Forty nine hotels have reported mattresses stolen in the past two years although I imagine many hotels don’t admit the thefts. It’s hard to imagine guests stealing mattresses, and even those who want to do so would seem like they’d have a hard time doing it without getting caught, even though most reports are that it happens in the middle of the night.
And it’s pretty obvious who the culprit is. When housekeeping goes into the room to turn it for the next guest, and finds the mattress gone, the hotel knows who stayed there last. Hotels know who did it, and usually don’t report the theft.
This isn’t motels, either, where you’d take the mattress straight out of your room to your car in front – this data is from a survey of managers of four- and five-star hotels. It turns out as well that there’s a difference between what’s stolen from four-stars hotels and what guests take from five-star properties.
TV sets, tablet computers and mattresses were stolen more frequently in five-star establishments, whereas four-star guests were more interested in batteries and remote controls.
Last year a family was caught on video in Bali with items stolen from the hotel they stayed at packed in their luggagae. The hotel demanded they open their bags for inspection and a big argument ensued. As the bags are searched one stolen item after another gets revealed.
This family was caught stealing hotel accessories. Such an embarrassment for India.
Each of us carrying an #IndianPassport must remember that we are ambassadors of the nation and behave accordingly.
India must start cancelling passports of people who erode our credibility. pic.twitter.com/unY7DqWoSr
— Hemanth (@hemanthpmc) July 27, 2019
We’ve heard about a grand piano stolen from a Sheraton lobby, and about guests who steal televisions from their room.
And, would you believe: carpet, light fictures, curtains and mirrors? Even door hinges have been stolen. The Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire (the Pretty Woman hotel) had a fireplace stolen. A couple staying at a Holiday Inn once asked for a room beside the parking lot – to make it easier to clean out the entire room including all of the furniture, even the bed.
The thing is – at least until hotels replace miniature bottles with wall-mounted toiletries – hotels actually want you to take those mini bottles. They don’t want you to raid the housekeeping cart, but the ones in your room are fair game in hopes you will think of them and the brand when you use them.
But since there are limits to what you can take some hotels have taken to RFID tags to detect when towels leave the property.
[O]ne hotel that has saved $16,000 per month by reducing its towel thefts each month from 4000 down to 750 by attaching washable RFID tags to its towels. I assume that they aren’t actually tracking down towel thiefs, rather by letting guests know that the towels are tagged this serves as a deterrent. Presumably the deterrent would work just as well by telling guests that the RFID tags are in the towels, without any need to make the actual investment, at least as long as they are able to keep their lack of technology investment a secret.
More than warning you, or even catching you, there can be real consequences to theft in some places:
In Japan a few years ago, one hotel reportedly had a young couple arrested for running off with bathrobes and an ashtray, while a woman in Nigeria was sentenced to three months in prison for stealing two towels from the Transcorp Hilton Abjua Hotel.
Too bad they didn’t take advantage of towel amnesty!
What do you take from hotels, and what seems like crossing the line?