This article is part one of a three-part series on hotel safes.
Design-oriented safes are gaining popularity in hotels, especially the high-end and boutique properties. Instead of being tucked away in the closet, more and more safes are now an upscale product that is displayed directly out in the guestroom. That is allowing guestroom safe manufacturers to closely examine the design of their products.
“They implement the guestroom décor—the type of finish, hardware, right down to the carpet that is used in the safe,” said Roger Abram, president of Innovative Hospitality Concepts. “The safes are being color coordinated with the rooms now.”
Since safes are moving out of the closets and being used more as out-in-the-open pieces, they need to be integrated in the guestroom design.
There is a growing demand for safes in the nightstand or main cabinet. This puts the safe where the guest needs it the most and can make it more convenient to use, experts agree. There also is an increasing segment of hoteliers that is moving to drawer-pull safes. Since drawer space isn’t often used, Abram said, it makes sense to incorporate the safe in the drawer.
“It is essentially a case with a sliding door that pulls out towards the guest,” he said. “The drawer is accessible and can be put into any open space.”
Since the electronic devices guests carry are getting smaller, some safes are getting smaller to align with that trend, making drawer safes even more practical. “Before, the spec was to accommodate the 17-inch laptop but that’s not mandatory anymore,” said Harvey Brodach, president of Global Safe.
Space is an important consideration in hotel rooms, so in-wall safes are trending, especially in new-construction hotels. In-wall safes can be placed in between the studs, taking up no additional physical footprint in the room. “Wall safes have made a comeback recently as it saves hoteliers the headache of where to find the space for it,” Brodach said.
Space-conscious hotels, especially boutique hotels, look to a locking piece of furniture, said Ethan Mayeux, director of military sales for Assa Abloy Hospitality and product manager, North America for its Elsafe brand. Safes now also include lightning and outlets, allowing the guest to not only thoroughly see what’s in the dark safe but also be able to charge their iPads and other devices when not in use.