"Anything that isn't bolted down" is probably what you've heard when it comes to taking things home from hotel rooms, but we're here to tell you that there's no truth to that old saying. It would also be technically considered stealing if the hotel didn't have the option of taking it out of your security deposit.
Now, the facts: The rule of thumb is that you can take what's meant to be consumed or items that will be thrown out after your stay. So, the bathrobe? Off-limits (in most cases). The hairdryer? Don't even think about it. We do realize that there are people that think that the light bulbs are fair game... As a guide, here's what you can usually take from hotel rooms, no questions asked.
Toiletries such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, shaving cream, deodorant, sewing kit, shower cap, and razor are obvious freebies. After that, comes the second level of items such as stationery, pens, notepads, postcards, and envelopes. Coffee, as well as the creamer and sugar packets are also complimentary.
The not-so-obvious list of freebies starts with the disposable slippers. Everything that follows is weird, but if you really wanted you could still stash the magnetic key cards and "Do Not Disturb" door signs in your bag. If you're staying at a high-end hotel, you might even be able to swipe the bathrobe if, and only if, it's been personalized with your name or initials.
Starting with the bedroom, the hotel items you definitely cannot take home include the bed linens, pillows, blankets, alarm clocks, trash cans, lightbulbs, lamps, and of course, any of the appliances. In the bathroom, glassware, shower curtains, hangers, hairdryers are hotel property.
If you feel bad about taking home shampoo bottles, then you're in the minority. A recent survey of over 1,000 hoteliers revealed that artworks, tablet computers, coffee makers, television sets, phones, and even mattresses have been stolen by guests.