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Room broken into reimbursement

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New York
Level Contributor
54 posts
19 reviews
Room broken into reimbursement

We returned a few weeks ago from punts UVA. Our room was broken into and our luggage was stolen including passports, phones credit cards, and license. There was no safe in the room. This caused us to have to end our trip 4 days early hire a private drive to escort us to court house and then to embassy in San Jose. The hotel cabin as place we stayed did not charge us for our stay, but did not offer to reimburse anything else. My father now says we should have asked for cost to be covered. How is this handled in puerto viejo. Would it be too late now? I had been posting before we left for our trip. We had a really great 3 days, but it wasn't enough.....

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
7,751 posts
24 reviews
1. Re: Room broken into reimbursement

I am sorry to hear about this unfortunate incident. You certainly could have asked but the reality is that the owner of the hotel is not responsible for your possessions and was kind to waive the 3 night charges for your stay.

Unfortunately we need to spread the word that a locked hotel room or cabin is not secure and you should never leave your passports, credit cards or license there. They should either be in a locked safe or on you. Most hotels that do not have individual safes in the room have a safe in their office and will store valuables in the safe for you. This is a pain at times but not nearly as bad as losing your valuables. It is sad but true that thefts from a hotel can easily destroy a vacation.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
45,028 posts
30 reviews
2. Re: Room broken into reimbursement

Agree I think is to late...most hotel owners do not give anything back most of the time...so sorry !!


Puerto Viejo, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Level Contributor
1,608 posts
44 reviews
3. Re: Room broken into reimbursement

It is really importan that people booking in hotels and especially vacation rentals that they always inquire about security. As far as I am concerned, there is no excuse for a hotel not to have proper safes in the rooms.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
45,028 posts
30 reviews
4. Re: Room broken into reimbursement

I have no idea how a hotel or a cheap B and B can guarantee any safety box that are 100 per cent safe...now days some smart thieves around...maybe better to ask if the place you are staying offer any insurance in case any tbing is taking from your room...


Puerto Jimenez...
Level Contributor
354 posts
3 reviews
5. Re: Room broken into reimbursement

I have had clients travel with a wire mesh bag that is called a pac-safe. They attach the bag to a solid piece of furniture and secure it with a pad lock. Of course, if the thief has wire cutters, there is no hope, but otherwise, it appears to be too difficult to bother with.

san diego
Level Contributor
58 posts
28 reviews
6. Re: Room broken into reimbursement

This concerns me greatly. Heading to costa rica for the first time in january. Aside from pac-safe. I'd like to carry my passport, credit cards, id, etc on me at all times. Do any of you have any recommendations on a waterproof case that can be used during all costa rica activities including surfing, hiking corcorvado, etc.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
Level Contributor
7,568 posts
43 reviews
7. Re: Room broken into reimbursement

I think your best bet Jonathan is to carry a photocopy of your passport, and ask the hotel to keep the original in the hotel front office safe. Every hotel has one and they should be happy to oblige.

I also notice you use the words "cards" IMO you do not need to bring more than one credit card here. I would pick the one you are going to use and leave the rest of the plastic at home.

You can get a small laminated copy of your passport at places here called a Libreria, they will shrink it to license size, laminate it, and you are good to go. Cost is about $2 to do this.


Level Contributor
541 posts
1 review
8. Re: Room broken into reimbursement

hi, Incabod

when you say the small laminated copy of your passport 'Libreria' , where can I find the shop to do it? Is there one at the airport?

Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
Level Contributor
3,955 posts
129 reviews
9. Re: Room broken into reimbursement

email a copy of your passport to yourself. Then all you have to do is find a computer with internet and a printer to get a copy of your passport anywhere in the world.

Edited: 2:52 pm, December 03, 2012
Cahuita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Cahuita
Level Contributor
2,559 posts
20 reviews
10. Re: Room broken into reimbursement

Remember that you should also have a copy of your entry stamp into the country if you are out and about without your passport. As others have pointed out, it is normal for hotel rooms to offer a safe or at the very least, the use of their safe for valuables. Again, you should check security when booking into your room - is the lock on the door secure? Are the windows secure? Are the rooms accessible from the outside or only through the reception? I'm so sorry to hear that you had this experience gabid, but happy to hear that you were not in your room at the time. Do include a fair review of the place you stayed to advise others, please.