Are Safes in Hotels Safe? (2024 Guide)

    If you're like most of us, you probably start by checking out the storage options when you first check into your hotel room. You look into the cupboards and drawers to check the space, and you might even inspect the safe. We all know these little safes are standard in most hotel rooms, and they seem like the go-to spot for our valuable items. Most people use them and most articles suggest doing so but there are so many stories about valuables mysteriously disappearing from them. So, what's the real deal? Are they trustworthy or not? Keep reading to find out.

    What Type of Safes Do Hotels Use?


    black safe in the cupboard
    Credit: Envato Elements/ JulieStar

    Most hotels provide in-room safes for guests. These are typically small, made of durable metal, and designed to hold items like passports, cash, and small electronic devices. They usually work with a digital code system where you set a unique code when you first use it, and that's your key to open and close the safe during your stay. Some older models might still use a master key or a swipe card system, but digital codes are the norm these days.

    Are Safes in Hotels Safe?


    thief breaking into safe and stealing jewellery
    Credit: Envato Elements/ dolgachov

    First off, hotel safes are generally secure for your everyday items. They're great for storing things like your travel documents, a bit of extra cash, or a spare credit card. For most travelers, this level of security is plenty.

    However, it's good to remember that hotel room safes aren't foolproof. They're more about deterring casual theft than being an impenetrable vault. In rare cases, there have been reports of items going missing from them. This could be due to a variety of reasons, like previous hotel guests figuring out the code, or even, unfortunately, dishonest hotel staff.

    The bottom line is this: use the hotel safe for convenience and a basic level of security, but don't rely on it as the only safeguard for your most precious items.

    What Other Options Do You Have?


    Travah bottle diversion safe

    One great alternative is to use the safe at the hotel's front desk or reception. These safes typically have multiple security measures and are monitored closely by hotel managers.

    Another idea is to bring your own diversion safe. These portable safes resemble everyday objects but have hidden compartments that can be used to store away precious items and can be accessed by you and only you.

    For those tech-savvy travelers, there are also tracking devices. You can pop one of these into your luggage or attach it to your valuable items. If anything goes missing, you can use your phone to track where it is.

    Are Hotels Liable if Your Valuables Get Stolen?


    masked thief with stolen money and phone
    Credit: Envato Elements/ weerawatfoto

    It depends. Hotels generally have policies about their liability for guests' belongings, and these can vary a lot. Most of the time, hotels put a limit on this, especially for items left in your room or in the in-room safe. This means if something is stolen, they might only cover up to a certain amount, or in some cases, they may not cover it at all.

    However, if you use the hotel's main safe at the reception for your valuables, the hotel might have a higher responsibility for those items. Always ask the front desk about their specific policies when you check-in.

    It's also a good idea to check the fine print when you book your hotel. Some hotels might require you to report any theft immediately, and if you have travel insurance, they often need a police report to process a claim.

    Here's a pro tip: take pictures or have a list of the items you're leaving in the hotel room safe. It's useful to have a record, just in case.

    Can Hotel Staff Access Your Hotel Safe?


    hand putting in code for the safe in a hotel
    Credit: Envato Elements/ GalinkaZhi

    Yes, hotel management staff can access room safes, but under strict conditions. This is usually for emergencies or if a guest forgets their code. If there's a need to open it, this is generally done by a senior hotel employee, hotel manager, or security, and often in the presence of the guest.


    Hotel safes provide a reasonable level of security and are convenient for storing everyday valuables. However, for extra valuable items, consider using the hotel's more secure main safe, bringing a portable diversion safe, or using a tracking device.

    Speaking of portable diversion safes, have you heard about Travah? Travah's range of diversion safes offers the perfect blend of security and stealth to keep your valuables secure. Shop with us today.