Top 5 Items Stolen From Luxury Hotel Rooms – and Why

Posted by Aline Martin O'Brien on 13th Oct 2020

Top 5 Items Stolen From Luxury Hotel Rooms – and Why

Did you ever grab one of those little bottles of shampoo from a hotel bathroom as you were checking out? If so, it turns out that you are not alone.

A recent survey by a German travel site revealed some interesting and somewhat disturbing facts and anecdotes about guests’ preferences when it comes to helping themselves to various hotel room goodies. A total of 1,157 hotels responded, split about equally between four- and five-star establishments.

Virtually every item found in a hotel has been stolen by a guest, from pens to plumbing fixtures to pianos, and even the Bible. Here are the top items named in the survey:

  • Towels and bathrobes
  • Hangers and pens
  • Cutlery and batteries
  • Artwork (!)
  • Pillows and blankets

The survey helpfully divides the responses between the five-star and four-star hotels. One of the most significant differences between the two classes of hotels is that five-star hotels report four times as much theft of pillows and blankets as the four-star hotels. Could it be that the luxury hotel bedding found in the best hotels is just too much of a temptation?

Respondents also identified the acquisitive guests by nationality, with some interesting results:

  • Italians prefer wineglasses, while the practical Dutch go for toilet paper and lightbulbs.
  • The Swiss prefer hair dryers, their French neighbors go for TVs, and the Austrians to the east gravitate towards coffee makers.
  • The Britons and Germans don’t stand out, preferring the mundane towels, bathrobes and cosmetics.
  • As for the Americans, their clear preference is for luxury down pillows, with a helping of batteries pilfered from the remote.

As to why people do this, theories abound, and it is a serious topic. Ruling out professional thieves and those stealing food to survive, people who steal do not do it for the money.

  • One study revealed that people earning more than $70,000 per year steal far more often than those earning less than $20,000.
  • One week after a Florida man purchased an $8 million private island, he was arrested for shoplifting $300 from a local Kmart.
  • A police sergeant in New York City earning over $100,000 per year was arrested for stealing $360 in clothes from Macy’s.

The most frequent drivers cited for this behavior are thrill seeking, depression, trauma, and an attitude of, “Why buy it when I can steal it?” It is a complicated and serious matter that affects over 10% of the US population. Help is available for those that face this issue.

So, the next time you are nestled deep in the luxury bedding of a five-star hotel, dreaming about having the same experience at home with the perfect hotel pillow, listen to your better angel and visit us at Downlite, and why not research our hotel bedding finder; much better than ending up a footnote in a travel survey.

Photo Credit: Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels