We stopped at the Beijing International Hotel (the 5-star one near the Beijing Railway Station) trying to organise some train tickets (but more on that later in a separate blog I think).
The travel place was closed so we thought we would partake of the buffet lunch. In we went, we sat, ordered drinks and when they came, got up and went to the salad bar. About 20 minutes later we noticed that one of the bags we had was missing – the one with the video camera and a digital still camera in it.
Yep – stolen. Now this is a 5-star hotel with what appears to be security cameras and all. According to some security staff, the cameras are not connected. According to other staff, the camera showed a couple of “gentlemen of Middle Eastern appearance” moving past the table and maybe taking the bag.
What can I say? There were about 2 staff to each customer at that time in the hotel restaurant. No one saw anything. The hotel noted that this happened in the public area of the hotel and therefore they did not have any liability for the security of their lunch guests.
So, only thing I can say is “don’t stay at the Beijing International Hotel”. It is not safe. If you are not safe in the public areas of the Beijing International Hotel, then you are not safe in their rooms or in other areas of the hotel.
And as for the “gentlemen of Middle Eastern appearance” – well, this may be true or it may not be true. Perhaps “gentlemen of Middle Eastern appearance” is a convenient way for the Chinese to say it is not their fault. I can only think, though, that the Beijing International Hotel probably would like to deflect suspicion away from their staff, after all, they do not have any responsibility or liability for their guests safety.