I recently got a life-changing travel tip from a friend that I thought was worth passing along for those who find themselves booking group travel: Ask for a master key at the hotel. I didn’t even know this was a possibility until @ringsthecaddy brought it to my attention after I complained about my stay at the Conrad Dubai. There were eight of us in three rooms, only two of which were on the same floor. The annoying part was trying to get from one floor to the next. At the Conrad Dubai, guests have to tap their keys in the elevator to get to their floor…and they can only visit their own floor (and the 24th floor if they have club lounge access).
This was really annoying because inevitably, someone needed to borrow something and if they weren’t on the same floor, they’d have to meet in the lobby or the 24th floor to get it. At one point my dad needed his phone charger but my brother took his key. So I had to arrange to meet my brother on the 24th floor when he returned and hand over the charger. He then went back up to his floor to deliver the charger to my dad.
Another time, I managed to get up to their floor, they got in the elevator to go to the lobby, and I realized I had left my key in my room and couldn’t even get back! I bumped into the housekeeping staff and one of them was nice enough to use his key to help me get to my floor. Otherwise, I would have had to go all the way back down to the lobby to get a new key and based on how things had played out at that point, there was a 50% chance it wouldn’t be working.
I didn’t even know it was possible to request a master key, but going forward I will. It just makes it so much easier for everyone to navigate the hotel when rooms are located on different floors. A master key is also ideal for times when someone leaves their key in the room. This, admittedly, happens a lot in my family (and I’m probably the person it happens to the most).
Anyway, I thought I’d share this tidbit for anyone who wasn’t aware of it. The next time you’re herding a large group on a trip, ask the front desk for a master key that gives you access to all the rooms. Or, if everyone is comfortable with this, see if you can get master keys issued all around. It will make navigating the hotel and multiple rooms so much easier. And when you’re traveling as part of a group, every bit of convenience can lessen the stress that comes with being part of a chain gang.
Were you aware that hotels can issue a master key for multiple rooms in the same reservation?