When planning a travel excursion securing lavish accommodations, a picturesque setting and top-notch service are likely top of mind. But where does safety rank on the list of priorities? Most people naturally assume they’re safest in their hotels. While that is generally true, there are still safeguards to take into account when choosing a place to stay, particularly for high net worth individuals. There’s no reason to allow theft, burglary or other dangerous events to ruin a travel experience. Security experts advise everyone to evaluate their hotels prior to booking to ensure risks are considered.
“Are there, for example, security cameras on the floors of the hotel? Is there a 24-hour staffed lobby? When was the last time the hotel was upgraded?” offers Jordan Arnold, managing director of K2 Intelligence, an investigative and risk consulting firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles. These are some of the questions you should ask to assess the safety of a property. Other factors to consider are: security escorts, closed-circuit cameras, elevators with keycard access, driver services for guests and proximity to hospitals. With these criteria in mind when planning your next getaway, check out these hotels around the world, which are proactively addressing safety concerns.
01. GROSVENOR HOUSE SUITES BY JUMEIRAH LIVING
This under-the-radar property in Mayfair does everything in its power to keep its guests equally off the grid, starting with highly restricted access, thanks to the building’s design. The entrance leads to concierge area that is manned 24 hours a day and has electric doors that lock after 11 p.m. The actual reception of the hotel is on a second floor, which is accessible only via a keycard-controlled elevator. Even with these measures, the hotel goes one step further. “All guests without exception are escorted by a concierge member to our reception area. And if you’ve been invited by one of the residents of the hotel, you will be escorted personally to that door,” says Renato Moretto, the hotel’s general manager. “Even if you get past the concierge, which is very unlikely—it’s worse than an immigration control point—you can’t even get into the elevators. There’s no way up to the building except through the elevators.” The hotel also counts 76 security cameras and satellite phones in case of an emergency, and all guest room locks and keycards can be monitored.
02. gateway canyons
This 72-room boutique ranch resort’s remote location on 300 acres in eastern Colorado makes it inherently safe from threats such as theft and violent crime. But the luxury of isolation becomes a liability when there are medical concerns. A heart attack or even a heatstroke could prove fatal if emergency healthcare is not easily accessible. That’s why Gateway Canyons has its own team of EMTs and a fire department a mile and a half away from the resort. “We had an [emergency] event this year, and the response time was about three minutes,” says Rudy Sharp, the resort’s vice president and regional managing director. “The immediate response will be faster than almost anywhere because we have full-time people.” The resort also has a helipad to accommodate EMS flights.
03. hotel de russie
There’s a reason why celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Naomi Campbell and Stephen Spielberg stay at the Hotel de Russie when visiting the Eternal City—and it’s not just the social cachet. The 121-room historic property just off central Rome’s Piazza del Popolo, once favored by the Russian royal family and still frequented by heads of state such as Argentina’s Mauricio Macri, is also famous for its discretion. The enclosed grand villa has essentially one entry and exit point accessible to the public, and the staff is trained to know each and every guest who walks through the door. After hours, anyone not staying in the hotel will be hard pressed to go beyond the foyer. Additional security features include escorted in-suite check-in and cameras throughout the common areas, hallways, gym and spa facilities.
Contact: 39.06.32.88.81, roccofortehotels.com
04. the cloister beach club
sea island, ga.
Located on Georgia’s barrier islands halfway between Savannah and Jacksonville, Fla., this remote property offers natural seclusion while being relatively accessible by car or plane. However, only a bridge connects the 50,000-acre beach resort to the larger Saint Simons Island that joins the mainland, restricting access to only registered guests and residents. This geographical exclusivity is one of the reasons Sea Island was chosen to host the G8 summit in 2004, which was attended by 21 heads of state and two European Union commissioners. The main hotel property at Sea Island, The Cloister Beach Club, enhances the privacy factor especially when it comes to its penthouse. “There’s a high level of privacy because it has its own elevator,” says Scott Steilen, president of Sea Island. “It only opens to your unit.”
05. christophe Harbour
Geography also plays a large role in the security maintained at Christophe Harbour, a resort development that occupies the southeastern end of the island of St. Kitts. On land, there is only one point of entry to the development, which has additional private gates restricting access to residences and the Pavilion beach club’s guest bungalows. Though the development also has a marina, access to it is restricted as well, as it has its own customs house that all seagoing visitors must clear. Furthermore, a 24-hour security team monitors and patrols the entire property, ensuring guest safety.