A multi-city survey by Washington Consumers’ Checkbook finds that hotel rates on Priceline are 40 percent lower than on other online booking services.
The nonprofit organization compared prices for a specific 4 or 5 star hotel in seven cities, and the Priceline rate was consistently the lowest.
The survey compared Priceline room rates to Hotwire’s opaque bookings, Hotwire’s specific hotel rates, the hotel’s website, the hotel via phone, Cheap-tickets.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, and Travelocity.
The hotels surveyed, and the successful Priceline bids, were as follows:
- Boston – Hyatt Regency Boston ($99)
- Chicago – The Palmer House Hilton ($84)
- Manhattan – The Roosevelt Hotel ($88)
- Minneapolis – Radisson Plaza Hotel ($98)
- Orlando – Marriott Orlando World Center Resort ($97)
- Portland, OR – Hotel deLuxe ($75)
- Seattle – The Edgewater ($77)
Calling the hotel generally did not result in any savings over the rate found on the hotel’s website. The exception was Hotel deLuxe in Portland where the hotel website rate of $139 was higher than the $111 available from online travel agencies. A call to the hotel also produced the $111 rate. In contrast, the Priceline “Name Your Own Price” bid was $75, and Hotwire was $101.
In the case of the Hyatt Regency Boston, calling the hotel resulted in a higher rate quote than the hotel’s own website.
$88 — not bad for the luxury Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. How would you like to stay at the 5 star Edgewater in Seattle for $77 a night?
“These deals aren’t flukes,” reports Consumers’ Checkbook.
We regularly shop for hotel rooms in dozens of major U.S. cities at different times of the year, and almost always get steeply discounted rates from Priceline — both several weeks in advance and the day before the trip.
The article recommends beginning your bidding at about $50 to $60 for a four or five star hotel in a major U.S. city, depending on the prices quoted on Expedia or Travelocity. If the online rate quotes exceed $300, Consumers’ Checkbook advises starting your bidding at $70.
What has your experience been in bidding on hotel rooms on Priceline in these places?
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