Why Stealing Hotel Towels is a Bad Idea

As hotels try to to outdo each other with personalized service and great facilities, guests are also spoiled — no wonder many of them post complaints of bad experience despite decent offerings at 3-star hotel.

But as some posh hotel guests try to justify the money they spent (“why do they charge $240 for this room?”), they take whatever they believe is part of what they’re paying for.

First of all, hotel room rates are basically the cost of occupying a hotel room. Or maybe the brand associate Of course, to make things work it also includes cost of electricity for lights and air conditioner or heater and water for shower. All the rest are throw-ins, cheap to be replaced and provide hotel’s brand publicity opportunity: shampoo, slippers and stationery set.

But still, some travelers think taking away items like bathrobes and towels justify the cost and feel remorseless checking out with heavier luggage. It might be too tempting to take that fluffy, opulent cotton towel home but there are several reasons doing so is a bad idea.

1. Towels are not free.

The rule of thumb is that if an item cannot be reused (shampoo, bottled water, slippers) it can be taken away. But those that can be washed, polished, dusted and cleaned are supposed to stay in the hotel. TV set (with remote control), coffee maker, lamp shade, hair dryer and alarm clock are among them.

As it’s not free, taking them comes at a cost and some hotels have a price list of such items should you want to purchase them. Not that a lot of guests want to buy these room items for keepsake, it’s a reminder that they are not supposed to be taken away from the room.

Taking bath towels might sound easy peasy, but in the end, you might still get charged once you look at your credit card expenses from the hotel upon returning from your holidays.

2. You don’t know who last used it.

Bath towels are soft, exude with pleasant odor that you might think it’s brand new. Almost but not. Of course they are well-maintained and cared for by competent staff, but you can’t put the blame on them if they got too much work at less time — leaving that care to remove extra stain or eliminate vestiges from the room’s previous occupant. That previous occupant may be a business traveler or a couple or college friends who have their own nasty habits in the bathroom.

If only towels can talk about their ordeal, you might reconsider that equally nasty habit of stashing them into the extra space of your luggage.

3. It portrays you as cheap.

Bringing out towels from the hotel may also project you as stingy, opportunistic traveler and could get that unfair label as a person who brings home airline pillows and blankets, stashes away bagels and butter from the hotel’s breakfast buffet and makes Facebook check ins on posh, luxurious hotels even without actually staying there.

It definitely sounds unfair, but some people can’t help but suspect that if you can manage to take away items of lower value instead of paying them, it won’t be impossible for you to steal more valuable items without them knowing.

4. It could haunt you in the future.

For every bath towel taken away, there’s one less towel the hotel has to contend with. Whether it’s big name chains whose stockrooms are filled with replacements or midpriced hotels whose margins depend on the inventory of equipment no matter how small they are, stealing a bathroom towel is never a good thing; stealing is a sin.

It might sound creepy but hotels might put an asterisk on your name and monitor your tracks. The moment you make another booking to a sister hotel, your room price might be 5% higher than normal, your designated hotel room located at the worst part of the building and other disadvantageous arrangements.

Conclusion

Fresh bathroom towels are small pieces of luxury we all enjoy every time we check in and settled in our room after a weary day of travel. Taking them out without hotel’s express permission is unfair and flat out bad thing to do. On the other hand, leaving them intact and being grateful after a good night’s rest and a refreshing shower makes us feel good, and guiltless check out.

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