Rafi Mohammed

Want to Save a Bundle on Hotels? Read this Blog

Posted on July 26th, 2007 (1 Comments)

Like many of you, I enjoy staying at nice hotels. The problem, of course, is I’m not a fan of paying nice hotel prices. Well…I’ve figured out how to pay 2 star prices for 4 star hotels and I’m going to share my trade secrets with you in this blog.

The secret to better hotel prices is Priceline. I can hear many of you groaning: “Oh no, P-R-I-C-E-L-I-N-E,” but work with me on this one. Priceline is an Internet bidding site that offers discount prices for hotels (they also offer deals on airline and car rental). To snare your great deal, you input your destination city, dates of your stay, city area you want to stay in (e.g., Soho in Manhattan), quality of hotel you’d like (1 – 5 stars, though 5 stars are rarely available), and finally, what nightly price you are willing to pay. Click the bid button and if your bid is accepted, Priceline then tells you the name of the hotel that accepted your bid. No cancellations or changes are allowed.

Priceline makes money two ways: (1) It charges successful bidders a $5.95 fee and (2) It makes the spread between the fixed price the hotel has agreed to sell its room to Priceline at and the successful bid price. A nice business model.

For hotels, this is another form of versioning. Hotels sell off excess rooms through Priceline at rock bottom prices – some revenue is better than none. Since Priceline doesn’t advertise what hotels participate in its program (you only learn what hotel you are staying in after you successfully bid), this is a nice and discrete way to offer low prices in a manner that full price customers will not find out about. Or so hotels thought….

The primary drawback of using Priceline is, of course, you don’t know what hotel you are going to stay at or what price you should bid. Enter the web site biddingfortravel.com. This web site has literally saved me and my friends tens of thousands of dollars. Biddingfortravel.com is an active message board where bidders post their bidding strategies and what hotels they won on Priceline. Thanks to this great website, now when you bid on Priceline, you know what hotels you may win and what price to bid at. Of course, this is bad for both hotels (brands suffer if it becomes widely known their rooms are heavily discounted on Priceline) and Priceline (if bidders know the minimum price to bid at, the company will not make money off the spread). That said, since a lot of people do not know about this site, quality hotels still participate with Priceline.

By using biddingfortravel.com in conjunction with Priceline, you can enjoy some truly astounding hotel deals. This lucky bidder saved 62% off the lowest published rates of the Intercontinental in Century City, California. This Intercontinental is a top Los Angeles hotel. Tripadvisor.com readers rate this hotel 4.5 stars and the number 4 (out of 173) hotel in Los Angeles! Similarly, this bidder saved 65% at the oceanfront Marriott Grand Cayman. This Marriott is rated 4 stars and the number 3 hotel in the Seven Mile Beach section of the Cayman Islands by Tripadvisor readers. And these aren’t atypical examples; there are similarly incredible deals available globally.

Check out biddingfortravel.com to see if your favorite hotel participates in Priceline. Once you see all of the bargains, you’ll never pay full price for a hotel room again!

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Readers' Comments on This Blog Entry

From Mike S. on July 27th, 2007
I agree wtih you about this blog. I work in the hotel industry and the reason we can discount so much is it is a non published right and we rather get some money than no money.