I was considering seeing a lady on tour who was staying at the Britannia Hotel in Coventry.
How does one go past reception in hotels generally/this hotel in particular?
Seriously.... know the layout of the hotel in advance, by asking the WG (assuming they can speak english if EE), so that when you walk in, you should know where the reception is located, but more importantly where the lifts or the stairs are, so that you can casually walk there and make your way to the room (i.e. get past reception with ease, instead of looking clueless or lost). ALWAYS obtain the room number PRIOR to walking into the hotel. Most experienced WGs will give you simple instructions like walk in and turn left, head towards the lift, located just prior to the restaurant.
I usually pretend to be texting at the time, as it can make you look appear to be familiar with the place, or appear to be one of the guest, as you are going straight to the lift, to go to your room. You could appear to be talking on a mobile, but be careful, as it may ring whilst you're holding it against your ears!!