Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Safe cracking at Nirwana Gardens Resort

2 August - 3rd August 2008.

My store had been undergoing renovations for the past 3 weeks. I have not had a break for the past 14 days. So it was a godsend when I was given the weekend off to 'recharge my batteries'. "Go take the weekend off and come back fresh and ready for the grand opening of the store" .

So where do you go on a weekend break? The spa resort at Bintan!
And it so happens Pricebreakers had a special running for Bintan Resorts at $118.

Angsana Spa Resort? Sorry, fully booked for the weekend.
Banyan Tree Spa Resort? Sorry , no room available.
The neighbouring Nirwana Gardens Resort? Sorry, fully booked for the next 2 weekends. Urgghh. There goes my weekend spa!

So I did my own searching on the Net and what did I find out?
Angsana was full, Banyan Tree was full, but Nirwana Gardens had rooms!
So I took the chance and booked a Deluxe (meaning 'sea-facing') room at $185.

In travel terminology, you gotta be careful with descriptions such as 'sea facing', 'near the beach', 'deluxe', etc. They literally mean what they write and not what you assume it is.
For example, my room was about 100m from the seafront. Yes, it's facing the direction of the sea but there's about 100 metres of development in between, which they conveniently forget to mention in the brochures.

But the good part was that I got upgraded to a Suite!
What better way to chill out. Sitting on your own balcony with your cold beers instead of being cramped in a 'deluxe' room.

This was the sea facing suite that i was upgraded to.
The sea is somewhere behind the trees.
(click on the pictures for a larger view)

Relaxing meant the spa treatments. Though Nirwana Resort had an in-house spa, it was the trusted Angsana Spa and Banyan Tree Spa that I went to.

The spa treatments really deserve a writeup of its own but now I just gotta tell you about the safe cracking incident at Nirwana Resort which i witnessed and actually captured on film!
The audacity of the Resort staff taking a safe from the guest's room and cracking it open to get at the contents!

Ok ok, so it was the safe from my own suite and wasn't an Ocean's Eleven heist haha.
Typical of Murphy's Law, I had tried out the safe a few times opening and locking it to make sure it works. Once assured that I got the combination right, I placed my mobile phone, wallet and passports into the safe and, voila, the safe wont open again!

The front desk sent the night manager who tried his earnest to unlock the safe using their special electronic unlocking tool. Three times it failed causing the safe to go into a security countdown mode which meant no one could do anything for next 30 minutes. So in all, wasted an hour and a half including 2 calls to their Singapore support office and still the safe won't open.

In desperation, the manager said that he would call engineering the next day to cut open the safe. The pictures above are of that safe cracking operation.

You won't believe how easy it was!
Took less than a minute to cut the weld in 2 places at the back and simply remove the back panel. Now I know how secure the room safes are! Next time put your stuff at the front desk security boxes, but I suspect it can be just as easily opened.

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