Hotel destination chargers: Is management usually friendly about non-guest users?

Hotel destination chargers: Is management usually friendly about non-guest users?

So the hotel right next to my work has an excellent EV charging setup, 4 Tesla destination chargers @ 37 MPH on my M3 and 2 universal J1772 plugs as well. The info on indicates that the chargers are intended for customers, but they work if you just go plug in.

Has anyone had a similar experience where they spoke to the hotel manager and got permission to use them? I wanted to get some opinions from other before I went to ask and got told absolutely not, thus putting a target on my car if I ever went to just go get a little charge for an hour or so..

Its a small Hilton and does not look like the stations get used very much..


To end what some of you would consider "The Great Ethical Dilemma"... Before I could even finish my pitch they said it was totally fine, they were super cool about it almost as if they were happy that somebody was making them useful.

Sorry I didn't get arrested or ridiculed like some of you thought I should..

jamespompi | August 29, 2018

Moved to M3 forum since it gets more activity.

M3BlueGeorgia | August 29, 2018

So you want free use of their power and facilities, and potentially interfere with use by a paying guest? Doesn't seem very polite.

If you are a regular Hilton customer (Hilton Honors) and the chargers are unused, then you could have a case to ask to use occasionally, otherwise I recommend you consider only for a dire emergency.

Meanwhile, sign-up for Hilton Honors and try to use that chain when travelling. :-)

aus1ander | August 29, 2018

Most destination chargers are for guest use only. It doesn't hurt to ask them about using it occasionally, but I would not depend on using it regularly. Electricity isn't free.

jamespompi | August 29, 2018

Oh forgot to mention that a 3 ICE cars were parked in the 6 spots, so I dont think an actual EV using facilities there for not only guest convenience, but product promotion is all that inconsiderate, after all doesn't Tesla install them for free? I would obviously not use them if they were a hot commodity, but at this point theyre regular parking spots.

I dont plan on getting a room next door to my workplace for a few bucks worth of electricity..

SCCRENDO | August 29, 2018

@jamespompi. Everything is individual. Some folks are nice and others are jerks. So are hotel managers. So I guess it is tough to generalize. I would talk to the manager and perhaps offer to pay something for the electricity use, have an occasional meal there, promise to strongly promote the hotel because of their incredible management (including on these boards). You should also leave a contact number in case they need the spot for whatever reason. Being nice usually gives a positive response. I have been strongly promoting Teslas for over 5 years. And I have got my group to provide me with a personal charger which they have done. I recently moved office to a building not owned by us and they arranged for me to get my own personal charger. The only thing I offered in return was being nice. Btw I did want them to put up a bank of chargers for the general public , particularly patients but they declined. I guess one can only push their luck up to a point.

mazers | August 29, 2018

Tesla may have installed them for free, but the electricity isn't free. The guest convenience and product promotion are for paying hotel guests. Now, I agree if you have some status level at Hilton you could maybe talk to the manager and ask if it is ok to charge once in a while, in an emergency.

hokiegir1 | August 29, 2018

+1 for @Sccrendo. I'd ask the manager nicely ahead of time if it's ok to occasionally plug in -- and I'd also confirm with them when you actually do it, just in case it's a different manager on duty that day. I wouldn't rely on it for your sole method of charging, but if you need to top off a little bit on occasion, they likely won't have an issue. Offer it as a "public service" -- since the chargers aren't used frequently, your use can help them identify if there are any issues that need to be addressed before a guest arrives and has a problem with no other options. :)

jamespompi | August 29, 2018

@hokiegir1 @SCCRENDO Good points! I really like the testing point as well.. My intentions aren't to free load off of their stations all the time and hog them all to myself, but I do go do things after work which having a little extra juice could come in handy for.

Maybe I conveyed the wrong message on this post.. I don't think I deserve to use their stations just because I have a Tesla, just wanting to know others experiences.. People are weird about their property and EV charging is foreign to most and definitely brand new for me..

japhule | August 29, 2018

Also check the PlugShare app regarding comments about chargers. The app allows people to check in when using a charger and leave comments that may be helpful.

