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.
Pens are commonly pocketed items from hotels and serve a practical purpose, so you can be forgiven for taking some. In fact, the hotel is usually happy for you to take their pens, as it's free advertising for them due to the branding printed on the side of these writing utensils. For example, the iconic pink pens from The Royal Hawaiian hotel in Honolulu have become so coveted that some are for sale on eBay, along with mugs ($20.95) and even a plastic cocktail stirrer ($6.24), all in the hotel's signature rosy hue.
Light bulbs, toilet paper rolls, and batteries from the remote are generally considered off limits.
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 will find out they're missing, and replacing them will cost the hotel. But the complimentary tea and coffee left for you? Go nuts, but leave the mug.
When in doubt, ask the hotel staff if you can take something home as a souvenir. It's 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.
We'll definitely be keeping this list in mind on our next vacation.
This post was written by Amber Elias. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.