Stealing soaps or pens seems harmless for many hotel guests, however, some are so bold that they carry TVs, pianos, mattresses or even stuffed animals out of the hotel. Wellness Heaven has asked 1,157 hoteliers which items are most commonly stolen. In particular, we observe a striking difference in the theft behavior between guests in 4-star and 5-star hotels.
The main result of the study: the overwhelming majority of guests steal towels and bathrobes – perhaps as a goodie for the next spa break? These two objects of desire are closely followed by hangers, pens and cutlery. In addition to these "ordinary" items, there is a number of spectacular outliers that suggest a brisk imagination of the delinquents.
Thieving preferences by nationality
When classifying the delinquents by nationality, a different picture emerges. It turns out, for example, that German and British hotel guests follow a rather boring theft behavior: In addition to towels and bathrobes, primarily cosmetics and toiletries are in the focus.
In contrast, Austrians snitch in a more pleasure-oriented way: dishes and coffee machines appear high up in their theft ranking. It seems they cannot get enough to satisfy their thirst for coffee. For US Americans, pillows and batteries appear as the prime objects of desire.
Italians seem to prefer wine glasses as a hotel souvenir, while the hairdryer ranks high up in the Swiss ranking. The French, on the other hand, steal in a more spectacular manner: they represent the nation that is attracted mainly to TV sets and remote controls.
Dutch hotel guests see in their souvenirs above all the practical benefits: Their favorites include light bulbs and toilet paper.
Guests of 5-star hotels prefer expensive items
A total of 634 hoteliers from 4-star hotels and 523 from 5-star hotels were surveyed to determine the behavior of thieves depending on their wealth. As it turns out, "Greed is good" seems to be a reliable motto, especially for the well-heeled 5-star clientele.
The probability of high-quality TV sets being stolen in 5-star hotels is 9 times higher in comparison to the 4-star segment. Similarly, artworks are popular objects of desire in luxury hotels (5.5 times higher theft probability). Tablet computers and mattresses are also being stolen a lot more frequently in 5-star hotels.
4-star hotel guests are content with less spectacular gifts: towels and hangers tend to be in higher demand than in 5-star hotels. The typical 4-star hotel guest is especially fond of practical items such as batteries and remote controls (theft probability 3.1 and 4.9 times higher, respectively).
On the methodology of this survey: The multiple-choice answers were randomized, multiple answers were possible. For example "Towels" in Fig. 1: 77.5% of surveyed hoteliers have indicated that towels were stolen at their hotel. The survey was conducted in September and October 2019.
A total of 1,157 responses were evaluated, the result can be considered as representative. The 1,157 hotels whose management participated in the survey are located primarily in Europe. 634 hoteliers were surveyed in the 4-star segment, and 523 in the 5-star segment.
(Wellness Heaven was founded in 2006 by quantum physicist Dr. Tassilo Keilmann. The hotel portal reviews spa and luxury hotels in Europe und Asia. With 32 million page impressions annually, Wellness Heaven is the leading spa hotel guide in German-speaking countries. The 18 Wellness Heaven hotel testers regularly evaluate selected hotels and rate them on the basis of a standardized test procedure. The website focuses on hotels in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and the Maldives.)