I stayed in room 109 at the Goldiana Hotel in Phnom Penh from 3-7 January 2009 and was relieved of at least $400 in cash from my room or the luggage storage room (but more likely from my room). Someone working there helped himself or herself to my cash however deeply burrowed in my luggage. I had my cash in an envelope deep inside an inner pocket of a backpack.
It was almost certainly staff because the envelope contained between $800-$900 and was left with precisely $400. I took out a few $20 bills during mys tay, but there is no way I spent at least $400 in the first few days of my stay in Cambodia. Only someone working there would do this to lower the likelihood of detection.
Another clue: I had an internet cable installed in my room (through the window), at the fairly outrageous price of $12 per day, which prevented the window from being locked. This alone would have allowed whoever knew I had internet (just about anyone working the front desk) that my window was not secure and could be reached from the first floor balcony (which, incidentally, is also accessible from a hallway passage). I came back one night and noticed the window ajar, which did not alarm me since I thought housekeeping had perhaps wanted to let some fresh air into the room. (Incidentally, the towels are fourth rate and make your skin itch, as does the water from the shower. I stayed for weeks at the Golden Bridge some years back and never had any issues.)
I noticed the envelope's remarkable thinness when I changed hotels, moving to the Himawari Hotel Apartments, and began unpacking my things. This was within two hours of picking-up my stored luggage from the Goldiana and I went back immediately to register my complaint. The staff (all in their early 20s) was less than helpful. Total denial.
What's sad is that the General Manager (Mr. Chhay Meas, son of the founder of the hotel) would not even talk to me, over the phone or in person. It was a total ostrich mentality. I came back once more in person, on 10 January 2009, and was again told circa 6:30pm, that the GM was "asleep" and unavailable!
Incidentally, my luggage was stored in the Goldiana's "storage room" (pictures of which I am uploading) from 8am until 3pm, and, apparently, despite giving me a luggage tag, they don't take any responsibility for the contents. Moreover, I discovered that the storage room is unsecured. It is a public bathroom space accessible to anyone. I very much doubt, however, given that not all the money was taken, that it was some guest going to the bathroom. The surgical precision of this theft is simply not the work someone with two seconds to riffle through someone's bag. It had to have been a worker there, and likely in my room 109 sometime during my stay.
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