I am an International Aid worker who was unfortunate enough to be moved to this hotel at the last minute because of electricity issues at the place I was originally booked into. I arrived at the hotel at 7:30pm and had an 8pm meeting in the hotel's restaurant. After being told by the receptionist that they did not have anywhere for me to safeguard my valuables, I went upstairs to my room, took a quick shower (which flooded half the room) and rushed backed downstairs to the restaurant. Before leaving my laptop, camera, etc. in the room (after all I wasn't leaving the premises and there was a guy with an AK manning the security gate; only way in or out), I checked the deadbolts on the doors and they were sturdy so I felt fairly sure I'd be okay. An hour later, I came back up to the room to find the door wide open and my room cleaned out; all my equipment, etc. had been stolen. No sign of forced entry. The thief had a key to the room. My assessment of the locks had been good because after seeing what they got from my room, the thieves tried to break into my travelling companion's room with a crow bar and were unable to. When I ran downstairs and told the receptionist I'd been robbed, she barely acknowledged me; didn't even get up. I don't need to go into the rest of the details of that night but anyone thinking of staying in this hotel needs to be aware of what happened next. Under Uganda law, the hotel is liable 100% when a theft like this occurs when a staff member is involved which obviously was the case here as the they had a key and someone downstairs telling him how long he had to go through all the bags in my room. Not to mention the fact the thief had been able to check into the hotel without adequate ID. Armed with an official police report, and the knowledge that they were pretty sure the receptionist had been involved, I contacted the hotel about making a claim. In response, I was sent a laughable line of BS from the owner about how he had done everything he was legally obliged to do and that I was out of luck. Then, literally the next day, I was notified by the police that they were unable to determine which staff member had been the inside man and therefore, they were dropping the case. An arrest is the first criteria that must be met for a claim against the hotel. To put it into perspective, we had to go and pick up the detective on the night of the robbery because the local police don't have cars of their own. In retrospect, I was dreaming to think a low level public servant would go up against - or not be easily influenced by - a prominent local businessman. Additionally, aside from being robbed by the staff, the hotel itself wasn't even close to being as good as the place we moved to after the robbery (ironically, where we were originally booked) - the Lillian Towers. By comparison the food was worse, the beds were worse, the staff weren't as friendly, etc., etc. Funnily, when pulling up to the MP, we were joking about how it looked like something out of Hotel Transylvania with its high walls and razor wire. If only we'd known what a horror story it would actually turn out to be.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Response from omaraogwang, Public Relations Manager at Margaritha Palace Hotel
Responded Dec. 12, 2013
Thanks for taking your time to express your feelings. As management, We also do apologize for the unfortunate incident that befell your stay at the hotel. As you may agree, there has never been such an incident at the hotel. It is unfortunate that your review expresses more of a heartfelt hunger than reflect actual standard of the hotel. However, as an informed and traveled person of your caliber, you will acknowledge that thieves exist almost everywhere and may not exclusively have to discredit everyone and every service offered. In response for better security, we have come up with more security measures, including deploying personnels in every floor and balcony, and guarantee that no such an incident will occur again. Otherwise, thanks for your visit, but be assured of better protection next time.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC