Share on Facebook

A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

4 Things You Can Take from Your Hotel Room—And 6 You Can’t

Unfortunately, you shouldn't take the robes.

1 / 8
Shampoo and shower gel with towel on a tablePavelis/Shutterstock

What you can take: soap

If there’s one thing most hotels reliably have in their rooms, it’s soap. And according to Ousman Conteh, general manager at Claridge House Chicago, these mini bottles are OK to take from your hotel room. “Often hotels receive negotiated pricing for items from another brand,” he says. However, Curt Asmussen, managing director of ObieHospitality, notes that it’s not encouraged to take these items—but guests aren’t penalized in any way if they do. Make sure you know what you should never ask the hotel staff before you go on your next trip.

2 / 8
Cosmetics set on black plate in hotel room ,Set for care of a body.Summer Photographer/Shutterstock

What you can take: Shampoo or conditioner

Much like the mini soaps stocked in the bathroom, the travel-size shampoo and conditioner are also fine to take from your hotel room. Hotels sometimes brand these items too, Conteh says. So taking their shampoos and sporting the hotel brand name can help the word out about a hotel. If you’re in the mood for a little getaway (emphasis on the little), learn about these 50 mini vacations that won’t break the bank.

3 / 8
Honeymoon concept. Champagne bucket near bed in a hotel roomFabrikaSimf/Shutterstock

What you can take: Anything “complimentary”

Complimentary items could include things like dry-cleaning bags, coffee, creamers, sugar packets, and certain marketing collateral pieces, Asmussen says. It’s fair game to take them with you. Joanna McCreary, the general manager for the W hotel in Austin, Texas, adds that some hotels even give exclusive complimentary gifts which you are, of course, free to take. “We love giving people champagne on check-in on peak arrival days at W Austin,” she says. “We don’t advertise it, but do get a good deal on it, and complimentary surprise champagne you will find is a very easy sell.” Make sure you know what to look for in a hotel room when you first check-in. 

4 / 8
Notebook / notepad with pen on a cozy sofaAngieYeoh/Shutterstock

What you can take: Paper and pens

These paper items also usually have the hotel brand name on them and serve as a marketing tool. Feel free to take them with you! But before you grab anything, learn about the dirtiest spots in every hotel room.

5 / 8
Close-up of stack of fresh white bath towels on the bed sheet. Room service maid cleaning hotel room.Papzi555/Shutterstock

What you can’t take: Sheets and towels

Sheets, towels, and other linens are definitely something you shouldn’t take from hotel rooms. As McCreary explains, the hotels’ goal is to prepare the perfect room for the next guest. Taking pricy essentials, like sheets, make it harder for hotel staff to do their job. According to the Telegraph, however, 68 percent of people in a survey admitted they steal linens and towels from hotel rooms. Beware that some hotels can track stolen towels thanks to electronic tags, HuffPost reports. These are the 14 weirdest things you can actually borrow from hotels.

6 / 8
Holding a digital tablet in bedPIXA/Shutterstock

What you can’t take: Electronics

Conteh notes that in most cases, there are disclaimers on all items that shouldn’t leave the room—especially in the case of pricy electronics. “An example is Claridge House’s AavGo tablet,” he says. “They note that there will be a cost levied on the room charge if a tablet or other item of value goes missing or removed from the premises.” If you’d rather opt for an Airbnb, find out the cheapest Airbnb’s in every state

7 / 8
two off white color bathrobes hanging in closet, room for copy spaceTong_stocker/Shutterstock

What you can’t take: Robes

These plush robes are one of the most common items people think they can take from hotel rooms, but can’t, according to Conteh and McCreary. You will be charged! Slippers, on the other hand, won’t be used again and are typically OK to take. Make sure you know these 15 things you should never, ever do in your hotel room.

8 / 8
Wooden Coat hangers hook in wardrobeJiradet Ponari/Shutterstock

What you can’t take: Wooden hangers, glass bottles, and mugs

There is a chance that taking these items from your hotel room could lead to consequences beyond an extra charge to your room—including being “blacklisted,” NBC reports. Hotels keep a record of guests who trash hotel rooms or steal items and might ban these people from booking rooms again. In rare scenarios, some people could get arrested. The Telegraph reports a couple in Japan was arrested for stealing robes and an ashtray. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so only take the complimentary items that you really need. Remember, just because you can take something doesn’t mean you should. Next, check out these things you won’t see in hotels anymore—and a couple you will.


Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an associate editor at The Healthy and a former assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her work has appeared online at the Food Network and Well + Good and in print at Westchester Magazine, and more. When she's not writing about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.