It all started well enough. On our previous visit to Tulamben, we had eaten at the restaurant and asked to see a room here, with a view to staying at Paradise on our next dive trip. We were picked up at Denpasar airport as arranged and driven the two and a half hours to Tulamben. After checking-in, we were shown to our room. We had chosen a hot water/air-conditioned room and this also had a bath and low-level shower. We unpacked and, after a long days’ travelling, we decided to go to bed at about 10pm. When I pulled the bed clothes back, it was very obvious that they had not been changed after their previous use by an amorous couple. I got dressed again and went to reception to insist that the sheets were changed. Most staff had gone home for the night, so the receptionist went to get some clean sheets. He was gone a long time and then came back, saying that they didn’t have any dry sheets – very strange in a resort this size. He apologized and then offered us another room. I checked the bed before accepting it and then we had to repack and change rooms. Not the best end to a tiring day.
We spent a couple of happy days shore-diving at Tulamben. On the third morning, we were chatting to the staff at the dive centre, when I remembered that I had left my gloves in our room. I went back to retrieve them and found the room-boy, who was supposed to be cleaning our room, crouched down by my suitcase. He stood up suddenly when I came in and I noticed my handbag, which had been in my suitcase, on the floor, with the purse inside missing. The purse had been pushed under a table and a $50 bill and some Indonesian Rupiah were missing. I obviously couldn’t physically search the room-boy, but I told him to turn out his pockets – apparently nothing, but I don’t think he showed me everything. He denied having taken the money, which had definitely been there ten minutes earlier when I left the room. I ordered the room-boy out and ran to get my husband to check that he had had nothing stolen. I then went to reception, expecting action and we told them to call the police. We were told that they “didn’t know the number”. My husband simply walked just down the road to the police station and returned with three officers. After having explained the scenario to the police in our room, in front of the Resort’s lady owner, we then had to go to the police station to make a statement.
When we finally returned, we asked to see the owner again, with a view to arranging better security for our room. We were confronted by the male owner of the Resort, who repeatedly called us liars, saying we had invented the whole thing as an insurance scam. As we pointed out, we would not be likely to make up a story that entailed spending two hours at a hot police station and missing a whole day’s diving, just to claim an amount that was less than the excess on our insurance policy. Luckily, the great majority of our money and passports were in a safe-deposit box at reception. Judging by the number of dangling keys, we were the only people using these. Presumably everyone else leaves their money, etc, in their rooms when they go diving. The lady owner offered us another room, but the male owner was just plain nasty. I suppose that it is easier to try to discredit the foreigners than to deal with a dishonest member of staff, especially in a village like Tulamben, where everyone seems to be related.
We left the Resort. When we passed by a couple of days later to visit some friends, we noticed that the room-boy was still working at Paradise. Draw your own conclusions.
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- Also Known As:
- Paradise Palm Beach Bungalows Hotel Tulamben
- Paradise Palm Beach Bungalows Tulamben, Bali