How to book cheap, excellent hotels in California

My friend Mike just asked me how to find a cheap, excellent hotel in LA. Here's how to book great «««« «««1/2 hotels for between $49-79 per night in two of the most expensive cities in America (they're in CA natch...)

I often overnight stay in LA... the best value hotels in SF and LA are around their airports SFO and LAX. This exercise may also apply for other cities with well developed airport communities (not NYC), I haven't tried it in other locales.

Priceline and Hotwire are somehow related, I think they are run by the same company. First check Hotwire to see what the going rates are for the "Best Value" tagged «««« / «««1/2 hotels. The hotels at SFO and LAX are rated approximately as listed below on Hotline / Priceline (btw, Orbitz tends to rate a little bit lower - a Hotwire «««« may likely be an Orbitz «««).

«««« / «««1/2


Hyatt Regency

Renaissance Inn

Embassy Suites



Crowne Plaza



Holiday Inn

Courtyard by Marriott

Four Points Sheraton

Hilton Garden Inn

Hampton Inn

Best Western

No need to stay in anything worse like Travelodge or Days Inn, the hotels above are all pretty solid and comparable within their rating class. I personally give Westin, Hyatt, Renaissance, Marriott, Crowne Plaza and Embassy ««««

If Hotline's tagged Best Value is, say,  $75 for a «««1/2, then bid on Priceline for a  «««« hotel at about $15 below the Hotwire price (so, $60)... you will generally win at that price.

You can also compare your Priceline bid with a great Priceline winning bid monitor -  Better Bidding . Check out Better Bidding's Priceline winning bid mashups by city.

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  • 6/12/2007 11:24 PM Marc wrote:
    This is a good summary of booking hotels for cheap. I would like to throw Travelgoop into the research tools that you mention. provides a venue for hotel consumers to post their price information. It allows for a more effective way to search/sort/filter pricing information.
    Reply to this

  • 2/9/2008 12:38 PM Roberta Murphy wrote:
    Pat and Marc:

    Thanks for the great tips--and the formula. I used Priceline when I attended NAR in Las Vegas last year--but was really bidding in the dark.

    Will also check into Travelgroop.
    Reply to this

  • 11/18/2008 3:40 AM Hotel Crete wrote:
    Actually I am interested in booking a hotel in Europe, do you have any tips for that? I know it's easy with the internet but you don't always find your best options from a first try, I usually ask for recommendations.
    Reply to this

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