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How safe are hotel safes?


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The hotels safe is for stashing your phone and wallet in while you're having a "date" over for a sleepover, not for putting the finances for your entire holiday in.

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As far as I am concerned I will keep putting the family jewels in my in room safe along with the lap top. I have however considered that if I were to travel to Laos and possibly Cambodia again I would buy a small strong box to have put in the hotel safe. Most of the rooms I had in Laos had no in room safe and it feels a bit silly wrapping your cash, passport and whatever in a plastic bag for safe keeping. I have seen small boxes just suitable for this sort of thing including some with a combination lock. Just a thought and perhaps also suitable as a second line of defence in Pattaya where you have a lock box rather than an in room safe.

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Did have a safe in the RG that would not open ,

in the end the hotel staff

called in a Locksmith no big deal but as I had a connection to catch,

 

it did get the heart racing ,

 

Joe

Edited by gs joe
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As far as I am concerned I will keep putting the family jewels in my in room safe along with the lap top. I have however considered that if I were to travel to Laos and possibly Cambodia again I would buy a small strong box to have put in the hotel safe. Most of the rooms I had in Laos had no in room safe and it feels a bit silly wrapping your cash, passport and whatever in a plastic bag for safe keeping. I have seen small boxes just suitable for this sort of thing including some with a combination lock. Just a thought and perhaps also suitable as a second line of defence in Pattaya where you have a lock box rather than an in room safe.

 

Pacsafe have a small, A4-A5 ish, safety pouch with black fabric over steel mesh and a steel drawstring closure/anchor cable. Big enough for a 10" netbook, cables, phone, documents etc. While the anchor cable is nice, I never found any room where there was anything solid enough to which to anchor it, and the trent to plastic plumbing doesn't help. Sometimes OK for reception safe, however if reception only has small individual boxes then that doesn't help.

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Tom, do the banks in Thailand offer safety deposit boxes?

 

I don't like ATM cards because they aren't protected against fraud like credit cards.

 

Take a look at the 1500 baht safes in most Thai hotels. See that little label on the front of them. It peels off and right behind it is the backup key hole that any amateur locksmith could pick in 30 seconds. If nothing else, tell the staff that you want the backup key and throw it in the safe also.

 

Thai Garden hotel in north Pattaya has the best in room safes I have seen anywhere. When the battery died in mine it took three personnel (two managers with partial codes plus a maintenance person with the necessary equipment) to open the safe. Of course, I wouldn't expect anything less from a German hotel as it is.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tom, do the banks in Thailand offer safety deposit boxes?

 

I don't like ATM cards because they aren't protected against fraud like credit cards.

 

Take a look at the 1500 baht safes in most Thai hotels. See that little label on the front of them. It peels off and right behind it is the backup key hole that any amateur locksmith could pick in 30 seconds. If nothing else, tell the staff that you want the backup key and throw it in the safe also.

 

Thai Garden hotel in north Pattaya has the best in room safes I have seen anywhere. When the battery died in mine it took three personnel (two managers with partial codes plus a maintenance person with the necessary equipment) to open the safe. Of course, I wouldn't expect anything less from a German hotel as it is.

 

'Wonder if (a) they'd give it to you, and (B),asking for it in the first place would bring attention to yourself. There are inexpensive personal locking systems you can buy for use with these safes (that will prevent the safe from opening even if the correct combination, 'default' combination, or backup/maintenance key is used).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I dont think there's a master key. But I do know there is a set of sperate bypass keys for each safe that the hotel has. This I saw my self. So it becomes a matter of how good the management is. I bring my own safe. Sounds screwy but its realy not. Just get for example a durable tool box that takes a pad lock. Get one of those bike lock cables. Using it as a chocker cable. put it around a bathroom pipe and the other end goes on the padlock on the box. Now hide it say behind the toilet and/ or throw some laundry over it. No one should even know its there. Now you can go in the bathroom and in total privacy, lock your stuff up. I've had very good luck with this home grown system.

