Going on a luxurious vacation where your every whim is tended to can feel like you’ve hit the jackpot, as some hotels go above and beyond the call of duty to make their guests feel at home.
But that level of hospitality has led to some problems, most recently, when a family of tourists staying at a villa in Bali felt it was their right to leave their hotel room with several pricey items they didn’t come with.
Though police were called, the family returned the items and charges weren’t filed. But it has raised questions about what guests can and cannot rightfully take from a hotel room after their stay.
Most people like to keep a memento of a vacation — even if it is just a hotel branded shower cap. As a golden rule, it’s best to call the front desk and ask if you are able to take an item with you before you check out. This helps to avoid conflict.
Hotel etiquette can be a little fuzzy especially in regards to what you can take with you after your stay.
Guests who are caught stealing items—and yes, it would be stealing—can be blacklisted or banned by the hotel chain, charged extra fees, or in the worst case scenario—be prosecuted.
To avoid experiencing your own ‘what can I take?’ snafu, here are all the things that are off-limits and some you are free to pack in your luggage.
Higher end hotels don’t mind if you take mini toiletries because they are likely to be branded with their logo, which is free marketing for them
What can you take from the hotel room?
It’s probably safe to assume that any product you’ve used up is okay to take with you. No one is going to chase you down for leaving with a half used sample bottle of shampoo. In addition to that, you can take any other soaps or lotions that were in your room’s bathroom. Higher end hotels don’t mind if you take these goods because they are likely to be branded with their logo, which is free marketing for them.
Pens and Notepads
You are also free to take any marketing knick-knacks that are probably laid out on your room’s nightstand or desk. That could be a set of pens or pencils that came in handy during your stay or even a notepad. These items are good to go.
Sugar packets, coffee creamers, and other items to compliment a meal
Hotels understand that travelers may eat or drink in their rooms and that they may need extra items—especially if they’re traveling on business. They expect you to use the small packets that are available. Some hotels may even throw in a few extras such as a bottle of wine or chocolates if you had an issue checking in. These items are yours for the taking if you don’t consume during your stay.
Unlike robes (see below), most hotels provide cheap but comfortable slippers to walk around your hotel room in or to slip on after getting out of the shower. Like the lotions, these are usually branded so are a good marketing tool or can serve as a reminder of your stay there and incentivize you to come again.
Those plush sheets and towels come at an expensive cost for the hotel as they are responsible for preparing a fresh set for each new visitor
What can’t you take from a hotel room?
Hotel robes are so soft and cozy and you may feel inclined to put the one you used in your bag, but that would be stealing. Unfortunately, robes are very off-limits. Many hotels use a signature brand for their robes and they usually sell them on a website or can provide you with the information of the retailer.
You didn’t come to the hotel to go home shopping, so leave the furniture in its place. Some people have taken art off the walls, lamps, ottomans, curtains, and other items and it has landed them in trouble. The furniture should stay in the room.
Anything that’s battery or cord operated is usually a no-no. You should avoid packing up the hotel room’s clock, coffee maker, hairdryers, irons, microwave, TV remote, and the TV. These are expensive items that they’ve invested in and they will surely recoup their losses through a charge on your credit card. If you can plug it in, leave it behind.
Glassware and cutlery
It’s wise to leave anything you eat or drink with that isn’t disposable. These items come at an expensive cost to the hotel. It may be tempting to take them along, but they will find a way to charge you if they don’t see them in the room after you leave.
Sheets and towels
Those plush sheets and towels come at an expensive cost for the hotel as they are responsible for preparing a fresh set for each new visitor. These can’t leave the room or you will be charged for them if they find out. You also don’t want to take any pillows.
You will be shocked to learn that many people believe bibles are a kind gesture from the hotel and free to take. The bedside bible is supposed to remain put for all the guests who seek a dose of spirituality during their trip. Some hotels have combated the sticky fingers of their bible lovers by providing e-Readers with the scriptures on them, but even those items shouldn’t be taken from the room.