What Hotels Have to Deal With.
By Roland Wildberg ~ Weekly Exclusive - Views On The Latest Trends
Monday, 30th September 2013
Exclusive Feature: Guests rarely take all their belongings with them when checking out, here's the list of things left over – and some more lists:.

Left things – a universe of fun or horror and in the following never-ending stories about Mr So-and-so's quite delicate belongings... Which he usually at all costs does not want to have again. Why? Because it is frequently things nobody should even know about. According to statistics, 95 per cent of the lost goods are not reclaimed. And what are we talking about?

Well, what is the strangest left-over your housekeeper had to face ever when cleaining up a room? Well, it will definetely not beat the list of left-overs published by the British hotel chain Travelodge: The most peculiar thing was an urn with ashes (probably human), followed by an 18 month old baby (alive). Unfortunately Travelodge does not tell us anything about the remaining of the stuff, hence we must presume the baby is still waiting for his' or her parent?

Annoying if the owner of the wedding suit at rank 3 would ever show up again to collect it, maybe to her next wedding. Rank 4 was a case full of valuable comic books – we guess the guest had already read all of them. Rank 5 was a Ferrari key – probably the car itself got stolen and the owner did not see any more sense in keeping a key without function. Rank 6 consists of 100 Kate-Middleton-Masks missing even one specimen of Kate Middleton.

Rank 7: A hamster called Frederick (who the hell did tell the concierge the name?), in relatively good state. Rank 8: Wardrobe for a pack of dogs including Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving costumes. Rank 9: An Olympic fire, not THE Olympic fire. Rank 10: A parrot which did not speak a word (for it was padded). Rank 11: A magician's case (magic, isn't it?). However these are thing usually cannot be found in an ordinary household. Naturally the list of most popular things to forget in a hotel room is different.

Anyway it is much more sophisticated: The list of souvenirs given unvoluntarily is headed by clothes, they represent more than one third of all left things. Second position goes to sanitary articles that usually are not worth to be reclaimed – tooth brush, comb, soap and so on, 31 per cent altogether. The third best forgotten item are the personal glasses with 6 per cent of the whole.

Policies how to deal with the tons of left things do differ, but generally no concierge will contact the guest nor he or she will ever send the corpus delicti to the guest's home adress. The answer is discretion: As you cannot rule out that the precise thing was in use without everybody at home knowing about it, or that the guest might have good grounds not to tell at home he or she was even staying in that particular hotel... - okay, we guess you understood.

We might have added another list of strange things we left in hotels during the last years, and a list of strange excuses by reclaiming guests why they had left the "uuups" in their room - but unfortunately we forgot the list somewhere on our way to the office. Whoever may find it, please send us a mail.

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.

Roland Wildberg is Travel Writer and Correspondent based in Berlin, Germany. He started as an Editor for the National daily 'Die Welt' (tourism section), later on switched to a freelanced career and nowadays mainly publishes on the Web. Observing the hospitality industry always has fascinated him as it looks like the perfect combination of sleeping and writing – work-live-balance as its best.

Roland also heads the annual 4Hoteliers ITB Berlin news micro-site journalist and video/photo teams. For more info:

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