Shopping Travel

Taking things from the Hotel Room Service Tray

Now that I’m in Caleefornia and near my dear frugal friend, I’ve tried to become more frugal myself. I’m not sure if it’s because of her enthusiasm for frugality, or that this is also the direction our country is taking in general. Either way, I’m trying.

I was on a business trip the last few days and stayed at the fabulous Ritz in San Francisco. We were doing business with them and they comped the room (just in case your first thought is that the Ritz is certainly not on the frugal list). Coincidentally, the Ritz is full of things to take home to be frugal.

Here is a list of what I brought home.

Everything from the bathroom including Q-tips, the shampoo and conditioner, all bars of soap (I opened one and used it both at the sink and in the shower so there were two bars to bring home), two plastic laundry bags from the closet (not sure what they are good for, but whatever), the shoeshine cloth, and (drum roll) seven bottles from the room service cart including three jars of  orange marmalade (should I mention I hate marmalade?), one little jar of mayo, one jar of dijon mustard, two jars of strawberry jam (love that and wished I could have used it on my whole wheat toast but I didn’t think an open bottle would be ok to keep without refrigerating so I ate it dry), two bottles of catsup, and last but not least, the shower cap. They had 8 (not kidding) washcloths in the bathroom and I’m sure they wouldn’t have missed one, but I considered that crossing the line to thief, so I didn’t take it.

I was stoked, what a haul. It felt like Christmas.

Then I started to feel guilty. Is that stealing? What do you think the housekeeping department thought of me? Do healthy people do this? Then I started to worry that the bottles wouldn’t get past security. What if security opened my bag after all the bottles went through X-ray and everyone behind me saw that I was a stealer of bottles off the room service tray, and they would think to themelves “Are you kidding me? Who is that awful woman?” And what if stolen bottles from hotels means you get strip searched? Then I realized I better not look nervous or they will pull me over anyway. I was exhausted and guilt ridden by the time I got through security. I actually considered dropping it all off at a homeless shelter in Los Angeles. I’m not kidding. I got a grip and realized that the mind is one sick puppy when you let it go wild.

I unpacked it all when I got home. I think my refrigerator looks really cute with all kinds of little bottles in the door. And, I can’t wait until I have company and can bring them out and put them on the table. Fun. It might have all been worth it.

So, I’m a new frugal girl and proud of it. I’m considering picking up sugar packets at restaurants in the future. Is toilet paper out of bathrooms stealing if there is another roll right there and you aren’t leaving the stall with no toilet paper? Ok, I think it is but I’m clueless as to the fine line between frugal girl and robber. I am going to check with Cheap C and figure it out.

5 replies on “Taking things from the Hotel Room Service Tray”

I went on a cruise w C and still have my stash of bulgari shampoo!! Last week I stayed at Trump in NYC and took the slippers shampoo, shower cap you name it! I draw the line at towels but I always take the ( freebies)ESP since who knows if I will ever gave the good fortune to stay at Trump again . For now I’m quite happy to whip out my stolen Trump pen to sign anything!! Oh, did I mention I’m at the Ritz right now for an Ethics conference? Maybe I should sneak away before I am found out -but let ne grab some shampoo first!

A friend emailed me she collects things at hotels and every few months takes the large bag to a homeless shelter. Ok, she is a fabulous person. Thought I’d share.

My son, who works in a boutique hotel in a resort town, says the hotel expects and wants guests to take the little toiletry bottles. Months later, when you use them, they remind you of the hotel, and your houseguests will see the branding too. Hotels draw the line at towels, lamps, chairs, the t.v…….

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