Hacking the Valet? Why I Will From Now On….

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Ten dollars.

Ten lousy dollars.

That’s the margin by which I feel that the valet at the Crescent Hotel in Dallas (a Rosewood luxury property) decided to draw a line in the sand about valet charges on Thursday night.

Let me explain…

I went to the Crescent after work with plans to attend an alumni reception for my graduate program.  My plans included spending more money at the property as I had plans to meet a friend at Nobu for dinner afterward.

When I arrived, the valet asked if I was checking in.  No. 

Was I going to a function?  Yes.  Yes I was.  I thought it was wonderful that the valet was able to tell me exactly where my function was – “enter the lobby and turn left”.  What wonderful service, I thought, as I tucked the blue valet ticket into my wallet.

I attended my grad school reception then wandered across the lobby to Nobu for dinner.

As I was paying my check at dinner, I asked about having my valet ticket validated, something I remember doing on a previous visit.

“Oh, that won’t be necessary – we don’t validate, but if you mention that you finished dining here, they’ll apply the discounted rate.”

So I head back out to my car, ready to roll around the corner to check into my hotel room at the Hyatt House, and hand the valet my ticket and tell him what the bartender at Nobu said.

“No… I can’t discount your valet because you were here to attend the alumni reception.”

What??!!

It turns out that the valet staff wasn’t being helpful when they asked me where I was going – they were assigning me a specific color of valet ticket.  Blue was for an onsite function for which valet was not covered – or $14.  If I had told them I was headed to Nobu, I would have received a pink ticket – or $4 valet.

I offered to show them my receipt – after all, I had just dropped some decent coin at Nobu – but no love.  I was told that the only think that matters is the color of my valet ticket, not where I spent my money after arrival.  I asked to speak to a supervisor – he reinforced that there was no flexibility on the policy as they only consider the original destination of the guest, not any later spending stops on the property.

That’s quite a chintzy policy for a luxury hotel.

But that’s okay.  Next time I go to any function  at the Crescent Hotel, I’ll be “going to Nobu” and hacking the valet.  And perhaps I will actually be spending the $10 I save to put towards a splurge dinner somewhere else with a more flexible valet policy.

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last eighteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 47.5 US states. Although she averages 200 days a year on the road, she loves to return to “the homestead” in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and cocktail mixology.

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