'Fine line' between safety and privacy
While the rape at Hotel 81 Cosy has raised questions about hotel security, those in the industry say it can be difficult to prevent such incidents, especially if they occur behind closed doors.
But they told The New Paper that they do take precautions to prevent trouble.
The general manager of Dragon Court Hotel in Chinatown, who wanted to be known only as Mr Lee, said it has a policy of turning away intoxicated customers.
"When someone is drunk, you don't know what they are going to do. Some throw up in the rooms, which can make it difficult for our cleaning staff. Worse, some may even get violent and break things," he said.
He recounted an incident during the recent Christmas holidays when three men entered his hotel carrying a drunk woman.
"My staff said 'no' to them immediately. When you see a group like that, who knows what they're going to do. So we try to prevent these as much as possible," said Mr Lee, who has more than a decade's experience in hospitality.
KNOCK ON DOORS
When guests have noisy rows in the room, hotel staff would knock on the door to ensure everything is all right.
"Most of them are couples who are having a tiff, so we tell them to keep the volume down and not affect the other guests," he said.
But when quarrels or fights get out of hand, security is called in to ask the guests to leave.
In the two years that he has run the hotel, there have been no major incidents that required police intervention, Mr Lee said.
A manager for a budget hotel chain said it has an unwritten rule on turning away groups that raise alarm bells.
"For instance, if there are two or three guys and a girl, we'd usually tell them no," said the manager, who cannot be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
"This is to prevent incidents like (the Hotel 81 Cosy rape) from happening."
But the manager admitted that it can be tricky when a couple check in, and that it is nearly impossible to prevent crime, especially if it happens behind a closed hotel room door.
"If we go knocking on someone's door every time we hear loud noises, we may be invading their privacy," he said.
"It's a fine line that we tread, ensuring safety while giving our guests the space they need. So we can only take precautions like turning away suspicious characters and making sure we have ample security."