Just finished another stay at HHI, we have now stayed at all of the "resort" properties that are listed on priceline for the area. I was quite concerned when we were assigned to the Sonesta Resort, which had some poor reviews. After reflecting on how priceline lists it's properties, I think I know why there are such mixed reviews:
When bidding on a hotel, priceline lists the "choice box" for resort properties after the 4 and 5 star properties, which may lead the inexperienced traveler to believe a resort is better than or equal to a 5 star when it should really be listed between 3 and 4 star in my opinion.
In my experience, a "resort hotel" on priceline is a property that is usually 20-50 years old, and was 4 or 5 star when it was built, but now has lost the luster and cannot rank as a 4 or 5 star any longer. So why not just rank it a 3-star instead of calling it a resort ? Because it will most likely have amenities and a location that is far better than a 3 star: It will most likely be beachfront if it is at the ocean/ with the best views, if not at the ocean it will most likely be located closest to the event/attraction that destination is known for, it will probably have an indoor and outdoor pool(s), a wonderfully landscaped courtyard or common area, restaurants, bars, a full fitness center, a spa, childrens activitities, and may be attached to a golf/tennis course.
So if you pay between $80-120/night for one of these rooms (in peak season), you have made a heck of a deal. If you are paying more than $150/night, you will probably be disappointed, as all of these properties in HHI (as well as every other city we have visited)are showing their age.
If you must have a 5 star hotel to be happy, you should bid on a 5 star, not a resort. If priceline does not have a 5 star property in the area (like they don't in HHI), then go to other review/bidding sites, find the highest rated hotel in the area, and book it the normal way, at full price. The resorts at HHI are all good bargains, if you are paying the right price.