Hotel rooms are full of swag that can be tempting to carry home. In 2019, an Indian family was caught leaving a hotel with accessories. A viral video of hotel staff going through their bags revealed they had carried mirrors, soap dispensers, towels, hair dryers, and toiletries. After they checked out, the hotel found most items missing from their room. It’s best to know what not to take to avoid such embarrassment.
What can you take from a room?
The best rule to follow is to stick to complimentary items. Different countries offer various items. But there are things you can actually take from a hotel with no issues.
1. Soap and other toiletries
One guest can only use soap. It’s the safest option to carry. Other hotels offer small lotions, moisturisers, shampoo, and conditioners. The establishments also get these from deals with manufacturers. The soaps in travel-size bottles make great publicity and word-of-mouth marketing.
2. Sewing kits
Some establishments place sewing kits and shoeshine equipment. The kits are also always travel-size for convenience and help guests look their best and avoid mishaps. If you’re uncertain whether you should take any items, consult the front desk. Some hotels are friendly enough to provide you with some free swag you can take.
Some hotels offer complimentary fruits in the fruit basket. These are free to take and are a gift from the hotel. They’re also cost-effective, easy, and great for creating a rapport with guests.
4. Minibar and Fridge
You can often find a minibar and fridge in your room where guests can have miniature drinks and snacks. In some establishments, snacks are already factored into the cost of the room. However, for most, these items are for guests to consume but carry an extra charge.
In addition, the management usually has a scanner against the bar that adds the charges to your room. Others usually take inventory during housekeeping, and the staff adds what you consumed to your final bill to be cleared when you check out. However, these items are very expensive, and it’s better to avoid them and purchase your alcohol from a restaurant or shop. Your best bet is not to take anything from the minibar if you don’t want to pay for it.
5. Complimentary items
The room can offer water, pens, notepads, sugar packets, salt sachets, or teabags that are free to take. They’re usually packaged in bulk, and the establishment expects guests to consume them in bulk. They also help market the hotel.
What you can’t take from a hotel room
You cannot keep the spoons, plates, cups, or other utensils when food is served in your room. It’s bad hotel etiquette to take items that will be used to serve other guests. There’s also the consideration that some hotels inspect rooms, and the staff may be culpable when inventory finds items missing. Additionally, buying one from the hotel gift shop would be better if you really want a souvenir.
The room can have a TV, fan, iron box, tablet, landline, or hairdryer. They’re extremely useful but expensive. Hotels often put disclaimers on the valuable items in the room. They’ll be charged to your account if they’re found missing or damaged. Don’t take the bulbs or batteries from a remote.
3. Bathroom slippers and bathrobes
Most hotels provide slippers and bathrobes for guests. Cheap disposable slippers can be taken because they’re thrown away after use. However, the more valuable bath items are charged to the hotel room. If it’s embroidered with your name, you’re allowed to have those. However, if they aren’t personalised, ensure you leave them in the hotel room.
Sheets, towels, and other linens aren’t for guests to take home. They are meant for other people. Taking linens can inconvenience staff when preparing hotel rooms for more visitors. However, some hotels place tracking tags on their towels. You also shouldn’t take hangers and garment bags. If you give your clothes to the hotel for dry cleaning or laundry, ensure you leave garment bags and hangers behind.
You also shouldn’t take ashtrays. In addition, a couple in Japan was once arrested for taking bathrobes and ashtrays. The room could also have surveillance cameras.
Some rooms come with popular paperbacks for guests to enjoy. You can’t take them with you because they’re also meant for other guests to enjoy. If found, the hotel can charge you the full retail price of the book, even if it’s a used copy.
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