How star hotels treat visitors: Answer lot of questions if you walk-in, get lots of respect if you drive-in
Car Rental agency Avis has its counters in some 5-star hotels (Trident in Chennai, Oberoi in Bangalore etc). Whenever I go to collect a car or return a car, I get two different treatments.
I rent cars on self drive from Avis and I prefer to collect them from their garage- this is because of two reasons- one: they charge Rs 300 to deliver it to my place and it costs much less to reach their garage by bus/auto. Second, I get to see other cars they have parked all around.
When I walk in to The Oberoi in MG Road, I am stopped at the main gate. I am asked who am I and what business I have inside their hotel. I need to explain that I came to collect the car and need to go to Avis counter. Sometime they don’t believe, I need to call Avis and make them talk to security. Eventually I am allowed in, with every guard watching me like a suspect and ready to overpower me in case I show any sign of unusual behavior. Never mind, I collect the rented car and drive out.
After a day or two when I need to return the car, I drive in. This time no question is asked. They ask me to stop- put the mirror under the car and open the luggage space to check. I get a salute and am allowed to proceed with a wish “Have a nice day sir”. As I pass the portico, bell boy is ready to unload the luggage, valet parking guy is ready to collect the car and park it. But to their surprise, I don’t stop at the portico of the hotel and proceed towards Avis counter.
Am just sharing an experience. Not sure if I should criticize them, because they’ve been habituated to do the same.
Couple of years ago Leela Palace was in news for banning entry to cyclists.