If you're a fan of hotel amenities (and who doesn’t love travel size shampoo?) you’ll be glad to know there are actually some things you're allowed to take from a hotel – and some you can’t.
Hotels generally go by the rule that if it's reusable (for example, can be washed and put out for another guest) then you shouldn’t take it. Pillows, towels, robes and bed sheets obviously fall into this category.
But if they are items such as slippers and soap then go for it, as these won’t be reused for another guest.
Nowadays, if you feel like taking that plush robe home with you your hotel might charge that credit card you left at the front desk when checking in. The Connaught hotel in London provides guests with complimentary Burberry trench coats for use when staying at the hotel, but if you decide to take it home with you you can expect a charge of $1700 on your card.
Pens are a commonly pocketed item from hotels and serve a practical purpose so you can be forgiven for taking one. In fact the hotel is usually happy for you to swipe it as it's free advertising for them due to the branding printed on the side.
The iconic pink pens from The Royal Hawaiian in Honolulu have become so coveted that some are for sale on eBay, along with mugs ($30) and even a plastic cocktail stirrer ($8), all in the hotel's signature rosy hue.
Light bulbs, toilet paper rolls and batteries from the remote are generally considered off-limits, except for those hardcore hotel kleptomaniacs who might believe these things are factored in to the price of the room.
Big-ticket electrical items such as a kettle, coffee machine, clothes iron and hair-dryer are usually not to be taken either, as the hotel is will find out they're missing and replacing them will cost the hotel. But the complimentary tea and coffee left for you? Go nuts, just leave the mug.
When in doubt, ask the hotel staff if you can take it home as a souvenir. Better to check if the monogram bathrobe they left out for you was a gift, rather than receive an unpleasant (and likely overpriced) charge on your credit card the next day.
So, just to recap:
Pillows, towels, robes, bed sheets and electrical items = NO.
Slippers, soap, shampoo, tea and coffee, pens = YES.