Five star hotel? I think not. Beware! What Grand Hotel Santa Lucia lacks is hospitality, integrity and security. I had the displeasure of staying at Grand Hotel Santa Lucia ("Santa Lucia") with my fiancee on December 13, 14, and 15, 2011. On the second night of our stay our hotel room was broken into and so was the room safe. The thief took cash, two cell phones and clothing but not the credit cards or the most valuable items-- our passports. They most likely left those behind because they are too hard to get rid of without getting caught. In addition, the thief took newly purchased clothes, my fiancee's leather coat and designer sunglasses. IN short, again, the thief took what he/she could sell immediately which leads me to beleive that it was an inside job.
I know what you might be thinking: how can I make that leap in deduction and arrive at the conclusion? Well, let me explain but first let me tell you that I understand that these things happen and they can happen in any hotel, in any city, in any country. It is not the theft that has me so angry . It is the way the hotel handled it, or more accurately, how they failed miserably to handle it. On the second night of our stay, the night that we were robbed, my fiancee and I returned from shopping at some of the stores on Via Toledo and the surrounding area. When we walked into the hotel we were alone. We have both been in Naples many times and are careful to make sure that we are not being followed. We walked throught he lobby and went directly to the elevator. Standing in front of the elevator was a tall male guest (non-italian) and the bellhop whom we both assumed was helping the tall gentleman the same way he had helped us a day earlier. When we got off of the elevator, however, and walked toward our room we noticed that the tall gentleman carried his own small bag and entered his room with his card-key and the bellhop, who at this point looked as if he wasn't even with the tall gentleman, was trailing behind the tall man. He walked passed the the tall gentleman without stopping or even pausing.
We were in our room maybe 45 minutes when we heard a rather abrupt and forceful knock at the door. We were surprised because neither one of us had ordered room service. Rather than open the door, we asked in both English and Italian who it was and what they wanted. The reply was inaudible. It was not a series of words but rather a mumble that was neither Italian nor English. My fiancee immediatley called the desk as I pressed my shoulder against the door and "dug in". About two or three minutes later there was another knock at the door. This time when we asked who it was the reply was "hotel security." I opened the door and standing before me was the bellhop and a man wearing jeans and a "rent-a-cop" type of security jacket. they asked what the problem was and so we told them. They seemed neither surprised nor concerned. When we pointed out that the voice was most likely that of a non-italian immigrant, the "security officer" oddly stated that the fact that English or Italian was not spoken was no big deal and that the hotel had a person working for them that did not speak Italian or English.
The "security officer" then stated that he would take a walk around the hotel and look for anyting unusual but that we had nothing to worry about. About an hour later, we decided to go to dinner and determined that we didnt want to go too far. So, we ate across the streeet at Zi Teresa (good food) literally less than 100 yards from the hotel. After dining, we returned tot he hotel and our room. It was only an hour and a half later. What we found was missing purchases, ransacked luggage and a busted safe revealing stolen cash and missing cell phones.
Again, we called the desk for security. The man at the desk said there was no security on premises to send up. We went down to the desk and told the shift manager that we were robbed. His first response was of indifference and unemotional, unsympathetic disbelief. We demanded that he call the police. He refused. He stated that he needed to call the hotel's Director first. Now, as an aside, let me tell you that my fiancee works for an Italian based international company and speaks fluent Italian. Since her parents are from the Naples area, she also speaks fluent dialect (Napoletana). In other words, there's no fooling her or mumbling behind her back. She understands everything. Rather than call the police, the shift manager called the Director who refused to give the manager permission to call the police. We waited an hour for the Director to show up. when he did show up, he acted as if he was doing us a favor. He flatly refused to call the police even after we told him that the earlier knock at our door by the grumbling, mumbling immigrant was the "set up" and attempt to discern who was in the room. It wasn't until my fiancee clearly and directly said that it was hotel staff that broke into the room and safe that the Director begrudgingly called the police. We insisted that he call the Carabinieri and not the local police. After 15 minutes or so, the manager, after breaking away from his private huddle with the Director, stated that he tried the Carabineri a number of times but the telephone number was busy. He said the police were called and on their way.
