5 unusual things European guests steal from hotel rooms

Culture

Works of art

The theft of art objects is a big problem in luxury hotels. According to a survey by travel site Wellness Heaven, 34 percent of five-star hotels polled said that paintings had been stolen from their rooms. The cheaper the hotel, the fewer art thefts there are. Obviously, an oil painting in a luxury suite is more interesting than a poster in a two-star hotel.

Culture

Blankets

How big does your suitcase have to be if you want to smuggle out a bedspread? Fifteen percent of the 1,000 surveyed said that blankets disappeared from their rooms. Pillow thefts were reported nearly as frequently (13 percent). Both items are stolen four times more often in expensive hotels than in mid-range hotels.

Culture

Televisions

Almost all hotel rooms are equipped with televisions - until guests quietly slip them out the door. TV thefts are particularly problematic in larger hotels. Five percent of surveyed hotels reported the disappearance of televisions - even though removing them often means wading through a pile of cables and detaching them from the wall. The thieves must have brought along the right tools.

Culture

Mattresses

If you thought it was tough to exit a hotel with a bedspread or TV in hand, what about a mattress? Surprisingly, some hoteliers report that thieves have simply transported them via elevator to the parking garage in the middle of the night. Five percent of five-star hotels have lost mattresses. In pricier hotels, they can carry up to a four-figure value.

Culture

Pianos

The most brazen theft was reported by an Italian hotelier. The piano in the lounge of his luxury hotel suddenly disappeared. Three unidentified people had simply rolled it out of the hotel and down the street - and were never seen again. Fortunately, that was the only case of piano theft reported.

Towels are just the beginning. Some hotel guests, it seems, book a room with the intention of removing large objects from it. But how they manage to get TVs out without getting caught remains a mystery.

For many travelers, filling their suitcases with notepads or slippers is part and parcel of staying in a hotel room. May those who want to plead not guilty throw the first miniature shampoo bottle.

A survey of over 1,000 European hotels by carried out by travel website Wellness Heaven revealed that hotel theft is not only very widespread, but that thieves don't stop at pens and pillows. The more stars a hotel has, the bolder its looters become. Even items that are screwed down can find their way out the door, from TVs and stereo systems to sinks and even number plates on hotel doors. 

Towels are still the most common amenity to disappear, with 78 percent of surveyed hotels reporting their theft from bathrooms and spa areas. In some hotels, several hundred towels are stolen per year, resulting in damages totaling several thousand euros.

Read more: 5 European hotels you'll never want to leave

Other popular items to be taken are bathrobes (66 percent), coat hangers (50 percent), pens (39 percent) and cutlery (35 percent). The study also found that different nationalities seem to have different preferences. While Germans are particularly fond of towels, Italians tend to swipe wine glasses; the Swiss seem to be short on hairdryers, and the French love TV remotes. 

Theft is anything but a trivial offense. Strictly speaking, not even pens or cosmetics may be taken from hotels. However, most establishments print their logo on these smaller items and view them as complimentary - and don't hunt down the perpetrators. After all, they want their guests to come back.

Hotel managers are less tolerant when it comes to pricier objects. Click through the gallery above for five of the oddest things that are frequently stolen from hotels in Europe. 

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