The Airport Hilton has a long entrance drive that accommodates perhaps twenty parked cars without blocking traffic. Le Mondrian has a tiny drive that fits three or four.
These are critical features in hotels without parking lots. Desk clerks always validate my parking lot ticket, but valet tickets are a crapshoot.
My tactic where I’m not known is to park as far from the entrance as possible, walk briskly up to a valet, hand him my key, announce “I’m the hotel doctor; they let me park,” and hurry into the hotel while he’s digesting the news.
I look like a Hollywood B-movie doctor (elderly, grey beard, suit, black bag), but this does not impress valets who may run after me. If they try to hand me a parking slip I wave it off, sometimes successfully.
If I accept it, the valet is likely to drive my car off into the basement where it will take fifteen minutes to retrieve while I argue about paying. It’s a hard life.