In the news stories about the Jakarta bombing yesterday at JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels (source eg BBC) there have been a few references to hotel security.
While I haven't stayed at either hotel in my several visits to Jakarta, I have stayed at other hotels that are perceived to be (or have been) terrorist targets - both in Jakarta and elsewhere. Generally these are US-based hotels in certain countries (eg Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, Israel).
Here is a very brief overview of the security that has been standard at these hotels for the past several years (at least):
- manned sentry gate stops all vehicles approaching the hotel
- inspection of all vehicles - mirrors to check underneath and a quick visual of the boot or inside of any truck/lorry
- driveway that has a longish and curved approach
- barriers preventing vehicles getting right next to the building
- walk-through metal detector at the door
- luggage x-rayed
- hand bags & shopping bags manually inspected
- cameras in the grounds and throughout the hotel (eg lobby, all entrances, corridors)
Obviously security isn't foolproof. I'm not going to speculate on where the systems these hotels have broke down. Just as frequent flyers may spot weaknesses in airport security, so too may frequent guests of the relevant hotels may also spot weaknesses in their security setup. It may be no surprise that the hotel I've stayed at with the highest security was the Hilton in Tel Aviv.