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Old Jul 29, 03, 7:00 am   #1
 
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Worse room because it's priceline?

I've booked once prior to this on priceline and the room was fine. But I've read several posts that implied that a Priceline reservation will get you a less desirable room. I am booked at the Renaissance Plantation FL and would like to know whether I will be treated as less than any other patron. Any information much appreciated.
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Old Jul 29, 03, 7:04 pm   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Marysunshine:
..... I've read several posts that implied that a Priceline reservation will get you a less desirable room.</font>
I have read similar posts - in my own experience, the only time I've experienced it was at a hotel in the Kansas City area which put me into accessible rooms (with one full-size bed) on two separate occasions.

My suspicion is that older hotels, which might have a greater variance in room size and configuration, might be more prone to this situation (witness the frequent comments about the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, which has smaller rooms in the older, pre-Earthquake section.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"> I am booked at the Renaissance Plantation FL and would like to know whether I will be treated as less than any other patron</font>
This hotel at the intersection of I-595 and Pine Island Road is less than one year old. Because the building is rectangle-shaped, I suspect that most rooms are similarly-sized. One side of the building does face the freeway, however, the building is set back well away from the roadway, so any road noise effects should be a non-factor if you end up with a room facing I-595.
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Old Jul 30, 03, 5:43 am   #3
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If I owned (or managed) a hotel,I'd make sure that PL buyers got my less desirable rooms. Makes sense.
Even at a very nice resort,expect the non-view,smaller and standard room.If you keep your expectations low,it's easier to be pleasantly surprised. I,however,have had success nicely asking for a better room. You're chances of this happening is if you are a member of their frequent travel program (especially if elite).
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Old Jul 30, 03, 5:47 am   #4
 
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As soon as my bid was accepted for the hotel, I immediately signed up for Marriot Rewards and requested my membership number be added to my reservation . I am doing everything possible to ensure a reasonable outcome, but just tried to hear what others had experienced. Thanks for the info though.
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Old Jul 30, 03, 7:20 am   #5
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Marysunshine:
As soon as my bid was accepted for the hotel, I immediately signed up for Marriot Rewards and requested my membership number be added to my reservation . I am doing everything possible to ensure a reasonable outcome, but just tried to hear what others had experienced. Thanks for the info though.</font>
I also call the hotel reservation centers and give my number to add to the account, ask for a non-smoking room etc....
I never got a bad room, and I always was treaded well.
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Old Jul 30, 03, 7:34 am   #6
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by jabez:
If I owned (or managed) a hotel,I'd make sure that PL buyers got my less desirable rooms. Makes sense.</font>
Up to a point, you're right. However, I think there's a big difference between times when the hotel is near or at capacity, and when the hotel is almost empty.

When all rooms are filled, I don't think anyone would argue with the logic of discounted prepay stays getting assigned to the most basic accomodations. What IS (IMHO) misguided is an attitude that the payment of a low rate via a third party ONLY deserves the most undesireable room, even as nicer rooms sit unused.

If I were running a hotel, I'd want to give ALL guests the best impression of my property. Today's PL or HW guest might be tomorrow's standard-rate paying guest.

Another scenario is when the PL/HW booking is made in your local city, to house a visiting relative or friend. If I went to see the visitor in the hotel and saw the inferior room and treatment, I'd surely be much less inclined to use or recommend that hotel for any activity in the future, such as a business meeting or a wedding.

So, priority for higher-paying guests, no problem. But "punishing" customers for availing themselves of an offered discount strikes me as short-sighted and ultimately counter-productive.

[This message has been edited by Non-NonRev (edited 07-30-2003).]
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Old Jul 30, 03, 7:58 am   #7
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by jabez:
If I owned (or managed) a hotel,I'd make sure that PL buyers got my less desirable rooms. Makes sense.
</font>
jabez
If and when you "own" a hotel, I hope I'll never have to stay at this place.
I give my customers the best service I can ... no matter how much they paid.
And no, it doesn't make sense. If "your" hotel is well booked, you don't need priceline. If "your" hotel has a low vacancy rate, why put customers in a bad room, when you have plenty of better rooms sitting empty ..?
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Old Jul 30, 03, 9:13 am   #8
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In addition, the hotels want to encourage PL customers to spend money on their properties (room service, restaurant, bar). They'll do that better by treating them well like everybody else.
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Old Jul 30, 03, 10:45 am   #9
 
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I use Priceline maybe once a month or so. I've only gotten a truly substandard room once, and even then it wasn't that bad.

I was given a smoking room, even though (1) Priceline rooms are by default "non-smoking requested", (2) non-smoking rooms were available at the property and (3) I asked as nicely as I could whether I could have one. The desk guy made an issue over it being Priceline and said he had to leave the non-smoking rooms for the VIPs, or something like that. As a consolation he gave me an aerosol can of this Smok-B-Gon stuff I could spray inside the room. The smell ended up being not much of an issue.

