Study reveals shocking data about what guests are stealing from hotels around the world

A bed and side table inside a hotel room.

Hotel guests around the world are stealing bizarre items according to the 2023 Wellness Heaven study released.

Published Nov 28, 2023

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We have all heard about incidents where guests have stolen towels and bathrobes from hotels, but a new study released on Monday by Wellness Heaven revealed just how brazen some guests are in terms of the items being stolen across the globe.

Wellness Heaven asked 1376 hotel managers which items are most commonly stolen.

“Stealing soaps or pens seems harmless for many hotel guests, however, some are so bold that they carry TVs, pianos, mattresses or even stuffed animals out of the hotel.”

According to the study, towels and bathrobes are stolen the most, followed by hangers, pens and cosmetics.

The data showed that bizarre items like bathroom fixtures such as the head of a rain shower, a hydromassage shower, a toilet seat, a drainpipe or even an entire sink was stolen at a Berlin hotel.

A hotelier from Italy said: "Once I walked through the lobby, I noticed that something was missing, and soon after I learned that three unknown men in overalls had taken away the grand piano, and it never reappeared, of course."

Other strange stolen items include room numbers, stuffed hunting trophies, sauna benches, a HiFi system, flowers, dishes, coffee machines, pillows, batteries, wine glasses, hair dryers, blankets and electronic tablets.

The study found that guests in French hotels steal TVs and remote controls while Dutch hotel guests steal light bulbs and toilet paper.

The 2023 Wellness Heaven study revealed what hotel guests are stealing. Picture: Screen shot from study.

“Even expensive luxury mattresses are not immune to disappearing. The probability for their theft is 5.4 times higher in 5-star hotels. How exactly the bulky goods are transported unnoticed out of the hotel remains a mystery. On request, some hoteliers informed us that this only happens in the middle of the night – using elevators which lead directly to the underground parking.”

The study identified the following trends in hotel thefts in comparison with data from 2019:

  • Mini fridges have emerged as a new item of desire. The theft of mini fridges is 2.5 x more probable in 4-star hotels.
  • Several items of theft are on the rise: coffee makers went from 6.9% to 11.4%, mattresses 4.2% to 6.6% and tablet computers from 12% to 18.3%.
  • The theft of phones decreased from 4.8% to 3.4%, cutlery from 33.6% to 27.5% and lamps from 4.3% to 4.1%.

The Mercury