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Logistics of getting the hotel valet to leave your car parked permanently out front

Logistics of getting the hotel valet to leave your car parked permanently out front

Old May 3, 18, 3:55 pm
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Logistics of getting the hotel valet to leave your car parked permanently out front

Let me preface this question by stating that I probably only spend a couple of nights per year in a luxury hotel. That said, however, one thing has always fascinated me about them: the handful of cars that seem to have owners who have convinced the valet to leave their car permanently parked out front, rather than stashed away in the garage somewhere. I have questions:

1) If you have a really nice car, does the valet just do this by default for aesthetic purposes?
2) Is this more a function of being a regular visitor to the property?
3) If this is achieved via gratuity, how much is the proper amount? What if you are in residence for a week or two?
4) If you leave a large enough gratuity, will the valet grant you this privilege without even requesting it? Is it just understood that that is what the money is for?
5) What if you drive a 1992 Honda Accord? Are you still allowed to pull this move or does your car have to look the part?
6) What if there is a finite amount of space for showcase parked cars? How do valets triage these demands?
7) If you are the sort that gets this kind of service, do you just hop in your car when the time comes, or do you still expect it to be pulled out and moved 20 feet so that you can enter it properly?
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Old May 3, 18, 4:13 pm
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Question 1 - Done for aesthetic purpose
Question 5 - No
Question 6 - Finite space, the people that have those cars dont make demands
Question 7 - Yes they pull the car out for you.
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Old May 3, 18, 4:19 pm
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How long is "permanently"?

This is either convenience because you're coming back in just a bit and making you stand around means a lower tip or you've got a great vehicle.

If you've got a wreck, forget it.

Make sure that you tip very, very well at the time you make the ask.
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Old May 3, 18, 5:09 pm
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Old May 3, 18, 6:44 pm
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I think they usually do this for two main reasons:

1. Make the place seem fancier. It's got fancy cars out front!
2. Limit liability - you can keep an eye on that $800k McLaren if it's right in front vs in a back lot somewhere.

If you have a reasonably nice car I'm sure a suitable gratuity will get you this treatment, depending on the place. Unless you have a 1992 Civic, of course.
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Old May 3, 18, 7:12 pm
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Leave it with this guy. He'll look after you.

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Old May 3, 18, 7:17 pm
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THis is typically the valet's choice of which cars make their property look good. I don't think there's anything you (the guest) "do" to make this happen.
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Old May 3, 18, 9:03 pm
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Which cars get parked out front is primarily about looks-- what looks good in front of the hotel. Tipping the valet generously (with a request to "keep it close by") is important, too, as at a luxury hotel there may be many more cars that look the part than can fit in limited space out front.

One exception: if your car has swank seats and a kicking sound system, the valets may park it out of sight of customers so they can take turns blasting tunes in it between calls.
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Old May 4, 18, 6:53 am
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
I think they usually do this for two main reasons:

1. Make the place seem fancier. It's got fancy cars out front!
2. Limit liability - you can keep an eye on that $800k McLaren if it's right in front vs in a back lot somewhere.

If you have a reasonably nice car I'm sure a suitable gratuity will get you this treatment, depending on the place. Unless you have a 1992 Civic, of course.

I know from talking to the valets at the one place I frequent OFTEN - every Valet knows my name pretty much - this is right on, no doubt what they do

Sometimes saying - I'll be back and need my car in 2 hours, they will leave it out front as they know I am coming back to get the car etc, but that is more they know me and I am not trying to pull their leg etc. Anything longer than that they normally ask me when and write it down, move the car to the valet lot, then bring it around 5 min before I asked them to have it there. All my cars are from Hertz and generally nicish cars, low miles etc.
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Old May 4, 18, 10:09 am
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I own a Porsche and have seldom had it left out front on the odd occasions when I valet it. Fair enough: it's a terrific car, and I love it, but it is not an exotic.

Then on a trip to Europe we rented a Peugeot 3008, which is an excrescent mini-van type thing that managed to consume fuel while producing neither power nor torque. It is a bulbous piece of junk with an eerie resemblance to The Homer, if there are Simpsons fans out there. THAT car was the one they decided to park right out the front at our lovely hotel in Florence, for a tip of EUR20 each day to the valet.
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Old May 4, 18, 11:14 am
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I generally hate valet parking. Id much rather just park myself and be done with it.
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Old May 4, 18, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
I generally hate valet parking. Id much rather just park myself and be done with it.
Luxury hotels sometimes don't have that option.
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Old May 4, 18, 1:26 pm
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Yes, I only do so when forced. And I'll make a decent effort to look for off-property lots in the vicinity to avoid it. Most valets aren't proficient with manual transmissions.
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Old May 4, 18, 5:20 pm
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One time I tipped $60 at dropoff at the JW Marriott LA, and they left it out front. But it was only about 8 hours, not an overnight stay. I have a nice German car, but not an exotic by any stretch. It was worth $60 to me because I knew I was going to be exhausted when I was done with my meetings, and the underground valet pickup there takes forever.
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Old May 7, 18, 2:22 pm
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I have a college buddy who worked valet at a casino 15 years ago.

I remember a long discussion over beers about who got those primo parking spots. His response:

(1) Nice-ish car + $20 tip would do it. (An era and place where a typical tip was probably $2-3, or zero at dropoff and a few bucks at pickup.)
(2) Being some type of local celebrity would do it. (This was not Vegas. Being a recognizable local athlete or TV personality was sufficient. You didn't have to be Michael Jordan.)
(3) Driving an exotic car - those were required to be parked in specific spots for security purposes. Well-lit, multiple cameras, within view of security guards/patrols. If there was a "mere" Porsche in one of those spots, it would get moved a little farther away if they needed to make room for a Lambo.

Last edited by pinniped; May 9, 18 at 2:15 pm
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