I don't know if it's the best but I still use Orbitz. Then I go to tripadvisor to check reviews. Then I go directly to the hotel website of the hotel from Orbitz and see if they can match or beat orbitz's price. I'd rather deal directly with the hotel than third party operators. I find the hotel website usually has as good
if not better price than Orbitz.
I use priceline too, but I wouldn't do it for NYC because I don't know the areas.
I use it for Montreal frequently.
Priceline has given me the cheapest airfare in the past at least. My dad swears by mobissimo.com, might want to check that out as well.
Just spent two nights in Manhattan two weeks ago for a scholarship event. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriot on 3rd and 52nd/53rd. Don't know the rating, but I think it was about $300-$350 a night for our basic rooms to give you a ballpark. Nothing too fancy at all, however, certainly not cut out for the Chairman.
Priceline has given me the cheapest airfare in the past at least.
The only bad things about Priceline for hotels is there is no guarantee of getting the bed you want. A double room could be twins, double, queen or King. You have to take what they give you. There is also no guarantee of getting a non-smoking room or smoking. You can request it, but they don't have to give you one.
As for Priceline Airfares, it's not the deal it was years ago because there are less flights and most flights are very full. Not to mention the crazy hours they can book you on. Still a good deal if you are HIGHLY flexible.