Jeff.Toyne24 | August 29, 2018

I asked 1 hotel near my work and they said, "No, sorry, it's only for guests staying overnight." Another hotel told me that if no one was using them i could, and i made a verbal agreement with them that while my car was charging i would be at the bar area and typically order something to eat or drink and work on my laptop. Haven't done it yet, but I asked just to find out

MalibuRed | August 29, 2018

Yeah not worth the ethical part plus save it for those guests.

jamespompi | August 29, 2018

@japhule Plugshare has been great! I love the user feedback of it. Wish Tesla maps would incorporate it. So many chargers are out of sight so they would be extremely difficult to find by just tooling around.

dsvick | August 29, 2018

I'd be leary of it, even if a manager agreed, unless they have a list somewhere with your vehicle on it. Otherwise you run the risk of getting towed because some over-zealous desk clerk got a complaint from a guest. Also, they should have your info anyway so they can get a hold of you in case a paying guest needs to use it. Maybe you could come to an agreement to have a meal there once a week and to give them your contact info and let them know you're car is there each time you plug it in.

vishious911 | August 29, 2018


I ended up paying the valet parking fees to use the destination charging in a downtown hotel in TX. I was getting reimbursed from work.

So, maybe offer them your credit card to see if they want to just ring up a nominal fee for charging instead? (Might help them realize you aren't obviously looking to mooch off their services)

gtbuzz | August 29, 2018

Seems like unless you've got an okay to do it from hotel mgt, you're asking for trouble. While technically true just anyone can walk up and start using it, it's kind of against the spirit of why they exist if a non-patron uses it. If the parking lot is hotel property you also run the risk of being booted or towed.

Let's be honest, it's far more likely the hotel owner had them installed to incentivise staying there than some to promote a green agenda. I know if I were a business owner, I'd rather have a paying customer that drives an ICE use that spot than someone just mooching off my electricity.

Never hurts to ask though.

jamespompi | August 29, 2018

@dsvick @vishious911 Thanks, all good points. This is really what I was looking for, a solid way to approach management to avoid getting shot down given i'll probably only get one convincing attempt lol

jamespompi | August 29, 2018

@gtbuzz I wont edit the original post cause it would be pretty lame to cover my tracks, but I will admit I did start the convo off a little deceitful. Aside from it being wrong not to check with them to use their product and energy, ever since I got towed one time in college i'm terrified to leave my vehicle anywhere with a posted tow away sign.

SUN 2 DRV | August 29, 2018

@jamespompi: Curious, for what reason do you think you have a right to use it at all? Even if it were just an empty parking space on their property, do you think you then have a right to use it? It's not public property...

jamespompi | August 29, 2018

@SUN 2 DRV second paragraph

jamespompi | August 29, 2018
@hokiegir1 @SCCRENDO Good points! I really like the testing point as well.. My intentions aren't to free load off of their stations all the time and hog them all to myself, but I do go do things after work which having a little extra juice could come in handy for.

Maybe I conveyed the wrong message on this post.. I don't think I deserve to use their stations just because I have a Tesla, just wanting to know others experiences.. People are weird about their property and EV charging is foreign to most and definitely brand new for me..

LostInTx | August 29, 2018

I was in Durango, Colorado, which has no Supercharger and only one "guest" charging location, which is in the DoubleTree (Hilton) parking lot. I stayed across town at a Hampton Inn (also Hilton) so when I needed to charge, I asked the concierge at the DoubleTree if it was OK.


"It's fine, but are you that jerk with the Model S who charged yesterday afternoon and left the car there overnight?".


"No, I have a Model 3 but you're right about those Model S drivers; so pretentious and I think you should ban them."

So don't be that Model S guy and you should be fine.

3teslafun | August 29, 2018

Do the usual when you want a favor from a stranger. Offer the manager a nice bottle of wine and ask about using the space and charge. Also offer to pay say $10 everytime you plug in. You could say it's for the hotel party fund.
A nice pleasant approach.

George with SacEV | August 29, 2018

From everything I have seen/heard about "free destination chargers from Tesla," it appears to be TRUE that Tesla will give the chargers to a business, BUT Tesla does NOT pay to have them installed. Installation is at the expense of that business, so that is why "for customers only" is pretty much the standard MO in terms of use.

The installation cost for putting in a destination charger is almost always significantly MORE than the simple cost of the charger itself.

Note: I have now 80,000 Tesla driving miles all around "the West," and I have only used designation charging WHEN I PAID TO STAY AT THAT PROPERTY, and when I travel I have chosen hotels either right by Superchargers or when absolutely necessary....chosen hotels WITH CHARGERS and paid the premium to be a legitimate user.

