IMG 3619400x400We recently returned from our midwinter family vacation at CoCo Keys Indoor Water Resort in Kansas City, Missouri. First, I will say my kids loved it, they thoroughly enjoyed getting the chance to burn up the stored winter energy in the gigantic water park. However, much like many of our “adventures” this trip was an educational trip for us, but educational in a very unexpected way. We travel as a family fairly frequently, but never before have I had a situation happen like happened to us on our trip to CoCo Keys, and friends please use my experience as your learning tool.

We arrived at CoCo Keys resort an hour before our room was to be ready; the front desk got our necessary information, gave us our water park passes, and sent us on for some fun while they were preparing our room. A few hours later, I returned to the front desk to get our hotel room key and unload some stuff in our room. At the front desk, the clerk could not find my hotel room key, this really didn’t alarm me as I knew they were busy, and I assumed they had forgotten to make it. However, a few moments later upon entering my room I discovered why they could not find my room key, as there was another man in my hotel room. I quickly departed (not sure he even saw me) found the phone in hallway and dialed the front desk, the clerk explained to me over the phone that my husband had picked up my room key and unloaded my luggage. Nope, that man was not my husband, the man in my hotel room was a stranger, and my husband was in the water park with my kids.

I made my way back to the front desk, the manager met me, and honestly, folks I believe she was just as stumped as I was. The hotel staff gave me a new room on a different floor, and all was well. This simple mess up has become a huge learning process for me as a traveling mom, and for the hotel staff.

After returning from CoCo Keys Resort, I have been in contact with Rachel Klekman, a director of marketing for CoCo Keys Resort. Rachel and I discussed what went wrong on my trip, and how this can be prevented for future travelers. Rachel explained that upon check in that I should have been asked for my ID and my credit card to match our reservations, she also explained that it is possible to attach other members of your party to the profile, so their ID can be checked. Rachel assured me that hotel safety is a priority, and that this incident will be addressed and used as a learning tool for the hotel staff.

While I cannot go back and change the unpleasant surprise in my hotel room, I can learn from this experience. I have gathered a few hotel safety tips from some seasoned travelers, a few hotel personnel, and individuals that have seen what can happen when you are least prepared.

Tom Waithe, the Regional Director of Operation for Kimpton Hotels gave me these tips.

  • Upon arrival at the desk, ensure that you are not sharing your name and any personal details with individuals standing next to you.
  • When you go into your room, if you do not throw the deadbolt or security chain, you are 50% more likely to have someone walk in on you. Lock the deadbolt every time.
  • Never use the please make up room sign as it lets people know you are not in your room.
  • Be aware at all times who is around you and listening to your name and room number, good or bad hotels people are looking for ways to get into your room.  
  • Test the front desk; ask for another room key, if they do not ask to see ID and actually look at it, anyone could get a key to your room.

Edwina Kluender the Director of Public Relations for Mandarin Oriental in Boston also shared these tips.

  • Upon check-in, make sure the guest service agent does not say your room number aloud at any time.
  • Room numbers should not be written down on room keys
  • Full guest names should not be written down on in-room dining order cards as your room number is on the card when ordering.

Heather Zorzini a travel expert and a former flight attendant had a few more enlightening tips for me to share.

  • Decline rooms with adjoining doors, as they can be less secure.
  • In elevators, stand beside the control panel, close to the alarm button.
  • Always check the peephole or use the chain lock before opening room door and request ID from hotel repair staff.
  • Leave the do not disturb sign on the door. When necessary call housekeeping directly for service.

Fellow Traveling Mom Blogger Teresa Shaw gave me one last tip; when checking in to a hotel, I try to avoid even saying my name out loud; instead I say I’m there to check in and hand over my credit card, driver’s license, and hotel rewards card and let them key in my name to find the reservation.

Moms and Dads, I know it is hard to remember all these tips and steps when traveling, and I will say nothing over shadows your gut instinct. If you feel something is wrong, the main priority for you and for the hotel staff is your safety. After returning from our trip and talking to my friends and family, they immediately asked if I would return to CoCo Keys Resort in Kansas City Missouri, and while many of you would say NO. This may be a surprise to you, but I would. I know the staff, the management, and everyone involved in this situation is using this as a learning tool, and I know how to be better prepared for not only my next visit to CoCo Keys Resort, but for my next trip anywhere!

Have an Adventurous Day!

~Becky Davenport

Becky is the Missouri Traveling Mom, her blog is Adventures Among Us and you can follow Becky’s Adventures on Twitter at @BeckyAdventure

****Our visit to CoCo Keys Water Resort was sponsored by CoCo Keys.