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Ah, the halcyon days of travel…I remember them like they were just last month! We could go wherever we wanted, and you could actually “travel” to other “countries” and see the “historical sites”. Sometimes we would stay in these strange buildings called “hotels.”


Anyway, I saw this article about “The items most often stolen from hotels” a couple of months ago and filed it as something that might make for an interesting blog post. I know that right now nobody is really going anywhere or staying at hotels, but I thought it might still be interesting to take a look at. That is, if you can remember way back when to what hotels actually are like.

The items most stolen from hotels

The data for this report comes from Wellness Heaven, which asked 1,157 hoteliers which items are most commonly stolen. Here was their report

Towels and bathrobes seem reasonable. I mean reasonable in the sense that I can understand that people steal them, not that *I* steal them or think that it’s reasonable or correct to steal them. Some of these just seem over the top though – MATTRESSES? TV SETS?!? Who goes into a hotel and thinks that’s okay. Not to mention the ick factor of trying to steal mattresses, blankets or pillows.

Like I said, some of these things I would have thought would be obvious candidates for theft, even if I’ve never taken one myself. I’m reminded of a long-ago stay in a Rodeway Inn in Page Arizona where they obviously had had problems with theft

Even though that trip was years ago, I still find it hilarious a) that people would actually steal things like alarm clocks and b) that the hotel chose to frame their message not as “hey stop stealing our stuff!” and “oh due to the POPULARITY of our guest room amenities, we’ll assume if they are missing that you MEANT to purchase them” 😀

But other things on the list I would have never even THOUGHT of stealing. BATTERIES?!?! 22% of hotels report that the guests take the batteries from things like the alarm clocks and TV remotes? Or the bulbs out of light fixtures? That never once in my life even occurred to me to THINK about taking! And how bold are you to just walk out of your room with the entire TV SET! These are wild times.

Strange items that people have stolen

Some of the strangest things that hotels reported having had stolen, again according to the study:

  • The grand piano from the hotel lobby
  • The entire stereo system from the hotel’s spa area
  • Wooden sauna benches
  • A stuffed boar’s head (guest was caught in the attempt)
  • The numbers off the hotel door

Some people just have too much creativity and time on their hands…

What I “steal” from hotels

On the list, the only things that I have “stolen” from hotels are pens and single-use toiletries. I used to take the toiletries like soap/shampoo/conditioner to use as travel toiletries. I stopped doing that a while ago because it just got to be more hassle and storage than I felt like dealing with. My son actually collects hotel pens, so every hotel I go to, I take the pens that are in the room. I don’t view that as “stealing” – to me, those are intended to be taken by guests. One time my son and I even drove around to local hotels and just asked at the front desk for pens to add to his collection – every hotel that had them gave us a pen.

(SEE ALSO: Do you take hotel toiletries, pens, and other amenities?)

One item I did not see on the list was the hotel key cards. I had a friend who used to collect hotel key cards as a souvenir of his hotel journeys. When he and I stayed at the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed at, he tried to take the hotel key. But when we went to checkout, the front desk attendant asked for his hotel key back and was planning on charging him if he didn’t return it.

What about you?

I’m definitely interested to hear from you about what items that you take from hotels and what your take is on this survey – leave your reply in the comments!

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