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Old Dec 16, 08, 5:48 pm   #1
 
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Shipping a package to a hotel?

Anyone have any experience shipping a package to a hotel?

I know you theoretically can.. am I supposed to ship it to arrive just prior to my arrival, or does it need to be during my stay?

Any caveats or warnings? Preferred shipping agent for reliability perhaps?

Long story short, I need to get a relatively large and fragile box to the Blackstone in Chicago for a conference. Conference is over a weekend and I arrive that Friday so the situation seems to offer little to no cushion if it gets delayed in transit - so if it could arrive earlier that seems better.

Suggestions?
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Old Dec 16, 08, 5:50 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KNRG View Post
Anyone have any experience shipping a package to a hotel?

I know you theoretically can.. am I supposed to ship it to arrive just prior to my arrival, or does it need to be during my stay?

Any caveats or warnings? Preferred shipping agent for reliability perhaps?

Long story short, I need to get a relatively large and fragile box to the Blackstone in Chicago for a conference. Conference is over a weekend and I arrive that Friday so the situation seems to offer little to no cushion if it gets delayed in transit - so if it could arrive earlier that seems better.

Suggestions?
Call the hotel, explain the situation, ask if you can send it in advance addressed to yourself, c/o the general manager (or concierge or whomever). That way they'll be expecting it and you can pick it up upon arrival.
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Old Dec 16, 08, 5:51 pm   #3
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Place on the package the name of the guest the package is for and the date of arrival, e.g. Guest: John Doe (Arrival Date: MM/DD/YY), c/o hotel name, address.

I've done this often without problems. Can arrive before or during your stay.
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Old Dec 16, 08, 5:57 pm   #4
 
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And don't be surprised if you get charged for the service as well. Lots of hotels have made this a revenue stream.
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Old Dec 16, 08, 5:59 pm   #5
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Note that some hotels will charge a fee for accepting your package (usually the larger, more expensive hotels!).

It's pretty standard practice across the board to accept guest packages.
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Old Dec 16, 08, 9:28 pm   #6
 
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You can often talk them into waiving the fee though.
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Old Dec 16, 08, 9:41 pm   #7
 
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When I was at Airborne Express we regularly delivered to hotels. Previously poster is right about placing guest name and arrival date on the package. Hotels that host conferences or are near or next to conventions centers and such get packages for guests on a regular basis and are used to it. The front desk will usually sign or they will direct the delivery guy to the concierge. Also if you are shipping out of the hotel you can arrange the pickup and leave it at the front desk for the delivery guy to pick up there.
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Old Dec 16, 08, 9:51 pm   #8
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I am sending a suitcase to the Peninsula in Chicago early next year-about a week before our arrival. I've made (actually, DavidO made these) advance arrangements with the concierge to accept it, and have the 2 items in it pressed for a function the next day. We will be coming in from a vacation and don't want to drag our formal clothes there with us.

It didn't seem to be an out-of-the-ordinary request for their conceirge.
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Old Dec 17, 08, 12:39 am   #9
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The recent custom of hotels charging to deliver Fedex, UPS, etc is really annoying, it's a nuisance fee that cannot possibly generate revenue at all in proportion to the guest hatred it creates.

But yes, as folks have noted, pretty much all medium level or better hotels will accept a package in advance of a guest arrival by at least a few days (maybe more) and hold it for the guest.
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Old Dec 17, 08, 1:26 am   #10
 
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I've done this quite often with hotels ranging from budget to nice.

Just call in advance to make sure they know it's coming. They'll tell you how to address it to get to exactly the right place. Make sure your name is on the box, no matter what they may say.

Either UPS or FedEx should work for you, so use whatever your accustomed to use. Tracking and insurance are worth it, and don't be afraid to ship it a day or two ahead of what you think will be necessary. I'd suggest you not use the post office, but you weren't going to do that. Were you?

My caveat is to make sure you've got return shipping taken care of and that you don't assume the hotel or your company's warehouse will be helpful. It always seems that when I'm on top of the return, it gets back in time. When I forget about the return or have to go to a different event right away, it gets screwed up.

Last edited by sipes23; Dec 17, 08 at 1:30 am.. Reason: UPS and FedEx info.
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Old Dec 17, 08, 7:30 am   #11
 
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As others have said, expedct to pay a fee for this service.

Many hotels have "outsourced" their business center, and as these are considered profit centers, it will be rare that you are not charged.

I suggest that you call in advance and check the fees
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Old Dec 17, 08, 8:36 am   #12
 
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When my wife was an event planner at her prior employer, she used to do this all the time. I don't recall that she ever got charged, though she did tip generously to get the package to its final destination within the hotel. Just something to consider.
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Old Dec 17, 08, 10:07 am   #13
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I think a good rule of thumb is if the hotel has free internet access, they’ll accept a package for you sans fee.
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Old Dec 17, 08, 10:27 am   #14
 
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go to the front desk and ask for the package. i have sent more than one that the idiot receptor thought fedex/ups would come knocking on their door, or the desk staff will go through the luggage room daily to update deliveries.

the package comes with your name and arrival date on it. you go to the desk and tell them you were supposed to receive a package. the desk staff will go and look for the package in their package storage area.

i sent a lot of "stuff" that way. it works. ups/fedex/hotels are a responsible bunch of people.

do not send anything directly to a conference or trade show....ever. the people running the conference/trade show are among the most irresponsible bunch i have ever come across. they are doing you a favor to recognize you exist. they are not in the service business.
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Old Dec 17, 08, 12:16 pm   #15
 
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Thanks for all the advice. I am probably going to call the hotel after the Christmas period to get exact details as i'm going to be there in late January.

About how much in fees from the hotel am I looking at roughly?

I was spending many a sleepless night trying to get a 24x24x24 pelican case to transport my scenic design model in and then trying to figure out how to get it on a plane to my destination. Now i can just throw it in a bigger-then-needed box and pack it with lots of padding - instead of spending $400+ for one item for a single event.

Packing supplies, 2-day shipping, and return shipping should all cost less then the price of the case I wanted to fly it in (nevermind oversized luggage fees r/t).

Hotel is going to be the Blackstone (the Renaissance Marriott near Grant Park) and they appear to have a business center (probably outsourced) and do charge for internet. Rave reviews for customer service though, so here's hoping it pans out in my favor.
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