Have you ever hesitated to use Priceline.com because you were afraid you’d get a dive hotel or one that is located far from where you’re hoping?
Considering the stock chart of Priceline.com (from $43 in 2007 to $510 today), I’m always surprised to still hear about people who’ve never used it.
I’m a big fan in the right circumstance, and I’ve stayed in some great places at even greater prices. My personal favorite was when I landed the Belleview Biltmore near Clearwater, FL for something ridiculous like $40 a night. It’s closed now, and might possibly end up as a retirement home, but it was a hotel with a lot of old character that I really enjoyed. The ceilings and doors were all very tall, and it had an elegant feeling that transported me back in time. I’d have never stayed there or even known about it if I hadn’t used Priceline.com.
But we’re not always so lucky. I’ve heard priceline horror stories. That’s why I’m a big fan of www.betterbidding.com. It’s a forum for priceline and hotwire users, and offers some clarity into what bidders are getting for what prices in different places. One of my favorite tools is their priceline maps feature, which shows the hotels and prices that bidders are landing on a map in some of the larger markets.
For example, let’s just say that you’re a big Boise State Bronco fan and you’re looking for a hotel in Atlanta for the big game vs. Georgia this weekend. Scroll down and go to the Georgia page, then click on Priceline. If you’re a high roller, see what people have been getting 4* hotels for in Atlanta. It looks like someone just nabbed the Hyatt Regency Downtown for $50 a night. If you’re more of a tightwad, like me, you could shoot for a 3* in the Peachtree/Norcross area for $27 a night.
Hopefully this will help you if you’re in the market for some clarity on your Priceline or Hotwire expectations.