My Husband and I were drugged at the hotel pool bar at 4:00 in the afternoon. We woke up at 2:30 am covered in vomit, with no idea how we got to our hotel room, our last memory being at the hotel pool at 4:00 pm. We do not know who drugged us and have never accused the hotel bar of drugging us. That being said the way that Scrub Island handled this incident was completely unacceptable. We notified the hotel of our drugging first thing the following morning. They did not report this to the police, which we later found out is the proper protocol for a hotel when this type of thing happens. We decided that we did not feel safe at the hotel due to the fact that we did not know who drugged us or what they wanted from us. We decided to leave the hotel 5 days early. We also wanted to seek medical care in the US to be sure we were not sexually assaulted. Upon check out, we notice that over $200 (one charge for $20 and an $80 tip) in bar charges were charged to our room at the hotel on the day of our drugging. The hotel manager claims that the bartender has identified us as the individuals who made these charges. We requested to see the receipts. When viewing the receipts it was obvious that we did not make those charges as the handwriting on the receipts was not ours. The bar manager then mentions that whomever opened the tab did not know our room number. We confront the bar manager and asked if we were the individuals who opened the tab, he said he did not know, contradicting what the hotel manager had told us. The hotel manager refused to take the charges off our bill. We asked to see video footage of the day of our drugging, as we wanted to make sure we went back to our hotel room on our own and were not sexually assaulted. The manager said he would look into getting this footage. After pressing him on the issue again he told us the hotel does not have any security cameras. We got the feeling that the hotel was trying to cover up this incident. We thought when we left the island this whole nightmare would be over with, but it has only just started. A week after leaving the hotel, we noticed that someone started using my husband’s credit card in Miami, Fl. Over $200 of fraudulent charges were placed on his card. We believe this is related to the drugging as his wallet was in the bag we brought down to the pool. We have received no apology or compensation from Marriott or Scrub Island for the traumatic events that happened to us while there. We have filed police reports with our local police department and the BVI police department. This vacation was a total nightmare. I will never return to this resort and would highly discourage anyone from staying here. I understand that you can be drugged anywhere but the way the hotel handled it was unacceptable.
While at my cousin's wedding in Las Vegas, at Treasure Island, on the way in to the hotel, the pirate ship show was going on. Even though we did not stop to watch it, but merelty walked by when our taxi droped us, somehow my husband's wallet was lifted, and it was not even noticed, till after the wedding when he was getting ready to go out with a friend afterwards. We reported it to Treasure Island Hotel security, and their response was there were 4 other weddings going on at the same tme, did someone maybe make a mistake?
We immediately headed back to our hotel, and went directly to their hotel security, and they immediately contacted the police, which was the right thing to do. We filled out a police report, and then I went back to the room to cancel all the credit cards, bank accounts [yes my husband had put a check in his wallet for some unknown reason], and drivers license. The hotel put a security guard outside our room, as they said the real intension in most of these incidents is to follow the person back to their room and see what else there is to take.
I am very glad the hotel we were staying at followed all the procedures, and went over and above in protecting our safety. Unfortunately it was not a Marriott, as there were no Marriotts in those days. And the hotel itself, part of another chain, no longer exists. We had the extended family staying there, and they upgraded us to wonderful suites as I had booked it the Platinum American Express program.
I also had another scam artist approach me in the Downtown Seattle Marriott. I reported it immediately to Marriott secuirty, and they thanked me for the information, and told me they were working with other Seattle hotels, and the police, as there were several scams going on all over town due to an international economic summit taking place. It seems that most of the properties have hotel security that is more actively engaged than this incident. Also, they did not contact the local police? file a police report? have a local doctor exam you, or take you to the closest hospital? All of this sounds very non-standard in terms of hotel security.
I agree that you would think there is standard protocol when this happens at any resort. Scrub Island did not contact police, file any police reports, or recommend that I be examined by a doctor. They said they would do their own internal investigation, which to me sounds like they were trying to cover it up. On our own we contacted the BVI police, US Embassy and our local police department here in the states, in addition to seeking medical care. We expected much more from Marriott.
My friend has acknowledge receipt, and that she is passing it on to publishing at the company. I am thinking I will ask for the text that they intend to post, to have you verify that it is an accurate reflection of the events. Since this is an advisory, it reports various incidents in different stages of reporting and resolution, worldwide, including what local law enforcement is doing, what US State Department is doing, what the traveler is at risk for and needs to do.. More cautionary.
For instance, when we went to Barcelona, our hotel handed us a warning sheet of tips for BCN with various problems reported. One was gypsies putting flower on your clothes. They are really trying to pick you pocket or pocket book and are very good. Even though I was aware, they managed to stick a flower on my jacket, and by the time I removed it and handed it back they managed to get into my security bag that is around my neck and inside my coat. Luckily I only havve some pocket money, in this case a couple euros change from the taxi, but many people are carrying all their cash, credit cards and passport.
I will tell ya the staff and personnal assistant that my wife has dealt with in Mr. Marriott's office was incredible in handling a completely different type situation about 18 months ago, hope she is the same person because she was incredbily thorough and her investigation spot on and timely.
Unfortunately, no updates to report. There are plenty of beautiful resorts in the BVI. I would recommend going else where, as we have not been made aware of any actions being taken at the resort to prevent this from happening to others. Unless you open all your own beverage containers (alcoholic or not), you are at risk for being drugged.
It does not stop, what about food? It could be drugged too. At some point we need to be able to trust. By staying at a Marriott, I had assumed that we could trust the employees but maybe not.
If I am out eating alone and need to leave the table for a period, I never finish what is left since I have been aware of drugging and anyone could pass my table an slip something into my drink or on my food.
Did you leave your drinks unattended for a period?
We were at the swim up pool bar and had our drinks sitting on the bar while we had our backs to the bar for a little while. I am usually very observant about my drinks, never having them out of sight. I never imagined I would have to worry about being drugged while staying at a very ritzy resort with my husband.
Yes, it is possible that a non-employee drugged our drinks, there was one other couple at the pool during the time we were drugged. What is suspicious is that the day we were drugged $200 worth of bar charges were put on our room. The person who charged these drinks to our room did not know our room number, the bartender gave them our room number to complete the transaction. One of the charges was $20 worth of drinks with an $80 tip. Makes us wonder if maybe the couple at the bar were in on it with the bartenders. Since the property has no cameras, there is no way of knowing who it was that actually drugged us.
I think the $80 tip on a $20 bill may point to the bartender. Once I had a tip on my bill that was about the same as the bill. As soon as I called, they removed it without question. It doesn't take much to realize that even generous tippers don't leave a 400% tip. However, the couple may have done this to point to the bartender since they would not benefit.
As far as the room number, I have been uncomfortable when they ask my name and room number for transactions even when someone is behind me. They have what they need to charge to your room. Perhaps this was the case with you and if so you were targeted after that.
I am so sorry to hear about your terrible experiences there! Have you contacted Marriott Customer Service about this? If so, what did they say? Also, I am going to add the NathalieF to this thread, since I don't see him included anywhere yet, so he can see if anything special should be done, other than contacting Marriott Customer Service.
We have contacted Marriott Platinum Customer Serivce and have been in contact with Mr. Marriott's office. Marriott has stated that the issue needs to be handled directly with Scrub Island Resort as they are a franchise of Marriott. The only answers we receive from Scrub Island is that there is an on going investigation. It's been very frustrating.
The hotel takes all reports of illicit activity seriously. This situation is being handled by the appropriate authorities. We will continue to be available to work with the authorities as long as the matter is under investigation. At this time, no criminal charges have been issued. The hotel is a member of the Autograph Collection under a license agreement with Marriott International, Inc. Marriott International does not own, operate, or direct the policies set by the Hotel. ~ Response posted on behalf of Mainsail Lodging & Development
Assuming this really happened, I think your response is inadequate. It seems more likely than not that the hotel and the authorities will either be unable or unwilling to make this right, including arresting and punishing those responsible. You can't help directly and you don't have the power to make this right, but you should pressure the hotel to at least pay for some points so that the OP can have the opportunity to have another Marriott stay elsewhere (sorry - but when something this awful happens, I can't imagine that I would ever want to go back to the same property - I would feel scared out of my skin and nervous all the time) where they will have a safe and relaxing vacation with the points put in their account. Again, if facts are as stated, you should also be pushing the hotel to comp their stay. If all that fails, than Marriott Rewards should at least offer to directly add some significant points to the OP's account for a future stay.
I wonder if liability is on Marriotts mind. If they acknowledge the event took place, they may be open to a lawsuit. When Marriott adds hotels to its collection, I assume that it is managed by Marriott or that Marriott has some control. I too, think this couple should be given another hotel stay to have a real vacation. If for no other reason than "good will".
Years ago, Conde Nast had an article on crime in the Virgin Islands. From the article there is a lot of cover up and most of us are not aware of it happening. The article said that it is most dangerous for those who rent a house since there is close to no security and home invasions happen and people have been killed. The article said if you do travel there the safest is to stay at a hotel since they have security on property. You did that and still had this happen. What a nightmare!
Owning a home in the Caribbean, I can tell you very matter of factly that most islands police forces are akin to the 'Keystone Cops'. The training that these forces receive is almost almost non-existent. The pay they get is even worse. In St. Maarten, where we have had a home for 20 years, when the crime gets too bad, the Dutch bring in the Dutch Marechausses (special crime forces) from Holland. The French side of the island brings in special Gendarmes from France. They get control back. They're like Marines on a mission. It's like that on every island but when visiting as a tourist you rarely see it because these folks know exactly who to look for and where....and they operate in the dead of night....and if they get stumped by a new bad guy......then you might have experienced a 'roadblock' where folks in Armed Forces uniforms might have asked certain questions about your stay.......and to stay off the road at night.
So, for those who visit the islands....always be aware of your surroundings and those you encounter. This situation on Scrub Island is nothing new. What makes it seem new and out of the ordinary is that it happened at a Marriott franchise....and we don't expect those things there.
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