Whether it’s a small souvenir or a plush robe, theft by guests can cost the hotel industry hundreds.
According to news.com.au, pillows are often swiped from a hotel bedrooms, with some going to great lengths to protect their bed wares. Some hotels are even implanting trackable microchips in hotel linens.
If a guest steals a pillow or two, the hotel will usually send him a letter to the effect of, “Hope you’re enjoying the pillows,” along with an invoice. If the guest returns, the hotel lets him know what website he can go to and buy hotel linens.
- Grand piano
Yes, someone stole a grand piano from a hotel, according to Traveller. That was the worst theft that Colin Bennett, a former general manager for the Starwood Hotel Group, had experienced in almost 20 years of working in the business.
“As soon as I walked into the lobby of one hotel,” he said, “I immediately realised something was missing — but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It transpired that three people had strolled into reception, dressed in overalls, and had wheeled the grand piano out of the hotel and down the street, never to be seen again.”
Bennett also reported that people have stolen seemingly immovable objects. He has seen a number of overhead projectors and televisions disappear. “Looking back over the CCTV footage, we would see a guest walk through a busy reception struggling under the weight of a television set, yet no one would bat an eyelid,” said Bennett.
- Stuffed boar head
In the billiard room at the Hotel du Vin in Birmingham, UK, one guest tried to steal a stuffed boar head, according to Traveller. But luckily, he was caught.
Adam Thompson, one of the hotel managers, said about the wannabe thief, “He was rather embarrassed and worse-for-wear. A few weeks later some of his friends came back and bought the object from us as a wedding present for him — we donated the money to charity.”
- Sex toys
The Residence in Bath, UK, used to rent sex toys to guests, according to Traveller, and apparently guests often stole the toys — and they were almost always caught. “I would call them up to explain that they had been caught. A rather long silence would inevitably follow,” said a hotel staff member.
If you’ve ever stayed at a Travelodge you know glamour isn’t the name of the game. In fact, televisions and hairdryers are often nailed to the wall to prevent theft. But guests found other things to steal, according to Traveller. The no-frills hotel chain reported that thousands of guests stole carpeting, mirrors, light fittings, and yes, even curtains.
- Room number
Someone staying at the Franklin Hotel in Knightsbridge, UK, according to Traveller, unscrewed the number from the door and made off with it.
“We only noticed it had gone missing when the next guest was found wandering up and down the corridor looking for his room,” general manager Karen Marchant said.
- Famous artwork
At Hong Kong’s W Hotel, reported Traveller, a guest – or guests – stole a piece of Andy Warhol artwork worth $300,000. And it was never recovered.