4 Things You Can Take from Your Hotel Room (and 4 You Can’t)
Unfortunately, you shouldn't take the robes.
What you can take: Soap
If there’s one thing most hotels reliably have in their rooms, it’s soap. And according to Ousman Conteh, general manager at Claridge House Chicago, these mini bottles are OK to take from your hotel room. “Often hotels receive negotiated pricing for items from another brand,” he says. However, Curt Asmussen, managing director of Obie Hospitality, notes that it’s not encouraged to take these items—but guests aren’t penalized in any way if they do. Make sure you know what you should never ask the hotel staff before you go on your next trip.
What you can take: Shampoo or conditioner
Much like the mini soaps stocked in the bathroom, the travel-size shampoo and conditioner are also fine to take from your hotel room. Hotels sometimes brand these items too, Conteh says. So taking their shampoos and sporting the hotel brand name can help spread the word about a hotel. This goes for motels too.
What you can take: Anything “complimentary”
Complimentary items could include things like dry-cleaning bags, coffee, creamers, sugar packets, and certain marketing collateral pieces, Asmussen says. It’s fair game to take them with you.
Joanna McCreary, general manager for the W Hotel in Austin, Texas, adds that some hotels even give exclusive complimentary gifts, which you are, of course, free to take. “We love giving people champagne on check-in on peak arrival days at W Austin,” she says. “We don’t advertise it, but do get a good deal on it, and complimentary surprise champagne you will find is a very easy sell.” Before your next trip, make sure you know how much to tip hotel housekeeping.
What you can take: Paper and pens
These paper items also usually have the hotel brand name on them and serve as a marketing tool. Feel free to take them with you! But before you grab anything, learn about the dirtiest spots in every hotel room.
What you can’t take: Sheets and towels
Sheets, towels, and other linens are definitely something you shouldn’t take from hotel rooms. As McCreary explains, the hotels’ goal is to prepare the perfect room for the next guest. Taking pricy essentials, like sheets, makes it harder for hotel staff to do their job.
According to the The Telegraph, however, 68 percent of people in a survey admitted they steal linens and towels from hotel rooms. Beware that some hotels can track stolen towels, thanks to electronic tags, Huff Post reports.
What you can’t take: Electronics
Conteh notes that in most cases, there are disclaimers on all items that shouldn’t leave the room—especially in the case of pricy electronics. “An example is Claridge House’s AavGo tablet,” he says. “They note that there will be a cost levied on the room charge if a tablet or other item of value goes missing or removed from the premises.” If you’d rather opt for an Airbnb, find out the cheapest Airbnb in every state.
What you can’t take: Robes
You may decide to use these on your next romantic stay, but you certainly can’t take them with you. These plush robes are one of the most common items people think they can take from hotel rooms, but can’t, according to Conteh and McCreary. You will be charged! Slippers, on the other hand, won’t be used again and are typically OK to take. Make sure you know these things you probably shouldn’t be doing in your hotel room.
What you can’t take: Wooden hangers, glass bottles, and mugs
There is a chance that taking these items from your hotel room could lead to consequences beyond an extra charge to your room—including being “blacklisted,” NBC reports. Hotels keep a record of guests who trash hotel rooms or steal items, and they might ban those people from booking rooms again. In rare scenarios, some people could get arrested.
The Telegraph reports that a couple in Japan was arrested for stealing robes and an ashtray. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so only take the complimentary items that you really need. Remember, just because you can take something doesn’t mean you should. Next, find out what hotel housekeepers know about you, and make sure you know how to spot hidden cameras wherever you stay.
- Ousman Conteh, general manager at Claridge House Chicago
- Curt Asmussen, managing director of Obie Hospitality
- Joanna McCreary, general manager for the W Hotel in Austin, Texas
- The Telegraph: “Top 10 items stolen from hotels”
- Huff Post: “Hotels Can Track Those Towels That You Steal”
- NBC: “Hotels upgrade their ‘no-stay’ lists”