SamO | August 29, 2018


I talked to several Supercharger Team employees and Tesal WILL provide both chargers and installation. But not energy.

The City of Norfolk got 100 in their parking lots all expenses paid by Tesla.

SamO | August 29, 2018

@ jamespompi,

I've used Superchargers at locations for patrons and I usually avail myself of whatever I can. Go grab a meal etc. Joining Hilton Honors or similar acts of solidarity would likely make the request to management go more smoothly.


SamO | August 29, 2018

Sorry . . . destination charging

holgerv | August 29, 2018

Had a great experience at the Best Western in Tusayan. In route from Page, AZ to Orange County, my M3 prescribed a 50 mile detour through Flagstaff in order to make it to Kingman. Routing Kingman directly, the system told me I would only have 4% left. Didn't want to take the chance and consulted the Plugshare app.
It did state in there that the wall chargers are supposedly for customers only but several comments were encouraging. The reception staff was very friendly and glad to help. This was mid day and no one was charging. I walked to a local sandwich shop where I had left the rest of the family and by the time we were done eating, we had topped off enough to make it to Kingman without detour.
I was prepared to pay but it was free of charge. I would not expect to receive the same treatment if I would have asked to charge overnight without being a guest. But what's the worst that can happen......they could say no. Ask nicely and I would think that you will have the same result in many other places.

ravisundaramam | August 29, 2018

@ jamespompi, Are you a new owner of an EV? It is possible you are over thinking. Every day you are going start with something like 240 miles on the battery in the morning. Very rarely you need to juice up again at work. Even if you are planning a weekend get-away leaving straight from work, likely you will find a supercharger more convenient.

Before I got the Tesla I was wondering a lot about charging, back up location etc etc. In the four months of ownership I never needed to do anything special.

rxlawdude | August 29, 2018

@LostInTx, I used that charger in the dead of a snowy December in 2016. But I did ask at the desk, and they graciously said it was fine to use if the spot was open. Just used it for less than an hour while grocery shopping at the Albertsons next to the hotel.

SCCRENDO | August 29, 2018

Give OP a break. He wants a backup source for charging. Let him talk to the hotel. If they say yes, he is in good shape. If no then I guess he has to look elsewhere for a backup.

billlake2000 | August 29, 2018

@SCCRENDO, per usual, good advice. I wish some of the others's mother's would have taught them a little about courtesy.

billlake2000 | August 29, 2018

ooh, typo not caught. eyeglasses too weak

dgstan | August 29, 2018

They might have some cookies at the front desk too. Make sure you grab a couple of those on the way over.

Destination Chargers are there to serve as a means to attract (typically affluent) Tesla owners to stay/eat and their hotel/restaurant. Unless you're contributing something to offset the cost of having those chargers, you shouldn't even consider using them. Sure, you could go put the manager on the spot and force him to make a choice between pissing you off and saving those spots for paying guests. Do you feel comfortable doing that?

dalesmith1962 | August 29, 2018

@holgerv “Had a great experience at the Best Western in Tusayan.”

I was there in December as a guest. Had a Volt then and the J1772 charging station was broken. :-(

Good thing my Volt could use gas too.

Some poor Tesla owner left his J1772 adapter on the broken connector.

efuseakay | August 29, 2018

What I’d do if you reeeeeally wanted to charge at the hotel: 1-2 evenings a week as you go to the bar there for dinner. Otherwise, just leave the spots for guests.

bp | August 30, 2018

Destination chargers are not public chargers. Hotels and restaurants install them because they expect attract Tesla owners as customers. Assistance from Tesla is limited to providing the HPWC (about a $500 item), which is usually only a small cost of the business for installing and operating the charger, and consuming parking space.

Public chargers are usually also not free chargers - most public chargers are part of a charging network, which will charge for their use. Even the Tesla superchargers are not free chargers - Tesla is transitioning to a pay-for-use system, and is likely to either discontinue or limit providing free supercharging in the future.

When we stayed at a hotel with one Tesla HPWC, we arrived with about 30 miles charge left, expecting to use the hotel's HPWC while we were staying there overnight. The only reason why we were staying at the hotel was to use their HPWC - which is why they installed it. But, when we got there, we found the HPWC connected to another Tesla. It appeared to be sitting there with a full charge. We waited and waited all evening to see if the owner would disconnect so we could charge. When it hit 10PM and the car hadn't moved, we drove to the nearest supercharger (we had planned for enough range, just in case we couldn't charge at the hotel) and charged there - burning an hour and a half of our time for the extra drive and supercharging.

