You Know You Stay At Hotels Too Much When…

Filed Under: Hotels

I’m presently at the Grand Hyatt Dubai (my first time staying at a Dubai Hyatt property that isn’t the Park Hyatt), and am having a lovely stay.


Tonight I went to the gym (unrelated tangent, but there were more people cruising there than on Royal Caribbean — goodness gracious!), and when I got back to my room, the door wouldn’t open.

I was kind of miffed, since it was the second time during my stay that my key stopped working. I didn’t have ID on me or anything, but fortunately the guy that checked me in was at the front desk, and he remembered me.

I said hi and explained my key stopped working for the second time this stay, so wasn’t sure if it was my phone being too close to the key or what. He apologized, and I handed him my key.


Moments later he handed me back a key and said “here you go, this one should work. Just so you know, the one you gave me isn’t actually from this hotel, so I haven’t deactivated any of the others you were issued.” Here’s the key he handed me:




Today’s lesson: always throw away keys from previous hotel stays. Especially if they’re from the same brand of hotel you’re presently staying at.

  1. I’m confused Ben, you say you were staying at Grand Hyatt Dubai and the key card in the picture is also from the Grand Hyatt Dubai so from which property did you give him the key card from?

  2. Back in the days when I travelled nearly non-stop, I had times when I became convinced I was in a different room number, would wake up wondering why the bathroom was on the wrong side of the room, wondered why the Hyatt had changed amenity providers when I was really in a Sheraton, and so forth. It gets freaky.

  3. Exactly the same thing happened to me at Hyatt Regency New Delhi a few days ago where I returned from the Gym trying to open my room and it would not work. Went down to the reception No ID on me but was able to verify with my passport number which I remembered (so glad). He gave me another key whilst politely saying ermm! this key is from Hyatt Regency Hong Kong. I was there the night before lol!

  4. I’ve done something similar. Went to the room I stayed in last time and couldn’t get in. Then after going to the front desk realize I was at the wrong room.

  5. On a recent stay at an Aloft I received a Marriott key upon check in. Didn’t notice until after I used it to go into my room.
    Fun with generic magnetic strips.

  6. Was no one else more interested in the one line about people trolling for sex in the hotel gym than the story about his key card?

  7. Hey Lucky! I have been reading your blog since an year now and I love it!!! I know its late but I just
    read your “The best and worst of 2013” post and would love to read one for 2014! Just a small request!
    Best wishes!

  8. No. Not really. Honestly: it happens everywhere, particularly in the middle east where there aren’t more conventional venues. Usually it takes a trained eye to see it, and clearly your eye isn’t trained for this. It’s something we call “gaydar.”

    I think the use of other hotel’s keycards could be an interesting security feature. Or … even better … truly personal keycards. When you lose it the finder doesn’t know where it really belongs …

  9. lol

    But I remember I often tell the previous room number at the breakfast and got an answer like, “There’s no room here with such number, sir.”

  10. Do you guys keep the hotel keys? I always leave it at the room or drop off at the front desk so they can be reused. I think the only time I kept it is at the Wynn where they print your name on the card.

  11. Great hotel by the by! we stayed there in November on the concierge level and what a RC ! I know your pain have done that before myself.

  12. Hi Ben,

    What happened to your EY 388 Apartment review ?

    I am checking your blog daily or even more frequently very much looking forward this write up, if I’ve somehow missed it can you please link me to it. I remember you said that the full EY 388 Apartment write up was coming after you finished writing up your dads trip but that’s been done for a while now.

    What’s the go ? If its not done yet can you please kindly advise when can we expect it



  13. Lucky – that’s my go to hotel when I’m in Dubai. I’ve found the lounge to be light but reasonable. The view from the lounge however is amazing on a clear day – watching the aircraft going into and out of DXB.

    Any thoughts of the pool(s)? I felt like it was a mini-theme park…. although anytime we were there it was just way to hot to enjoy them.

  14. Guilty of the same about two weeks ago. I was at the Intercontinental Hong Kong and tried to get in my room with the key from the Intercontinental Warsaw. Apparently there are pictures of the area on the Intercontinental hotel keys and they commented on the fact it was Poland when I said it did not work. Turns out I left the correct key in the room. I will sometimes save keys to use to keep the lights on.

    One other comment. when at the Intercontinental they had this USB power brick in front of the TV. What a great Device, I bought one at Amazon and carry it in my briefcase now.

  15. The funniest thing I’ve witnessed like that is the time I was traveling with my husband in San Francisco and there were two or three business men in the parking lot of the hotel pushing their key fobs looking for their cars because they couldn’t remember which car they had rented.

  16. I know it was not the focus of this post but I also have to make note of the comment concerning the cruisy gym.

    There’s a specific gym I go to whenever I’m in Jeddah for work. That gym is as gay and cruisy as the Golds Gym (though I believe it’s now called something else) in San Francisco’s Castro.

    Perhaps I am overly generalizing but it seems the gender-segregated gyms are the “safe” places for guys to meet in the ME.

  17. Not quite as subtle, but I returned an Avis rental to Hertz once. Rep took a minute to figure out it’s not one of theirs. Didn’t help that I was already late for flight.

  18. Well this also can happen to you, if you don’t stay much at hotels. But interesting story…it happens. To me it also happens, that I mix up room numbers and try my card at the wrong door ^^

  19. @JW It is useful to keep a generic hotel room key card so as to activate the air con (or lights) while you are out of the room (for those that require a card to stay on).

  20. Kind of curious about the cruisy gym too. But I guess it’s best reserved for a more private gay-oriented blog. If some religious bigot reads it here and complains to the UAE authority, those poor sexy people at the gym could be in big trouble.

  21. I actually keep a key or two in my travel kit, for those horrible hotels that require a room key in a wall slot to provide power to the room. I agree, it’s convenient to shut off everything at once when I leave, but what if I’m charging batteries or downloading a file? Simple… just put *another* room key in the slot while I’m gone.

  22. @ JW — I don’t usually, but I guess in this case I forgot it was an “old” key, since it showed as being from the Grand Hyatt, which I stayed at in both cities.

  23. I’ve had similar key problems — too many nights in too many different hotels. I finally just started returning them all to the front desk on my way out instead of throwing them away — they re-use them and I feel a tiny bit better about creating less waste 🙂

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