London - It’s an impressive list of items – an original Harry Potter wand, breast implants, a bucket of live crabs, a pet python, a £10 000 (R138 000) Tiffany engagement ring and a set of four Power Rangers costumes.
And all of them were left behind in Travelodge hotels last year, along with a winning EuroMillions ticket, a £50 000 Rolex watch, an 8ft pop-up spray tanning booth – and even a pantomime horse.
More than 20 000 books were left behind in the budget chain’s 38 000 rooms – a third of which were Fifty Shades Of Grey by EL James – and 200 Queen Elizabeth masks were found at a Windsor hotel.
The most common items left behind in Travelodge’s 527 hotels included phone or laptop chargers, clothes, teddy bears, toiletry bags, books, laptops or tablets, satnavs, cellphones and suitcases.
In the past year the hotel’s staff have reunited 76 500 forgotten cuddly bears with their owners, and other people left behind Bugatti keys, a stamp album worth £250 000 and tickets to the Olympic Games in London.
Also left behind were a trunk of Cadbury chocolate, a Persian Chinchilla kitten, a suitcase of vinyl records, a pilot’s training manual and Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat.
“Our lost and found departments provide plenty of revelations,” said a Travelodge spokesman.
“What is becoming evident after speaking to customers is that the pace of life has become so fast… that priceless possessions are easily being forgotten.”
Apart from Fifty Shades Of Grey, the most popular books left behind were The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, along with the same author’s hit The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest. Fifty Shades Freed by James was in fourth, ahead of Fifty Shades Darker in seventh. Fifth and sixth were The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire.
Some of the stories behind the lost items have been retold by staff – such as the Chinese tourist who left behind the trunk of chocolate in a Birmingham hotel after a trip to Cadbury World. The live crabs were left in a Brighton hotel by a guest staying over before a fish festival, and the python was left in Bristol by an owner who had given it the apt name of Monty.
The value of the EuroMillions ticket was not revealed. It was left in Watford by an owner who knew he had won – but forgot that he’d left it under his mattress.
Since January last year all items that have not been claimed within three months have been donated to Cancer Research UK charity shops. – Daily Mail
Oddest items left in Travelodge hotels
l A winning EuroMillions ticket
l Keys to a Bugatti
l A stamp album worth £250 000 (R3.5 million)
l A box of 200 Queen Elizabeth masks
l A valuable set of Olympics tickets
l A Persian Chinchilla kitten worth £600
l A suitcase of vinyl records
l A set of false teeth with diamonds
l A Rolex watch worth £50 000
l A Tiffany engagement ring
l A pilot’s training manual
l A Kenwood Magimix worth £600
l A python named Monty
l A pantomime horse