Something to remember my quarantine by - Leah Panapa

Opinion 09/04/2020

Opinion piece by Leah Panapa.

I have seen many videos from around the world of people isolating/quarantined in hotel rooms. Many have had no choice about where they have to stay for 14 days, others, if they were lucky, managed relatively nice digs to hunker down in. 

I was wondering when they get to leave would they take a little something with them to remember their ordeal? Don’t get me wrong I am not at all advocating stealing, I am thinking more of the complimentary toiletries or the hotel's monogrammed pen and paper set.   

With me thinking about this I did a little digging and boy oh boy, some people did stop at the odd shower cap!!

One guy who knows a lot about it is Peter Greenberg  - an investigative journalist, better known to front desk managers as the Travel Detective, who has researched and documented travellers' sins for years. 

The one that gets everyone’s attention and has become part of Los Angeles hotel lore is a guest at the Beverly Wilshire who stole a marble fireplace! Apparently he cut it out of the wall with a chisel. A bellboy even helped load the pieces in a truck.

The items swiped from $800-a-night room would put the average shoplifter to shame. They include: large ceramic bowls, silver platters, throw pillows, wireless speakers, small oil paintings, iPads.  Greenburg says there’s a sense of entitlement with some guests believing they have overpaid for the room, so what’s in it is theirs for the taking. Anything that can be squeezed into a suitcase seems to be fair game. 

The annual survey of thefts in Hotels is published by Wellness Heaven, a German website that reviews luxury hotels and spas. 

It collected data from 1,157 four and five star hotels and showed that stealing soaps or pens seems harmless for many hotel guests,, some are so bold that they carry TVs, pianos, mattresses or even [taxidermied] animals out of the hotel.

The other shocker from this biennial survey is that the people who stay in the best places are the biggest thieves. Four-star hotel guests tend to pilfer common household staples like pens, towels, hangers and cutlery. It’s at the posh five-star places, though, where the good stuff goes missing.

A television set is nine times more likely to be stolen from a five-star than a four-star hotel. Duvets and pillows are another five-star obsession. There’s a fourfold increase in the theft of those coveted goose down accessories. The scam: bring some old bedding from home, and switch it out just before checkout.

And  luxury hotel larceny is rising :. Mattress theft is up 35% compared to the 2017 survey. The same goes for hair dryers (up 20%), phones (up 26%), coffee machines (up 21%), lamps (up 19%) and TVs (up 11%).

Mind blowing right?  Although I am sure those people that have seen nothing but their hotel rooms four walls for two weeks are just wanting to be free of it and not concerned with having to try and walk out with half the room's contents. 

Personally I can’t wait to stay at a hotel again, but rest assured,  my only bad habit is leaving the bathroom towels on the floor.