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  1. #1

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    Beware of hotwire!!

    So, some friends of the family are planning a trip to DL next week. Since we have a long drive, we decided to book a room for the night before the trip.

    We turned to Hotwire, who has given us some very good hotels in the past.

    However, this time around was NOT GOOD!

    First off, I booked the hotel they stated as being the closest to DL. Turns out it is 1.5 to 2 miles up Harbor. So one bad there, but not a huge one.

    Secondly, I read some reviews about the hotel they guarantee is "clean and comfortable". EVERY single travel site had reviews stating that there were ROACHES in this hotel, as well as pictures of stained mattresses and bed bugs! Yuck!

    I called Hotwire twice to see what I could do, but they were EXTREMELY rude to both my husband and I. They refused to change the reservation. Their arguments were illogical, but the woman I spoke to refused to see that. When I told them that I have travelled many times and know how to peruse reviews, they just pulled up Tripadvisor on their computer and started reading me some of the better reviews ("See, there are both good AND bad reviews" they said). When they told me that this neighborhood is actually the closest to Disneyland, I informed the woman I spoke with that I used to LIVE IN ANAHEIM and knew the area. Not just that, but I know that the particular neighborhood she referred to was not only a good distance away from DL, but was a bad part of town. Her response: "Well, then why did you book a hotel in Anaheim?".

    But the WORST, and I mean disgusting, thing that came out of the conversation was this. She assured me that if I got to the room and there were bugs in there, that I could call them and they would "make it right with the hotel". When I asked what "make it right" would be, she told me that they would speak to the hotel and accommodate us. So I asked if "accommodate" meant having someone come up to squish the bug, or moving us to another hotel. She said "It could go either way."

    That's HORRIBLE!!!

    I understand that when you book a room at Hotwire the bookings are supposed to be final. But they make guarantees on that site, and in this case I do not feel that they are living up to their own rules. Many members of my family use that site, and we have had an array of experiences, but for the most part they were good. This seems to be a pretty extreme case.

    Yes, I'm ranting. Yes, I am spreading the word because I am totally ticked off right now. But I am ALSO spreading the word because there are a lot of people on here who travel to Disneyland a lot, and might want to save money on their bookings by going with Hotwire. In the case of DL, it's worth it just to pay more.

  2. #2

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    Hotwire

    I just posted a review of my recent experience with Hotwire in the Travel Planning section.

    Suffice it to say, it was bad.

    Has anyone else here had any bad experiences with Hotwire while staying near Disneyland? I am asking about Disneyland specifically, and if possible, the hotel.

    I have also had good experiences with the site, and I know that they can provide good results. I am asking about the bad ones.

    Thanks!

  3. #3

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    Re: Hotwire

    I do directly through the hotel.
    I don't trust third party sites.
    I'll pay a little more knowing that, if there was a mistake I'm only dealing with the hotel (who made the mistake) vs trying to get the third party to admit their mistake, then them (3rd party) fiixng it and last but not least, the third party trying to get the hotel to fix their mistake.
    Quote by Al:
    To that end I'd like the Internet community to join me in reminding the Disney company that "it all started with Walt." As you can see below we've created some T-shirts, plus a few simple graphics that you can copy and paste into your websites to let folks know how you feel.
    -Al Lutz



  4. #4

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    That sucks! I used that dumb website a year ago. I did the whole name your price and When I got to the room found out that it was the total opposite of what most of the reviews stated. There were roaches and what not. I complained to management and called hotwire. I too was given the rude run around. What I did was call my bank and disputed the charge and went to a new hotel. I wasn't charged for the roach hotel even if it did mean I had to pay some more cash to stay at anther hotel. I don't recommend hotwire to any one!

  5. #5

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    ^What hotel was it?!?!?!

  6. #6

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    I've used Hotwire for Disneyland three times before and each time I've had a different hotel.

    Last April I went for a 3.5 Star hotel and got the Hilton Convention Center which was awesome. The only thing I didn't like was the $12 resort/parking fee.

    Last August I went for a 3.5 star hotel and got the Hyatt Regency at Harbor and Chapman. It was a bit far but the hotel quality was terrific, though again there was the resort/parking fee which seems pretty universal for 3.5 star hotels in this area.

    Last September I gambled and went for a 3 star hotel instead of 3.5 star and got put into the Holiday Inn on Manchester next to I5. It was okay but I learned that saving $6 per night isn't worth the change in quality.

    For my trip coming up Hotwire booked me into the Crowne Plaza at Harbor near Chapman which seems to have the most mixed reviews of all the 3.5 star hotels in the Disneyland South area on Hotwire. This seems to be the hotel Hotwire is assigning the most these days.

    I'm not sure what hotel you were booked into but I'd be interested to know where Hotwire put you. I'm definitely going into this hotel with my guard up.

    The thing that has me the most frustrated is that their incidentals policy for debit cards is to do an authorization hold of $100 per night for each night you will be there all in advance on check-in up to $500. Since I'm staying there for 5 nights I'm going to be dinged for $500 on the first day of my vacation so that's put a heck of a crimp in our vacation budget. I can imaging this policy destroying a lot of vacations before they even start.