The irony was that the property was a crappy little 2* Homestead Village. I've used Priceline on all manner of 4* and 5* Hiltons and Hyatts and Westins and whatnot and never got anything like the attitude of Mr. I-Am-King-Of-The-Homestead-Village-And-You-Are-Getting-The-Smoking-Room. I thought it was funny more than anything else.

From time to time I get a room next to an elevator or something with not much a view, but the room (or the attitude at the desk) still ends up not much of a problem.
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Old Jul 30, 03, 10:52 am   #10
 
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I've bought well over a dozen hotel stays with PL. The only time I felt we really got the "PL" room was at the Hilton Resort, Mission Bay, CA. It's supposed to be 4 star, but certainly didn't feel like it. They gave us a room on the second floor, facing the parking lot Of course, the whole "resort" is only 100 yards from the freeway....so we could hear the freeway while we looked at the parking lot

Last weekend, at the Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills, they did give us a room next to the elevator, but we didn't hear the elevator. They told us it was the only remaining "king non smoking". We heard some traffic going to/from the elevator....but didn't stress over it because it was only one night.

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Old Jul 30, 03, 11:43 am   #11
 
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I've been thinking that Priceline guests might help even out room usage patterns. From the point of view of regular renovations and repair, you would want all rooms to be used approximately the same amount.

For example, a less desirable room near the elevator might rarely be used (since hotels are usually not at full capacity, at least from what I've seen so far). But if the hotel regularly uses Priceline, this room will get as much use as the others.

A smoking room (even though Priceline is allegedly supposed to request nonsmoking rooms, this does not always seem to be the case) that has guests who refrain from smoking will not be as stinky as a smoking room used for such a purpose every night.

In different situations, I've gotten a room next to the elevator (it was noisy when operating, but did not run much at night) and I've gotten a smoking room (that did not smell). No big deal in either case. And of course even guests who pay full rates sometimes get such rooms.

[This message has been edited by WillTravel (edited 07-30-2003).]
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Old Jul 31, 03, 5:34 am   #12
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USAFAN, a less desirable room is not necessarily a bad room. If I did own a hotel,I wouldn't plan on having any "bad" rooms. I,however,would not give my better rooms to priceline customers. If they want a view, executive floor, bigger room, etc., let them pay the published rate.
I understand the argument that giving them "more" will entice them to return. But,I'd want them to return at my higher rates. One of the priceline hotels I get is a very nice 4* in Branson. Wonderful hotel, great rooms and on a beautiful lake. I've stayed there in off-season when hotel was maybe 20% full,but I always get a room over the kitchen roof. I saw nothing wrong with their decision to delegate these less desirable rooms as the priceline rooms.
I think it can even be a disservice to those who pay the higher rates for views, exec. floors,etc. to give those same rooms to someone paying 50% less. It still makes sense to me.It doesn't stop me from asking for "more",but I understand that I'll probably get "less".This "less",however, does not mean that it should be a dump.
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Old Jul 31, 03, 6:45 am   #13
 
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jabez:
Thanks for the clarification.
Still, I don't want to stay at "your 'less desirable rooms'"
Come in "my" hotel. I treat you, everybody like a king: red carpet, free drinks, friendly staff ...

Back to the topic: I always got nice rooms with my priceline reservations. No "aha, that's a priceline reservation - let's see what we have ..."
BTW, I 'consulted' Sheryl's (spelling?) website several times, and it helped me to save some bucks. Thank's Sheryl (spelling?)
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Old Jul 31, 03, 12:00 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by WillTravel:
And of course even guests who pay full rates sometimes get such rooms.
</font>
Good point. I haven't noticed any difference in treatment between my PL stays and non-PL stays. Just take a look at the hotel fora here and you'll see that being treated badly, or being stuck in a bad room, can happen to anybody -even elites- and whether on a PL stay or not or not.

Also Analise's point
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">In addition, the hotels want to encourage PL customers to spend money on their properties (room service, restaurant, bar). They'll do that better by treating them well like everybody else.</font>
applies to me: the way I get treated by a hotel highly influences whether I'm going to spend any money there during my stay on items like bar, breakfast, etc.

Recently I had a very pleasant PL stay at an Intercontinental hotel. Staff was great, room was great (my request for a nice view was honored without any problems) and service in general was great. During my two nights stay I spent approx $300 in that hotel (other than the nightly PL rate). They wouldn't have seen much of that money had they treated my badly.


[This message has been edited by ql2112, because my English is slipping.]

[This message has been edited by ql2112 (edited 07-31-2003).]
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Old Aug 5, 03, 2:28 am   #15
 
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Priceline guarantees a non smoking room and they've always been good to their word.

At least the hotels I've stayed at are relatively new and all the room are the same.

My only "bad" experience was at the Marriott in the Balitmore Inner Harbor. We wanted two doubles because my teenage daughter was with us. We got a kind sized bed, so I slept on a roll away. Also, the room was as far from the elevators as you could get, and that was far. But there was a large group of high school volley ball players staying at the hotel.
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