A survey of 500 hotels worldwide, conducted by hotel and leisure specialist lastminute.com, discovered that 95 percent have been victims of theft by hotel guests. Hoteliers estimate that the problem costs them over $7,207 (€5,500) on average per year, with this figure almost quadrupling to close to $26,206 (€20,000) in five-star accommodation as the value of items increase.
According to the ‘Hotel Secrets Survey’ one in every ten guests has made off with something they shouldn’t have - from the usual suspects to the absurd and ridiculous.
While towels are the most popular item pilfered (87%), followed by toiletries (60%), some more audacious guests have removed items like TVs (16%), computers (4%) and even a cigarette machine from the lobby.
Six percent of hotels reported losses of artwork, sculptures, heavy statues, or antiques. Some even developed enlightened enthusiasm to dislodge every single bulb in a room as reported by several hotels (9%).
One five-star hotel in Dublin reported how one guest stole all the wrapped presents under a Christmas tree, only to find empty boxes when he arrived home.
Further afield there were even more bizarre stories. In a five-star hotel in Istanbul they reported that the contents of an entire room had vanished, with only the bed, desk, and TV remaining.
In Berlin, a hotel reported how one guest stole the stylish rain shower heads, hydro massage shower units, taps, toilet seats, interior plumbing and the sink itself.
One guest of a Las Vegas hotel took such a shine to the carpet that they cut it out completely. A sofa and mini-bar fridge disappeared from a five-star Dubai hotel and in Madrid a petty thief even got away with the mattress.
Top 20 items being stolen by hotel guests according to hoteliers:
Towels - 87%
Toiletries (soap, shampoo etc.) - 60%
Crockery & cutlery - 52%
Slippers - 39%
Bathrobes - 34%
Remote controls - 28%
Pillows, duvets & mattresses - 23%
Newspapers & magazines - 19%
Clothes hangers - 17%
Hair dryer - 10%
Light bulbs - 9%
Artwork - 6%Lamps - 6%
Alarm clocks - 5%
Computers & equipment - 4%
Telephones - 3%
Batteries - 3%
Plants/flowers/palm trees - 3%
Curtains - 2%