What Is Self-Parking At Hotels? | Simply Explained

When booking a hotel reservation you’ll often see a note stating “Self-Parking Available” and wondering to yourself, what is self-parking?

Self-Parking is one of the two most common parking options (with the other being Valet Parking) available at hotels across the country!

Questions We'll Answer About Self-Parking at Hotels:

  • Which Hotels Offer Self-Parking?
  • Do All Hotels Offer Self-Parking?
  • What Is Self-Parking At Hotels?
  • Self-Parking vs Valet Parking
  • Typical Cost of Self-Parking

Jackson Hole Hotel Self-Parking

Which Hotels Offer Self-Parking?

Most major hotel chains across the country including Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt offer self-parking at many of their properties.

Typically if a hotel has a large parking garage or open parking lot it means they will offer self-parking as an option to their guests.

Budget hotels and motels almost always offer self-parking as they try to keep costs to a minimum and hiring a staff to manage valet parking is often expensive and not a perk that budget travelers find useful.

Disney's BoardWalk Hotel Self-Parking Lot

Do All Hotels Offer Self-Parking?

Not every hotel offers self-parking! There are many hotels across the country that only offer valet parking.

This is especially common in large cities like New York City or in downtown areas where space is limited.

Many of these hotels utilize parking garages or lots that are shared by multiple businesses and would prefer to get your car to right place themselves to avoid any confusion.

More premium brand hotels like The Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott or 4 Seasons often don’t offer self-parking to maintain a luxury experience on their properties. They strive to make your stay as seamless as possible – which means no driving around to find a parking spot yourself!

Sign with different parking options

What Is Self-Parking At Hotels?

Self-parking is almost always the most affordable or free option when bringing your car with you to a hotel.

Self-parking means you will be driving your car onto the hotel property, responsible for finding your own parking spot at the hotel’s garage or parking lot and making sure your vehicle is secured.

You will need to take your keys with you and anytime you need your vehicle you will be responsible for remembering where you parked and finding your vehicle.

There are times when self-parking at a hotel gets very busy and means you’ll need to park in an undesirable spot (perhaps further away from the lobby or your room) or on a high floor of the parking garage.

Sometimes you’ll also find yourself trying to squeeze into a tight space as parking spaces in hotel parking garages are often a bit smaller than what you’d find elsewhere as hotels are trying to have as many parking spaces available as possible for their guests.

If these sound likes hassles you don’t want to deal with then consider a hotel with valet parking available!

Self-Parking vs Valet Parking

Many hotels will offer both self-parking and valet parking. Below we’ve outlined some pros and cons of each to keep in mind when deciding if you’d rather self-park or valet park.

Self-Parking:

  • Cheaper
  • Easy access to your car
  • Responsible for finding your own parking spot
  • Often further from the hotel lobby and certain rooms

Valet Parking

  • More expensive
  • Located right in front of the hotel lobby
  • Sometimes takes longer for valet staff to retrieve your car
  • No access to your vehicle without help from the valet staff
  • Guaranteed parking spot

If you’re looking for convenience and aren’t worried about price then valet parking is the way to go. The ability to pull right up to the hotel lobby and walk straight in can be a really nice benefit after a long day.

Self-Parking will usually be a fair amount cheaper, but you’ll lose a lot of convenience. You’ll be responsible for finding your own parking spot and might need to be prepared for a decent walk if the garage or parking lot isn’t directly attached to the hotel.

Self-Parking also gives you the benefit of 24/7 access to your car.

Valet on the other hand you’ll need ask the valet staff to retrieve your car which can take some time if you don’t call in advance which can be especially annoying if you’re just trying to grab an item you may have left in your vehicle.

Typical Cost of Self-Parking

Self-parking is usually between $15-$25 per night or $10-$20 for just the day.

This can vary greatly depending on where the hotel is located (metropolitan areas and resorts are typically more expensive), but planning to spend around $20 or so per night is a good starting point to keep in mind for your budget.

Valet parking typically starts at around $25 per night and can easily go over $75 per night in some cities like New York City!

Learn More About Parking At Hotels!

Ultimate Guide to Free Parking at Hotels