China: Catch 22 With Chinese Characteristics (Part Seven)

Shenzhen Travel Advisory

Can a stranded traveller whose passport has been stolen find refuge in a 5 star hotel when hotels are not supposed to accommodate guests without asking to see their passport? 

The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen, is a 5 star hotel in Shenzhen’s Futian District. It is across the street from a stylish shopping centre. It has comfortable rooms, great food and beverage outlets, a lovely swimming pool, and a sumptuous spa. 

I take the subway to Futian Station. The Ritz-Carlton is at Exit D. I walk into the beautiful lobby and ask to speak to the General Manager.

My heart sinks when I am told that it’s his day off. He is the only one the hotel that really knows me.

“I am the Duty Manager,” I am told. “Can I assist you?”

I take a deep breath and explain the situation. The Duty Manager checks the computer and finds my record. He calls the nearest police station and explains the situation.

The Duty Manager refers to me as a “VIP” in Mandarin. He eventually asks me to have something to drink in the Lobby Lounge while he handles the rep tape.

“This will take awhile,” he says. “Just try to relax. And try to pretend you are on vacation.”

While I’m enjoying an iced lemon tea, the General Manager walks in. He recognizes me, walks over to my table, and warmly greets me. I ask if he’d like to join me.

“Sorry, I can’t chat,” he says. “I’m on my way to an important meeting. How have you been?”

When I mention that my passport has be stolen, he sits down, and says, “I’ll give you 2 minutes. Tell me what happened and how we can help.”

I explain the situation. He says, “Don’t worry. I’ll speak to the Duty Manager. Rest assured. Everything will be all right.”

A few minutes later, the Duty Manager returns. He says that the police have authorized my stay. I am booked into a room for 3 nights and will have access to the Executive Lounge.

I have stayed at this hotel before, and I know that with access to the Executive Lounge I won’t go hungry – or thirsty!

There are 5 “food and beverage presentations” per day, from a buffet breakfast in the morning to a yummy lunch buffet to afternoon tea to pre-dinner cocktails to evening cordials and chocolates before bed time.

Of all of the 5 star hotels and resorts I have stayed at, the executive lounges at Ritz-Carlton hotels are among the most generous.

The Executive Lounge also has 2 computer terminals and – more importantly – staff that can offer me the logistical support I will need over the next couple of days.

Most importantly, they will offer me the emotional support I need as I figure out my next move.


The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen, 116 Futian San Road, Futian District, Shenzhen, China. Telephone: +86 755 2222-2222. For More Information: The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen.

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