The Top Ten things Stolen from Hotel Rooms.

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This little nugget first appeared in The Hoopla.

I recently found myself in one of those rare and lovely positions, that being in a hotel room, sans family. It was a large chain name establishment, smack bang in the middle of the city of Sydney. From the 42nd floor, the vista was breathtaking.

I was travelling with a friend. We went to shove our bottle of champagne into the mini-bar fridge and noticed something a little unusual. The mini bar was pre-programmed to automatically add any items removed, to your hotel bill. This meant if we were to take out stuff, even just to put it on the top of the fridge while our bubbles cooled, we would be shelling out for it. There was to be no further correspondence entered into.

It made me feel, well a bit dirty if I can be honest. Someone not to be trusted. An evil thieving hussy!

But if you see it from the other side of the coin, well can you blame the hospitality industry for taking such extreme measures?

I bought this up with a friend of mine who runs a resort overseas. He told me about guests who would drink the vodka and scotch bottles dry, and replace the spirits with water and, get this, cold tea! He went on to astound me with tales of stolen kettles, towels, artwork, and even the batteries from the remote. It would seem that some folk are of the opinion that if you pay for the room, the contents are yours to keep.

Does this stem back to Mary and Joseph? Did they check out of the stable with their baby Jesus, and a faggot of sticks? Where they chased all over town following the disappearance of a baby piglet? One can only speculate.

International travel group Travelocity recently conducted a survey about stealing things from hotel rooms. 1% of their guests admitted to flogging the kettle, 3% made off with the robe and slippers while a whopping 86% swiped all of the toiletries from the bathroom cabinet. I mean, everyone does that, don’t they?

Who knows when you will need a mini-sewing kit or a sanitary bag? You will always recall your fine stay at the Lovedale Country Lodge, as you utilize their shoe shining cloth that you flogged, without a second thought.

But these things, like a Chinese-all-you-can-eat buffet, can end in disaster when taken too far. Take for instance the couple from Melbourne who checked into their hotel room, broke in the housekeeping supply area before loading up their car with toilet paper and small soaps. They were pulled over by the police and subsequently charged with break and entering, and theft. All for some bog roll…

Have you ever been tempted to take what is not yours from a hotel room? Well, if you stay at the Palazzo Versace, you can buy the entire contents of your room. The hotel has even set up an online shop, so that you can get that Versace Elegance and Luxury, right in your own home.

And at $120, for 6 coat hangers, you would just be mad not to take advantage of such bargain prices. $305 for the bathrobe? Where do I sign?

But let us look at your humble roadside motel, like the ones that your Dad used to make you stay in when you were a kid, because you were taking a three day road trip up to Queensland to stay with some Aunty that you had only met a handful of times. And the whole trip had to run on a very tight time and expenditure budget, and the accommodation of choice was the one that had a lone star, heralding the standard of lodging that was to be expected.

My favorite thing was to check out the way the towels were fanned on the bed with a little soap nestled in it’s waves, and the strip of paper that lays across the toilet, announcing to the world that it has been “Hygienically Cleaned for Your Protection.”

The hotel room would always reek of stale cigarette smoke and T-bone steak grease. And the towels would be slightly damp from the previous guest. From these hotels, we would steal the sugar packets from the tea and coffee tray, and spend the next day in the car sucking on this kiddie crack and driving the parents crazy with the subsequent hyperactive behavior.

So there. I have stolen things from a hotel room. And I know I am not the only one. The top ten things that we all universally steal from hotel rooms are as follows.

1. Towels
2. Light bulbs
3. Batteries
4. Mini-Bar Contents
5. Cutlery
6. Picture frames
7. Artwork
8. Curtains
9. Kettles
10. Bibles

I think the most interesting and contradictory item on this list is the bible. After all, doesn’t it say “Thou Shall Not Steal?” Perhaps it should be revised for the modern times to say “Thou Shall Not Steal unless it is not Bolted Down.”

Why is there a bible in hotel rooms?

And have you ever swiped something from a hotel?

Even accidentally?