Hotel guests should know what to take from your hotel room before checking out. Picture: Marina Bay Sands.
MANY people take advantage of the “freebies” provided by hotels during their stay. While on holiday in Phuket, Thailand last year, I had a pocketful of toiletries ranging from shower gels, lotions, soaps and shower caps that I brought home with me. 
Each day I would pack away items I did not use, hoping they would be replenished when housekeeping cleaned up.  Very few people do not use the complimentary toiletries, especially if they are staying in a five-star establishment.  I don’t take them because I am greedy and cannot afford basic toiletries. It is a souvenir collection to remind me of the places I’ve visited.
Taking the odd toiletry is fine, says the chief executive of the Federated Hospitality Association of SA, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa.  He says it is acceptable to take home toiletries as they’re already added to the establishment’s bill.
“When you rent a hotel room you are expected to use the consumables they provide for you. 
“When hotels come up with their rates, they add in the charges of the toiletries and the use of towels. 
“Even if you take the toiletries or other consumables such as tea, coffee or milk, it is not a train smash for them,” he says. 
But there is a fine line as to what is free and what should be left in a hotel room when you check out. 

Some people make off with robes, Bibles, hair-driers and towels – and deny doing so when asked. 
“The only time you should be worried about the prospect of being labelled a thief is if you take items such as appliances, bathrobes, towels, glasses or any other item that can be used by the next guest,” says Tshivhengwa.
“I think it is important for people to know their limits. If you are unsure, ask the front desk.”