MULTIPLE BREAK-INS AND THEFTS AT THE LEONARDO HOTEL AMSTERDAM REMBRANDTPARK, AS CONFIRMED BY POLICE, AND STILL BEING PROMOTED BY THE LIKES OF BOOKING.COM AND TRIPADVISOR.COM
My friend and I stayed at this hotel in November last year when it was still the Ramada Apollo Hotel Amsterdam. This hotel remains part of the Apollo Hotels group which is owned and managed by the Fattal Hotel Chain which manages 150 hotels in Europe alone. In our own personal experience, this hotel is neither safe nor secure and leaves a great deal to be desired generally.
The hotel is surrounded by parkland, allowing thieves to make a quick and easy getaway. Once inside, thieves are given easy access to lift lobbies and lifts which, in turn, give them unrestricted access to the guest floors, and guest room corridors. Without any lift security or security cameras covering the corridors, thieves are then able to depart the hotel with the loot, completely undetected, either via the lift and out the front door, or via the fire escape. The lighting at the front entrance lobby and the front desk is so dark that it is very difficult to make out facial features of the person you are talking to. Yet another serious security failing was the fact that the staff on the front desk handed over a re-generated swipe card, without even asking to see our ID. The whole place, including the décor is completely bizarre.
THREE BETRAYALS Our experience
FIRST BETRAYAL. Upon a late afternoon check-in at the hotel, for some unknown reason, my friend and I were immediately "upgraded" to the 16th floor, which put a smile on our faces. But the smiles quickly turned to dismay following the discovery of a serious theft from the room safe a couple of hours or so later. Upon our return from dinner at a local restaurant, we discovered that somebody or some people were given undetected access to the guest room whereupon they proceeded to force open the room safe and steal some of the contents. While we later found signs that the guest room door may have been forced, the fact was that the corridor leading to the guest room door had no security cameras installed at all, while the lifts themselves had no security installed at all either. So in reality, the hotel had given to anyone at all, virtually free, unhindered and undetected access to the guest rooms, directly from the street. For a modern four-star hotel, this is simply unheard of and way, way below what is expected and indeed required of such an establishment. Although my friend had a few nights' stay booked, we both felt so unnerved by the events that took place and the staff's attitude towards security generally that he cancelled the rest of his booking and we both left the next morning. I also suddenly fell seriously ill, which is unsurprising given the peculiar circumstances.
FIVE (5) BREAK-INS AND THEFTS IN ONE NIGHT! When my friend and I attended to the local police station the following morning to duly report the robbery, the police confirmed that no less than FIVE (5) break-ins and thefts had taken place in the hotel that same evening! My friend also came across a review on Tripadvisor by another victim who also had their room broken into and valuables stolen on the same night as we did. That victim's review can be viewed here:
Now compare the hotel's response to that review with how they treated us!
SECOND BETRAYAL. Right before my friend and I departed the hotel the next morning, we met with the hotel manager and other members of staff. The hotel manager stated to us that there were issues surrounding the hotel security that he had been personally trying to resolve for some time, and he invited my friend to liaise with him in order to process a claim for compensation for the stolen items which he duly produced receipts for. After tagging my friend along for months, this manager then made a complete about-face, denied all responsibility, and refused to accept any liability at all! This was a disgusting way to behave.
THIRD BETRAYAL. We then sought assistance from the European Consumer Centre (E.C.C.) who attempted to reasonably negotiate with the hotel in order to reach a settlement. Whereupon, a lawyer speaking on behalf of the hotel had the audacity to tell the E.C.C. that she hoped that my friend had not staged the theft, and proceeded to falsely accuse him of having left the guest room door open! She made her false and defamatory statements about my friend despite the fact that:-
(1) leaving the door ajar was a physical impossibility because the door is fitted with a heavy, assisted door closing mechanism,
(2) if a door malfunctions, it is a failure on the part of the hotel not the guest and would render the door non-compliant with E.U. law,
(3) the hotel was well aware that there had been at least FIVE (5) thefts at the hotel that same evening,
(4) the hotel manager and the security manager had actually shown my friend and I CCTV stills (i.e. photos) of two men in the hotel whom they said were the thieves in question! But somehow it was the guests' fault? Go figure
Given their duty to uphold proper standards, and not diminish them, my friend and I are left wondering why a lawyer who works at the Koniglijke Horeca Nederland would see fit to make outrageously false and defamatory statements about a hotel guest who is a victim of serious hotel crime to the E.C.C.. Was she saying that everyone including the Police were making up stories, or just my friend? (Please note, dear reader, that I was a witness to everything that happened here.) Needless to say, the lawyer declined to respond to the sworn Affidavit that my friend subsequently prepared in response to her misinformation and disgraceful untruths!
A few days ago, I came across yet another very recent review from a different guest victim whose Porsche car was vandalised whilst parked in the Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam Rembrandtpark carpark. That victim's review can be viewed here:
Given the disgracefully false accusations that the hotel's lawyer made against my friend to the authorities, which I understand may even be a criminal offence on the part of the lawyer and/or her client, I cannot help but wonder whether the hotel management or their lawyer has proceeded to blame this guest victim for the damage done to her Porsche, in an attempt to reject her claim, like they did my friend's?
The Fattal organisation website attributes its success to "a strong determination to ensure that guests leave with an enduring feeling of satisfaction and good value". After decades of staying at hotels of varying standards all around the globe, my friend and I must conclude that in our respective experience the Leonardo Hotel Rembrandtpark Amsterdam is the worst hotel that either of us have ever come across. In our experience, the safety of paying guests and their belongings were never a priority for the management who clearly demonstrated that despite being well aware that the level of security was a shambles, they had done nothing to rectify it. They make no secret of the fact that they care far more about the success of their swanky rooftop bar and restaurant on the 17th floor, than their paying guests. In our opinion, this is NOT a safe place to stay, and that has been proven by our experience. Neither of us are interested in a groveling and disingenuous response from the hotel on this site, from staff who know exactly what happened that night. Only full compensation will now do.
As a postscript, we were also particularly disturbed to learn that Booking.com is continuing to accept payment from the Leonardo Hotel Rembrandtpark Amsterdam in exchange for promoting it on their website as a "Preferred Partner property" and "* One of our top picks in Amsterdam", which it should be noted are a completely useless benchmark for prospective guests. I also find it astonishing that the likes of TripAdvisor are not willing to allow my friend to post the full facts on their website, or even refer in his review to the other negative TripAdvisor reviews of other people who have also experienced serious attempted and actual thefts and burglary at this hotel. As if they were intent on compartmentalising the truth, which may well leave the reader with the wrong impression.
Whatever you do, please make sure you are not misled into staying at the Leonardo Hotel Rembrandtpark Amsterdam.