Last night a man opened my hotel room door whilst I was sitting up in bed. Luckily, he realised his mistake, looked as shocked as I’m sure I did and when I told to shut the door, he did. Once I got over my shock, I made sure the door was shut and had made the locking noise and jammed the door handle with an assortment of chairs, and luggage handles. Then I hoped I would be safe until morning. I was, however I’m also conscious of how that could have been so different.
This morning, I went to report the incident to reception. Firstly, I asked if there was a 2nd card key for the room and once I had put that in my pocket, I told the man and woman behind reception about the disturbance. I was met with expressions of disbelief and other non-believing responses and yes, I acknowledge and accept that I was speaking in English which they both understood, however that was not their first language.
I took my time explaining what happened and asking how it happened as it would surely show on their system that only one person needed a key and that their was a female in the room not a male. The man on reception asked again the time and said that everything would be on their surveillance equipment to which I nodded and asked them to check it. It was as though he thought I had made it up and when I heard there was surveillance coverage that I would back down and say oh no I just said that! The conversation carried on and I reiterated that the safety of their guests should be paramount to them and that such disturbances should never happen and certainly not to female guests.
They tried to contact the guy who had been on reception last night but couldn’t reach him. It was only as I started to walk away that the woman apologised, although that should have surely come first. I returned to my room to get ready to go out for the day and also ready to look for somewhere else to stay if they couldn’t provide an adequate explanation.
When I left my room, the woman came to me all apologetic as they had spoken to the guy on reception and he had explained he had mixed up the keys when showing a guest to his room. They left a box of chocolates in my room as an apology.
The situation is sorted now and I’m happy with their explanation as sometimes mistakes happen although it’s not something that should happen when people do their jobs properly. I have learnt to now ask for the 2 available keys to the room and to take other precautions despite this being the first time it has ever happened during all of my travels.
As I walked into town, it suddenly hit me how much I had been obliged to explain and keep saying what had happened as both of the responses from the man and woman were unbelieving and the woman even had a smirk on her face as I told her. Since when should women have to explain themselves when an incident happens to them as if they are lying. I was glad there was surveillance coverage (if that was true), however I still think the man thought I was joking or making it up!
Surely hotels and other accommodation providers need to do more to protect female travellers and ensure their safety. I explain to the woman that I’ve travelled a lot over the years and for me to complain shows how serious the situation is. What a pity they didn’t take me seriously until they had spoken to the guy on reception or looked at the coverage!