Hotela common model of a hidden camera

Horror stories of hidden cameras and microphones found in hotel rooms have become more prominent in the news. Unfortunately, travelers need to be on a sharp lookout for foul play in their hotel. It’s a good idea to check your hotel room from top to bottom before you settle in to ensure a safe and pleasant hotel stay. This handy article will tell you everything you need to know about finding hidden cameras or microphones in your hotel room.

Familiarize Yourself With Hidden Cameras

First things first: you need to familiarize yourself with what a hidden camera looks like.

Google to Find General Hidden Camera Images

The first step in finding hidden cameras in your hotel room would be to know what hidden cameras look like in the first place. Google hidden cameras and check out the images of some of the ones for sale online. Familiarize yourself with the different kinds and the specs of each camera, and try to see if any of the reviews say how easily they are hidden or if they can be easily discovered.

Do An Amazon Search to Find How Cheap Hidden Camera Looks

Once you have a general idea about more expensive cameras, head on over to Amazon and check out some of the top cameras for sale. It’s likely that people hiding cameras in multiple hotel rooms aren’t going to splurge for the most expensive camera, and it’s likely they will pick up some off Amazon. The discrete packaging is what draws people in to buy from Amazon. 

Top cameras are likely to be mid-range in price and have the most reviews. Don’t forget to check out the photos of the camera and reviews for each one. It’s good to put yourself in their shoes; what camera would you buy and why? Study the images and specs of each camera. Once you’re familiar with hidden cameras available online, you can easily spot what you’re looking for in your hotel room! 

Finding the Hidden Camera

Inspect The Room Thoroughly 

A stay in a hotel room should first start with a thorough inspection. Leave your luggage in the doorway or prop the door open as you sweep the room for any potential dangers. Once an initial sweep is done, you can inspect for hidden cameras more thoroughly. 

Knowing the size and specs of the top cameras, you’ll know where they would easily be hidden. Think about where they might be placed. Usually, it’s in a convenient location that gives the best, unobstructed view of the room. Here are some common places hidden cameras are found.

  • Alarm clocks
  • Lamps
  • Picture frames
  • TVs or DVD players
  • Speakers
  • Light switches
  • Outlets
  • Pinholes in walls

Use a Flashlight 

A flashlight is a great way to detect a lens hidden in your hotel room. Turn off the lights and sweep the room slowly with a flashlight. Look for any reflections from a camera lens. More often than not, the whole camera won’t be visible; it will just be the lens. If you see a reflection, give the object a more thorough inspection to see if it’s a hidden camera.

Use Your Phone’s Front Camera

Your phone’s front camera can also help detect hidden cameras. The infrared light in cameras can be picked up by your phone quite easily; try scanning your phone’s front camera around the room to look for a purplish-pink light. If you see any light, inspect it further to determine if it’s a camera.  

Other Things To Be Aware Of In Your Hotel Room

Hidden cameras in hotel rooms can be a scary thought as it is, but unfortunately, it’s not the only thing you should look out for before settling into your hotel room.

Two-way Mirrors 

Check all mirrors in your hotel room to ensure your safety fully. If the mirror is a hanging wall mirror, try to take it off the wall slightly. If the mirror is fixed to the wall, like in a bathroom, use the fingernail test. 

Simply put your fingernail up in the mirror and look at it from the side. If there is a space between your finger and your reflection, then it’s a regular mirror. If there is no gap, then it could be a two-way mirror. If you suspect it’s a two-way mirror, try to peer into the mirror and see if you can see the other side. You can also turn off the lights and use a flashlight to try and see the other side. 

Bed Bugs 

Every traveler’s worst fear is finding bed bugs in their room! Before unpacking your luggage or sitting on any surface in the room, be sure to inspect it thoroughly for bed bugs. Bed bugs often hide in small crevices of mattresses and other furniture, out of sight. The seam on a mattress is the most likely place you’ll find them or find evidence of them.

Lift up the covers and sheet at the bottom of the mattress and remove any mattress cover if possible. Inspect the seam by pulling it away from the mattress to try to find any bed bugs or droppings left by bed bugs. Inspect any other chairs or beds in the room as well.

Learn all the ways to protect yourself from bed bugs in this detailed article

If you find bed bugs or evidence of bed bugs, be sure to document it on your phone with video or photos and bring it to the front desk. 


What Do You Do If You Find a Hidden Camera?

Finding a hidden camera in your hotel can be your worst nightmare come true. If you find a hidden camera in your hotel room, document it thoroughly with photos and video on your phone. Ensure that you back up those photos and videos to cloud storage to prevent them from being lost or deleted. 

First, call local authorities and then bring it to the attention of the hotel management. Request to speak to a manager directly about the issue, not a member of staff, and be wary of staff and management entering your room. When you feel comfortable doing so, you can ask your hotel for a refund and begin finding a new hotel to stay in. Learn how to ask for a refund here

Can A Cell Phone Detect Hidden Cameras? 

Yes, a cellphone camera can detect the light emitted from a hidden camera. Use the front camera to scan the room and look for a purple-pink or purple-blue light to detect hidden cameras.

How Common Are Hidden Cameras In Hotel Rooms? 

Hidden cameras found in hotel rooms are rare but not completely uncommon. It’s always good to be prepared and do a thorough sweep of your room before settling in.

Is It Legal To Have Cameras In Hotel Rooms?

No, in the majority of countries, it is illegal to have cameras in hotel rooms. There are special exceptions for Diplomats and high-profile guests, but the hotel would still need the guest’s explicit permission to have a camera in their room. Cameras are legal in public spaces and other places throughout the hotel, like hallways and common areas.


In conclusion, a hidden camera isn’t something you should overly stress about, but rather something to be aware of and prepared to deal with, should it ever happen to you. Now that you know what hidden cameras look like and how to find them, you should be prepared and confident to enjoy your next vacation!

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