I Always Knew the Rich Were Different Than the Rest of Us

Wellness Heaven recently conducted a survey of 1,157 hoteliers about which items are most commonly stolen from hotels.

The chart below shows that the most commonly stolen items were what one would expect – towels, bathrobes, pens, etc.

But what’s surprising were some of the other items that were stolen – TV sets, phones, and mattresses.

Yep, you read that right. Mattresses. Apparently thieves will wait until there is no one working the front desk and take the mattress out using an elevator that goes directly to an underground parking garage.

There were some unusual items as well:

  • A hotelier from Italy said: “Once I walked through the lobby, I noticed that something was missing, and soon after I learned that three unknown men in overalls had taken away the grand piano, and it never reappeared, of course.”
  • At a hotel in France, a guest was caught trying to steal a stuffed boar’s head . At a later date, he did receive this trophy: friends bought the precious piece from the hotel and gave it to him as a wedding gift.
  • In a hotel near Salzburg, the wooden benches from a sauna were stolen. The “private sauna” was located on the terrace of a spa suite. It was only when a subsequent guest criticised the absence of the benches (“Where should I sit in the sauna? I can’t relax while standing”) that the hotelier noticed the theft.

But what really caught my eye was when Wellness Heaven created a chart that showed the differences in items stolen between four and five-star hotels.

Apparently, guests at the five-star hotels are much more inclined to steal the high-ticket items. Here are some of the highlights:

  • artworks are 5.5 times more likely to be stolen from a five-star hotel compared to a four-star hotel.
  • tablet computers are 8.2 times more likely
  • TV sets are 9 times more likely
  • mattresses are 8.1 times more likely

Perhaps that mindset is part of what made them rich enough to stay at a five-star hotel.

The chart also shows that towels, hangers, and pens are more likely to be stolen at the four-star hotels.

So I always had the sense that the rich were different from the rest of us, I just didn’t know it was in terms of what they like to steal from hotels.

I’ve always thought of hotel pens as complimentary. I guess I need to set my sights higher…

*image from LuxHabitat

P.S. Thanks to my colleague Bill O’Neill for alerting me to this story.

23 thoughts on “I Always Knew the Rich Were Different Than the Rest of Us

  1. After getting over the mattress thing, I started thinking… Could it be that when less rich people stay at more expensive hotels they try to get “more” buck/mattress for their money? 🙂


  2. I am absolutely floored that this is even a thing. I had no idea that you could steal something from a hotel and they not immediately notice and take recourse. So, if you steal something from your room, do you still leave a tip for the housekeeping staff?


  3. Very interesting! I’m lucky if I can get all of my own things back in my suitcase!!! Can’t imagine how people get this stuff out the door! The grand piano has to be the best though!!!!


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