Types of Keys in Hotel


Handling the Keys it is most important factor in hotel. Generally Housekeeping and Front office department responsible for key control.

So the in this article we will discuss different types of keys in hotel and their control.

Different types of keys in hotel

Different types of keys in Hotel

1. Emergency Key


This key opens all the doors, even those that the guests have double-locked.

In addition, it also double- locks the room against all other keys. Hence, the emergency key should be well-protected.

It should be stored in a secure place such as the hotel safe, a safe-deposit box, or a metal cabinet that only the general manager or the security officer can access.

Its use should occur only in emergency situations such as a fire or when a guest or employee is locked in a room and needs immediate assistance.

Most employees personnel do not use emergency keys on a day-to-day basis.

2. Master Keys

These keys open all guestroom doors that are not double-locked. 


They are separated into four different types of keys.

a. Grandmaster Key – This key opens all hotel guestrooms and often all housekeeping storage rooms as well.

It can also double-lock a room if access to it has to be denied.

This key can be used in emergency situations when it is vital for a manager to enter some or all areas of the hotel.

It is itself kept under lock-and-key at the front desk of hotels.


b. Pass Key/Master key – This key is kept by the deputy or assistant housekeeper and will open any internal door that has not been double-locked.

c. Sub-Master/Section Master Key – These keys open all rooms in one work section of a hotel.

A Supervisor may be issued more than one key of this type as he or she may be required to inspect the work of more than one GRA.

d. Floor Master Key – A GRA is given this key to open the rooms he or she is assigned to clean on a floor.

The floor key opens all rooms on a particular floor that are not double-locked.

If the employee has rooms to clean on more than one floor or area, he or she may need more than one floor key.

Floor keys typically open the storeroom for that floor too.

3. Guestroom Keys


These are keys issued to guests upon their registration.

The guestroom key opens a single guestroom so long as it is not double-locked. A code number representing the room number is typically stamped on the key.

A guestroom key not hanging on the key board should indicate that the guest is in the hotel.

4. Supply Keys

These keys are used within the servicing sector of the hotel by the supervisory-level staff to ensure that stocks and equipment are safely stored away when not in use.

Store keys, office keys, and linen room keys are examples of such keys.

5. Card Key

Card key use in Hotel

Many hotels now a days use the card key system.

This type of room-locking mechanisms uses regular door locks and special plastic cards that act as keys to unlock the doors.

The plastic cards look like credit cards with holes punched in them. Some have a magnetic strip instead of holes.


The system uses a computer that codes the cards to lock and unlock the doors. Rather than re-keying the door locks in case of loss of keys, the computer is used to create new room-lock codes for each room.

Key Control

  • Before starting the daily routine duties, different keys are issued to different members of the department according to their duties and their area of work and responsibilities.
  • From security point of view the keys are very important for the security of guest belongings and hotel property, so the keys are issued to the responsible person before the shift starts and is received back at the end of the shift and key register is signed every time for receiving and issuing of keys.
  • All the keys are handled carefully and a proper control system is maintained by frontoffice and housekeeping department respectively.
  • Entry of keys is done in a register, before issuing and also after receiving it back so as to ensure proper check and control over keys.
  • It is necessary for security reasons and to avoid any theft and mishap etc.
  • Room keys are taken care by the front-office department.
  • Section/Sub-master key, pass key, floor master key are handled by the housekeeping department by desk control.
  • Emergency Key/Grandmaster key is generally held by the General manager/Executive Housekeeper/Rooms Division Manager or Duty Manager.
  • Extreme care taken by while handling this key.


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