We later found out a Tesla owner in a nearby home and started parking his Tesla at the hotel every night and using the hotel's HPWC as an alternate to installing charging at their home - essentially making the hotel's charger unavailable for any of the hotel's customers.

Businesses install HPWC because they want to attract customers and provide additional services to their customers. If non-customers using the HPWC's prevent customers from being able to charge at the business, what will likely happen is either the business will decide to remove the HPWC (since it isn't providing the intended benefit to the business) or they'll implement some mechanism to prevent it from being used by non-customers.

jamespompi | August 30, 2018

To end what some of you would consider "The great Ethical Dilemma"... Before I could even finish my pitch they said it was totally fine, they were super cool about it almost as if they were happy that somebody was making them useful.

Sorry I didnt get arrested or ridiculed like some of you thought I should..

jamespompi | August 30, 2018

@bp I totally get that, and if the hotel only had 1 or 2 I wouldnt even have bothered to ask, but they have 6! I know charging demand is becoming a problem on CA, but it catching on a bit slower in FL, so at least at this point theyre sitting empty most of the time.

Also given that the Hotel's check in isnt till 3pm, I dont think parking there for an hour during lunch is going to ruin and travelers day.

jamespompi | August 30, 2018

Also, I spoke with the owner of our local distillery who has 3 Tesla chargers. Tesla sends the chargers, the owner hires an electrician to wire them up and Tesla reimburses the business for the wire and install costs.

Shock | August 30, 2018

Just ask the manager.

Also don't forget to ask if you can use their pool, weight room, and continental breakfast without booking a night.

SamO | August 30, 2018

Great update OP. Mirrors my experience as well. Please ignore the shitbags who want to institute a shame-based charging sharia-style pusnishment system.

Side note: I’m sure all the people posting here about how the location pays for installation will be correcting themselves now that they have multiple confirmations that Tesla pays for installation.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

SamO | August 30, 2018

Funny enough, but every time I’ve Supercharged at a hotel (not destination charging) the hotel manager has offered me bathroom, water and breakfast buffet. I didn’t even have to ask.

Yet another amazing benefit to be a Tesla owner.


jamespompi | August 30, 2018

@SamO Thanks, now that I know the costs are reimbursed, its compelling to try and get some installed at my place of work. Many of our campus alum go on to work for Tesla and SpaceX, so it would be fitting to have some representation :)

SamO | August 30, 2018


Tesla will provide an almost unlimited number of Tesla Wall Connector AND will provide a pair of third-party chargers for your office.

Here the link:

efuseakay | August 30, 2018

Ah yes. There’s the sense of entitlement that’s to be expected of some Tesla owners.

SamO | August 30, 2018

Trolls troll. It’s what they do.

Meanwhile, Tesla owners are out there trying to help other owners find places to charge. Willing to make the effort to install chargers at their work.

We installed a Wall Connector at our house and placed in on Plugshare so anyone needing a FREE charge could use it. You know . . . “entitled”.


jamespompi | August 30, 2018

@SamO, I filled one out as an owner, not sure if the application carries more merit if you're the business/ establishment inquiring.

jamespompi | August 30, 2018

@SamO I actually saw a company that was campaigning start up to establish a home charge share network. I would def get on board with a concept like that. I live way out in the unincorporated part of town, so I probably wouldn't have many people stop by, but the ones that did would probably need it.

SamO | August 30, 2018


Have you spoken to the building manager? It would be good to check with them to see if there is interest but you are a good person to be the point of contact since you are on-site and willing to coordinate.

How big is the campus and is there sufficient parking?

efuseakay | August 30, 2018

Thing is. A hotel installs them to attract customers. Not freeloaders who just use them without spending $ at their business. That’s the point of destination chargers. Do what you want on your private property.

I’m sure the poster above who reserved a hotel room only to find out a non-guest was occupying the charger would have used another hotel knowing beforehand.

jamespompi | August 30, 2018

@SamO I've mentioned it a few times to our campus business officer who isn't opposed, but its def not a priority. We have 2 chargers now, but they're on the corner of campus thats far from everything and a mile from my building lol. Theyre pretty slow too.. 208V @16A = about 12-13 MPH in my car.