Hotels are supposed to be the most secure of all places. It is here that you can go and sleep and then be ready for your next day. Unfortunately there have been a few incidences at Indian hotels which make you think if you should carefully examine the type of hotel you are staying in. Wherever you travel, be it India or elsewhere, it is a good idea to follow some safety guidelines.
Here are some common hotel safety rules
Research the hotel if possible
Many hotels are listed on online forums and review sites where other travelers’ review and grade hotels based on their services, accommodation and safety standards. Check them out. You can also ask colleagues in India or acquaintances if you have any about hotel recommends. Also, five-star and four-star hotels usually tend to have higher safety standards than mediumrange hotels. So if you can afford to spend a little extra for safety then do so. Even in up market hotels, remain careful and do not divulge too much information about yourself to the hotel staff or get too chatty with the attendants.
If you have special requirements, like a women-‘s only corridor or floor, or need accessibility options in the hotel, do your research carefully. Some Indian hotels these days provide cell phones to women guests and have extra security for women. Do your research and clarify your safety concerns before you check in.
Assess the surroundings
Find out a bit about the area where the hotel is situated. If it is a bazaar area, you can ask for a room if possible, away from the road, so that your room is not visible outright to any potential burglar. Some medium-rung hotels have windows in some rooms facing the staff area. If you do not want to be disturbed by the noise of the hotel staff going about their work or risk seeing a face peeping in through the window, you can avoid rooms in such busy areas of the hotel.
Go through the room carefully
Before taking a room, watch out for windows or doors that will not close properly. Check the latches to see if they work. Look in the bathroom and behind the doors. Keep your eyes open for hidden mirrors or other objects that could be used to spy on you.
Know the emergency exits
This is important in case there is a fire outbreak at the hotel. Find out about the hotel’s emergency evacuation plans at the start. Ask about fire extinguishers. Know the way from your room to the emergency exit, and stay prepared.
Maintain your privacy
The practice many Indian hotels follow is that the guest leaves the room key with the person at the lobby and claims it on return. While telling the receptionist or person at the lobby your room number, make sure you are not overheard. You can also insist on keeping the duplicate keys with you all the time.
Remain alert every time you come into and leave your room
Make sure the room is locked before you leave. If it a regular lock then place the key in the lock twice to ensure it is locked. When you come into your room again after a period of absence, look around carefully before entering. Also, make sure no one is in the room by checking thoroughly behind curtains, doors, and the bathroom or under the bed. If you feel unsure about your safety, ask the lobby to have a bellboy accompany you to your room.
Maintain safety in your room
When you are in then seal the door and for extra precaution push a heavy piece of furniture (a side-table, chair etc.) against the door. You don’t have to do all the time, just before you go to sleep. Open the door only when you are sure it is a hotel attendant and verify the identity if possible, if the door has a keyhole or spyglass. If you are suspicious, call the lobby and confirm if they have sent an attendant. Before sleeping, double check all the security arrangements, and if the windows face the hotel corridor or the street, lock the windows.
Safety of belongings
Do not keep valuables, the wallet, passport, credit cards or documents with personal information etc. lying about. Lock the zips of all bags before going out. Also, a smart tip many cautious travelers use is to keep their belongings arranged in a specific manner. If anyone has been looking among your belongings, you would know then at once. Many hotels provide safe deposit arrangements for a fee. Paying a little extra for safety is often a good idea.