Last week, I wrote a blog post about how I’m going to be homeless for half a year. Besides the fact that people are accusing me of clickbait because, even though I’m literally going to be homeless, I will still always have a safe place to stay every day and night… my “homelessness” officially started on June 1.
My plan was to drive from Las Vegas to SoCal on June 1, but I ended up getting too busy with highly time-sensitive work and couldn’t spend the five or so hours needed for the trip that evening. Unfortunately, my bed and mattress were already tarped and deposited into storage, and my rental lease replacement was already moved into my old condo, so this meant I had to find some alternative lodging. I browsed through Marriott’s website for a nice place to stay for a one-day staycation and found Marriott’s Grand Chateau.
That was a huge mistake.
The room was fine; it wasn’t the nicest, but it was still fully functional. The problem, and why I consider this to be a huge mistake… is because Marriott’s Grand Chateau has mandatory valet parking.
So here I am, someone who hates other people touching my belongings in general, with a pickup truck loaded with all my stuff, driving up to the hotel entrance and seeing that there is no self-parking garage. I thought it would be a bit ridiculous to actually carry all my stuff into the hotel, so I open my back seat doors and truck bed in the valet lane and start shuffling things around. I pull out only one night’s worth of my essential belongings out of all my boxes so I only need to bring one luggage bag’s worth of stuff into the hotel.
Later that evening, I decided to get some food. I went downstairs to summon my vehicle, but I didn’t realize that there was an automatic kiosk system that scans the barcode on your ticket, so I was instead waiting for a good six or so minutes at the valet desk to wait for someone to actually tell me that I just need to go to the kiosk. After scanning at the kiosk, it took another 15 minutes for my vehicle to arrive. The following morning when I was ready to leave after checking out, I scanned my ticket at the kiosk and had to wait 17 minutes for my vehicle to arrive.
I’d say that the only thing I truly liked about this hotel was the view of CityCenter (which I was lucky enough to get, because I had a west-facing room).
To be clear, I don’t think this hotel itself is actually really that terrible. But, if you just need a clean and safe place to spend the night in Las Vegas, there are tons of other options that don’t come with these inconveniences.
Just to add, mandatory valet parking wasn’t the only thing that was inconvenient—Grand Chateau doesn’t conform with the standard Marriott Bonvoy program, so they don’t honor the 2 PM late checkout for gold elite members, and actually have a relatively early 10 AM standard checkout time. That, mixed with the traffic on the Las Vegas Strip and the inflated prices of all food within walking distance, and after my tenth minute of waiting for my truck the first time I summoned it, I very much regretted not just staying at a Courtyard or Residence Inn.
That short leg of my journey is now over, and I made it to Long Beach in California. I’ll be spending the next few weeks in Southern California, and then my real journey begins.