Two weeks ago, on March 9, 2013, after a long flight from the United States, my husband and I and two friends checked into the Matchroom Country Club impressed and excited to be visiting Spain and looking forward to an amazing week. We had no idea we were walking into an unsafe, unsecured, frightening place.
Unit 51, a top floor penthouse, looked cosy and comfortable enough – a 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit with a balcony leading up to a rooftop deck. We found the safe in the bedroom closet and quickly stowed our passports and other valuables. During the day, everything was locked up. But during the night, we had no idea strangers would enter our room.
We checked in on a Saturday night, and Wednesday morning we realized we had been robbed during the night while we were sleeping. Tuesday night we went to bed with all the doors locked (the front door has a keycard), including the door out to the balcony, which can only be locked and unlocked from the inside with a key. Wednesday morning we discovered that our belongings in the living room were gone. My Canon EOS Rebel T1i DSLR digital camera was taken, along with cash out of my wallet. My friend’s credit cards and cash were gone, along with her allergy meds, and her husband’s entire wallet was taken. They carefully went through our bags, took everything of value, then zipped up our wallets, placed them back in our bags and carefully closed them.
We rushed straight down to talk to the manager, Helen. Helen questioned why our personal belongings were not put in the safe while were sleeping, which we were never told to do upon check-in. She told us the thieves were professional and offered us the phone to call the police station, then sent us on our way.
We spent an hour at the Fuengirola police station, which was kind to us, but not pressed to investigate the case. They did generate a police report, and a very nice, British retiree was in the station to help translate and read the document to us. Without his help and direction, we would have struggled with this process. Thank you kindly, sir.
The manager at Matchroom took a copy of the police report and offered us a different room, which we declined because at that point we had nothing of value and were almost inviting the punks to come back and try it again. We requested no one, absolutely no one, be allowed into our room. The next day while we were gone, we had physical evidence (we purposely arranged items, and found they had been moved) that someone had again been in our unit. The manager said it was the police coming to dust for fingerprints and they were there for 5-10 minutes, and she did not accompany them. We did not see black fingerprint dust and how thorough could they have been in 5 minutes?
After 3 more nights sleeping with one eye open, the night before leaving we asked what the manager could do for us to help make this horrible situation better. She said there was nothing. And then we were gone.
What has happened to treating guests like they matter? We felt violated and unsafe at night. The best part of being there was not being there. We were not offered a free stay, not even a free meal. We are convinced our room was entered using a key card. I am trying to contact Heritage Resorts now to follow up with them, as key card entry is recorded in a computer system, and I would like to see that report.
We feel sad, violated and ruined. Spain was beautiful, but I would never wish this upon anyone. We worked so hard, saved up so much, to take this trip.