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Toilet Seats, TVs, Light Bulbs: What Guests Are Stealing From 5-Star Hotel Rooms

Toilet Seats, TVs, Light Bulbs: What Guests Are Stealing From 5-Star Hotel Rooms
Jackie Reddy

When it comes to stealing items from hotel rooms, pens, TVs and mattresses are all on the cards, according to the results of a survey conducted by Wellness Heaven. Towels and bathrobes are the most commonly stolen items, but different nationalities apparently have their preferred or favorite goods.

Some hotel guests steal towels and some go for wine glasses, while for others, only a high-end TV will do. When it comes to what turns travelers into thieves during the course of their hotel stay, Wellness Heavena spa and luxury property portal—has surveyed 1,157 properties to analyze what it says are the most commonly stolen items from hotel rooms.

Revealing its findings, the portal says that, “The main result of the study: the overwhelming majority of guests steal towels and bathrobes—perhaps as a goodie for the next spa break? These two objects of desire are closely followed by hangers, pens and cutlery.”

So Many Items to Choose From…

While blankets, cosmetics and even light bulbs all have their presence in the portal’s list, there are a few other items that are notable if only for being downright odd. For example, a Berlin hotel reported that a guest had stripped a bathroom of all of its fixtures—even the shower head and sink as well as the toilet seat—prior to their departure.

Not to be outdone for weirdness, the guest of a hotel in England even took the room numbers off of his door while a customer at an Italian hotel decided to go big by stealing the grand piano from the lobby of the property.

Speaking of the last example, the hotelier of the premises in question said, “Once I walked through the lobby, I noticed that something was missing, and soon after I learned that three unknown men in overalls had taken away the grand piano, and it never reappeared, of course.”

According to the results of the survey, it turns out that different nationalities have their favorite target items. German and British guests take towels and robes plus toiletries and cosmetics.

For Austrians, dishes and coffee makers are worth taking while Italians prefer wine glasses. Americans go for batteries and pillows while the Swiss take hairdryers. Light bulbs and toilet paper are the favored items of the Dutch, but apparently French guests have a penchant for TVs and remotes.

A 4-Star vs. a 5-Star Thief

The survey results indicated that there is also a difference in the items stolen by hotel class. Guests of four-star properties, it seems, go for more modest items like towels and hangers while those who stay in luxury five-star properties have been known to take tablet computers, artwork and even mattresses.

The full results of the survey can be viewed here.

View Comments (8)


  1. FlyingNone

    December 6, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Good grief, are any of these people arrested and prosecuted for their CRIMES ? Can’t be too hard to figure out who occupied the room last and that the people who clean up are not the ones responsible. Give us a follow up.

  2. hfly

    December 7, 2019 at 4:24 am

    Since when is taking a “pen” considered stealing an item. Hotels consider that pens are supposed to be taken and pens are in fact considered by them to be a disposable marketing and advertising item!

  3. c502cid

    December 8, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    I don’t feel as bad anymore for taking shampoo….

  4. SpartyAir

    December 9, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    A previous Flyer Talk article said that the bathroom cosmetics (shampoo, conditioner, and body wash) are items that the hotels are happy that you take. It was a way for hotels to tell that they had products the guests liked.

    Thus, those items should not be included in the list of stolen items.

  5. strickerj

    December 9, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    Looks like I need to upgrade… I stay in hotels where everything is nailed down. ;)

  6. htb

    December 10, 2019 at 9:29 am

    In Most Chinese Hotels you can only check out after they’ve sent someone to the room to count the inventory….
    I’m Thailand I was made to pay for the in-room slippers I’ve taken along (the ones I’ve used, not the unused ones I’ve left behind). I can’t imagine they actually reuse them because they feel apart shortly after…


    December 15, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    At a recent 4 star hotel, it was discovered that one guest managed to get 9 rolls of the hotel’s toilet paper inside her suitcase, to take home. I guess toilet paper is a luxury wherever this lady lives.

  8. sulicheng

    January 13, 2020 at 11:47 pm


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