What You Can / Can’t Take from Hotels
It happens to the best of us. You could be a well-respected doctor, a pre-school teacher, or a travel blogger with a penchant for tiny toiletries. We are all normal, civilised people until we are let loose on an unsuspecting hotel room.
If you’ve ever trundled away from checkout with a swollen suitcase of hotel mementos under the eye of judgement from the concierge, you’re not alone. But a word to the wise for all you kleptomaniac travellers, sticky-fingered tourists and cheapskate holiday-makers: there are certain limits to be mindful of when it comes to commandeering “souvenirs” from your suite.
In the Good Book according to Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe and Joey, Saint Geller urges us all to find the line between stealing and taking what the hotel owes you: “Hairdryer, no no no. Shampoos and conditioners? Yes yes yes.” Hotels do want you to take their branded goods and flash their name to your friends but if you’re concerned that pilfered pen could land you in the slammer, this should clear up those nagging questions about what you can/can't take from hotels, keeping you on the straight and narrow.
TAKE IT: Toiletries
The powder room is the jackpot for complimentary goods. If it can’t be (hygienically) reused by the next guest, it’s fair game. Go nuts with hair care, lotion, soap, scrubs, combs, caps and even slippers. Who doesn’t need a dozen 10ml bottles of lavender-scented sanitiser? These pint-sized products are practically designed to be irresistible – plus they make you feel like a giant when you hold them. Just like those scaled down bottles of booze in the mini-bar which, by the way, are certainly not free. If you need to be told that, you should probably not be drinking anyway or you have already drunk too much (see below).
LEAVE IT: Linen and towels
If you think booking an expensive nap in a building full of bedrooms entitles you to plunder and pillage, we will be your moral compass. Towel-lifting is a plague on our society and needs to be abolished immediately. Other things on the no-go list include: towels, pillows, pillowcases, robes, fancy coat hangers and decorative furnishings. So frequently are the 700 thread-count sheets and plush bathrobes burglarised that a lot of hotels actually sell them on site or online. If you do exit the premises with an unwarranted item and the hotel has your credit card on file, expect to be charged. Hotels are people too, you know.
TAKE IT: Stationery
The allure of the freebie is just too much for some and they get carried away, blurring the boundaries of right and wrong. Why do you think hotels cable-tie all of the electrical items? Because of deviants who filch so many “freebies” they end up paying excess baggage fees at the airport. That’s called karma, my friends. Pens and notepads, however, are a-okay. We all fight the losing battle of pens that don’t work or disappear into the vacuousness of space along with bobby pins and Blu Tack. If you want to write your lover a letter on the hotel stationery, have at it you light-fingered lothario!
LEAVE IT: Anything that plugs in
The most bizarre items taken from hotels include a grand piano, the hotel owner’s pet dog and the room numbers off the door. If it doesn’t fit in your suitcase or you require tools to remove it, let it be. Apparently light bulbs are one of the most commonly lifted items from hotel rooms, but I have to wonder how someone can afford to stay at a hotel if they can’t find the funds for a light bulb. Please don’t put the most breakable item known to man in your luggage, unless you like your clothing bedazzled with shards of glass. Just don’t do it, promise?