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Etiquette Expert Reveals Items You Can (And Can’t) Loot From Hotel Rooms

don't steal these things from hotel rooms

Hotels like to make us feel at home with an array of thoughtful details and plenty of little luxuries, from the fancy toiletries to the plush dressing gowns and slippers.  

It’s no surprise therefore that some of us want to take something from our hotel room as a souvenir –  but while a few items are apparently OK to pop in your bag, there are others which just constitute being plain theft. 

Etiquette expert Mark Kowalczyk from Special Moment has revealed what is acceptable to pinch and what may get you in trouble – just in time for your next holiday or weekend away.

Slippers – yes

Hotels expect guests to take the cheap white slippers in plastic packaging that are usually placed inside the hotel wardrobe, as they never reuse them.

“If you’ve been wearing those comfy slippers all weekend, the hotel will need to discard them anyway, so it’s generally considered acceptable to take them home,” says the expert. 

Batteries from the TV remote – no 

You might be wondering why you’re seeing this, but many hotel managers have confessed that guests occasionally steal batteries from the remote.

“Don’t take batteries from the remote. If you need any, ask at reception as they may have some spare or they can direct you to a nearby shop,” the expert notes. 

Toiletries – yes

Hotels usually throw away partially used bottles of toiletries, so if you’ve used the little shampoos and conditioners, it’s generally considered acceptable to take them home. 

“If you use toiletries, it’s better to take them as it is better for the environment and the hotel is unlikely to complain. If you haven’t touched them at all, then you may want to consider leaving them behind,” the expert recommends. 

Clothes hangers – no

While it might be tempting to nick a few extra hangers from your hotel room, it’s best to resist the urge.


Although they may seem insignificant, hangers are essential items for hotel operations, so it’s best to leave them behind to avoid any unexpected charges. 

Pens and notepads – yes

By all means, feel free to take the branded pen and paperback notepad from your hotel room.

“Taking pens and notepads is popular, as they are little mementoes of the hotel and they won’t mind if you do take them. These touches often serve as free marketing for the hotel, so they kind of expect to be taken.”

Dressing gowns – no 

In the past, guests were quite open about taking bathrobes from hotels. However, in recent years, most hotels have made it quite clear that a missing robe will be charged to the room.

“Unlike slippers, hotels can easily launder bathrobes used by guests. If you do end up taking one, you’ll be charged, as these are costly for the hotel to replace,” warns the expert. 

Pillows and towels – no

This one should be obvious, but just in case it isn’t, hotels don’t want you to take their towels and pillows home.

Taking them is generally frowned upon and will cost a significant amount to replace, so most hotels will charge you if yours go missing. 

Teabags and coffee – yes and no 

Tea bags and complimentary coffee can be a divisive one. These often come free with the hotel room, so some argue that if you take them home, you won’t be charged extra.

However, the expert has a warning: “If you feel you have to take it home, you should question why you’re paying for a hotel if you can’t afford coffee or tea bags. Taking unused tea and coffee is simply desperate.”

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