Is taking hotel toiletries, right or wrong?

Is taking consumable items from a hotel room, such as toiletries or stationary, considered to be pilfering or the customer’s right as they have paid for the room?

Those hotel guests who believe the latter, and take such items as their perceived right are certainly not alone, according to a recent poll of British travellers. The report suggested that around 58 percent of male respondents feel that it is not within their rights to take home hotel toiletry items, even consumables, such as shampoos, soaps etc. That sentiment was not reflected by women travellers however, with around 48 percent of them believing that pocketing fancy toiletries from the hotel room is an accepted part of the holiday.

The survey has also reported that around 6 percent of hotel guests take home the hotel stationery, while around 2 percent admitted to taking the mini-jam jars from the breakfast table.

The study was conducted by UK-based holiday company,, and Matthew Pack, the company chief executive officer, said, ‘It’s very cheering to hear how principled many of our male customers are! I think I’m with the ladies on this one though. Hotels do factor in the cost of most of these items, and we are actually doing them a favour when we take branded goodies home with us.’

So what can legitimately be taken from hotels? Soaps seem to be the universal favourite, and even the hotels expects guests to take these home, along with a few other replaceable and consumable toiletries. However, taking items such as decorative pieces and furnishing items from the hotel rooms is definitely not allowed, nor are bathrobes and the contents of mini bars.

Hotel slippers, are however a different issue. A website, Sleeping Round, has recently quoted David Benton, vice president and general manager of the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia, US, a member of the Preferred Hotels group, saying, ‘I wish more people would take the slippers. We hate having to throw them away. We can’t use them again; we want our guests to take them.’