Hotels want guests like you to feel more at home in their rooms. They fill your hotel room with a couple of lovely things that will help make you comfortable throughout your stay. They provide you with soaps and shampoos, bathrobes, slippers, hairdryers, and even kettles for enjoying a nice and warm cup of morning coffee and afternoon tea. Need extra pillows and blankets? Just ask the hotel staff and they’ll attend to your requests right away.
Now, some of the items you see in your hotel room are actually free and can be packed away in your luggage. Others, however, should be left alone in the room or you’ll have to pay a hefty fine. Where do we draw the line? Let’s find out.
Let’s state the obvious first – that nicely packed miniature shampoo and conditioner bottles and carved soap bars are all yours to take. If you’re lucky to stay at a high-end, five-star hotel, you can find luxurious lotions from designer brands.
There’s a reason why hotels love putting their logos on them – to remind you of how lovely your hotel stay was whenever you’re using them and to entice you to come back.
DON’T TAKE: Bathrobes and towels
In most cases, bathrobes are NOT free. Some exclusive hotels may offer complimentary ones but that’s a rare scenario. Your best bet is to leave them, along with the freshly-laundered towels (that are also tempting to stash in the bag.)
TAKE: Toothbrush and other hygiene kits
While their complimentary toothbrushes are subpar and their toothpaste size is just enough for three brushes, it’s still nice to use these small freebies from hotels especially if you forgot to pack your own. Other single-use freebies you may request are razors, shaving creams, combs, mouthwash, nail files, cotton earbuds, and shoe shine kits.
DON’T TAKE: In-room glasses and utensils
The glasses you use for drinking and brushing your teeth should also stay in the hotel, along with utensils and plates. Since they’re small and easy to pack, these things are commonly stolen by hotel guests. Don’t attempt! If caught, the hotel will automatically bill your credit card.
TAKE: Complimentary coffee, tea, and sugar
From small budget hotels to luxury five-star suites, it seems like almost every hotel offers complimentary drinks for their guests. If you find small packets of coffee, tea, and sugar in your hotel room, go ahead and make yourself a hot drink. You may also find fruits, biscuits, and small packets of crisps.
In more expensive hotels, guests may find a bottle of wine or champagne to welcome them upon arrival. Others have deluxe coffee machines they can use for frothy, cafe-style beverages.
DON’T TAKE: Items in the mini-bar
Unless, of course, you’re willing to pay the hefty price tags.
Minibars are notorious for being overpriced. If that small fridge inside your hotel room is stocked with bottles of bubbly drinks, beer, chocolate bars, and other snacks, and they have a “menu”, do yourself a favor and resist the urge to take them. The hotel staff knows the stuff they put in there and they’ll charge you with an extortionate bill at the end of your stay.
Hotels love to print their names and logos on stationery, pens, notepads, postcards, and envelopes – they consider these as free advertisement. You can use them during your stay and take them home. Consider them as the hotel’s gift to you.
DON’T TAKE: The Bible
Even the bible resting inside the bedside drawer isn’t immune from getting stolen. Reading the Word of God is free of cost – taking the entire book with you isn’t.
Those flimsy, lightweight slippers that are just too comfortable not to wear? Yes, they’re free. They’ll get thrown away anyway after you leave so it’s fine to pack them away for later use.
DON’T TAKE: In-room decor and appliances
While it’s quite obvious that packing away your hotel’s water heater is downright stealing, hotel insiders have revealed that some guests have actually tried smuggling these items.
Don’t be tempted to sneak irons and hairdryers, clock radios, kettles, and coffee makers into your luggage. The same goes for in-room decor including the artworks on the wall, plants, ash trays, ornaments, bath mats, duvet covers, and pillows.
When in doubt whether something is free or not, you can always check with the front desk. The last thing you want to happen is facing charges for items you unintentionally stole.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the lifestyle writers for Aspect Hotel Park West Dublin, a modern hotel, delivering exceptional accommodation and dining experiences for leisure and corporate travelers across Dublin. Writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle is one thing she finds enjoyable, next to petting her cat.