Left Behind

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One of my biggest fears when on vacation is leaving something behind in a hotel or wherever I’m staying and not noticing until I’m on the plane or already home. The day before check out and right up to the minute I leave I’m constantly checking and rechecking the room for anything. The one time I didn’t do it, I lost one sock in the beds sheets in London.

Losing stuff or leaving stuff behind is probably one of the most commons occurrences in hotels however. We like most resorts have a full lost and found policy for a range of items from clothes, to jewelry and other things. The most commonly left behind items are a few pieces of clothing. Although there were some guests who left quite a bit of clothing, to the point I told the Executive Assistant that they probably left them to save on overweight bag fees. A theory that will be proven correct if they claim the clothes on their next visit.

While clothes are the standard we have also had other non-standard items behind, most are tame things such as a stuffed animal, fishing rods and chargers or charger wires. Of course there are always times where more risqué things are either found or a guest calls to ask if we could have a look to see if they’ve left them behind. The most memorable of these being adult entertainment devices, which the guest wanted shipped back. Taking those items to the post office and having to explain exactly what they were to the agent’s was an experience in professionalism on all sides to keep serious faces.

Another popular item that’s usually left behind in rooms are illegal substances. As a hotel, we do all we can to discourage the use of those sorts of paraphernalia on property, but know people are on vacation and will use if they are so inclined. In the instances when drugs are found in the room another set of procedures have to be followed including how it is reported and turned in. Usually the quantities housekeepers encounter are of the personal use amount and thus do not need to be reported to the police.

However every now and again there are a few surprises in the form of shopping bags with a mixture of both legal and illegal substances and creative hiding spots are found. We’ve had engineering people discover stuff in the vents during routine maintenance of rooms, guests finding baggies in books in the lending library or housekeepers finding items while cleaning the rooms for the new check in.

Being in a bustling hotel does afford a certain anonymity as we can never say for sure who was the one using or how long something that’s been well hidden has been in a particular room. We are very well aware you can’t take your stash with you, but for the sake of staff and the guest coming in after you, we do wish you’d discard it instead of leaving it behind.q