We had a big (about 20-ish people, my aunt's family and her boyfriend Kevin's family) group of people go to the Four Seasons Hotel in NYC for a dinner to celebrate Kevin being nominted for an Emmy (he didn't win, though). Everything was great, the staff was still nice to us even though after dinner we hogged the lounge and I'm sure annoyed other guests eating there by being noisey.
At about 11 my parents and I decide to head home since mom and I are both tired by this point. Dad takes out the vallet parking ticket and we notice that it says "please allow up to 30 minutes to get your car" on the back. We figure it's no problem, that's not a long time and besides how busy can the vallet guys be at 11pm?
When we get outside my grandparents, who headed out about 20 minutes before us, are still waiting for their car.
They also tell us an interesting story about another couple, who were not in our group, who waited almost an hour to get their car - and even then the only reason they got it was because the husband got tired of just standing around and decided to take a walk down the block, where he saw his car parked on the street around the corner.
Turns out the Four Seasons uses garages not directly owned and operated by them, so no one there knows why the car was there - either it was never put into a garage or whomever drove it back randomly decided to leave it there. We were all shocked by that, but figured it was a one-time fluke and continued to wait for our cars.
And we waited. And waited.
My grandparents car finally showed up after they'd been waiting for it for about an hour. By that point we'd been waiting for about 40 minutes and my other aunt and one of Kevin's brothers had joined us in waiting outside for our cars.
By this point, no one knows what's going on. No one who works at the hotel has any idea. The doorman was as confused and unhappy as we were and was on the phone they have to talk to the hotel/the garages literally about every 5 minutes trying to find out what was up and was apologizing to us constantly.
After about an hour we're informed that the manager is going to find out what is going on and why we don't have our cars yet.
At this point we find out that some more members of Kevin's family, including his parents(I dunno exactly how old they are but they've been married over 50 years so they're not young...) have also been waiting about as long as we have for their cars. They were at the the doors around the block so we didn't know they were still there.
Now it's after midnight, and most everyone has at least an hour ride home.
After we'd waited for an hour and a half, we were told to head back inside - the hotel'd given us a suite to use while we were waiting for our cars.
That made everyone worry that something was wrong, but I admit I stopped worrying cause I was excited to see what a $2,000/night suite looks like, heh.
Everyone raided the mini bar as though they'd never seen food or drinks in their lives, and in about 20 minutes people's cars started showing up.
Everyone there still seemed as confused as we were as to what happened. The manager apologized to everyone and said he would obvisouly be looking into what had happened, and let us know that the vallet fee had been waived for us.
So, we attempted to leave at 11pm from a place that's about a 45 minutes drive from us and we finally got home at about 2am.
Short version - ended up waiting almost 2 hours to get our car back from whatever garage it was vallet parked in when we wanted to leave. Obvisouly bad service when you're at a hotel where the cheapest room available is over $500/night, but it seems the bad service came from a garage not owned by the hotel. Everyone working at the hotel itself was wonderful. Whomever was at the garage end needs to be kicked in the face as they made me wait so long to get home to my Game Boy and copy of The Minish Cap.