Towels are just the beginning. Some hotel guests, it seems, book a room with the intention of removing large objects from it. But how they manage to get TVs out without getting caught remains a mystery.
For many travelers, filling their suitcases with notepads or slippers is part and parcel of staying in a hotel room. May those who want to plead not guilty throw the first miniature shampoo bottle.
A survey of over 1,000 European hotels by carried out by travel website Wellness Heaven revealed that hotel theft is not only very widespread, but that thieves don't stop at pens and pillows. The more stars a hotel has, the bolder its looters become. Even items that are screwed down can find their way out the door, from TVs and stereo systems to sinks and even number plates on hotel doors.
Towels are still the most common amenity to disappear, with 78 percent of surveyed hotels reporting their theft from bathrooms and spa areas. In some hotels, several hundred towels are stolen per year, resulting in damages totaling several thousand euros.
Other popular items to be taken are bathrobes (66 percent), coat hangers (50 percent), pens (39 percent) and cutlery (35 percent). The study also found that different nationalities seem to have different preferences. While Germans are particularly fond of towels, Italians tend to swipe wine glasses; the Swiss seem to be short on hairdryers, and the French love TV remotes.
Theft is anything but a trivial offense. Strictly speaking, not even pens or cosmetics may be taken from hotels. However, most establishments print their logo on these smaller items and view them as complimentary - and don't hunt down the perpetrators. After all, they want their guests to come back.
Hotel managers are less tolerant when it comes to pricier objects. Click through the gallery above for five of the oddest things that are frequently stolen from hotels in Europe.