While it’s not unusual for hotel guests to be light-fingered when it comes to toiletries, some are taking it to the next level and stealing mattresses, coffeemakers and artwork from their rooms, a survey has revealed.
Surveying 1,157 four and five-star hotels, hotel and spa reviewer Wellness Heaven found that a surprising number of bulky items go missing every year – and the more luxurious the hotel, the more likely the theft of expensive items.
“This was surprising to me, because it is quite easy for the hotel group to determine which person stole it, because the maid will look after checkout, and it’s easy to say this guest stole the TV or the mattress,” Tassilo Keilmann, CEO of Wellness Heaven, told CNN Travel.
Some 49 hotels reported mattresses had been taken since 2018, with one establishment positing that thieves take them in the middle of the night, avoiding reception by using lifts that go directly to the underground carpark.
The results showed that mattress thefts are 8.1 times more likely in a five-star than a four-star hotel.
Artwork was also much more likely to be stolen in a five-star establishment, with 37 per cent of top-tier hotels reporting pieces had been taken, compared to just 6.6 per cent of four-stars.
The theft of coffeemakers, TVs and tablet computers was also more probable in the five-star places surveyed, with 12.4 per cent, 12 per cent and 23.2 per cent of hotels respectively reporting these losses.
Four and five-stars alike said the most frequently stolen items were towels, bathrobes and hangers, with guests in the former more likely to steal these than the latter.
Anecdotally, alongside the more standard examples were some extremely unusual thefts.
One hotel reported that a grand piano went missing from the lobby, while another near Salzburg said the wooden benches from its sauna were stolen.
Another guest in an English hotel took the door numbers with him, which was only discovered when the next guest staying there struggled to locate his room.
Keilmann said that many of the most upmarket hotels prefer not to report the thefts.
“In a lot of cases, they don’t report it to the police, because they don’t want to be connected to crime,” he said.