An hour later the Napoli Police arrived. What a joke. The officer had obviously had a conversation with the Director but umored us with asking what happened. He took notes on a blank sheet of paper--not a standardized form. Everything we stated to him was immediately and vigorously refuted by the Director who appeared at this point to be nothing more than a loyal company pet. [ Italians fail to realize that integrity and customer service is what builds a good hotel representation; not defending the hotel against its guests who were victims ].
There was clearly a cozy relationship between the Director and the police. We had to break to up their mutual admiration party by insisting that the police officer ask the Director and manager the following questions: (1) who else had a card key to our room; (2) what does the desk computer say as to the opening of our room's door with the electronic card-key?; (3) does the maid's card key, which opens every door, override the computer system?; and (4) who has access to the maid's card key? It was like pulling teeth to get answers but the police officer finally went behind the desk counter and looked for himself on the computer.
The only answer we got was that our room was not entered with a card key while we were gone having dinner. None of our questions about the maid's card key were answered. Weasked to see the 5th floor security camera tapes. They told us and the police officer that there were no tapes and that the cameras were broken for two weeks. How convenient. We asked for the Director of the hotel to bring in the "secuirty officer". He said that he had called him and he does not wish to speak. Nothing but obstruction of justice and outward hostitility toward us as if our complaining about the theft was a bigger problem than the actual theft. The police officer asked the Director about the other guests on the fifth floor; if there were empty rooms on the fifth floor; and who had access to the empty rooms. It is our belief that whomever had knocked on our door earlier in the day was hiding in an empty room and just waiting to until we were gone to rob it.
The police officer accompanied us to the room but only after our insistence. I guess he thought it was unncessary to inspect the crime scene since he knew this investigation was going nowhere before it even began. The police officer examined the door and declared it was forced open. He checked the veranda/balcony doors to see if they were open. They were not. He looked at the safe and stated that it was forcefully opened [ no kidding. it was totally busted and no longer bolted to the shelf in the armoire which was contained in the closet. we have photos ]. He then turned to us and stated that he couldn't file a report unless we came down to the station (a clear attempt to discourage making a report). We said we would go to the station. When we were back down in the lobby and arguing about the police policy that did not allow us to ride in the police car to the police station, the hotel Director approached the police officer and provided him with "evidence". It was a sheet of paper, ostensibly a print-out of/from the hotel's computer that showed that the hotel had rented a room to a foreign national with a Spanish name who was from France. There was no other information on the sheet. It could have been fabricated, and probably was fabricated, ten minutes earlier. The slick hotel Director stated that the hotel had checked this room rented to the foreign national and found the door open, no luggage, and the television on. He stated that the foregin national must have robbed our room and not anyone from the hotel staff. We pointed out that when we had checked into the hotel our passports were taken, photocopied, and put into a box containing all of the passports from all the non-Italian guests and that we had to ask for our passports back. We asked where was the photocopy of the phantom foreign national's passport. The answer was "I don't know."
The final argument with the hotel Director was over the issue of if and when he would turn this matter and the official police report (which we obtained) in to the hotel's insurance company. He was at first evasive but then, in true Italian fashion, overly assured us that he would turn it in, which means he most assuredly will not turn it in to the insurance company.
The bottom line is this: the hotel is not safe; the staff is not trustworthy, responsbible or cooperative; and the Director is without a shred of integrity. You stay at this hotel at your own risk. Do not expect professional security or any type of help in an emergency. It is not a world class hotel and certainly not anything Americans are used to or expect. The people running this hotel should be ashamed of themselves. The group promoting this hotel, the Preferred Hotel Group (aka Summit Hotels and Resorts out of Chicago, Illinois, USA) should be ashamed as well. This account of what happened is a true, factual albeit abbreviated account. We have photos and a police report to back it up.
After all of this, on the night of our last day in Naples at this hotel, we returned to our hotel room to find the electronically controlled, garage-door-like, metal security shutters that we had down to cover the balcony doors for security, were opened up along with the balcony doors unlocked courtesy of the housekeeping maids who were most likely setting us up for yet another robbery.
If you have a reservation at this hotel, cancel it! If you read this while staying at the hotel and find yourself on 5th floor, demand a new room on another floor now! I believe that the hotel staff puts anyone wearing a nice watch and/or jewelery and/or clothes on the 5th floor because the balconies are connected by one continuous shelf making it easy to go from one balcony to the other.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC