Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of your hotel room door flinging open and footsteps inside. That just happened to me last night.
Although Augustine slept soundly on the flight over to Europe, it has been a rough week. He’s still on LA time, it seems, so is eating less during the day and waking up during the night hungry. All our social appointments with friends and family have not helped. The result has been interrupted sleep for all of us.
We had already missed a train to Basel last night and we opted to stay the night at the Hyatt Mainz instead of paying an arm and a leg for a last-minute train ticket and arriving hours after Augustine’s bedtime.
The check-in snafu was unnerving to my wife, but we ended up having a nice snack in the lounge, using the sauna, then turning in at a decent hour.
Only Augustine wasn’t having any part of that.
As usual of late, he woke up every hour and cried for attention or food. While our tendency is to let him cry at home if fed earlier, that just isn’t fair after putting him through so much on this trip.
Finally, at around 2:30AM, Augustine appeared to fall into a deep sleep. We were both exhausted by this point and also quickly fell back asleep.
At 3:10AM, I awakened to the sound of our door opening and footsteps inside the room.
My first reaction was to turn over and go back to sleep…I thought I was dreaming. Then I remembered Fatherhood 101…I looked over quickly at my wife sleeping next to me and baby in the crib and sprang out of bed.
I saw no one. No one inside the bathroom, either. I peered out the peephole on the door and saw a man in thin glasses, a white shirt and tie. Flinging the door open, I glared at him and noticed he had a hotel badge on. I simply stated, “You have the wrong room” and closed the door. I heard him say “sorry” as the door closed.
My heart still pounding, I picked up the phone to call downstairs. But then I looked over at Heidi and Augustine…they were so tired that this commotion had not even woken them up. Usually they are the light sleepers and I am the heavy sleeper.
I put the phone down and went to bed.
At check-out the next morning I dealt with the lovely Sarah, who it seems I always check-out with at this hotel. I told her we had an unexpected visitor in our room last night and she nodded and stated that she knew about it. In fact, she stated the whole staff had just been briefed on it.
Perhaps related to the check-in issue we had, the system indicated that our room was vacant. A late-arriving guest was assigned our room and someone was sent up to verify that it was vacant.
What I did not ascertain was whether the guest had walked in on us earlier while we were sleeping or whether the hotel simply was not sure if our room was vacant and sent someone up to check. If the latter, I have no idea why the staff member would not knock. And why not just assign a different room? The hotel was not close to capacity.
Sarah did apologize and assure me it would not happen next time.
I never use hotel deadbolts but I certainly will now. I’m not sure we were ever in danger, but to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of a stranger in your room is scary.
Happened to me a few years ago at a hotel in Georgetown (Washington DC). Scared the crap out of me. Same thing – a hotel guest arrived late and had been told our room was empty. Curious as to why you don’t use your deadbolt on your door?
A few years ago I was checking in to a chain hotel in the US and was given the same room as the person immediately ahead of me at the check-in desk! Ever since that, I also always use the additional lock.
Ugh, that reminds me of an experience my husband had a few years ago except he was the guest walking into someone else’s room. It happened three times and finally he told the hotel to cancel his reservation and had them pay for a room at a neighboring hotel. If they can’t get their stuff together…that’s certainly a problem.
You never used hotel deadbolts?! Are you nuts?! They are there fore a reason, always use them. I once received a complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries at the Renaissance Baltimore Harbor, compliments of the front desk manager since they knew my stay was for my anniversary. About a half hour after checking in, I was stepping into the shower when I heard the knocking and the door opened as far as the deadbolt allowed. I quickly put on clothes and answered the door and it was a nice surprise but was completely unexpected. Had I not locked it, they would have walked in on me. That confirmed what I knew for years, to always use every lock on the door when you are in the room. I even leave the TV on when I am outside the room as to appear to anyone passing by that a person is inside, as if they are looking to burglarize the room, they usually don’t do it with someone inside.
Would you not lock your front door when at home? If not, then WHY would you never use hotel deadbolt in the past? False sense of security to say the least. Or plain stupidity. Sorry but even the deadbolt may not always preventing unwanted intruders, at least it would take much longer to “break in”.
Truly amazing that a person travels so much never used the deadbolt on a hotel room door., against all security measure. The deadbolt is there for good reasons. Use your head!
The handling of this Hyatt is much to desire. Why would they assign the SAME room to another late arrival guest after all the issues to sort out your reservation earlier? Shouldn’t the hotel system being Real Time once a guest has checked in and a room is assigned?
All “Sarah” could offer is an apology and claimed it wont happen again next time? Pathetic.
