What do you steal from hotels?

After spending the day at a spa (which will remain nameless) this weekend, and standing idly by while a friend (who will also remain nameless) tucked the hotel-branded white, fluffy towel into her bag as we left, I got thinking about how much stuff must get stolen from hotel rooms.

It reminded me of that Friends episode when they steal toilet roll, batteries and even plastic fruit from a hotel in Vermont.

As this Telegraph article so honestly expresses, many of us suddenly become thieves upon entering hotel rooms: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10223157/What-can-you-get-away-with-stealing-from-hotels.html

According to this, it turns out my friend is a “towel-lifter” and a criminal. What about you? What do you think we can get away with taking from hotels? Does a towel take things too far, or would you wander out with a grand piano without a look back?

Lottie Gross 09/09/13    General travel chat Link Report

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I’m a scouser, so everything i can of course! Checking in is permission to pilfer, plunder and engage in grand larceny of the most vociferous nature! Why would they have such large windows and balconies if they didn’t want guests to winch the four poster bed to their criminally minded accomplices in the streets below?

The prices some hotels charge surely entitle you to a few souvenirs? And what better way to remember your time there than nicking the toiletries and a towel or two? Haha!

Michael Huxley 09/09/13    Link Report

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  • I’m with the hotels here.

    Toiletries and the odd branded biro are fair game (they’re often intended for single use), but nicking towels seems like theft to me.

    I also don’t get why people take them. Mini shampoos and so on always come in handy for cabin-baggage only trips, but how many people actually use their hotel chain-monogrammed towels back home?

    Is it about the thrill of getting away with it?

    And it’s not just hotels that are suffering either: Jamie Oliver keeps loosing his loo handles. (Yes, really: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/9610364/Jamie-Oliver-stop-stealing-my-loo-handles.html)

    Eleanor Aldridge 10/09/13    Link Report

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    Ha ha good point. Taking towels does seem like a step too far.

    Tim Chester 10/09/13    Link Report

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    Haha, loving the stolen loo handles article!

    Have to say though, I don’t even bother taking mini shampoos etc now. I have a whole drawer full of mini toiletries at home that I’ve taken from hotel rooms over the years and never once have I used any of them. Unless I’m away on a long trip and might run out of shampoo or conditioner I don’t see the use of them.

    Lottie Gross 10/09/13    Link Report

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  • Joking aside, when I am on a long term trip I will occasionally stay at a nicer hotel for a few nights in between long periods of staying in budget accommodation, (usually after a long jungle trek or mountain hike or something) and I will always take the little bottles of shower gel etc, (hide all the stuff I don’t use so it gets replenished then repeat! ;D) especially if I am running low on it myself. I don’t really consider that stealing though to be honest because those items were supplied for my use with the cost of the room, so I’m essentially only taking things I’ve already paid for.

    I do always take the little pens though if I stay in a place that has them, because I write a hell of a lot when I am away (so they are always useful) and monogrammed pens is one of the little things I collect from places I visit around the world!

    I seriously have never taken a towel myself though, mostly because I travel light and those things would take up a fair bit of space and weight in my pack! Plus why would I want to keep a second hand towel (that’s essentially what they are!) But I hold no judgement on those that do. I wouldn’t really call it theft either. Maybe they just want a nice souvenir from that posh hotel they stayed at? Maybe they want to wheel it out when they have guests back home to say ‘look where we stayed!’ Hotels often see these things as semi disposable anyway as they have to be replaced relatively frequently (in larger more expensive places anyway). If someone walked out with the flat screen TV, fair enough that is theft, but the occasional towel or dressing gown? Nah.

    I really don’t think it’s about the ‘thrill of getting away with it’, I really think it is more about getting a nice souvenir from a nice place they have stayed and maybe to a much lesser extent feeling that they are entitled because they want value for money from the huge bill they have just paid? I’m just guessing.

    Michael Huxley 10/09/13    Link Report

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