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How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
98 posts
1 review
How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

We'll be going to Florence in Oct and will stay near the train station. The hotel we have in mind does not have a in-room safe but they do have a front desk safe. I have never used a front desk safe before. How does it work? Do they have one BIG safe for everyone to put their money and credit cards in or individual safe per room? How safe is it?

Also, in the case that the hotel doesnot have a safe box, how do you carry/hide your cash, passport, CC cards?

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
98,671 posts
17 reviews
1. Re: How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

The system varies but it is safe: there is a way of recording who owns what and your belongings will not be given to anyone else.

It is usually safe to leave your things out of sight in your hotel room: in a cupboard or a drawer so they can't be seen if the maid leaves your door open for a short time while servicing your room.

If you want to be really safe, use a money belt under your clothes.

Ravenna, Italy
Level Contributor
9,377 posts
25 reviews
2. Re: How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

The front desk safe works just like a safe at your local bank. You sign a card and are given a box which is where you put your CC and money etc. Then the box is locked with a hotel key and with your individual key. You keep yur own key. When yu want something from the box yu have to fre sign the card and produce yuor key.

They are actually more safe than those boxes in the hotel rooms.

siena
Level Contributor
316 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

Thje hotel where I work doesnt have room safes, but guests sometimes leave small items/packets taped up with the room number in the office safe. we keep a list on reception of those that have left items in the safe.

it has never caused any problems.

Johannesburg, South...
Level Contributor
1,064 posts
56 reviews
4. Re: How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

I would never leave valuables " in a drawer or hidden away" when the room is being cleaned.

Even locking inside a large suitcase for a short time is a better option.

Reception safes are generally "safe".

Keep your credit/debit cards/cash separate and wear a money belt.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
98,671 posts
17 reviews
5. Re: How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

>>I would never leave valuables " in a drawer or hidden away" when the room is being cleaned.<<

It is very unlikely that hotel staff will steal anything. The main danger is that staff may leave the door open for a short time while servicing the room and a passing guest might see the chance for some opportunistic theft.

Johannesburg, South...
Level Contributor
1,064 posts
56 reviews
6. Re: How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

With respect, I do not agree.

Visit Italy 5 times a year and the reality is, it does happen as it does anywhere else in the World.

Ravenna, Italy
Level Contributor
9,377 posts
25 reviews
7. Re: How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

I fully agee with the previous poster. Never leave anything of value in your hotel room. Put it in the room safe or take it down to the front desk and put it in the hotel safe.

Dont travel with good bracelets, rings etc., You probbly dont know anyone in Italy and thus no need to impress.

Make your life easy while on your holiday. bring very little of value...

Cocoa Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Cancun, Riviera Maya
Level Contributor
16,070 posts
73 reviews
8. Re: How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

I had good jewelry stolen from a locked "safe" at a Florence B&B about 6 years ago. The safe was actually a portion of the in room frig that had a locking compartment. I went out for a run and when I returned and showered and went to put my jewelry on, it was gone. I reported it to the front desk who denied it could have happened. I then demanded they call the police, which they did but very reluctantly, and it was useless as they refused to file a police report since the owners of the B&B told them it was not possible to have happened,even though the room had been cleaned while I was out. Therefore, my insurance would not cover the loss and I had the pieces individually insured.

In addition to a necklace and earrings, a new pair of Oakley sunglasses was taken. They were prescription so not of much use to anyone but me but were very expensive.

It was the only time I ever brought good jewelry on a trip and I will never do so again. I have never been able to afford to replace those pieces so it was a hard lesson.

Edited: 8:33 am, September 04, 2010
Ravenna, Italy
Level Contributor
9,377 posts
25 reviews
9. Re: How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

Those room safes are about as good as a bread box. I have read that most cleaning staff can open them within 10 minutes.

Caviargirl what a sad story. I hope our readers read your post and take it to heart.

Don't bring your good items on holiday!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
45,698 posts
10. Re: How safe is 'Front Desk Safety Deposit Box'

I never use room safes after a bad experience years ago but then I don't take anything valuable. I take some jewelery, none of which have much value, my netbook (as I always have to do some work wherever I am) and my camera.

I leave my netbook and camera locked in my suitcase - I guess it could be ripped off but I'm just not s going to worry about it - I need to take it so I assume that minimal risk.

oI always carry my passport and leave a copy in my suitcase as well as leave a copy of it with someone at home so if by some incredibly bizarre occurrence, they can fax the copy to me at the hotel. I don't carry much more than 100 euros at a time and I keep those with me.

Everyone has their own level of comfort and different choices about how to secure their belongings - bottom line, there is no guarantee in any situation that something won't go missing.

But, expensive jewelery is something I'm not willing to risk because my most expensive pieces are also my most sentimental pieces and I would be heartbroken - not so much if the netbook and camera were to vanish. Those are replaceable.

I know people who have had belongings taken (from a nightstand or closet) by cleaning staff. Not sure where this idea comes from that that doesn't happen - it does, everywhere not just in Italy. It may not be a common thing, but it does happen.