And you, what do you take from hotels? Is Taking Hotels’ Bathrobes Stealing?

Some people like to take many things from hotels and some people forget things they brought with them. They’ve taken everything from a grand piano, various antique watches, a stone pig, a heavy marble fireplace, even a live lobster. They have left a dead goat, a scared hamster. a cinerary urn, various dentures, wigs of different colours, a parrot, parakeets, prosthetic legs, a glass eye, pyjamas, men and women’s underwear.  Once, a bondage kit, including a whip, was left in a hotel in London by a guest who loved English discipline.

With the items and the abandoned hardware left in these hotels, they could create various museums of the bizarre.

The balance leans towards the side of the people who take an unimportant souvenir home with them while passing through the hotel. Most choose as many of the amenities as they can that the hotel offers.

Who has not ever thrown into their suitcase: bottle of shampoo, sewing kit, comb, toothbrush, matchbox, pencil, a pen or one of those indescribable showering hats that they will never use? Or that same beautiful ashtray that you already have at home? You don’t feel guilty though, your kleptomania is moderate. The hotels leave those amenities there for the guests to freely take. No, the hair dryer is not an amenity. Nor is the bathrobe.

The electronic gadgets and the batteries of the remotes are real hits. In some hotels, dishes and fairly complete cutlery sets, with monograms shining for the world to see, are considered ‘collectables’. I know a specialist surgeon who, in addition to being hands-on in the operating room, is an artist at juggling cups and tankards. His already vast collection is filled from hotels, bars and restaurants on 5 continents.

Even the doting and sinuous Katy Perry acknowledges having made mischief. “I take the pillows, I’m like the princess and the pea. I like to sleep squishy” she declared on one occasion.

 The rogue’s adventures also includes refilling bottles from the minibar with water or tea. Changing old and faded duvet covers from home with the new ones of the hotel, (just changing the cover and stating that they haven’t touched it) There are people with screwdrivers who take the door knobs, towel rails, hair dryers, toilet roll holders, lamps, bulbs, stereos and TVs. Nightstands that fly away along with their Gideon’s bibles; and bibles even say on the pages inside of them “Thou shalt not steal”.

The common spaces are not spared either. According to British newspaper, “The Daily Telegraph”, a London hotel spent a fortune on floral decorations and motifs. Many were ‘borrowed’ and made into makeshift birthday or anniversary gifts by forgetful husbands.

Where does taking a souvenir end and the body of a crime begin? The towel, that obscure object of desire (although they are almost always white), marks the border between what the hotel considers normal and the guest considers a memento from the visit. Hundreds of thousands of items disappear every year from hotels across the world, which is a huge cost for the big hotel chains, especially as it helped to raise the price of cotton for manufacture of the linen..

The measures to prevent it are varied. From electronic minibars that register the items being taken out and automatically add it to the bill, to small microchips in all the towels, sheets and bathrobes.

In a hotel in Tokyo, they have this notice to all the guests, “Guests, please do not steal these towels. If that’s not the case, please don’t read this note.” Other places are more subtle and announce in the bathroom: “If you are interested in our bathrobes, you can purchase a new one at reception for 50 euros. If you prefer to take one that has been used, we will charge it to your account.” The more imaginative hotels go as far as stamping their towels and putting labels on ashtrays like this:
“Stolen courtesy of (hotel name)”.

And you, what do you take from hotels?

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A day in Paradise or how to work in a 5 stars hotel

Hotel room in West LondonThey are the cornerstones of the 5 star hotel in West London. This is certainly the view of the head housekeeper, Marieta Polska, the Director of the housekeeping section of the palace. “Without them, there’s no hotel and even less luxury.”

Start of the day: 7 am. Clients are departing or arriving, others continue their stay in one of the 153 rooms and suites where the rate varies between £300 and £3,500 per night.

The head housekeeper gives the instructions for the day. The golden rule: everything must be perfect. Here, the household are technicians. The furniture is made of precious wood; there are marble floors… “We use specific products for each of these materials,” explains George Brown, the Manager of the hotel.

“On the mirrors or tiles in the bathroom, no smears. On the sheets, no folds! Doing the housework at home is one thing but in a hotel with 5 stars, it is very much another!” said Marieta Polska. “There may also be special instructions, adds the Director. For example: spread rose petals on the bed; place a gift; a bottle of champagne; remove alcohol from the minibar and replace toiletries with other products according to customer’s request.”

pillow for hotelFrancesca, one of the four nannies of the establishment, on the subject of pillows: “Some do not want pillows, others want more. Once, a client requested 12!

Throughout the day, the head housekeeper controls with precision the tasks that are performed. “In this business, you need the sense of detail”, she insists. Not only this… being a hotel housekeeper in a large hotel is an art. You need to have the flawless look – uniform, tight bun and light makeup – a look and a sense of discretion. “You have to keep composure and smile at any moment; even when the customer gets annoyed or requests the impossible”, adds Marieta. The highest achievement for the housekeeping staff is that clients forget that you are always around but at the same time you are always available for them, and he or she knows this. “Hotel housekeepers are in the front line,” declares Marieta Polska. “Whether a customer has a message or a requirement, it is assigned to us to deliver.

A housekeeper must be versatile, reactive and master several languages. Marieta recalls a situation where “A client, scheduled for an appointment, had a problem with the fastener on her dress. We had to find a solution in minutes.”

At 1 pm, it is the turn of the evening team to take over the service. One of its missions is called ‘The coverage service.’ During dinner, they must prepare rooms for the night. A clean bathroom, carpet slippers at the foot of the bed, a breakfast menu for the next day…

“When recruiting, we hire staff with experience, professionals who have already held positions in major hotels, says the Director.” We also take in young learners; people undergoing special training at ones of the best schools in the UK ”.

“In short, we are looking for rare gems that have a passion for the profession.” concludes the head housekeeper.