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Now a hotel in New Delhi has come up with another idea: a pretty extreme, security first, female-only package, to combat the appalling crimes against women that have been engulfing India in recent months (one rape every 30 minutes, if you’ve missed it).
The Kamal Single Lady Traveller program (“kamal” is Hindi for lotus flower) at the Leela Palace includes:
· Airport transfers with a trusted driver;
· Female staff for all interaction (check-in, concierge, butler, housekeeping);
· Room on a female-only floor (with restricted elevator access);
· Improved security cameras in all public areas;
· Security screening of people entering the hotel;
· Access to the spa on a private or female only basis;
· Option of booking female guides for city tours.
The Standard Hotel in NYC came under fire yesterday after the surveillance footage of Solange slugging her brother-in-law Jay-Z was
sold released to TMZ. And they should be feeling the heat. Are elevator rides no longer sacred?
But we digress. Apparently, the hotel has released this statement to the media and as we suspected, they are cleaning house when it comes to their surveillance team.
"We are investigating with the utmost urgency the circumstances surrounding the situation and, as is our customary practice, will discipline and prosecute the individuals involved to our fullest capacity."
Meanwhile, every hotel that caters to celebrities (and non-celebs!) better redo their security and surveillance contracts.
[Photo: The Standard Hotel/Facebook]
What you don't want to see in the hotel safe when you've returned to your room.
Last week we talked about what guests were stealing from their hotels and it turns out, a lot of you are stealing way more than the bath toiletries and the slippers. (Seriously, how do you smuggle lamps and artwork out of a hotel? Extra large suitcases, we guess!)
But today, we've got a more serious side of hotel theft to talk about--the hotel safe, as in what to do when the hotel safe isn't safe?
A reader emailed us from the Hotel du Louvre, a five-star property in Paris located near three of the city's biggest landmarks--the Louvre, the Opéra Garnier and the Palais Royal. Room rates here start around 370 euros a night (or about $483). But just because it's a fancy spot, doesn't mean your valuables are safe, even when you put them in the safe. Our distraught reader tells us her tale:
Hotel Safety / Hotel Woes / Hotel Doors / Hotel Security / Hotel Locks / Hotel Keycards / → All Tags
Back in July, we wrote about how a certain Cody Brocious had figured out a way to pick the locks on any hotel room door manufactured by Onity. And since Onity has installed somewhere between four and five million hotel room doors all over the world, that was kind of worrying.
Now, Brocious' idea has been taken one step further by another dastardly hacker, this time by the name of Matthew Jakubowski. NBCNews reports that Jakubowski has managed to fit all the parts of the lock-picking device into a single dry erase marker.
What's more, he went and posted a YouTube video to show the marker in action, and even wrote out instructions on his blog, giving everyone and their mothers the means to assemble a lock-picking dry erase marker of their very own.
It seems like once a year we hear about some nefarious new way for thieves to break into hotel rooms using both sophisticated and not-so-sophisticated gadgets to do so. (Metal hangers anyone?)
This year's hack comes courtesy of a software developer and security researcher named Cody Brocious who recently told Forbes.com that his less than $50 invention can break the locks installed on hotel room doors by lock manufacturer, Onity. Onity has done about four and five million hotel room doors around the world. Yikes, right? However, don't write off staying in hotels forever just yet.
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We found rooms for Monday night (yes, this Monday!) at a whopping $479 a night for a king superior suite with a river view. (Remember, all rooms are suites here.) Rates for $499 a night include breakfast. Not feeling that flush? You can book a room with double beds for slightly less at $439 a night.
While we're loving the extensive list of room perks that include our fave techie goodies like flat-screeen TVs, espresso machines, sleeper sofas and even an art brochure that details all the art throughout the hotel, we're also impressed with the hotel's For Your Confidence list of security and safety features like automatic door closers, controlled access corridors, double-locking doors, emergency call buttons on the phone and wide angle door viewers.
We're not saying you should leave your expensive jewelry, watches and handbags out in plain sight but all these safety features should make you relax a little in the "big bad city."
During a recent hotel stay, we were relieved to find a safe large enough to accommodate our laptop, camera, and all the accompanying wires. Later on, as we were running late to go meet friends for brunch, we were less relieved when we realized that the safe was low on battery, and had no way of locking.
In a more relaxed circumstance, we simply would have called down to the concierge for a new battery to be installed, waited a few minutes, double-checked the lock, and been on our merry way.
