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5 Items You Should Never Take From Your Hotel Room

By Bennett Kleinman
Read time: 4 minutes

Some items in a hotel room — say, a tiny bottle of shampoo or a few individual coffee pods — are considered complimentary and are baked into the cost of the room stay. But there are other products you should never take home with you. If one of these ends up in your suitcase, you may be on the hook for an extra credit card charge to cover the cost of a replacement — or there may be other, more serious repercussions. Here are five things that you should never take from your hotel room.

How Hotels Know if You Take Something

Housekeeper with cart in hotel hallway
Credit: Dimensions/ E+ via Getty Images 

Once you check out of a hotel room, the housekeeping team will assess whether any major items are missing as part of their duties. Hotels typically keep an inventory of items in each room, so it’s easy to tell if something has been misplaced. While hotels will do their best to locate the missing item, if they can’t find it, they may have no choice but to conclude that you took the item with you. If this is true, then you can expect an extra charge on your bill to cover the cost of a replacement. Additional consequences may include being blacklisted by that hotel or any associated properties. In rare cases, hotel thefts result in criminal prosecution if the cost of items is substantially high.

The Bathrobe

Person wearing bathrobe in front of mirror
Credit: Babayev/ iStock via Getty Images 

There are perhaps few things more tempting to take from your hotel than a bathrobe, especially at a nice resort where it’s made of high-quality material. But don’t let those impulses get the better of you — depending on the hotel and the quality of the robe, you can expect to be charged anywhere from $20 to $150 if you fail to leave the robe where you found it. Unfortunately, robe thefts are a far-too-common occurrence, so some hotels are particularly diligent about tracking down their lost robes and holding guests accountable.

The good news is that, depending on where you’re staying, the hotel may actually be able to sell you a brand-new robe that you can take home. In particular, many luxury resorts keep additional robes on hand to sell if any guests are interested, so check with the front desk before you leave. (In some cases, you can even buy them online.) It’s far better to pay $100 for a new hotel robe (guilt-free) than it is to steal a used one and end up paying the same price anyway once the hotel realizes it’s missing.

Linens and Bedding

Unmade hotel room bed
Credit: Tetra Images via Getty Images 

When staying at a hotel, a general rule of thumb is to avoid taking anything that can be washed and reused for future guests. That includes bedding, towels, pillows, duvets, blankets, and other similar items. According to the Washington Post, some hotels have even started embedding tiny tracking devices inside certain fabrics in order to keep tabs on items that are frequently stolen. These small security tags are easy to miss if you don’t know they’re there.

Electronics

Hotel guest laying on bed using TV remote
Credit: GoodLifeStudio/ E+ via Getty Images 

Don’t be tempted to pack the remote control, alarm clock, hair dryer, or any other electronic devices in your suitcase. Not only would you be stealing, but you’re also inconveniencing the next guest. Believe it or not, some hotel guests have even been accused of taking lamps and other room fixtures home with them. Needless to say, this is a terrible idea, and you may end up with more than just an extra credit card charge for taking expensive electronics such as those.

Kitchenware

Person holding cocktail glass
Credit: d3sign/ Moment via Getty Images 

As a courtesy, some high-end hotels stock rooms with actual glassware instead of disposable cups. But don’t confuse those glasses as gifts to take home. The same goes for any plates, utensils, or other kitchenware that you may find at extended-stay hotels. If it can be washed and reused, leave all kitchenware behind. You may think that you can pocket a single fork and get away with it, but err on the side of caution to avoid the potential embarrassment of being caught stealing cutlery.

Clothes Hangers

Empty wooden hangers in closet
Credit: Liudmila Chernetska/ iStock via Getty Images 

Snatching a few wooden hangers out of the closet is also a no-no. If you find any plastic or wire hangers in your room, check with the front desk and ask if you can take those with you, rather than assume it’s OK to do so.

Items You Can Take

Bottles of toiletries on sink in bathroom of hotel room
Credit: Veronique Duplain/ Shutterstock 

If you really want to bring home a souvenir from your hotel stay, stick to taking complimentary toiletries such as small bottles of shampoo and soap. (The full-size bottles that are bolted in some hotel showers should stay where they are.) It’s also generally permitted to take slippers home with you if they’re offered by the hotel, though it’s still best to ask a hotel employee just to be safe. Always contact the front desk with any questions you may have to avoid the risk of fines, bans, or even prosecution.

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