Asking a concierge to store a suitcase
February 20, 2015 5:48 AM   Subscribe

I understand that a good tip (how much?) will be in order. How do I ask the concierge to store my bag, while offering the tip for the service? Do I tip up front or when I pick up the bag? Problem: I will have been a guest at the hotel for one night the week before, but not the night before asking for the storage.

I will be staying in a New York City hotel for one night, then leaving on a cruise for one week. When I return to New York, I will need to store my suitcase for about 6 hours. The best place is at the hotel that I stayed at (the commercial storage places are too inconveniently located for me).

I really need the suitcase stored for the 6 hours.
posted by mbarryf to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (11 answers total)
I wouldn't even bring up that you weren't a guest at the time - they might have a policy against storing then.

Just walk up to the bell desk (if there is one) or the front desk (if there isn't) and ask them to store your luggage til later in the day.

Normally you tip when leaving, about 5 dollars is plenty.
posted by mercredi at 5:53 AM on February 20, 2015 [5 favorites]

Oh yeah, if you don't stay the night before they definitely won't store your suitcase. If you really really need it stored, make sure you're doing this at a larger hotel, act confident, walk up to the bell desk and ask for them to store it for you. $5 is fine for a tip when you pick it up. But be prepared for them to ask for your room number.
posted by arnicae at 6:01 AM on February 20, 2015

Yeah - this is all about acting like you assume they'll store it.

At a large hotel, there will be a separate desk with the bell boys and doormen. You check it there, not with the concierge or the front desk. If asked for a room number, you can always say you're checking in later. In the US, I have rarely been asked.
posted by mercredi at 6:13 AM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

You do this at the bell desk, and it's about $5 per bag.

Most hotels won't fuss too much about you being a current guest.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:37 AM on February 20, 2015

Did you talk to the cruise line? They may have an agreement with a hotel for day storage of disembarking passenger luggage. But, as noted above, I have done this at hotels where I am not staying and never been challenged on it.

A few dollars tip when you collect your bag is standard.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:06 AM on February 20, 2015

I used to work as a bellhop, and I agree with the above commentary. And over the bag and a fiver when you check it; retain the ticket, and then tip whoever collects if for you a couple bucks on the way out. You should be golden.
posted by Gelatin at 7:13 AM on February 20, 2015

I used to work at a hotel and a lot of my friends worked at bell desk/concierge. Their first question almost certainly would have been "Could I get your room number please?"

But it was also a hotel with an "above and beyond" approach to customer service. If you had stayed there the week before, we almost certainly would have helped you out because it would have made you more likely to return. I'd say it can't hurt to try.
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:59 AM on February 20, 2015

I do this all the time and I've never had the hotel ask for my room number. The last time I was in New York the hotel had a set fee of $5.00, which is the first time I've seen that.
posted by interplanetjanet at 8:38 AM on February 20, 2015

Oh! You're on a cruise? You won't have to fool with this!

Most cruises have a thing where they'll take your bags directly to the airline and check them through for you. Norwegian calls it BAGS.

It is SO freaking worth it! I'm here to tell you.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:30 AM on February 20, 2015

Alas, Ruthless Bunny, I will be traveling via Air Canada, which is not on the list of NCL "BAGS" services.

Thank you all for your great suggestions. I definitely will try the hotel, and tip well for the service.
posted by mbarryf at 11:42 AM on February 20, 2015

I am in the back office of a hotel doing the night audit *right now*!

This one is also an above-and-beyond hotel, and you would probably be asked about your stay, but if you explained the situation and said you had stayed the week before we would do it for you. My previous hotel was bigger and more generic and served mainly business travelers, and there I think it would have depended largely on the luck of the draw-- who you approached and how annoying they found you. (Don't be annoying. Tips help too.)

Also note that not all hotels have separate bellmen, so you may end up having to approach the front desk (who will be able to store the bag for you). Well-kept secret-- we never get tips, and if you tip the front desk you may instantly make someone's day for a few bucks and get excellent service from a very happy agent indeed.

I would certainly store your bag for you. But I am in Seattle, and that's a bit of a commute for a six-hour suitcase storage.
posted by Because at 3:28 AM on February 21, 2015

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