Ok, since three people, two adults and one 11 year old, are going, Priceline is out, since I wanted to get just one room and Priceline, realistically, is good for 2 people at most, especially in Europe where you can get stuck with a postage stamp sized room . Also, frankly, I didn't want to hear the complaining if they got stuck with a smoking room or it was awful in some other way.
Too bad since I scored an $80/night room ($68 bid), no breakfast, at the well located Thistle Bloomsbury in October. Lots of people hate the Thistle Bloomsbury, but it was fine for me. Clean, quiet, with a good location one block from the British Museum and 5 minutes walk from Holborn tube station.
Hotwire was more ambiguous than I could handle for this particular trip, with a price of $190/night including everything for a reputed 4*.
Getting a room in London for 3 people is a pain. It seems the big chains have rooms for 3 and that's about it. (Well, I know the smaller places, such as those on Gower have triples, but the en suite bathrooms are so small you literally can't turn around in them.)
Anyway, after making a "safety" booking at the Holiday Inn by Oxford Circus for about $241/night, including VAT, I found a rate of $212/night inclusive of taxes and fees at Expedia for the Radisson SAS Portman, which is in a decent area. So, unless something better comes to mind, that's that.