Odd stuff stolen from hotels

I recently stayed at quite an upmarket hotel, and when I read the hotel directory I noticed that it contained prices for many items that would be charged for if they were found to be missing.

I understand that many people take the shampoos, soap and other toiletries that are left for the guests; and it’s not unusual to walk away with a pen if you’ve been using one to do a bit of work, but I was amazed at some of the other items that had price tags.

One of those was the in-room hotel directory, the folder which contains relevant phone numbers, services, restaurant opening times, etc, which was priced at $60. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to nick a hotel directory, until it was confirmed to me by the hotel staff that many people do indeed souvenir a lot of stuff, including hotel directories, towels, bathrobes, etc.

Then I did a bit of research and discovered that these things are child’s play compared to some of the items that have been stolen from hotels around the world; and the list of stuff is not only truly amazing, but occasionally also unbelievably brazen.

One of these was a stuffed boar’s head which used to hang in the billiard room of a Birmingham hotel. I can’t for the life of me imagine why a stuffed boar’s head would appear to be attractive to anyone, but someone took a shine to it. Later, after the head had been recovered, it was purchased by a friend of the thief, and presented to him as a wedding present. I’m sure that his wife must have been over the moon.

The Novotel group released a list of most stolen items, which included light bulbs. Light bulbs aren’t really expensive items, but how would you know that a particular light bulb would suit the light fittings at home? And why would you want to travel around with unprotected light bulbs in your luggage? If they broke you’d have shards of glass scattered through your clothes, which wouldn’t be good next time you wished to wear them. Showerheads have also been stolen from some hotels.

Two statues where stolen from a hotel in Mayfair, London and one gentlemen spent months collecting an entire dinner service from a nearby hotel restaurant one piece at a time, but surely it would have been cheaper just to buy the complete set from a store?

A thief in Hong Kong stole a complete chandelier from the Shangri-La Hotel there. In Hong Kong they seem to go for the big stuff, because a $300,000 Andy Warhol painting was stolen from another Hong Kong hotel.

There are two thefts, however, that really take the cake. For one of them, grand piano was stolen from a hotel lobby by three gentlemen who were dressed in overalls, and that takes a steely nerve. The other occurred at a Holiday Inn in the US when a couple booked a room, drove their U-Haul up to the door, loaded all the furniture from the room into it, and simply drove off.

2 comments to Odd stuff stolen from hotels

  • Pet Simpleton

    Nice site but scary pictures of “grumpy”. Rather distracting and annoying really. The pieces you publish are genuine, serious and really good. But you’re not an actor nor a comedian. Keep it to one picture. Don’t use a “funny” picture on Twitter. My IMHO

  • Thank you for your comments about my articles. The photos are actually of me; I’m sorry that I appear to be so scary, but I am worse in real life. Actually, I am an actor and have been a professional actor for many years. I also have quite a good reputation for my comedy work, and have awards for my comedy writing. Grumpy is a character I play on radio here, and it seemed like a good idea to use the Grumpy character as a marketing tool and point of difference between my site and other travel sites. Whilst I appreciate that not everyone will like the photos, others do like them, and there is no pleasing everyone.

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