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Hotel Access Control

Hotel Access Control and Hotel Security

Hotels face certain challenges unique to the hospitality industry. Seasoned hoteliers know that providing a pleasant guest experience is foremost. The hotel should be a warm and welcoming place offering a luxurious experience but should also be able to ensure security and safety for its guests.

And security and safety needs to be done in a way that does not encroach on guests’ privacy and comfort. More importantly, there should be no blatant signs of strict security measures. Maintaining an open-door policy is important for making feel guests comfortable.
However, ensuring security is not only a concern for front of the house operations such as the front desk or the food and beverage outlets. It is likewise important for the back of the house operations. Sensitive information needs to be stored in a secure place, access to pantries and storerooms need to be regulated and certain areas of the hotel property need to be kept off limits for guests and most of the employees.

An important aspect of this security program is access control. In the past, access control was made possible through traditional locks and keys. However, this system took a lot of work and involved substantial expenses. Hotel locks needed to rekeyed each time a guest lost a key or failed to surrender it when he checked out. Accounting of keys to different areas and tracking of employee access to sensitive areas such guest rooms, pantries and storerooms is elaborate and at times, not foolproof.

Electronic access control has made it possible for hoteliers to simplify the system and at the same time, make the hotel more secure for both guests and employees.

The Advantages of Electronic Access Control

There are many advantages of utilizing electronic access control in a hotel setting:

Easy Access Control Setup

With an electronic access control system, it becomes possible to easily configure access control to different rooms and facilities in the hotel. This is particularly true if an RFID system is used. In this case, permissions are granted by the system and are not physically incorporated into the card. It becomes possible to configure card permissions even without the card being physically present.

For guests, cards become invalid once they check out. In addition, transactions performed with the card are easily recorded and an audit trail is created for each one issued.

Electronic access control systems also allow for deactivation of keycards remotely should they be misplaced. This minimizes security risks should the card get into the wrong hands.


Different Kinds of Cards Can Be Issued. With an electronic access system, it becomes possible to issue a card with permissions specific to how it is going to be used. Listed below are the types of cards and their practical applications:

Guest Card

This grants hotel guest access to his room and is used to access the public areas that are off limits to non-hotel guests such as the swimming pool, gym, the steam room, the parking lot, etc. It can further be configured so that card holders are allowed or restricted access to certain hotel floors. Some hotels have special floors (some are referred to as Club Floors) where there are certain extra amenities that only select hotel patrons can gain access to. Card readers in elevators allow hotels to do this. A guest card is programmed so as to become invalid upon check-out.

Staff Card

Depending on the function and duties of the holder, this enables access to facilities or areas configured in the system. This is given to room attendants so they can open rooms to clean while it is not occupied by guests. Their access cards may also be able to open pantries for cleaning supplies and linens. Kitchen staff may hold access cards to open stockrooms and kitchen pantries. Engineering staff may hold cards to access boiler and machine rooms. Since an audit trail is created for each card, it becomes possible to track the movement of each staff person within the hotel resulting in greater security.

Master Card

This enables opening of any door except when the status is “Blocked”. Normally issued to employees with a higher scope of responsibilities such as Housekeeping supervisors, Guest Services managers and similar positions. A card with higher access priority is also issued that can open rooms even if the status is “Blocked”.

Temporary Access Card

This grants access to specific areas or rooms in the hotel and expire at a certain time or date. In what situations are the temporary access card used?

* Hotels issue this type of card to guests who may be attending a certain function within the premises for the day. This makes it possible to control the movement to just certain areas and limit access to areas intended for just in-house guests.
* This temporary access card can also be issued to contractual workers so that their access expires with the termination of the contract.
* Service providers contracted by the hotel are also provided this type of card so their access is just limited to a very specific area and for very specific time period.

Maximum Control

All doors are controlled by a master system that closely monitors all doors. The system creates an audit trail for each and every card issued. Reports can be generated at any time to indicate Who entered Where and When.

Action 1st Offers the Best Hotel Access Control Solutions

Action 1st Loss Prevention specializes in working with hoteliers. We offer commercial access control security systems that work well within the requirements of hospitality industry.

Call us today for a free onsite review and estimate.

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