Sticky fingers: Okay to nick items from hotel rooms?

This week our members discuss a common topic of debate – hotel room theft. Obviously you wouldn’t steal a TV or bed from a hotel room, but what about the little things like soap, shampoo and towels?

While our members’ opinions somewhat divided on where the line should be drawn, most agree that disposal toiletries like soap, toothpaste and shampoo are there for the taking. In fact, one member makes a point about collecting as many as possible. According to this member, their usefulness should not be underestimated.

I figure the soap, shampoo etc are factored into the tariff. As such I have no issue with collecting them. Mrs GPH makes up emergency packs with assorted soaps and toiletries for the local women’s shelter for the walk in emergency cases. Also during the Brisbane floods she had about 100 packs ready to go , so took them to the flood relief folk. Never underestimate the value of clean hair and a toothbrush. It can make a difference to to how you feel in a time of crisis.

It seems some hotels are cracking down on guests with sticky fingers. One member tells of a hotel where everything in the room had a listed price.  Another recalls having the room physically checked to make sure they hadn’t stolen the television. And even TV remotes are not immune…

Years ago we stayed in a hotel in Halong Bay, Vietnam. At check-in we were given the TV remote control along with the room key. Both had to be returned on check-out.

Some hotels are even cracking down on the taking of basic items like soap, by placing fixed soap dispensers in showers in lieu of disposable soap bars.

It goes without saying that most hotels monitor their mini-bars like hawks, however one particular chain has a policy that allows guests to take as much as they like from the mini-bar. Unsurprisingly, this policy is popular with many of the hotel’s guests.

One member jokingly states that they hate large fluffy towels in hotels because they’re “a bitch to get into the suitcase”!

How about pens, laundry bags and slippers? Where do you draw the line? Share your experience HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]