Home Hotels What You Can (And Can’t) Take From Hotel Rooms

What You Can (And Can’t) Take From Hotel Rooms

by SharonKurheg

A while back I wrote a piece about the wrong way to steal the salt and pepper shakers from Virgin Atlantic. Most people took it with the humor that it was intended, but a few people on Facebook admonished me for stealing. Considering the topic and what’s printed on the bottom of the shakers, I suspect they never actually read the post LOL!

That got me to thinking about what things are and aren’t OK to take (not steal!) while you’re traveling. Especially while you’re in hotels, since there’s so much….stuff! Of course, there’s a difference between things hotel management expects to be taken (they’re OK with that happening) and the things that are outright stolen. Stealing is wrong.

Wellness Heaven, a Germany-based luxury and spa hotel guide, surveyed 1,157 hoteliers to find out what their guests stole, who (in terms of nationality) stole what, the most bizarre stolen goods, and the theft preferences of those in 4 star vs. 5 star hotels. Here’s what they found out.

But even on their list, there are some things that should never be stolen, and others that it’s OK to take. So maybe let’s do a list:


Single size toiletries – If you use them and leave them, the the hotel is just going to throw them out (or at least donate them to a place like this). So until single sized toiletries are abolished from everywhere, yeah, they’re fine to take (but if you leave them there, unused, that’s fine, too).
Toilet paper/tissues – What you don’t use will get used by the next guest. Don’t steal them!
Towels – Nope. Don’t take them. Those are specifically purchased by the hotel for them to be used and re-used. Even when they’re worn out, the hotel has specific uses for them. Oh, and by the way, lots of hotels use tracking devices on their towels nowadays. So heads up.


Coffee/Tea/Creamer/Sweetener/etc. – Like single sized toiletries, it’s assumed you’re going to use them, so it’s OK to take them. But if you leave them, that’s fine too. The same goes for dry cleaning bags, by the way.
Cups, plates, cutlery, kitchen gadgets, etc. – Rule of thumb is if it’s disposable, have at it. If it’s not, don’t.
Robes – Some higher end (and occasional mid-range) hotels have robes for your use during your stay. Like towels, once used, they’re cleaned and re-used. So don’t steal them! (those robes aren’t cheap. Some places even have a sign in the room that lets you know how much you’ll be charged if you take one. Others put tracking devices (like these) on them. Many hotels also offer the same type of robe in the gift shop, if you like them so much that you’d like to purchase one)
Slippers – Like the aforementioned robes, some higher end hotels give you slippers. They can’t be adequately sanitized for the next guest, so if you use them, they’re intended to be yours to keep.
Pens/Pencils/Paper/Postcards – Do places really have postcards anymore??? Anyway, all of these usually have the name of the hotel on them. Marketing items like these are free for the taking.

People Really Steal This Stuff Too. Don’t.

There are some things that I can’t believe people try to steal but yeah, they do. Just…don’t.

Electronics – Hotels nowadays can have all sorts of electronics. iPads, nightstand clocks, TVs (although there are usually bolted into place anyway), etc. These are not yours to steal! And the same goes for the batteries in the remote controls!

Wall art & other decorative features – Like televisions, these are oftentimes bolted into place anyway.

Shower curtains – I can’t understand why someone would even take these. Heaven knows what’s on them. Ew.

Hair dryer – Nope. Not yours to take.

Lamps – What is wrong with people? (the same goes for light bulbs, by the way)

Parts of the bed – Mattresses, pillows, blankets, etc. – Again, can you IMAGINE what’s on them? GROSS! And yeah, the same goes for chairs, tables, etc.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

derek February 19, 2022 - 11:58 pm

It is ok to take toilet paper. It is cheap to do so, though.


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