Good Rate: Hotwire's $215 All-Inclusive Rate for the Bahamas
[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we look at hotel prices in the same city and decide which one most deserves your hard-earned benjamins. Rates quotes here were valid from March 15 to 19, 2007 and are subject to change. Enjoy.]
Hotel companies have a love/hate relationship with Hotwire and Priceline. The managers moan that they're practically giving away rooms and they instill in their staffs a "look down your nose" attitude toward people who have booked a room this way. Then again, they love the fact that Hotwire and Priceline are very good at efficiently and quickly raising the occupancy level when a hotel is nowhere close to full. Can't live with them, can't live without them.
Which brings us to the Radisson Cable Beach in Nassau, Bahamas. Two weeks ago we scored a cheap last-minute plane fare to the Bahamas, but didn't have a hotel booked. Our first choice was sold out (more on that one in another post) and prices at the ones still available were no bargain. It was Spring Break time after all. Enter Hotwire, which had an all-inclusive resort listed for the days we wanted, at only $215 per night with all taxes and fees.
Before hitting the buy button, we pulled up two stealth sites that keep you from being in the dark on what you're getting: BetterBidding.com and BiddingForTravel.com. After a little looking around, it was a pretty sure thing this listing was the Radisson Cable Beach Resort. So we read the TripAdvisor reviews and while they were mixed--a main complaint being ongoing renovations--overall they said, "You get what you expect." For $200 a night all-inclusive, we don't expect all that much, so we went ahead.
Sure enough, we got the Radisson. After a brief tussle at check-in (that "We love/hate Hotwire" thing again), all turned out fine. Beach, cocktails, decent food--that was all we needed and the Radisson Nassau delivered. A good rate indeed--as opposed to the Bad Rate we would have paid elsewhere.
With Hotwire, you've got to grab the deal when you find it though. When we tried again the day before departure just for kicks, our hotel was gone and there was only one choice listed for Nassau--from six the week before.