Can You Keep a Hotel Bathrobe?
Most hotels stock their rooms with plenty of amenities for guests to enjoy during their stays, including bathrobes. Hotel bathrobes and spa robes are famous for being soft and luxurious, especially at high-end hotels and resorts, which might leave you feeling tempted to keep the robes at the end of their trips. But before you roll up that hotel robe and stuff it in your suitcase, consider a number of factors and some consequences that are involved.
Hotel Bathrobe Ethics
A great deal of debate exists over the ethics of taking hotel robes. Some feel it is perfectly fine and harmless, while others feel it is the equivalent of stealing. While many upscale hotels factor guests taking robes and other items into their budgets, small-scale, privately owned hotels and motels might not make such adjustments, and taking a robe could take a cut out of their profits and ultimately harm their business. While it might seem innocent enough for you, as one person, to take a robe, consider what would happen if every guest who stayed there took one. Soon enough, the cost of lost robes and replacing them could drive the hotel out of business, or at least force them to adjust their prices as if everyone were getting a robe.
It Doesn't Hurt to Ask
Most hotels don't care if you take certain "disposable" amenities, such as shampoos, soaps and lotions, but this doesn't necessarily include robes. Consider calling the front desk to politely ask what the policy is regarding taking the robes. The staff might tell you that it is perfectly acceptable for you to pack the robe and take it home with you, or might offer to sell one to you.
It Might Cost You Money
Most hotels no longer accept cash payment, and if they do, they usually require a debit or credit card number to be kept on file just in case they need to charge a guest for damages to the hotel room. If the hotel has your credit card information and you take a robe, you could find yourself footing the bill for it. Of course, not every hotel will go out of its way to do this, but it is a possible consequence of taking a hotel robe without permission.
It Might Cost Even More
While the chances of this happening are pretty slim, the hotel could press theft charges against you for stealing its property. Hotels in Nigeria and Japan have filed police reports and pressed charges against guests for stealing their towels and other amenities; and in Nigeria, guests have been sentenced to jail time for helping themselves to the hotel's wares. Even though luxury hotels may just have some of the best bathrobes in the world, taking one isn't worth getting a theft charge on your criminal record.
What About Those Slippers?
Okay, so there are plenty of ethical and even criminal reasons to ask before you walk off with a hotel bathrobe. But what about the slippers that were waiting for you in your room, or one of those cushy towels? The general consensus amongst hoteliers is that if it can't be reused, you're welcome to have it. In fact, they often put their logos on "disposable" items like notepads, pencils, small toiletries – and yes, slippers – in hopes that you'll take the items home, see the logo, and think of the hotel.
But hotel towels can and will be reused – so leave them in the room, lest you want to risk a guilty conscience and maybe even a charge on your credit card. You can also leave the light bulbs, curtains and artwork right where they are; all three made a list of the most frequently stolen hotel items that was compiled by the British site The Telegraph.