The 5 Most Stolen Hotel Items

Hotels expect you to take certain things from rooms (travel-sized toiletry bottles are fair game, for example). But when guests start to steal bigger items, that’s when it crosses the line into theft—and why hotels will put a little notice in the room letting you know that if the robe goes missing, it will be added to your bill at checkout.

The luxury hotel and spa guide Wellness Heaven surveyed 1,157 hotels to determine what the most commonly stolen items are. The top five: towels, bathrobes, hangers, pens, and cutlery.

Most hotels sell their plush towels and bathrobes, so if you simply must have one, ask about purchasing one rather than stealing it—after all, wouldn’t you rather pay for a new item than steal one that hundreds of guests have used before you?

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The survey compared rates of theft in five-star hotels to four-star hotels and found that mattresses are stolen 8.1 times more often in the luxury hotels. Hoteliers reported that guests will attempt to smuggle the mattresses down in the elevators directly to their car, under the cover of nighttime. However, we’re pretty sure the cleaner is going to notice (and report) the king-sized stolen item when they go to make up the bed in the morning.

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Some other particularly audacious thefts reported to Wellness Heaven included: bathroom fixtures, a grand piano, wooden sauna benches, and a stereo system.

Traveling? Consider These Carry-On Options

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

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Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @travelwithcaroline.

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

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