I reside overseas and had never been to the DC area. I stayed at the Crystal City Courtyard based on an accepted list provided by my employer. This was classified as a very safe and comfortable hotel. I must start by saying that during my recent stay, the majority of the staff was fantastic and very helpful. While I was there, someone entered my room while I was away and stole everything that I had, except my clothes. They stole my Laptop, Kindle, IPOD, and several other items totaling more than $3200.00. I had a police report and the Hotel filed a report with the Marriott Claims department. The police reported that there was no forced entry into my room – which was only entered by myself and the maid. After 3 months of constant overseas calls to the claims department, they finally called my home and left a message to inform me that they were not going to pay my claim because the “Maid” said she never seen a computer in my room!?? Marriott has not returned any of my email or my phone calls. I have since requested that my company remove this location from their list of accepted DC Hotels. I have never had this happen to me anywhere in over 26 years of US and overseas travel. What can be done to correct this situation??
In most hotels the key card lock can be used to discern who entered your room and when in a given period. Some sytems allow a 24 hour look back.
Seems to me that the hotel should guarantee a safe environment and that the list of those entering your room should be proof that you were there and not there during given periods.
I hope that Marriott starts taking these thefts seriously--and that you can get restitution. Is there a loss prevention person at HQ with whom you have spoken?
While records show there was no forced entry, there doesn't have to be. Depending upon the size of the hotel and number of rooms, housekeeping can involve several employees working a cluster of rooms in tandem. While housekeeping is in progress, another employee, hotel guest or an intruder can enter and exit unnoticed. Suppose the housekeeper runs short of supplies? Do they always lock the guestroom?
Anyone is vulnerable to theft. Whether on business or leisure, safeguarding all valuables is imperative while traveling. Leaving items out in the open increases the risk. Multiple incidents at one hotel resulted in the arrest of a hotel employee. Lax loss prevention at a vacation club resulted in the theft of valuables worth $4,000+.
What can be done to correct this situation? Vigilance. Do not leave valuables in plain sight. To protect your laptop, there are many devices on the market. The one I prefer is a notebook lock and secuirty cable.
Being honest, even when I'm traveling in 'reputable' hotels, I never leave stuff like that 'out' in my guest room. I frequently travel with multiple laptops, my B&N Nook, and other items... and go into locations where I can't take computers, or hard drives, or even CD-R/DVD-Rs... so I have to leave them in the room sometimes.
When I _do_ have to do this, I usually stack the items in my suitcase, lock my suitcase, and put it unobtrusively in the closet, where it just looks like I've unpacked and thrown my bag in the closet. I make sure to leave phone chargers around the room to make it look like I've taken stuff with me, though.. Never had any problems.
I don't know if that particular property has safes in the room, but I've seen those becoming more and more commonplace in hotels...
This happened to us last November at the Sable Palms Resort in Orlando. I got diamond earrings for my wife on our 35th anniversary. A few months later we went to Orlando with our kids. My wife had the earrings early on in our time there, but a couple days after we got our apartment cleaned, she noticed the diamond earrings and a cheaper cosmetic set were missing from her jewelry box. We reported if to the local sheriff and Sable Palms. Marriott turned it over to Liberty Mutual as a claim. After Liberty's investigation, they determined the maid was the only other key that was used to go in our room. She apparently told the insurance company that she did not steal the earrings. The insurance company rejected the claim because it was my fault if I had anything of value in the room and besides, I could just be making up anything about what I had in the room. They accused me of being fraudulant. I talked to Marriott further about it and Amy Thomas told me that I needed to get the sheriff involved. After discussing it with the officer a couple times, I decided they would never have time to investigate a theft as petty as our $800 earrings. I also talked to Joseph Trott at Marriott headquarters in Orlando about the theft. He said he is the manager of all Marriotts in Florida. Marriott turns claims like this over to the insurance company and he said if they decline your claim, then there is nothing Marriott will do since the insurance company decision is final. I think we all need to think twice about staying at Marriott if this is their attitude about protecting our belongs. We thought as long as we locked our room when we went out, there is no reason to worry about theft, but this incident proves that is not true. Let everyone know that Marriott does not care about your belongings and you should not have anything of value if you stay there.