VIP vehicles: 8 free rides at luxury hotels
It’s always easier to get around an unfamiliar place when you’re with someone who knows the lay of the land. And at hotels like the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, which just introduced “Audi House Car Service” for its suite guests, you can travel in style.
In June, The Trump hotel in Chicago introduced two custom-ordered house cars: an Audi A8 sedan and a Q7, Audi’s seven-passenger luxury SUV. Chauffeured service is available for free to guests staying in the hotel’s suites on a first-come, first-serve basis, for drop-offs at any location within a 1.3-mile radius of the hotel. And these rides are a far cry from ho-hum airport shuttle buses; the vehicles are equipped with WiFi mobile hotspots via Audi Connect, as well as a Bang & Olufsen advanced sound system and an in-car iPad.
With its new luxury fleet, the Trump property joins an array of luxury hotels around the nation that offer free transportation with a decidedly upscale feel. The James Hotel Chicago, for example, also has an Audi Q7 that provides free transportation within the city’s central business district. Mercedes is the brand of choice at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa in Monterey, Calif., where handsome chauffeured sedans shuttle guests around town.
At Hotel Bel-Air, just off of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, guests can be whisked anywhere within a three-mile radius aboard a fleet of Mercedes S-350 BlueTEC sedans. One is dedicated to serving the sister property, the The Beverly Hills Hotel, making it easy to dine and socialize at both properties.
Among the other hotels offering free car service are the Loews Denver Hotel, the Park Hyatt Chicago and the Mandarin Oriental Washington D.C., which offers free chauffeured car service to guests who join its Tai Pan Club.
In most cases, free hotel car service is based on availability, so reserve early when possible (the concierge desk is usually the best place to start planning). And remember: The rides may be free, but tips are always appreciated.