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Old 12-23-2011, 09:24 AM
 
643 posts, read 1,309,408 times
Reputation: 621

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Pre-paying hotel rooms in hotels you've never stayed at before is risky. We've done it -- and had both success and failure. The failures can't be corrected. You can't refuse the room at check-in because you've already paid for it through a third party. We did that in Cincinnati one night several years ago and were disappointed yet didn't learn our lesson. We used Priceline again for a Boston 4 star in the past year, and won't do it again if we can avoid it. No real disaster (no bed bugs or anything like that) but I prefer to pick the hotel myself before making the reservation and definitely before paying for it -- even if it's not my first choice price-wise. If the hotel quality matters to the type of stay you're planning I recommend not using a bid process. If however, you're wanting the best possible rate and you don't plan to spend much time in the room (or don't care as long as it's clean and safe) then it makes sense.

Here, however is an exception I do recommend: when my husband was traveling for work last year (on his dime) there were a few cities wherein he knew the hotels on Priceline in a particular star-level. Because he had stayed at each one of them before (there were 3 hotels as I recall) he knew he was fine with any of them and would bid only at that star level. If you scout around the Priceline site as if you were choosing the hotel (not using their bid option) you can figure out for example, which hotels in a particular city Priceline does business with in various star categories. That minimized the risk and the savings were significant.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,039 posts, read 2,353,032 times
Reputation: 1154
Hope it's not too late to help you out. I use priceline every time I travel. I do my research and although I'm "bidding blind", I know the exact hotel I'm getting. I'm not sure why someone earlier posted that you have to pay to bid, but I've never heard of that.

For instance, my last score was the Residence Inn by Marriott next to the Mall of America. My bid was $45/night. If I bought from the hotel's website, their cheapest rate was $199/night. I got the standard suite with a full kitchen. The hotel also included breakfast buffet every morning and free dinner M-F. It was my best score to date.

Go to betterbidding.com and look at two things.

First, they have a list of the specific hotels that use priceline. So if you're looking for 3 star in Boston, they will show all hotels, and people list what they paid for them (to give you an idea).

Next, research how to "rebid". It takes a pencil and paper (or excel, whatever floats your boat) but in essence you are getting to incrementally increase your bid so that you don't "overpay".

Works like a charm, just don't forget to share with that board the hotel that you won, and what you paid. It helps others get the best deals from priceline.

Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,039 posts, read 2,353,032 times
Reputation: 1154
Never mind...just noticed this thread was posted in 2010...oops.

Well I hope I could help someone out!
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