When is taking things from hotels classed as stealing?

Walking into a hotel room and heading straight for the bathroom is a common occurrence for me when staying away. I like to know I have bathrobes, slippers and a selection of impressive toiletries, which will be coming home with me after my trip.

Knowing I will be wearing Waldorf Astoria embellished slippers once home gives me some satisfaction that I really am getting my moneys worth.

Like me, I know there must be thousands of people who slip a free sewing kit into their overnight case and stuff their complimentary body lotion into their handbag, but when is taking things from hotel rooms too far?

I understand you can’t smuggle a TV out of the lobby, but in some horrendous hotels I have stayed at in the past, there is no remote for fear of battery theft… so there clearly is a hotel crime epidemic.

Another question also, is everything actually free? It’s always a scary moment when you open a minibar and break the security latch (some hotels charge you for just opening the fridge), and noticing the little note explaining that dressing gowns can be purchased at the hotel shop is also depressing.

During a recent visit to Thailand, one hotel room had a full inventory of everything in the room and the cost of it, the most expensive being the bed’s mattress… this is no lie, something crazy like 15000 baht if you wanted to take that home with you. Is it the hotels or the guest that have actually gone mad?

My problem now is that whenever I stay at a hotel, I don’t rate it on the comfort of the bed, the location or even the staff; I class a hotels star rating on their toiletry selection.

Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, shower cap, cotton buds and soaps are a favourite. During our time in New York, I took every single soap each day, and made a small soap collection in my suitcase. The soaps are packaged so nicely and look so smart, I had to have a years supply. The soft white fluffy flannels were also stashed amongst my clothes.

I’m even doing it when I’m not staying at hotels. A recent afternoon tea at a swanky Surrey hotel left me gutted when I didn’t take my handbag to the ladies with me. The beautiful bathroom was filled with lotions and potions… I was kicking myself.

Does this make me a bad person? Or a chav? Just because I want to show any guest visiting my house that I have classy soap? If anything, it is free advertising for these resorts.

Unless you’re staying at some little old lady’s B&B, I believe taking a few freebies is absolutely fine, hotels are usually a part of big chains that wouldn’t think twice if the dressing gowns were off the hook, or if all of the toiletries were cleared out. Shoving a 40 inch plasma down your top though… maybe not.

What do you think? Comments welcome!

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