I Booked Four Hotels Using Priceline Express Deals & Here’s What They Looked Like
This Express Deals hotel reveal features discounted ‘mystery’ hotels I stayed at. Partnered with Priceline.
By now you've probably heard about Priceline Express Deals. You know, those "mystery" hotel deals that offer deep discounts (up to 60% off) with one catch: you only know the location, rating, and amenities. The exact hotel name is revealed after booking.
A lot of people are afraid of booking "the unknown" -- I was too (read: Virgo+control issues). But the more I think about it, the more I realize I hardly ever book a hotel based on its name. When I book a hotel, what matters most to me is the reviews, location, and amenities.
So I decided to try it out...
To show you the kind of hotels you can book by focusing on location, rating, and amenities, I booked four hotels using Priceline Express Deals for my summer road trip. While Express Deal hotels can range from 1-5 stars, I filtered my choices to 4+ star rating and 8+ guest review rating.
Keep reading to reveal the hotels I booked (and see real pictures):
Priceline Express Deal Hotel Revealed: The Westin Buffalo
Right after booking the first hotel for my Great Lakes road trip, preferring only 4 or 5-star hotels, Priceline revealed my Express Deal saved me 22% on two nights with The Westin Buffalo. This is a 4-star hotel right in the heart of downtown Buffalo and walking distance from bars, attractions, and yes -- famous Buffalo wing spots.
We were greeted upon check in with champagne and a smile, and sent on our way to our amazing king room. After a tiring couple of nights camping and hiking in Letchworth State Park, The Westin Buffalo was just what we needed. The upscale room offered a comfortable bed and plenty of natural light, a sofa, refrigerator, and upscale bathroom space.
What I loved most about this hotel was the striking city view from floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows in the fitness center, and its impeccable guest service. No matter their professional grade, someone was always asking how we were doing.
The Westin Buffalo Hotel deal details:
Coincidentally, our weekend in Buffalo, NY overlapped with the famous Garden Walk (the largest garden tour in the United States). We had no idea it was a "thing" and were shocked at how expensive the hotels were because of it. As a result, we had trouble finding a good hotel deal for our weekend visit. Then we booked an Express Deal and scored 22% off retail prices on a 4-star hotel in the downtown area. Here are the details:
Express Deal room price: $194 per night (22% discount)
Nights booked: 2 nights
Rating: 4 stars, 9.5 guest review rating
Information shown before you book: A downtown hotel that is 4 stars with a 9+ guest rating, plus a list of amenities (pets allowed, fitness center, restaurant)
After I learned I got a deal at The Westin Buffalo, I went to The Westin's website to see if I did in fact get a good price. If I would've booked the same room directly, it would've cost more than $590 for our stay.
Priceline Express Deal Hotel Revealed: The Royal Park Hotel
After spending a gluttonous three days/two nights in Buffalo, NY we drove through Canada (for a shortcut) to explore Detroit for the first time. Because Detroit is slowly getting back on its feet, we had trouble pinpointing a good hotel that fit our preferences. We had a week-long camping road trip ahead of us after this spot so needed to be as relaxed and well-rested as possible.
We used Priceline Express Deals to find a hotel just 20 minutes from Downtown Detroit, in Rochester, Michigan. This Detroit Metro Area destination is a city known for its shopping district, art galleries, festivals, and parks.
Our hotel was the Royal Park Hotel, which I'd never heard of but was immediately excited about once I checked out their website and reviews (you see, it really is all about the hotel rating!) Their service was great and they had an amazing restaurant onsite (with outdoor seating and fire pits). On top of it all, they were right on the creek with access to plenty of walking trails.
Royal Park Hotel Rochester deal details:
Express Deal room price: $135 per night (17% discount)
Nights booked: 2 nights
Rating: 4 stars, 9.3 guest review rating
Information shown before you book: A Rochester hotel that is 4 stars with a 9+ guest rating, plus a list of amenities (fitness center, restaurant)
When I checked the Royal Park Hotel's website for these dates, I found our stay would've totaled $359 if booked directly. The best part about this 4-star hotel? Their luxury bathroom (with all the amenities a woman could wish for -- black make up towel included), restaurant, and library. It is also walking distance from downtown Rochester.
Priceline Express Deal Hotel Revealed: W Hotel Minneapolis Foshay
Foshay, fo-sho! That's pretty much what I said when I saw that the 4.5-star hotel we'd secured with Priceline Express Deals would be at the W Hotel Minneapolis Foshay.
