A Critical Feature - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
By Mike Oppenheim, MD
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.
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 inside while he's digesting the news.
I look like a 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 but accept it if they persist. I'm always courteous to hotel staff.
If I accept it, the valet is likely to drive my car deep into the bowels of the building where it will take fifteen minutes to retrieve after a polite discussion about paying. It's a hard life.