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Dr. David A. Culp May 17th, 2002 05:16 AM

Guests robbed at Hotel Asterisk
On May 4, 2002, my wife and I were robbed of all our valuables as we slept in room 45 of the Asterisk Hotel in Amsterdam. According to police (see report number 2002116075-1) the thief was en ex-employee who retained a master key and had inside help from current employee(s). Hotel Asterisk has a fake video security system, not hooked up to any electronics, has nobody at reception desk past 10:00 p.m., has no insurance to pay such losses, and hasn't ever changed its door keys despite several incidents of employee theft. The owners intitially promised to reimburse us for our losses ($2,000.00) but later reneged on that promise, refused to even "comp" us for the room, doubled the room rate when we objected, and threatened to have us arrested if we did not immediately pay the inflated bill. The theft ring is still operating, and there is nothing at the Hotel Asterisk to protect you from the disaster which we experienced.

TooBad May 17th, 2002 06:03 AM

If I were you, I would write about this to every travel magazine and paper.Send this story to the New York Times, Conde Naste Traveler has an Omnubudsman section where they try to help people out after problems while traveling.Not much you can do now, except get even.

demi May 17th, 2002 06:30 AM

First let me say Thank God you slept through it, who knows what might have happened if they'd been confronted.<BR><BR>I agree with the above poster , get even, tell your story to all .<BR><BR>Hopefully you paid with a credit card and can contest the charges..<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>

Mel May 17th, 2002 06:31 AM

Definitely write this to the Ombudsman editor at Conde Naste--this publication has enormous weight in the industry.

Bob May 17th, 2002 06:34 AM

I'm also glad you and your wife were not harmed. Could I ask what you were carrying that was worth so much money. I can understand if it was camera/video equipment, but I sure hope it wasn't jewelry or similar. I hope the hotel somehow makes restitution and writing to Conde Naste is a great idea.

elvira May 17th, 2002 06:39 AM

I'd contact the Netherlands Tourist Bureau as well; this sort of thing certainly can't be good for tourism, and I'm sure they'd want to know about it.

elvira May 17th, 2002 06:40 AM

Had another thought - is this hotel recommended in various guidebooks? CC in the guidebooks when you write to the Netherlands Tourist Bureau.

tip May 17th, 2002 07:23 AM

I suggest you write to:<BR>Amsterdam Tourist Board<BR>Postbus 3901<BR>1001 AS Amsterdam<BR>

Nancy May 17th, 2002 07:33 AM

Did you pay with a credit card? If so, call the credit card company and dispute the charges.

mark May 17th, 2002 07:37 AM

I concur with contacting the Tourist Board. <BR><BR>When I went to Vienna a restaurant made bogus charges to my credit card (over $1000 in addition to my $60 meal). I wrote the Tourist Board - they wrote back saying they would investigate. The short story - I got a personal letter from the owner from the restaurant apologizing for the "mistake". Plus the charges (including my dinner) were taken off my account.<BR><BR>Squeeky wheel gets the oil. Be aggressive about following through with corrspondence etc - not only make noise but show that you mean business. Such behaviour by a hotel is atrocious and should not be tolerated.

NobodyImportant May 17th, 2002 07:46 AM

Original message said "my wife and I were robbed of all our valuables as we slept in room 45 of the Asterisk Hotel in Amsterdam. "<BR><BR>Someone asked "Could I ask what you were carrying that was worth so much money. I can understand if it was camera/video equipment, but I sure hope it wasn't jewelry or similar."<BR><BR>What difference does that make to a victims robbed while sleeping in their room? Two modest wedding rings, two simple watches and a basic camera could easily be worth twice the $2,000 claimed loss. Who cares? I hope the police gave the victim more sympathy than anyone who would criticize victims of theft. IF the thief with the key stole items totaling less or more, would that matter?

bucker May 17th, 2002 07:49 AM

I was a guest in the Asterisk hotel at the same time mr. Culp was there. Great hotel and nice staff. I know mr. Culp stated that he was robbed but he did not use the safe in his room and every day he said more was missing. The hotel does have an insurance but as everywhere, you must use the safe in order to be compensated. When items get stolen, you must use your own travelinsurance!! Maybe mr. Culp did not have an insurance himself??? I also happen to know that mr. Culp made indecent proposals to the receptionist who did not want to answer to this. The owner was willing to compensate several nights to mr. Culp but he refused this offer. Finally, mr. Culp left without paying his hotel bill (about 500 euros). If I was the Asterisk, I would definately report mr. Culp to my colleagues-hotels as being a defaulter.

here we May 17th, 2002 07:54 AM

Looks like the hotel (in the guise of bucker) is starting its spin on what happened.

x May 17th, 2002 08:07 AM

Let's look at the report from "Dr. Culp" (of course we can look up the police report 2002116075-1). <BR><BR>I could believe it untill he said that the hotel "doubled the room rate when we objected". Why would they do that? Doesn't it sound strange? I could believe that they tell him to take a hike, but not that they would try to make the situation worse by going beyond the quoted rate. <BR><BR>Something fishy in old Doc Culp's story. Stay tuned.

x May 17th, 2002 08:11 AM

Looks more like mr Culp is spinning in the guise of xxxxxx

xxxx May 17th, 2002 08:14 AM

Dirty old man wanting to chat up the receptionist !!!

Good story but... May 17th, 2002 08:20 AM

Never been to Amsterdam, know nothing about the Asterisk and never heard of Dr. David A. Culp, but doesn't it seem a bit strange that he AND his wife slept through the whole thing? Hotel room doors are notoriously noisy and I guess that noise, the light from the hallway coming in the room when they opened the door, the flashlight and the people walking around the room couldn't arouse either the Doc or his wife. Don't most hotel doors have a dead bolt lock and a chain? Sounds fishy, doesn't it?

hook me another May 17th, 2002 08:28 AM

<BR><BR>Me thinks this is a large fish story.<BR>Fast asleep in a strange place, small room I am sure, and neither wakes up?<BR><BR>Then the hotel DOUBLES the room rate and threatens them with arrest. <BR>Smells like a mackeral thats been dead at least a week.

sandra May 17th, 2002 12:12 PM

I don't understand why things would have to be in the room safe to be recompensed. I could not possibly fit my $250.00 suitcase and clothes in the safe, that could easily amount to a $2000.00 loss if stolen.

Janice May 17th, 2002 02:13 PM

I don't think it's very likely that someone stole their clothes....

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