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Warning

London, United...
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Warning

My daughter and I returned earlier today from a 2 day trip to Paris to watch the CL final. We stayed at the Hotel de Lausanne, located close to Folies Bergere.

In our somewhat small room, there was a note to say the safes in the hotel rooms weren't working and that the hotel would take no responsibility for items left in the rooms and their advice was to leave valuables in the main safe located in reception. Prior to going out, we put our passports, an ipod, train tickets, a credit card and 2 debit cards and approximately 450 Euros into a sealed envelope, which my daughter signed across the scotch tape used to seal it.

We didn't get back to the hotel until around 1am that night, so didn't get our envelope until about 10.30 the next morning. When we opened the envelope, we realised immediately that 180 Euros and my credit card has gone. We reported it straight away to the manager, who initially appeared reluctant to believe us but eventually we convinced her we were telling the truth.

To cut a long story short, we spent a couple of hours in the reception area while she made calls to the owner and I cancelled my credit card. We then went to the police station and spent about another hour there. All in all, we finally got away for our day at 3pm. The hotel did give us the 180 Euros, which was very good of them.

The say the night receptionist wasn't their usual person and they weren't able to speak to him during yesterday and he wasn't behind the desk last night - we don't know if he had just not turned up or was sacked - hopefully it was the latter.

Anyway, as a cautionary tale, beware of this happening to you. Keep a list of items, exact amounts of money being left, credit card numbers etc just in case this happens to you.

Denmark, Europe
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1. Re: Warning

........we put our passports, an ipod, train tickets, a credit card and 2 debit cards and approximately 450 Euros......

Sorry for having to say this, but you behaved extremely naïvely:

How could it ever cross your mind to leave that much cash and credit cards behind ???

At all times carry valuables and money around in a moneybelt or a neck-purse tucked well inside your t-shirt or sweater.

NEVER leave anything of value (cash, jewellery, credit cards, pass-ports) in your hotel room or in other people's care.

Advice that works: take a neck-purse with zippers, remove the string. Put your big notes and passport in the purse and pin it with safetypins to the inside of your shorts/pants/skirt.

NEVER take out and flash big notes in public - always only in a toilet or other privacy.

Coeur D'alene, Idaho
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2. Re: Warning

<<Sorry for having to say this, but you behaved extremely naïvely:>>

While I agree with Gitte that leaving valuables in a hotel safe isn't something I'd do, it is recommended by MANY travel guides/websites as the safe alternative to carrying valuables around.

It stinks that you got robbed, but I'm impressed and surprised that your hotel paid you the 180 Euro. Hope your stay was pleasant other than that.

the big blue marble
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16,324 posts
39 reviews
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3. Re: Warning

<<Sorry for having to say this, but you behaved extremely naïvely>> I totally disagree. When wealthy people travel with expensive jewels they leave them in the main hotel safe. This is usually THE safest place for them.

As for money belts, go to the US Embassy in Paris and poll how many of those declaring stolen passports were mugged/pickpocket vs. how many had items robbed from a hotel safe.

Denmark, Europe
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3,484 posts
15 reviews
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4. Re: Warning

Well, phread, if wealthy people choose to bring expensive jewellery on a vacation and think that they can leave pebble-sized diamonds in the care of the odd hotel desk-clerk...... they asked for it.

Only my opinion, that is.

Miami
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573 posts
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5. Re: Warning

Most valuables stolen to tourists are due to pickpocketing and robbery. It is true that you can loose your valuables at a hotel due to a dishonest employee but chances are much higher that you'll be pickpocketed or robbed .

At least they got back their money ,..... what are the chances of recuperating monies or valuables stolen by a pickpocketer or robber?

the big blue marble
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16,324 posts
39 reviews
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6. Re: Warning

Gitte, Sometimes one is in a hotel for reasons other than holidays and sometimes expensive jewels are part of that reason. On other occasions, one may wish to wear a family heirloom to an out of town wedding.

Regardless of the why, nobody deserves to be robbed, but the point is, the hotel safe (not a room safe) is a relatively safe place to place one's valuables. Safe enough that insurance companies will cover you in the event of loss. Certainly safer than on the streets and even safer than at home, where we are all possible victims of burglary.

Bahamas
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935 posts
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7. Re: Warning

I truly hope that this horror story has a fair ending with the culprit caught. Only so many employees have access to the safe combinations ~ it shouldn't be too difficult to find him/her. If the hotel doesn't press charges against this person, THEN, I'd be worried about the hotel.

It would be a service to this forum and other travelers if you follow this up, ericab, and let others know if this is a place to avoid. I've often left my valuables in the "Main Safes" and have never even heard of this before.

the big blue marble
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39 reviews
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8. Re: Warning

Gitte,

Why should one only enjoy wearing jewelery at home? And why would valuables be any less secure in a hotel safe, where a handful of people have access (usually just the mgr) than in one's own home, where anyone could break-in?

The guy who did this will loose his job. How many hotel employees are really willing to risk their 24,000E jobs for 500E cash in some safe? Especially in a countyr where jobs are not that easy to come by.

Hotels are insured. This person was reimbursed, as are most of those who take the time to file a police report.

Point being, Ericab, you were not naive, merely a victim of a random act. Sorry it happened to you. Better trip next time.

London, United...
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803 posts
193 reviews
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9. Re: Warning

In reply to GitteK, I asked for advice and read lots of posts on here advising what to do about money etc whilst I was away. The unequivocal response was not to carry a large sum of money etc around with me. I bought a small shoulder bag which looped over my shoulder and was then attached to a belt, which I wore all the time. The other advice was to leave any money etc that I didn't need in the safe. Had I left it in a bag in my room and it had been taken from there, the hotel would not have borne any responsibility and I would have lost my money totally. The hotel staff were helpful and at least did return my money, well they had too as it was left in their safe in their care.

I do intend to follow this up and will post any information I get. When we left his morning, I didn't ask what happened to the employee, we just wanted to leave.

Perhaps the only way I was a little naive was not to write down the amount of money I had or the credit card number, that's why I have passed on this warning to people.

Also, I did actually feel pretty safe the whole time I was in Paris but then we were part of an estimated 40,000 football fans who had travelled over from England for the match. We were looked after by our fellow football fans very well.

I will also advise the website who we booked this hotel with what happened to us.

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10. Re: Warning

wha