But in a pinch, we had to get a little crafty. Here's our guide on inconspicuous hotel room hiding places, where your goods are least likely to be found by a fiddling hotel maid or otherwise sticky-fingered staff member.
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We've written a bunch about staying safe in hotel rooms lately but even well-known
nerds celebrities need to learn how to protect themselves when staying in hotels.
"Jeopardy's" legendary host Alex Trebek revealed yesterday that his hotel room in San Francisco had been broken into and that he ruptured his Achilles tendon as he chased the robber down.
Trebek revealed the traumatic incident (in Jeopardy-speak) right before he hosted the National Geographic Geography Bee at Google Headquarters in Mountain View.
What is, it happened at 2:30 a.m., chasing a burglar down the hallway of my San Francisco hotel when my Achilles tendon ruptured and I then fell on carpet, bruising the other leg in process. Surgery on Friday," Trebek said, according to Patch.com.
San Francisco police have confirmed the incident and the subsequent arrest of Lucinda Moyers, 56, who was booked on charges of burglary and receiving stolen property, namely the victims' purses and wallets. TMZ is also reporting that the suspect lifted a bracelet that Trebek's mother gave him.
Hotel Security / Tommy Lee / Hotel Computers / Hotel Hacks / Hotel Technology / Twitter / Hotel News / → All Tags
Yesterday we noticed a funny item in Page Six. Apparently, New York Rangers hockey player Brad Richards had his Twitter account hacked by aging rocker Tommy Lee. Ok, so that's not really funny and you're probably wondering, "Why should I even care about these people?"
Well, what's really interesting here is HOW Tommy Lee hacked the Rangers' Twitter--through a hotel room computer.
Precisely, the in-suite computer at the Tribeca Grand. From Page Six:
Tampa native Richards stayed at the Tribeca Grand hotel and logged onto a computer in his room to tweet. When Lee stayed in the same room a few days later and booted up the computer, he saw Richards' account was still open and sent messages out under his handle. "Im a dork!" the rocker tweeted along with other messages before letting Richards in on the joke. "Signing out for ya!! I'm a nice hacker!!! hey dude btw . . . it's Tommy Lee!!! hahah!!"
Celebrity Scoop / Hotel Security / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Prague Hotels / John Malkovich / → All Tags
The Daily Mail reports:
He was staying at the upmarket Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the Czech city after performing in the murder melodrama Infernal Comedy, based on a real Austrian serial killer, at the Prague Spring music festival on Thursday.
'We can confirm than an investigation is under way in the case of the disappearance of Mr Malkovich's personal belongings,' said a spokeswoman for the hotel.
Apparently, two of his mobile phones were stolen but nothing else. That certainly sucks and honestly, we'd expect more security from a Mandarin hotel but we probably should be grateful the thieves didn't swipe Malkovich's laptop with his nude photos on it. The world is not ready for that.
It looks like there's a serial hotel robber on the loose in Miami and he's brazen enough to break into the guest rooms while the guests are in there. NBC reports that the thief recently struck The Chesterfield Hotel on 8th and Collins Avenue last Saturday:
The thief struck during the early morning hours, while the guest were asleep, breaking in through a window in a room and going through the victims' belongings. He made off with $5,000, an iPhone and credit cards.
This thief is believed to be the same person who's been robbing guests at other smaller hotels in Miami like the Catalina Hotel, The Shelly Hotel, The Dorchester, National and Avalon. Police also believe he's been doing it since 2006.
The longhorn hanging in the Driskill did not scare off hackers.
UPDATE 6.27.10: Destination Hotels issued a statement about this unfortunate situation. See bottom of story for what to do if you think you were a victim of credit card theft.
This is definitely not the sort of information you want to hear as you head into thwe weekend, especially if you've booked a room at Destination Hotels and Resorts.
The hotel collection was a victim of an intense database hack that lasted over three months, stole over 700 credit card numbers from guests and charged hundreds of thousands of dollars with the stolen info. ABC News reports:
The police said the security hole has been fixed but that the unknown criminals had access to the data for months.
"The losses right now are probably in the hundreds of thousands. I think each loss is averaging about two or three thousand dollars," said Austin Police Department Sgt. Matt Greer.
The stolen numbers were then being used overseas, mostly in Europe, Greer told ABC News.
"It's a result of somebody hacking into the system, not somebody at the hotel," he said.