We reached Minneapolis exhausted. Like, run down "I just want to take a real shower and sleep in a real bed" type of exhausted. After hiking in Sleeping Bear Dunes, camping on Indian Lake, cruising the Pictured Rocks, and kayaking the sea caves at Apostle Islands, the W Hotel Minneapolis was heaven sent with a 36% discount.
Just like The Westin Buffalo, W Hotel also offered us a welcome drink. This time a tasty vodka punch. This hip, purple and black themed hotel stole our hearts with its skyline room view, observation tower and museum, complimentary Bliss products, and luxe bedding.
W Hotel Minneapolis deal details:
Express Deal room price: $113 per night (36% discount)
Nights booked: 2 nights
Rating: 4.5 stars, 8.6 guest review rating
Information shown before you book: A Downtown Minneapolis hotel that is 4.5 stars with an 8+ guest rating, plus a list of amenities (pets allowed, spa, fitness center)
When I checked the retail pricing on their own website (because as you've noticed, I always want to check), I saw that booking my weekend stay directly would've cost $427! 😱 This deal was a huge steal, for sure.
Priceline Express Deal Hotel Revealed: Viceroy Chicago
You wouldn't believe me if I told you it was possible to get nearly half off a stay at the Viceroy, let alone in Chicago! But it happened using Priceline Express Deals.
This 4.5-star Chicago hotel surpassed my wildest hospitality dreams. Viceroy Chicago was the perfect end to our midwest road trip loop and ideally located in a bustling downtown scene.
From the fitness center's view overlooking the restaurant strip (I literally imagined myself running to the steakhouse) to the detailed Art Deco design and decor, and rooftop pool, Viceroy Chicago screams essential summer.
Viceroy Chicago hotel deal details:
Express Deal room price: $183 per night (48% discount)
Nights booked: 2 nights
Rating: 4.5 stars, 9.8 guest review rating
Information shown before you book: A hotel on Magnificent Mile-Gold Coast that is 4.5 stars with a 9+ guest rating, plus a list of amenities (swimming pool, fitness center, restaurant)
After my booking revealed Viceroy Chicago, I'll admit I was confused as to why they'd give such a huge discount. That is truly when I realized the reason why these Express Deals don't show the name of the hotel. The deals are just so great, it'd probably ruin their brand if they publicized it!
In order for, say, Viceroy Chicago to retain its luxurious image, they can't have people knowing they can score a hotel deal like I did. Well THE SECRET IS OUT: affordable luxury is real and Priceline Express Deals can help you achieve it. Oh, and it would've cost $696 for the aforementioned stay if I'd booked directly.
What to know about Express Deals before booking your hotel
Whether you are just looking for a well-rated 2-star property near a specific attraction or searching for the best luxury deal you can afford, Priceline Express Deals offers all kinds of great properties. Before you book, however, make sure you know these details:
Express Deal hotel bookings are non-refundable, so pay close attention to the star rating, guest rating, and location to ensure you score the right hotel for your vacation.
If specific amenities are necessary, be sure to filter your search! Even in 2018, for instance, some hotels still don't offer free internet, so be sure to add that to your filter if it would be a deal breaker.
The Priceline app features extra Express Deals. If you aren't finding the deal of your dreams, try downloading the app for deeper discounts. It's great for last minute bookings too!
Express Deals are based on the price of similar hotels. Occasionally, after booking, you might find you saved even more than the percentage indicated after the hotel name is revealed. This is because the projected discount was based on the price of similar hotels, and the hotel you got happened to be more expensive than its direct competition (or vice versa).
What do you think of the hotels I booked?
Let me know how much you love these hotels I scored (and their discounts!)
Have you ever tried Express Deals? While I was Instagramming about my hotels, someone following me mentioned they took note and booked a Marriott in New Orleans for just $88. She scored about 50% off her Express Deal listing and booked her accommodations in a prime location!
Try it: Priceline Express Deals Promo Code (EXPIRED)
If you want to try Express Deals for yourself, you're in luck! Here's an extra 10% off any Express Deal hotel booking using promo code: WELLNESS10. There's no limit to how often you can use the code, but it does expire 10/31/18 -- so hurry (UPDATE: this code is now expired). Click here to book, and search hotels as you normally would. Select the "Express Deals" option to only view the deepest discounts.
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