Stealing hotel soap

Jul 14th, 2013, 06:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Stealing hotel soap

I just read an article in the LA Times discussing the habits of various nationalities and what kind of items are 'stolen' from hotel rooms. My opinion is that i paid for the room and all the disposable items in it, like the soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrush, toilet paper, etc. Those items are mine to use or take home, if i need or want to. Just like the uneaten food from the restaurant which goes into the 'doggy bag'. I did not pay for the towels, wall hangings, or large screen TV display, so i don't take those. Some folks do take those items. Frequently in Asia i can not check out until the room has been scrutinized by the staff to ensure no theft but they never check the toothbrush loss.
What is your spin on these habits and what do you feel is acceptable to remove from the hotel room and does it make any difference if you are paying top dollar for the room?
jobin is offline  
Jul 14th, 2013, 06:25 PM
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I agree with you - soap, shampoo, other toiletries are for my use and I can take them home if I wish. It's only stealing soap if you go into the supply closet and take a dozen bars. Once you've used the soap, it gets thrown away if you don't take it with you. Generally that is true of the shampoo, etc, though sometimes hotels have refillable bottles. Nonetheless, IMO, it is there for your use not matter how much or little you pay for the room.

I've never had anyone check the room for pilferage before I left - not in Asia, not anywhere else. You must look like a suspicious character. ;-)
Kathie is offline  
Jul 14th, 2013, 06:27 PM
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I take soaps and shampoos as well especially the designer stuff like little Hermes soaps and shampoos. Agree with you that these items are for the guests to take home if they wish. Often they are replaced more than once a day at the top hotels so after a few day's stay you can collect quite a few soaps and shampoos.
Hanuman is offline  
Jul 14th, 2013, 06:57 PM
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Basically all hotels in China and other parts of Asia with lots of Chinese visitors will do the same, which includes plenty of hotels in Hong Kong and Macau. First, many Chinese simply don't have the sense of what's disposable and what's not. The culture us that if something's there to take, then it is inexcusable not to take it.

Second, many reservations are not guaranteed or paid by credit card, so the hotel had no means of charging the customer for what they've taken once they leave the property.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 14th, 2013, 07:02 PM
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I must say I don't really care about soaps, etc. but I do like hotel pens so I will take the pen provided in the room so long as it has the logo on it and I think it's acceptable.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 14th, 2013, 11:07 PM
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I once stayed at an "upmarket" hotel in Vietnam and they checked some luggage when people left.......
( they didn't to us) but the other thing they did was get housekeeping to check your room before you could check out.... The hotel was a BIG disappointment for a number of reasons........

I take the odd pen and occasionally soap and sometimes some of the notepad to use for my shopping lists when I get home ( but only if it's nearing the end not if it's a full pad.)
Smeagol is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 01:09 AM
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I don't take what I need. If guests takes everything costs I imagine will go up.
MissGreen is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 03:28 AM
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Glad to have a chance to tell a story I'd almost forgotten. When checking out of the Mondial Hotel in Hue, Vietnam, we were detained at the front desk while housekeeping went to see if anything was missing from our room. They came back to report that the cutlery supplied with the welcome fruit basket was gone. I took probably too much pleasure in telling them that was because our room service order had been delivered without any knives, forks, or spoons. Further, that they could find the supposedly stolen items on the tray of dirty dishes in the hall outside the door of our room. With that explanation we were released, though perhaps still under a cloud of suspicion?
WillJame is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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Just the obvious soaps, lotions, etc. Also those note pads are made for you to take with you along with the pens. I work with the industry and those types of things are meant specifically for YOU. Most upscale places will dump all those unused amenities upon your departure anyway.

smeagol, I manufacture those hotel note pads and they are made to be taken(please). The pad is only 8-10 sheets of paper when new.

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 08:28 AM
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I like the hotel pens and pads, too. I like conditioner if it is a designer kind or an especially pretty/cute/unique shape of bottle. I would never take toilet paper....

When I check out of my apartment in Bangkok, someone always does a quick run-through of my apartment. I've stayed there many times over the years so I know they are not expecting to find something "missing" upon my departure. It's just a formality, and I don't mind it at all. They might find something I accidentally left behind. Nothing wrong with that!!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 08:39 AM
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HT, I am making more business for you! I do take hotel notepads. I have quite a collection. It's fun to write a grocery list on a pad I picked up in Kolkata or Chicago!

It used to be that when I checked into a hotel of a chain I regularly stayed at, there was often hotel stationary and note pads printed with my name as well as the hotel name. I always took those! The Royal Orchid in Bangkok used to do that.
Kathie is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 10:38 AM
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HT I am very happy to hear that, I will take them from now on

Kathie - haven't seen that personalised stationery in a while... Maybe it was the Chateau Marmont in LA!
Smeagol is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 11:08 AM
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There was actually another thread on this subject several years ago, back in the Gpanda era. As I recall, the verdict was decidedly mixed on whether hotel amenities are meant to be taken. As for us, we always stock up on shampoo, hand lotion, soaps and bottled water after a hotel stay...
Craig is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 12:06 PM
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We were given a free long weekend at the Georges V in Paris by Four Seasons following a big screw up when we stayed at one of their properties in Egypt. My wife really like the Bvlgari au Vert toiletries they provided which they seemed to renew 3 or 4 times a day which was a good job as few remained in the room after we left. Finally used her last one on our current trip in South America where, sadly, the hostals we are currently using do not provide quite the same service!
crellston is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 12:12 PM
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I've had to wait for a "room inspection" in many hotels in Asia. In nicer hotels, it's quite discrete (the clerk stalls, then gets a phone message)and other times the clerk will say it outright.

I asked a manager in Bangkok about it once, and he said it was just normal policy.
lcuy is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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Wow Lcuy I didn't know this... I will keep my eye out for the stalling...... When it happened at the hotel in Mui Ne I was very surprised... Maybe they just haven't learnt to be discreet!
Smeagol is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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I LOVE hotel notepads (not so much the pens). They're just the right size for, well, note-writing!! I always take them.
sf7307 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 02:51 PM
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I was accused of taking the hotel room's cloth laundry bag in far western China. I had not even seen one in the room. After rechecking the room, they found it. I was already outside the hotel when they came running after me making accusations and finally understood that guests have even taken furniture out of the hotel.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 04:41 PM
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In Japan amenities are given to you for your use from the high end places down to the business hotels. Free toothbrushes/toothpaste, combs, shaving/sewing kits are the norm along with the soaps, shampoos and moisturizers. High end places will give out Shiseido or Menard cosmetics moisturizers and conditioners etc. Everyone will give you a freshly laundered yukata daily to sleep in....ornate ones in high end places or ryokans more simple ones in business hotels, but those are not to be taken home.

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 15th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Thanks, HT, we've come to expect some amenities pretty much everywhere we go, except for the yukata...
Craig is offline  

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