Frankly I don't blame them. The hotel was full. Why would they take someone out of a $250 room and put them there so I could have their room? They also told me they were very busy and they doubted a maintenance man would be able to fix the shower while we were there.

I did some "preliminary" looking and bidding for a hotel in Seattle, and found that the current rates being received via Priceline were within only a couple of dollars of some special rates being given by the hotels themselves -- including senior rates. We opted to choose our hotel rather than take a chance for a couple dollars savings. When I posted that here, I did get a number of responses saying that yes, others had not been terribly successful with Seattle hotels on Priceline. I think it all depends on the city and the time you're going.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Feb 19th, 2007, 05:24 AM
  #20  
GoTravel
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<""You need to understand the number of stars on Priceline is determined by the hotel itself. Priceline does no inspection "">

nytraveler, the ratings are determined by priceline and not the hotel. Priceline determines star level by the amount of amenities a hotel has not how nice a hotel is.

That is the reason so many crappy hotels get high ratings on priceline.
 

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