Hitler hotel room / Don’t even think of stealing that ashtray!

It’s probably something we have all done on at least one occasion — taken an ashtray, towel or some other item from a hotel room. Theft from hotel rooms costs around $100 million every year, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

To some extent, the hotel chains don’t mind the theft of small items such as washcloths, toiletries and ashtrays as it often gives them free advertising. Apparently, washcloths are the most popular item to steal. I always take any pads of paper, envelopes and pens, as I know that I will use them, and I assume they are there to be used or taken away.

But some thefts are clearly completely over the top — a man was able to remove an entire marble fireplace from the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel; and a couple somehow managed to load up a U-Haul in the middle of the night with every piece of furniture from their Holiday Inn room.

And some hotels have had so many items taken from their rooms that they are offering a “no questions asked” amnesty in an effort to have some or all of the items returned. The Peabody Hotel in Memphis and the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, as well as Washington’s exclusive Mayflower Hotel have all requested items to be returned. The most “in demand” items at the Mayflower are wine glasses etched with the hotel’s name.

And there seems to be different opinions on the Gideon’s Bible that you find in most hotel rooms — some people think it’s OK to take that with you; some people consider it to be stealing.

I expect people will be tempted to take items from the “Hitler Room” – one of the rooms in a new hotel in Belgrade, Serbia. The luxurious rooms are all named after world leaders, such as George Bush, Fidel Castro and Margaret Thatcher. The Hitler room is very reasonably priced at around $200 — compared to around $500 a night for the President Tito suite. It is also in high demand — apparently the room is booked through sometime in 2009.

Here’s your chance to confess — what have you taken from a hotel room?

Guest entry by Mancunian

And me again (not Mancunian) – this reminded me of the hotel we stayed in while we were in Zurich. They said they used to have a DVD player in every room but they kept getting stolen. Now only the 3 suites have DVD players…

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Comments (12)

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  1. Brenda says:

    Stealing from hotel rooms is probably what drives the price of hotel rooms up. I usually take the extra soap, shampoo, packets of coffee etc, but I assume thats OK!

  2. villavillain says:

    I will usually take the soaps, shampoos, pens, and papers, but I don’t tend to take towels or anything.

    We went on holiday once with my dad, and had two different rooms. When we left, I noticed that he had a hand towel. I told him that they’d probably charge his room for it, and he said, “No, they won’t. I took it from your room.”

  3. James Trotta says:

    Has anyone here ever been charged by a hotel for stuff that somehow went missing from the room?

  4. dina says:

    My credit card was charged for items out of the mini bar, that I never used.

  5. primo says:

    two place settings (dishes and silver), with the metal plate covers for room service. from someone else’s room. beverly hills hilton, many years ago. a lot of memories from that stay.

  6. Chuck says:

    I took a silver lemon squeezer from the dining room of a hotel in Salzburg, Austria and a very nice ash tray from the lobby of Claridge’s in London. I recall that the Monteleone in New Orleans had special packets of useful items made up for their guests to take. They said it saved on thefts of bath towels and robes.

  7. Cheryl says:

    Hitler hotel room? Is that supposed to be cute? Now people can go home and brag about staying in the “Hitler” room, making a cause celebre’ out of a monster.

    No thanks. And stealing, from hotel rooms or anyplace else, is done by trash, regardless of their income level.

  8. lance says:

    soap and toiletres are a a yes for me as I use them later, also they expect that. Bibles and all other stuff is off limits-it is stealing. Pens and paper are also a yes as I do use it.

  9. Rose says:

    Hotel amenities, including paper, pens, and toiletries, are meant to be used during your stay. Taking them for use afterward, even if they are meant to be used or disposed of, is stealing no matter how you look at it. How classless to use hotel stationery to write letters on when you are no longer staying there.

  10. joe blow says:

    Why does the title of this post just refer to a brief mention in the last paragraph? This post is about theft from hotels, not any “Hitler hotel room.” It’s an afterthought, and I imagine the misleading title is there just to pull in readers. (Lame.)

    And I have to agree with Cheryl… what kind of scum would name a hotel room after such a horrible figure from history? And who would stay there? Oh, the novelty! Disgusting.

  11. mike says:

    Anyone feeling like soap, shampoo and such are not paid for in your room charge is dreaming. There’s no free lunch folks!!!

  12. Zed says:

    I always take the free bible. I think it is awful that they are put in the rooms as propaganda. Usually I just drop them in dumpsters on my way to the airport.

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