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Your Hotel Questions Answered

Have you ever wondered if it is possible to take home the complimentary robe, slippers and toiletries home with you after your hotel stay as well as devouring the entire contents of the minibar and not get into trouble or have to pay? What happens when a guest passes away during their stay? And the most important question of them all... what happens to the half used loo rolls?

Jacob Tomsky, a hotel industry insider who has worked in two of the most popular hotels in New Orleans and New York City shares the secrets of the hotel industry, answering some of your all-important questions.

What are the most popular items guests take from hotels?

According to Tomsky, guests frequently take the toiletries and towels that hotels provide as complimentary items. However some guests take things too far, removing anything that is simply not tied down such as ashtrays, television remotes and even the bedspreads.

Things you can get away with taking are items such as the bathrobe as Tomsky explains; If you were to, say, check into a room, take a fresh robe and pack it away in your suitcase, then call down and say your room didn't have a robe in it when you checked in, is the hotel staff going to search your belongings? Highly unlikely."

With toiletries, it is possible to have more than what was originally put in your room if you simply ask at the front desk for extras. Additional items that are available at hotels but not always put in the room itself include razors, shaving cream, pocket-sized deodorants and lint rollers - all for free!

Will the hotel always charge for the minibar?

You may already have guessed that all of the items found in the minibar are purchased in bulk and sold on for a large profit, but did you know that human error, over or under stocking and errant charges mean that the minibar is the most fallible system in the entire hotel. It can be said that hotels are more concerned that you enjoyed your stay and look to secure further room bookings, than if you drank or ate something from the minibar.

What items are not cleaned in hotels?

The amount of time it takes to clean a hotel room generally depends on the overall size. Rooms are given point scores according to their size or complexity to clean and each housekeeper must do a certain amount of points each day. The average amount of time to clean a room is between 30 minutes to an hour, based on how tidy or dirty the guest has left the room in. The items that are cleaned less frequently are the TV remote and more shockingly, the minibar glasses; the housekeepers are not given any dish soap to clean them in, therefore they are washed in the bathroom sink using shampoo, or alternatively just polished using a duster. We won't be using those in a hurry!

If someone dies in the hotel room, what happens?

While the subject itself is quite morbid, Tomsky explains that this scenario is not as rare as you might think; "œ'It's not something a hotel wishes to publicise, naturally, so, they are removed as discreetly as possible via back exits and the employee elevators." Following this, the room is then cleaned, sanitised and re-sold to the next guest, with the hotel staff forbidden to disclose the cause of death as well as particular room numbers to anyone.

Can staff members access the hotel safes?

The short answer is no. The good news is that the safes really are, well, safe! So what happens when a guest forgets their pin number or the safe physically cannot be opened again? Well, rest assured that the safe can in fact be opened again, through the use of a special opening tool that only certain members of the hotel security have access to and are authorised to use.

And the most important question of all, what happens to the half-used toilet rolls?

With the environment in mind, most hotels will simply refold the half used roll and re-use this for the next guest, providing a brand new roll behind the old one should they need it. However if there isn't much left to warrant leaving it for the next guest to use, the roll is removed and used for the hotel staff's bathrooms instead - so now you know!

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