The Renaissance in Amsterdam gave our room out to two separate guests before I went downstairs to settle the issue. Lucky for us we used the deadbolt and it was the middle of the day (just off our flight and hard jet lag). It did land us a nice upgrade for the next week of our stay.
The Germans, I have found, are religious about DND signs. If you don’t use yours, then, you’re not in the room.
My works take me to some rather strange and interesting locations, and I always use my personal dead bolt and or my personal security door wedge, for added protection in hotel rooms
This does not sound like too big a deal to me. It was a misunderstanding, a mistake. It happens. It does not make sense to me how someone could suggest that Matthew deserved more than apology for this. To me, this suggests entitlement. Annoying, yes, but this is so not a big deal and I advise the readers to let it go.
Always use deadbolts. Personal safety in this day and age.
Hotel should provide you a visit from the on duty manager when you checked out with Sarah, and have been offering you something of value for your invasion.
I would have contacted the desk immediately in the night either in person or by phone because this is a personal safety issue.
If you have a wife and a young child, this could be terribly traumatic. I don’t think it’s entitled for guests to expect a hotel to keep freaking strangers out of their room. I would have demanded something in return. Screw that
I’ve done this before. I was given my key at the Intercontinental San Francisco (stay there VERY often), and upon entering “my” room was shocked to find a woman’s luggage open and I believe she was in the bathroom. I was so shocked I didn’t stick around to find out. I closed the door quickly and went straight back down.
Deadbolts were invented for a reason: to be used!!!! That is the first thing I turn once I get inside my hotel room.
Yikes. Although I’m usually such a deep sleeper, I probably would have slept right through it. (Fortunately, so is Ashok in our case…)
The same thing happened to me once in reverse. I went up to my assigned room, but the key wouldn’t work. I tried a few times, then finally the actual occupant of the room opened the door to see what was going on. Fortunately it was the middle of the day, so it was just embarrassing more than anything else.
Fatherhood Pre-101 is don’t go to sleep in a hotel (where anyone on staff can program anyone a key) withoit the deadbolt on.
I don’t mean to be a dead horse, but . . . you need to use the deadbolt.
I always used the deadbolts and the lever on the doors. I also put up the do not disturb sign on my room.
I admit (to myself:)) that my wife was right again – use the deadbolt whenever in a hotel room.
Never been walked in on because I lock the door 100% of the time. Probably because I have walked in on others more than once due to hote snafus. One guy was in his boxers, and I’m not sure who was more surprised.
Always use the dead bolt. 🙂
Unbelievable. I have stayed at that hotel several times, and never had a problem. I wish they would invest more in their IT sytems!
Happens very often when the hotel is busy and the system dont check you in all the way. Were told to hurry up and get you to the room than waiting for the system to clear you at check in lol hotel pm supervisor, and it happens to me offten
It actually happened to me thrice. Two times, I was the customer walking into a room that was occupied (Marriott Marquis at Times Square, and Golden Nugget in Las Vegas), while the one time when a guest attempted to enter my room at a Holiday Inn in Syracuse, NY but the Dead Bolt stopped the entry.
The Marriott’s guests were in a compromised position. I will leave it up to your imagination. I apologized profusely and left. The Golden Nugget was a family reunion gathering and they just laughed it off while appearing somewhat disturbed at the same time.
Marriott upgraded my room to a superior room that overlooked the Square and provided a discount. The same for Golden Nugget, which was almost a full house, so the only room available was a two room two bath suite with a bar. Very unexpected Bonus! However, they were right to provide a corrective action as they have. I do not know what they did with the disturbed guests, but hopefully they were compensated as well.
Holiday Inn in Syracuse only provided me an verbal apology and said no harm was done. After seeing my annoyance, I was given a breakfast voucher. I always use a door deadbolt and the flipper thingy to prevent anyone coming in. I am sure the guests whom I walked upon does now.
I was the one who entered the wrong room. Late at nite. Jet lagged. Had to go down one floor to get ice. Forgot I’d gone down one floor. Went to “my” room number, used my key, opened the door — and quickly shut it when I saw it was occupied (luckily no one there, just someone else’s luggage). Certainly used my deadbolt!
Just happened to me now.. Someone walked in to my room at 8:30 p.m. at Marriott, Lake Mary FL. on 3/14/2018.
The supervisor Darren acknowledged the issue with the fact that someone with the same last name and the same ethnic descent had been provided the key.. Just when you think you have a room/home of your own away from home – it is not. What procedures do they use to verify the room key and or vacancy ? This is at fault.