This is What You Can (and Can’t!) Steal from Your Hotel Room


    Like stories, a vacation has a beginning and an end too. You can’t stay on vacation forever unless you are filthy rich. However, you can definitely bring something with you, maybe a little souvenir that would make you smile and remind you of how beautiful your vacation was.

    For most of us, this could be something like a piece of jewelry that we can wear, a beautiful painting or even a travel destination map that we can hang in our guest room, a mug, or very simply a small trinket.

    Well, once you get into the gift shop, you will have plenty of choices. But this is not the case for everyone out there! Those who are often tempted to effortlessly steal a little something should read this to the end.

    Click on “Next Page” to know what you can and
    can’t steal from your hotel room

    1© The W Austin

    While some people buy a little memento to take back home, other rebellious travelers choose to stay budget-savvy and steal souvenirs from their hotel room.

    David Elton who is a partner of Home Grown Hotels in the U.K said that there are some people who steal anything and everything they can, from those little bottles of shampoo and conditioners to those soft white bathrobes and comfy slippers, bed covers, and almost everything in the room.

    According to Travel+Leisure, hoteliers don’t really mind if you take those tiny bottles of toiletries or even that occasional coffee mug or pen with you as a souvenir. They have actually put it there on purpose and are counting on you to take it.

    Using it, later on, would make you think of the good time you spent and the good service you received at their hotel. Therefore, influence you in an indirect manner to comeback.

    On the other hand, there are certain things that you shouldn’t dare steal from a hotel room.
    Read more on the next page.


    2© Art Hotel, Praha

    What many people fail to understand is that certain items cannot be taken, such as electronics, bed sheets, artwork, and even pillows and the list is long. Stealing these things is considered a crime. It’s true that you don’t get arrested for that because the hotel is unlikely to make a report against you, otherwise, the police would have received the allegation and followed you up.

    It’s true that you will not be arrested but this doesn’t mean you won’t be punished. Hotels will charge you for the item you have stolen. Some will even put you on a “no stay” list. Therefore, you will be prohibited from booking a room there again in the future.

    Even worse, some hotels will record your name in a computer database system and share it with other hotels. So, it’s gonna be very hard for you to book a hotel once you become a famous «sticky-fingered client».

    Moreover, you won’t imagine the amount of money those little thefts can cost a hotel!
    Learn more on the last page.


    3© Hotel Magazine

    Hotels are taking such procedures in order to protect themselves from the loss you can possibly cause them. It’s not just you but many out there are thinking a small theft won’t harm.

    Guess what, the American Hotel & Lodging Association says that the items that were stolen can cost the hotels an estimated amount of money that reaches $100 million per year.

    Next time your hands start itching you, resist the urge and be grateful for the tiny bottles of shampoo you can take with you!

    And of course, always remember that «Just because you can take it, it doesn’t mean you should.»

    John W. Roper
    John W. Roper is an experienced photographer, traveler, and writer with an immense desire to bring the fun and expertise to you from all the places he visits and travel troubles he experiences. John tells stories of adventures you'd like to have or that are totally worth having. He seeks to excite, educate, and above all, inspire you to “go out there and start living,” as he says.


    1. Taking the hotel provided toiletries (shampoo, body wash, used bar soaps, lotion) is NOT “stealing” as you have MORE than paid for those products with your $$$ that you are putting down for a bed to sleep in. If one is to believe what one reads, those sheets may not be clean, the glasses may have been wiped down with the same rag used to clean the toilet and there is no doubt that you had better check the bed for evidence of bedbugs and NEVER put your suitcase on the bed or the floor no matter how swanky a place you are staying in!

    2. Consider the soap shampoo thing, are they going to leave the opened ones there for the next room users? Like returning food, there must be logical rules for that, and taking them with you, only eliminates waste in their dumpster. Leave the comforter and pillows, they’ll miss those. Same with the TV, mattress and ironing board.

    3. OK, MOST hotels only accept Debit or Credit Cards…that means they can STILL charge you After your visit for things “Gone Lost” in your room…NOT a good Idea to Steal anyway.

    4. Seldom see a coffee mug; these days a paper cup is more often in your hotel room.
      And of course I take the pen–those are “promotional items”–and the two or three sheets of note paper they leave with it. (I return one sheet with a “thank you” note I leave with the tip for the maids.)

    5. I would not use those hotel slippers if they were worn by the last or how many zillion guest. Let alone take them home. fungus galore. It is true that soap and coffee is for your use and if you take them, why would they care. Most of those things are calculated in the price of the room. Why would they say they lose money. Who would really want dirty sheets anyway. Stealing the cheap hotel electronics is just dumb. They will charge you 3x the price for it. That is why they take your credit card number down. I have not seen a nice mug in hotel rooms. I rather use the plastic cups. Reusable items in hotels are just germ central.

    6. I don’t know who is stupid enough to steal paintings, but while passing the housekeeping carts, once the maid goes in to a room that isn’t yours, that’s the best time to take towels and whatever is on the cart. Be sure to scope out for cameras but as long as they aren’t at your room, how can they account for the stuff you take when theyre in room 315 and you’re staying in 224? Sooo many soaps.

    7. I am 71 years old and have worked as a Bell Person for over 11 years! I work for a reliable coastal Casino/hotel! But, it seems that it almost impossible to stop the theft of “TIPS” if criminal supervisors are in operation! Thus, hotel room cleaning supervisors seem to rush into vacated rooms! While that is a good reason to quickly inspect a vacated room, it also sets up a chance to take some or all of any tip that the guest left for the cleaning crew!
      As a Bell Person I am sometimes left with maid service tips with only me in the room! While I have a lot of reasons not to pick up this easy money, I can only believe that others in my place may well be left to their own discretion and pick the money up! WOW! In any place where people who decided to work for under the minimum wage, as I do, TIPS are our goodies! I have worked for the last eleven years for $6.50 per hour!!!
      Room maids make at least the minimum wage as do others in the room cleaning work force.
      I will promote the idea that ‘TIPS” for cleaning personnel be placed into specific boxes so the TIPS will hopefully be distributed amongst all of the room cleaning staff! It should not be GOD’S good will that one or more guests might well leave a $100.00 TIP and another (most common) nothing!!!!!
      Remember! Money is the KING!
      Regards, RON

    8. I usually do take the shampoos and conditioners, or creams, but I do believe I have paid for those in the tariff.

      thank you,



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