Status: 25/09/2023, 16:44 p.m.
Most Germans have already taken something out of their hotel room. But be careful: Some utensils are taboo – there is a risk of being charged.
From shampoo to slippers and towels, hotels provide their guests with numerous items. During their stay, holidaymakers should feel like royalty and not have to do without amenities. Many hotel guests take advantage of the service and leave some things in their suitcases at the end of their trip. But is that actually allowed?
These hotel items are particularly popular with guests
A survey conducted by the research company OnePoll on behalf of the travel portal Expedia showed that 78 percent of Germans have already taken hotel utensils home with them. Toiletries such as shampoo and shower gel ended up in suitcases particularly often: an impressive 56 percent of all respondents said they had packed the small bottles. 23 percent already took notepads and pens with them, while 18 percent took slippers with them. This is followed by tea and coffee (17 percent), bathrobes (14 percent) and cups (6 percent). Some guests did not even stop at the decoration of the hotel rooms (4 percent). Bedspreads (3 percent) and kettles (2 percent) were also stolen in isolated cases.
Can I take them with me? Once opened, washing utensils are usually not a problem. © Panthermedia/Imago
In view of this long list of stolen items, the question arises: What are guests actually allowed to take out of the hotel room without committing theft?
Allowed to take with you: These utensils are allowed in the suitcase
From a purely legal point of view, hotel guests are not allowed to bring anything home from their hotel room. Theoretically, everything is part of the hotel equipment and should only be used during your stay. Even the small soaps and shampoo bottles are hotel property. But: Because they would have to be disposed of after use, they can still be taken along. Most hotels are extremely accommodating when it comes to packing smaller items. In this case, you are not threatened with a complaint – although it doesn't hurt to ask questions either. As a rule, the following utensils may end up in the suitcase:
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- Pens and notepads: You can often find pens and pads with the hotel logo in the room. These can be taken away as memorabilia.
- Shampoo, shower gel and conditioner: The small bottles are thrown away by the hotel as soon as they have been used. That's why you're allowed to pack them.
- Toothpaste: Many hotels offer a small tube of toothpaste.
- Soap: Small bars of soap can be wrapped in toilet paper after opening and taken with you.
- Mouthwash: This small bottle is also allowed.
- Tea: The kettle itself must remain in the hotel room, but you are allowed to take the offered tea bags with you.
- Cream: A small tube of body lotion or hand cream is fine.
- Razors: You can pack disposable razors.
- Newspaper: Daily newspapers are only relevant for the current date, so they are allowed. The situation is different with expensive glossy magazines.
- Slippers: Most of the time, slippers are not recycled by the hotel.
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Caution: Stealing the following items may result in a report
Larger items should remain in the hotel room – otherwise you will have to expect a penalty. Many guests like to pack bathrobes and towels. However, these are things that are also made available to other guests after cleaning. It's the same with pillows, sheets and blankets. Hangers, dishes, umbrellas and alarm clocks are also used by subsequent guests and should therefore remain in the hotel room. Decorative elements, furniture and home accessories are part of the equipment and may not be stolen. The same goes for books: in many hotels you can find a Bible in the bedside drawer that should remain in the room.
If theft of the above items is noticed, the hotel may file a criminal complaint. In practice, however, most hotels do not do this and instead send an invoice or ask the guest for a return. "The police are not called, but a letter is written with the content: You have probably mistakenly inserted the bathrobe and can send it back or buy it," says Maximilian Bosse, head of the Hotel Essener Hof, to the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.
Tip: If you like utensils such as the cozy bathrobe, you can also inquire at the reception whether it is available for purchase. Many hotels now have a shop where they offer their products.