With the Travelsafe100 from Pacsafe, you can forget about maids with sticky fingers.
When I was in a big foreign city recently on a travel writing assignment, two women sitting beside me in the lobby of a Sheraton hotel were filling out a police report. They had put some things in their safe but forgot to lock it before leaving the room. When they came back from dinner, their money and jewelry were gone. I've usually managed to hold onto my valuables when traveling, but when I stayed at a very nice Hyatt on assignment in a different country, my wife's watch got stolen from the bathroom counter. Once while sleeping in a hostel in Singapore, another backpacker stole my camera during the night.
In general I think electronic safes in hotels are pretty reliable, but if you forget your code someone can always open it, right? So that means at least some employees really can get in it if they want to badly enough. Plus in many cheaper hotels, you either need to leave things up front in a shared safe or take your chances unless a locker is supplied.
This portable safe from Pacsafe will keep your valuables safe in any hotel or hostel and will also serve as a secondary stash while on the move. It's basically a pouch with slash-proof steel mesh, a locking cinch cable at the top, and a padlock with a key. You just secure it to any fixed or hard-to-move item like a pole or large piece of furniture. Then it would take a pair of bolt-cutters to get at your things. So you could also use this to secure items on a bus or train while you are trying to snooze, resting easier than you would if your camera and iPod were just zipped up in your daypack. (Unless you have a daypack from the same company that is.)
I've tried out a lot of different items from Pacsafe and have been impressed with their strength and durability. They keep the practicality in mind too though: this portable safe can be rolled up and held that way by an included piec of elastic or a rubber band if you lose that. So it's not all that hard to make space for it in your pack or suitcase. (There's a video demo at this link that shows you how it works.)
The Travelsafe100 lists for $45, but you can get it for a shade less at these retailers:
Pacsafe TravelSafe 100 at Backcountry.com
TravelSafe 100 at Buy.com
Get it at REI