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ive just purchased a lock from amazon .... called 'milockie' if you google it you can see it, if you put it in youtube you can see how it works .. it acts as a secondry lock on your room safe, its not an anti theft device as it could be easely smashed off, but you would have evidence to the hotel owners that your safes been broken into, some staff just skim a couple of thousand baht off your wad, which you cant prove... if they have broken your lock you can prove that staff or someone has been in your safe .... STAY 'SAFE' OUT THERE !!

 

Thanks for the info. I just bought one. :thumbup

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Yeap - I have one too and have mentioned it hereabouts before. Easy to carry and I use it regularly. Not quite as secure on the safe models where the door isn't flush with the front face of the safe (might be easier to insert something behind it to saw through the belt), but it at least adds a small extra step in security. I also snap a quick pic of the safe with the lock installed to show if there's ever a break-in.

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Pity many of the pipes are now made of plastic ...

 

And you don't mind your bathroom looking like a doss house! :D

 

I am not sure I want to carry a tool box around with me every trip.....

toolbox.jpg

I often have problems finding a place to secure my computer cable to when it won't fit into the safe.

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If you've got extra room in your carry-on for it... My question is, if some scumbag is going to take what's inside your room safe to begin with, what's the difference between your money, your wallet, your phone, your watch, your ???.........and this little mini-safe? 'Sounds just about as takeable as anything you're trying to protect if they can just get inside the room safe. Whatever works for you though.

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You could bring an electric drill, some large bits and anchor bolts along with the safe.... do remember that the electrical voltage is 220vac (50hz) in Thailand, so you may need to bring a transformer and adaptor plugs too.

And a large socket wrench.

An alternative, for a more secure fixing, would be an arc welder......

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Guest Fatboyfat

You could bring an electric drill, some large bits and anchor bolts along with the safe.... do remember that the electrical voltage is 220vac (50hz) in Thailand, so you may need to bring a transformer and adaptor plugs too.

And a large socket wrench.

An alternative, for a more secure fixing, would be an arc welder......

Additionally the purchase of a Doberman, which can be leashed to said safe could be purchased; for that extra peace of mind. It's totally acceptable just to let the creature loose on the Sois when you depart.
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  • 3 months later...

On the front door of some model safes, there is a gold plate with some writing on it. That plate has two screws. unscrews them and you will see a key hole. Anyone with a master key can open it. How do I know? My last night I F'ed up the combo and couldnt get it to open. I went to the front counter and they told me I would have to wait 2 days. I told the front dest that I was checking out and leaving the country tomorrow morning and with that she followed me back to the room, products a screwdriver and key. In 3 mintues, my safe was opened and I had my passport in hand.

Now Ive used room safes all the time and NEVER had a problem with losing money. Tip the maid a little baht everyday and think of is as peace of mind. If you're still worried, take out enough money from the atm/bank for that day and be done with it.

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On the front door of some model safes, there is a gold plate with some writing on it. That plate has two screws. unscrews them and you will see a key hole. Anyone with a master key can open it. How do I know? My last night I F'ed up the combo and couldnt get it to open. I went to the front counter and they told me I would have to wait 2 days. I told the front dest that I was checking out and leaving the country tomorrow morning and with that she followed me back to the room, products a screwdriver and key. In 3 mintues, my safe was opened and I had my passport in hand.

Now Ive used room safes all the time and NEVER had a problem with losing money. Tip the maid a little baht everyday and think of is as peace of mind. If you're still worried, take out enough money from the atm/bank for that day and be done with it.

The keyhole on mine is simply behind the batteries...covered by a plastic panel on the front that just slides off.

In your case it sounds like these keys are available to anyone behind reception. I am unsure whether there is a single master key for all the safes in the rooms, I would like to hope not. Hopefully the girls employed at reception are more honest than the 'others' that have access to your room.

Edited by jacko
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