Getting What You Want From Priceline

When using Priceline, one challenge is that if you have a specific amenity or room type you are looking for, you won’t have as much freedom in assuring you have specific amenities or room types (e.g. Queen, Two Queens, King), if you are using opaque pricing options (i.e. Express Deals or Name Your Own Price).  For example, if you are traveling with a friend, or kids you probably don’t want to end up with sharing a single bed. Or if you are traveling and don’t want to get stuck with a $35 parking fee, or with kids, and want a pool.

The easy way to get these amenities and room types is just to use standard Priceilne pricing. You can see the amenities and can choose the type of room you want. The downside, is you won’t get the much lower pricing available when using Name Your Own Price or Express deals. However, there are a few strategies you can use to get what you want.

Room Choice & Amenities

These are the three ways to assure Room choice:

  • Standard Priceline Pricing – The surest way to get what you want, is to use standard Priceline pricing, and avoid Express Deals and Name Your Own Price.  You’ll not save as much, but sometimes you need or want the certainty.  For example, maybe you really want a pool in New York City with your hotel, and there aren’t many hotels that have that amenity. Or maybe you absolutely need two queen beds.  This is your safest bet.
Priceline Express Deals
Note that two queens goes for $145.85, and only $119 for the Express Deal ($26 savings).
  • Express Deals – Some express deals offer Bed Choice. This is the surest way to exactly what you want, both in terms of amenities, and bed choice.  You’ll save some money doing an express deal, but make sure it saves enough to be worth it (e.g. if you are saving less than $20, maybe you just prefer to book exactly what you want using standard Priceline Pricing. If the Express Deal doesn’t have bed choice, you can also just call the hotel after the booking, and see if you can reserve the bed choice anyway.  If there is a price differential, such as going from 1 queen to 2 queen beds, you’ll probably not have any luck. But is there no price differential, such as going from a King to two doubles, you’ll have a good chance of getting what you want. Don’t chance it if you really need a specific bed choice though, just go with standard pricing.
  • Name Your Own Price – There are no guarantee of bed type in Name Your Own Price, but you can still ask for it once your reservation is made, by directly calling the hotel.  My family normally does this. It isn’t a sure thing, but I’d say we’ve picked up two doubles versus 1 queen 75% of the time. Again, if there is a price differential, you probably won’t have any luck with this, but it is worth a try.  They may not commit immediately over the phone, but when you arrive, you can make the request again.  We’ve found, even with price differential, if the room is available when you arrive, more often than not, you’ll get your choice.  When we stayed at the Fiesta Americana Coral Beach in Cancun, they automatically upgraded us to a suite with two beds when they saw we were a family. No charge.  You can always pick up two rooms if you want, as well.

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