09/12/2012 03:39 EDT | Updated 09/13/2012 09:29 EDT

Items Left Behind At Hotels: Some Of The Strangest Items Travellers Have Forgotten


Cellphones, chargers and cameras are just some of the things travellers will pack with them for a vacation — but they're also some of the items most likely to be left behind in a hotel room after guests check out.

Some commonly forgotten items are completely understandable -- they're small, something you won't always carry on you, or plugged into a hidden outlet as you rush out of the room.

On the understandable/weird/gross border of stuff left behind in hotels is the number of abandoned copies of the erotic novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey'.

According to the Telegraph, Travelodge, the global budget hotel chain, reported that around 7,000 copies of E.L. James’s "mommy porn" have been recovered from its rooms since its official release in April, making it the number one novel on the hotel's annual “Books Left Behind” list. Not far behind on the list were the other two books in the series, Fifty Shades Freed and Fifty Shades Darker, ranking in at fourth and seventh place respectively.

It should come as no surprise, then, that some of the other most commonly forgotten items include adult toys and underwear, according to hotel chain Novotel.

That being said, all is not lost for travellers who leave things behind. Front desks typically keep items anywhere from 30 days to six months, depending on the company. However, it's up to the guest to contact the hotel to inquire about lost items, since privacy issues often come into play.

Case in point: the tale of a man calling about a lost wedding ring and asking that staff not tell his wife that he was ever at the hotel.

Exceptions are made, however, for items of high value like passports and laptops. As for the items that are never reclaimed, they either go a charity like the Salvation Army or to hotel staff. Take the Hotel Roanoke in Canada, for example: a housekeeper once found a live fish swimming in a bowl, and since the owner never called, the fish was given to the employee -- a much better find than some of the stranger items left in hotels listed in our gallery below.

The Strangest Things Left Behind At Hotels

6K In Cold Hard Cash

Leaving a tip for house cleaning is a customary practice. Leaving a zippered bag filled with $6,000 in cash? Not so much. Still, the exorbitant find by Jeanne Mydil, a house keeper at the Miami International Airport Hotel, wasn't enough to tempt the mother of three. Mydil returned the money to her employers who then returned it to a missionary group.

Prosthetic Leg

Socks and shoes are one things to leave behind but an entire leg is a whole different story. Such was the case for one hotel staff member at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Quebec, who found the prosthetic limb after checking underneath one of the hotel beds.

A Shark

If you thought finding a tiger in your bathroom, a la Hangover was crazy, try finding a shark in your bathtub. That's the surprise hotel cleaners at The Tivoli Marina Vilamoura in the Algarve faced when they found a weakened shark in one of the room's bathtubs -- swimming in tap water when it was in desperate need of salt water. Fortunately, the shark was returned to it's natural habitat, according to Tripatlas.


No one knows why a guest at Opus Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia left a bag of weed in their hotel room. Not even General Manager Nicholas Gandossi. "We found a bag of pot stored in a cubbyhole in the back stairwell. Upon sparking one up--er, I mean flushing it down the toilet--we reflected on who might have stored it there...and whether a guest had stashed it for his next trip," said Gandossi in an interview with Travel + Leisure.

A Horse

Technically, the horse was left in its trailer in the parking lot outside the Droitwich hotel in the United Kingdom according to the Telegraph. Still, that's quite the find for the hotel's lost and found as the owners failed to realize where their show jumping horse was before driving off.


Unless you're the Tooth Fairy, you don't want to be coming across teeth while staying at a hotel. Even worse is coming across a pair of used dentures, like at the Eurostars Grand Marina GL in Barcelona, Spain. The owner eventually fessed up and later asked that the hotel mail the dentures back to them in the United Kingdom.

An Inflatable Sheep

Sometimes counting sheep to fall asleep just doesn't cut it. Sometimes, when you want to fall asleep, you need to get creative and find an inflatable sheep. Just don't forget it at the Travelodge's Edinburgh branch.

Photo credit: Gene Hunt

Have you had a success story with retrieving a lost item at a hotel? Feel free to share your story below in the comment section or tweet us your answer @HPCaTravel on Twitter.