Zheng shared a wonderful tip with me when I talked about my hotel search experience:
In order to stay in mid- and up-scale hotels at good prices in the US, you need to BID on priceline.com. Priceline has two prices, a undisclosed one that you have a limited number of chance to BID (Click on “name your own price” on their site) and a public one that you have seen.
Bidding has some risk of not knowing what hotels you will end up with, but there are sites like
where you can have a good idea where you will land.
If you are willing to drive a little bit (~20mins), you can easily get 4* in Santa Clara or Cupertino for $60-80 a night. (Hyatt Regency)
And you can always get a 3-4* SFO hotel (Sheraton, Hilton, Hyatt Regency) for $35-50 a night in most times of the year.
The price difference between weekdays and weekends is mostly from the difference in the supply and demand
Hotels in business-oriented areas (Silicon Valley, most airports) are cheaper on weekends. And tourist traps like Miami beach would be cheaper on weekdays.
Hotels in Palo Alto are pricier than San Francisco, because a lack of chain hotels such as Mariott and Hyatt.. San Francisco really has an oversupply of business hotel in the downtown area too.
I don’t know if you use kayak.com. It combines the search result from major suppliers, such as orbitz, expedia.
BTW, you can also get good car rental deals from priceline if you bid. Should be able to get $13-15 a day at SFO most of the time.
Posted by: Zheng on February 22, 2010 9:55 AM
Thanks for the tip. When I started to do some research on Priceline.com, and finally booked Hilton San Jose at $50 per night, I realized how stupid I was to stay in $199 LarkspurLanding Hotel when I was in eBay, and recently stayed $65-99 Travelodge or Super 8.
There are some obvious things like this that locals know but others just ignore the simple fact. I shared the emergency number in case of fire is 119 instead of 911, and many of my readers responded much beyond my expectation – they don’t know it. I would thank Zheng to give me this tip.
Priceline is a Good Sites
From time to time, we find good sites like Priceline, that we have want to share with other friends as soon as possible. I told Tina about my finding, and not surprisingly, she laughed at me for just finding it out.
Just as I wrote in My Advice to Entrepreneurs, Priceline is not a perfect site for everything. There is no refund. You don’t know what hotel you are going to check into, and the customer service is hard to reach, BUT, it is cheap, and I am sure cheap things with same quality will win. Other services like this are eBay, Skype, Google, and many more… The service is simple, and the idea is simple, but it works!
Hope I build the same type of thing.
People post their successful bid in the calendar, it shows the time, location and price. If you want to save time, then bid on what they got.
You are very welcome, Jianshuo. I might need your insider’s tips too when I travel to China. :)
In case that you have not got time to read, there are some tips on this site about how to use free re-bid to restrict the bidding results in the zone that you like.
I also use hotwire.com sometimes to complement the inventory of Priceline. Hotwire gives you a low price upfront without disclosing the name of the hotel until you pay and commit to the reservation. Be careful that a Hotwire 4* hotel usually only qualifies as a priceline 3*.
Priceline also works well in Spain, Italy, Germany, and England.