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The Weird, Surprising Items Hotel Guests Left Behind in 2019

The Weird, Surprising Items Hotel Guests Left Behind in 2019
Jeff Edwards

No matter the diligence of one’s “final walkthrough” and even after checking under the bed a half dozen times or more, nearly every frequent traveler will eventually leave something behind in a hotel room. For the lucky, it will be something easily replaceable like a phone charger; for the not so lucky, it could be a one-of-kind-item never to be seen again. For a few guests this year, the misplaced things were something else altogether.

After the ball drops and the bowl games are over and before our resolutions have been forgotten, the new year always offers something to look forward to each January. In this case, the release of the “Travelodge 2019 Lost and Found Audit” did not disappoint. In past years, lost and found items such as a Blue-Eyed Cockatoo named “Brexit,” a replica of Meghan Markle’s wedding gown and a gold portrait of Elvis Presley have helped ring in the new year with delight, but 2020 is off to an even more impressive start.

“With nearly 19 million customers annually staying at our 571 [locations] across the length and breadth of the UK for thousands of different reasons, we do get a range of interesting items left behind,” Travelodge spokesperson Shakila Ahmed explained. “This year’s audit includes: a pair of Alpacas called Ant & Dec, a 65 year old luck Bonsai tree, an Aston Martin, a dissertation, a gingerbread village with residents and a precious 20 year old celebrity autograph book.”

The Bizarre

In addition to the pair of alpacas which were left behind at the Stratford-Upon-Avon property, guests also managed to forget a Persian Chinchilla cat named Angel, 65-year-old live bonsai tree and an urn containing a loved one’s ashes. One group of wedding revelers checked out of the Torquay Travelodge Hotel, but forgot to bring the best man with them. Other guests managed to leave without their five-foot-tall unicorn made of flowers, artificial palm tree, gingerbread villages, a 75-inch television and even a Gibson guitar.

The Priceless

A number of items forgotten in Travelodge rooms would have been nearly impossible to replace if the hotel had not been able to reunite the priceless personal effects with the owners.

  • A guest at the Leeds Central location managed to forget a typewritten dissertation in progress.
  • A bride at the Harrow property left behind a rather extravagant pair of Louboutin Swarovski shoes.
  • A guest at the Manchester Central Arena hotel misplaced a book with 30 years of autographs collected from celebrities.
  • A shop owner forgot the deed to a family-owned business in a hotel room in Harrogate.
  • An ad exec forgot to pack up a top secret pitch for a new product launch.
  • A Tiffany engagement ring, a jeweled wedding sari and a diamond Chopard timepiece pale in comparison to the Aston Martin sports car that ended up in the lost and found bin at the Marlow property.

Most Commonly Forgotten Items

Of course, not every lost property item is as exciting as a high end sports car. The hotel chain says the most commonly left behind items include phone chargers, mobile devices, books, business papers, stuffed animals, toiletry items, clothes and perhaps surprisingly, wrapped gifts. Although most of us have never left a 6-foot flower wall behind after checking out, nearly all of us can relate to realizing too late that we neglected to pack that much too expensive tube of moisturizer.

“Interestingly our hotel teams have reported a rise in wedding and proposal props being left behind in our hotels in 2019. This included a 5ft floral unicorn, a huge full moon, a flower wall, palm trees, a Tiffany engagement ring and even a best man,” Ahmed revealed. “As we have more business customers staying in our hotels than ever before, we are seeing a continuous rise in important business papers, valuable items and lucky charms being left behind in our hotels. This includes a 65 year old lucky Bonsai tree that has been passed down three generations, important business documentation and a brand new identity artwork. When it comes to why so many of our customers forget their treasured items, it’s basically due to us all being time poor, juggling multiple tasks and being in a hurry to get from A to B. In the rush, valuable possessions are easily forgotten.”

Although losing precious and not-so-precious items can be a drag, the hotel chain says some good can come out of those inevitable losses. If lost items, large and small, are not claimed within 90 days, the items are donated to the nearest British Heart Foundation Charity Shop—which might just be a good place to get a great deal on a slightly used Aston Martin sports car.

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