on April 25, 2012
My husband and I went on vacation to Cabo, Mexico during April 14-21 of 2012. We stayed at the Riu Palace and this was our first time enjoying an all-inclusive vacation. The hotel was very beautiful and well kept. The staff was always prompt with their services. The room we stayed in was a garden view room with two queen size beds pushed together to make a king size bed which we thought was strange. It also came with a safe where we could keep our important documents and money. We had accidently brought $2,000 with us, not knowing that my husband and I each put $1,000 in my purse before leaving. Both $1,000 were held together by yellow $1,000 markers. However, the safe was not a digital safe where you can punch in a random numerical code; it had a physical key with a rope attached, meaning we had to take the key with us everywhere we went. This was an annoyance considering we did a lot of activities outside the hotel and could easily lose it, so we decided that we would hide the key in our room in a safe place. All was well until the last day of our stay at the Riu Palace. On the last day of our vacation, at around 230pm, my husband and I decided to take a walk on the beach, get a henna tattoo retouched and lay out for a bit. Before we left, we counted our money to see how much we had left (we had $1,400 US dollars) and put it back in the safe and hid the key in a pocket of a dress in the closet. We tucked the key in nicely so it was out of view. We had promised our henna tattoo guy that we would get him a bottle of water because it was a really hot day. We came back to the room around 320pm, laid around for about 20 minutes before we left again to give him a bottled water. We came back to the room at about 5pm, got ready and went out to dinner at 6pm. We had some spare time after dinner before the nightly entertainment started and decided to check out the Riu Santa Fe next door to the Riu Palace. We went back to our room at about 8pm to grab some money just in case and that’s when we realized our money was gone!! ALL OF IT! The yellow $1,000 markers however, were left behind. We called hotel security and they came to our room with a machine that checks our door slot as to who came into our room while we were away. They keep a log as to who enters each room at what time. They found that at 351pm, a hotel employee, named Roberto Ramirez, came into our room to restock the bar/refrigerator. Other than that, nobody else besides ourselves entered our room between 2pm and 8pm. This guy went through our personal belongings, found the key and stole all of our money.We went down to the Director of the hotel’s office named Yvonne Bauer, and told her our situation. She could care less! She did absolutely NOTHING to help us in any way. She said that it was our fault that we should have taken the key with us everywhere we went. She said that the hotel policy does not cover stolen property unless there was damage at entry. She also said that there was no proof that Roberto stole the money and that she doesn’t think that he would steal because all employees know that there is a log kept as to what rooms they enter by the key they use. She basically was telling us that we were lying! She told us that the only way to do anything about this was to make a statement to the police. We asked if she could call the police to come to the hotel and were told that unless there is violence, they will not bother to come. So the assistant director of the hotel, Jose Pascual Fernandez, and another employee drove us to the police station through back roads with no lighting at 9pm at night. When we got to the police station, Jose wrote our statement for us in Spanish because nobody at the police station spoke English. While we were there, another cop came walking in with an AK-47 machine gun! We thought we were going to die. Luckily, we made it out alive and came back to the hotel where a cop followed us and then told us that we needed to go back to the station to make it an investigation. There was no point in doing that because we had to leave in 12 hours to go to the airport and we knew that the hotel and the police were not going to take this matter seriously and pursue it. Plus it was really scary and dangerous. We had no choice but to leave without anything being done about it or ever getting our money back. Because the hotel is not taking any action about this matter, it basically encourages their employees to steal from paying and trusting guests at their hotel. They said that there was no proof, then why did security tell us the exact employee down to his name, that came in our room at 351pm? The money did not grow legs open the safe and walk away. There IS proof of exactly who took the money!If the hotel had handled the situation better, maybe it wouldn’t have been that bad, but they are a billion dollar chain and they handled this matter like shady business people. I will never recommend this hotel or any other Riu hotel to anybody. My husband and I went there based on other peoples’ experiences there that we knew and decided to stay there as well. I am also writing their corporate headquarters a letter about our experience and the lack of compassion, professionalism and ethics that the Riu employees stand by. It makes me sick that they could get away with something like this. Roberto Ramirez got away with burglary and will still keep his job because the hotel director will not take any action against him. If this happened anywhere else in the world, I believe that this situation would have been handled a lot differently.
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