Why Do Laws Seem Redundant In Hotels?
Now this really is one of my biggest bugbears when it comes to travelling: the fact that theft laws seem to disappear out of the window as soon as you step over the threshold of a hotel. What on earth is this all about and why do so many people feel they’re at liberty to adopt a rather ‘light-fingered’ attitude when they stay in a hotel?
Personally, I think you can tell a lot about the class of an individual by the amount of ‘items’ they put in their luggage after a hotel stay. A person who continues to follow the same theft laws in a hotel as they would in the outside world would always be the type of person I would prefer to travel with. However, alas, there are far too many ‘chavvy’ and classless people out there who think it’s a free-for-all whenever they stay in a hotel. The hotel would expect their guests to help themselves to the soaps, shampoos, shower caps etc… however, I’m pretty sure they draw the line at bathrobes, towels and even more expensive items.
Novotel Hotels recently put out a the top ten list of things guest remove from a hotel room and it included most of the normal items and some quite strange such as the TV remote control as well as light bulbs. Another published list includes theft of the ubiquitous Gideon Bible, silverware (knives and forks) and hotel artwork and or picture frames.
This is where one hotel chain in Australia has decided to fight back and protect its hotel room items. The QT hotel chain has prepared a list of priced items on a kind of menu that they have placed in all of their rooms and suites up and down the country. Ranging from shoe horns at around AUD $10, to ceramic animals at AUS $39, and the much-coveted bathrobe at AUD $175, they fully intend to charge their guests if and when they decide to help themselves to such items.
And don't think other hotels haven't
cottoned on to this behaviour. Hard Rock Hotels, for instance, have
some amazing "rock 'n roll" themed items in their rooms - literally begging to be taken as a souvenir. Most of these items
are of course available for purchase in the lobby store if you so wish, however if you think you
can quietly acquire one free of charge by 'accidentally' packing it in with your dirty underwear, think again. You
will be charged handsomely once the room has been 'audited'.
If you thought that people stopped at these ‘usual’ types of items, you definitely don’t realise how audacious your fellow man can really get. One hotel in Las Vegas reported that the entire carpet had been completely stripped and removed from a room. A Starwood Hotel in the United States even had a grand piano stolen from their lobby. There have been numerous claims by hotels of guests removing TV's, DVD players, hotel signs and in another instance a window mounted air conditioner.
I think this all shows a very dark side to human nature: when they feel no-one is watching and they can get away with criminal acts, they will think nothing about going ahead and doing it. So, if hotels see the need to protect their stock and assets, bring it on, I say, and charge them.
Top Common Items Stolen From Hotel Rooms
Flowers (real and fake)
Electronics (TV's, DVD players, Sound Systems)
Irons & Ironing Board
In Room Slippers
Furniture (Side Tables, Desks, Trash Bins, Chairs)
Holy Books (Bible, Koran, Tanakh etc)
The More Unusual Items Reported Stolen By Hotels
|A Grand Piano
Air Conditioning Units
Hotel Owners Pet Dog
|A 4ft Wooden Bear
A Stuffed Boar's Head
Door Hinges (the door was left behind)
The Whole Toilet Unit
The Minibar (yes, contents AND the fridge)
Andy Warhol Painting