    Since every other hotel I've ever stayed in on my many business trips normally charge a $100 authorization hold for incidentals I'll be letting Hotwire know that I can't take the risk of using Hotwire anymore if there's a chance of being booked into the Crowne Plaza again. Ideally either this hotel should use the same incidentals policy as every other hotel, the should be dropped from 3.5 stars to 3 stars and/or they should be moved out of the Disneyland South Hotwire zone to the Garden Grove Hotwire zone.

    These are just some of the "look before you leap" things to consider before people book rooms on Hotwire.
    Disneyland Trips: 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 86, 90, 98, 99, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 09, 10, 11

    Disneyworld Trips: 08, 10









    Disney Resort Area hotels visited since 2008:



    Disneyland Resort: Disneyland Hotel - Grand Californian Hotel - Hilton Anaheim Convention Center - Hyatt Regency Anaheim/OC - Crowne Plaza Anaheim/Garden Grove - Holiday Inn Anaheim on Manchester - Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim on Walnut - Hilton Garden Inn Anaheim - Marriott Fairfield Inn Anaheim



    DisneyWorld: Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort - Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village - Port Orleans French Quarter



    If you have any questions about Disney vacation logistics, travel planning or hotel experiences feel free to ask me.

  7. #7

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    I was quite happy when I used Hotwire for Portland, Oregon, for whatever that's worth.

    Can you tell us what star rating you chose and how much you paid?

    I wonder if it's the same hotel that often comes up cheapest on Expedia. Once I read the reviews where bugs were mentioned frequently, I didn't risk that particular one.
    My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

  8. #8

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    I will never, EVER use Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity, or any other travel site to book my vacations. AAA Travel is the best way to go for me, and they usually include something extra (for free) if you book your vacations through them.


  9. #9

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    Basically, I was trying to book the CLOSEST hotel. That happened to be a 2 star, but since they guarantee cleanliness I thought I'd take a shot. I am so incredibly disappointed in their customer service.

    Plus the hotel is in a bad area of town, and not what I would call "close".

  10. #10

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    Is there anyway you can contest the charge with your credit card company or something? It just seems so wrong how they treated you. And roaches in a hotel should be a health violation and reported. Gross!
    "Can't sing but I've got soul." -U2

    "I've got soul, but i'm not a soldier" -The Killers

  11. #11

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    I like the Menage

  12. #12

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    With the zone system that Hotwire and Priceline both use I don't see any way that you could book a hotel through them with an assurance that you would be within reasonable walking distance of Disneyland.

    With the Disneyland zones you could end up across the street from the park entrance plaza, you could end up across I-5 by Angel Stadium or way down by the Target at Harbor and Chapman. In all my Hotwire bookings I've never seen anything that specified the proximity to the park.

    Did someone on the phone at Hotwire tell you that you would be in walking distance?
    Disneyland Trips: 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 86, 90, 98, 99, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 09, 10, 11

    Disneyworld Trips: 08, 10









    Disney Resort Area hotels visited since 2008:



    Disneyland Resort: Disneyland Hotel - Grand Californian Hotel - Hilton Anaheim Convention Center - Hyatt Regency Anaheim/OC - Crowne Plaza Anaheim/Garden Grove - Holiday Inn Anaheim on Manchester - Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim on Walnut - Hilton Garden Inn Anaheim - Marriott Fairfield Inn Anaheim



    DisneyWorld: Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort - Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village - Port Orleans French Quarter



    If you have any questions about Disney vacation logistics, travel planning or hotel experiences feel free to ask me.

  13. #13

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    You get what you pay for. There are plenty of warnings on Hotwire that it's non-refundble. Besides, who in their right mind would pay for anything without knowing exactly what hotel you'd be staying at? That point alone should tell you something is screwed up.

    "Within walking distance" could be a mile or more from the park since maybe someone else could walk a mile just fine. "Close to Disney", well close to Disney compared to what? Las Vegas? You have to take some responsibility and not fall for cheap marketing/sales lines like that. Again, trusting a site that won't even tell you what you're paying for is insane.

    ALWAYS book directly with the hotel, otherwise you have no clue what you're getting. Pay a low rate per night, you have to expect roaches. (ie. the reason that Hotwire won't even mention the hotel name until you are sucked in by price) Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, Hotels.com, pure money grubbing trash.

    Just my .02 cents
    Last edited by Wesley815; 04-20-2010 at 10:08 PM.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Mickey View Post
    by the Target at Harbor and Chapman.
    Once you get down towards Target, that's start becoming a scary area (IMO)
    I want to know my hotel and where it is.
    We like to walk to Disneyland and be across the street.
    It is soooo worth the money knowing where you are going and not having a surprise when you get there.
    Quote by Al:
    To that end I'd like the Internet community to join me in reminding the Disney company that "it all started with Walt." As you can see below we've created some T-shirts, plus a few simple graphics that you can copy and paste into your websites to let folks know how you feel.
    -Al Lutz



  15. #15

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Mickey View Post
    With the zone system that Hotwire and Priceline both use I don't see any way that you could book a hotel through them with an assurance that you would be within reasonable walking distance of Disneyland.

    With the Disneyland zones you could end up across the street from the park entrance plaza, you could end up across I-5 by Angel Stadium or way down by the Target at Harbor and Chapman. In all my Hotwire bookings I've never seen anything that specified the proximity to the park.

    Did someone on the phone at Hotwire tell you that you would be in walking distance?
    Oddly enough, yes. My husband was told that this was "the closest area to Disneyland", over the phone.

    I agree, I shouldn't have trusted it.

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