A hungry American tourist bit off more than she could chew when she tried to cook lunch in her hotel room.
Staff at the Hermitage Hotel in Mount Cook were called to her room after the guest complained she couldn't get her pizza out of the microwave oven.
When puzzled housekeepers visited the $300-a-night room to investigate, they discovered she had put the pizza in a personal safe and activated the airtight lock on the vault.
"We were just down the corridor and she came out and asked us if we could help her work the microwave," executive housekeeper Annabel Fafeita said.
"She was staying in one of our most expensive rooms, which have no kitchen facilities, so we assumed she'd bought her own microwave with her and went to see what we could do.
"We got there and told her politely, `I'm sorry, but that's not a microwave it's the safe!'
"It took a while for it to sink in."
Because the guest, aged in her mid-40s, had entered random numbers on the safe's keypad while trying to cook the pizza, housekeepers had problems cracking the code.
"In the end we had to track down the man who has the master codes for the safe, so we could get it open and get the pizza out," Fafeita said.
"No guest wants to check into a room and find a defrosted mouldy pizza sitting in their safe.
"It took us about two hours before we managed to get that safe open."
Fafeita said that while she'd seen some odd hotel-room food preparation, the pizza in the vault was by far the strangest.
"You see all sorts of things that guests try and do," she said.
"We often open up the kettles to find someone has tried to cook their package of instant noodles straight in the jug, but I never thought someone would try to cook a pizza in the safe.
"That's going to be tough to beat!"
- © Fairfax NZ News