Hotels around the world are increasingly pet friendly. But that doesn’t mean hotels are looking to permanently host these furry friends — or other valuables, for that matter.
So, travelers, a word of advice: Be sure to make a thorough final scan of your room before checking out because important, costly and sometimes living things are getting left behind.
Guests at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas last month discovered that a cat spent an extra week at the hotel after its owner checked out. The owner reported the cat missing, and it was later discovered to have crawled into a small space under a guest room sink, the Las Vegas CBS affiliate reported.
The cat became an internet celebrity after the room’s next occupants (who happened to be veterinarians in town for a pet medicine conference) discovered it and posted about it on TikTok.
However, the feline who stayed well past checkout isn’t the only pet to go missing at a hotel.
Two donkeys named Daisy and Duke were left behind at a Dorset location of U.K.-based budget hotel chain Travelodge last year. The owners remembered their forgotten animals and quickly returned to retrieve them, the Dorset Echo reported. A seagull was left behind at another Travelodge in the coastal town of Bournemouth.
“With nearly 19 million customers annually staying at our 580 U.K. Travelodge hotels, including our six hotels in Dorset, for thousands of different reasons, we do get a range of interesting items left behind,” a Travelodge spokesperson said earlier this year.
TPG reached out to a few major hotel brands to see what other extraordinary items wind up in a hotel’s lost and found.
It turns out that Excalibur and Travelodge aren’t the only hotels where pets go to hide: The staff at the pet-friendly Moxy Times Square in New York City received a guest request to help find a lost pet.
While the Moxy team expected to go looking for a dog or a cat, it turned out the guest’s snake was lost and had slithered into a bathroom space. The toilet had to be removed to retrieve the pet.
Other prized possessions left behind include jewelry — and a hefty sum of it. A guest staying at Canaves Oia, a luxury boutique hotel on Santorini, left roughly $70,000 worth of jewelry in the in-room safe. However, the hotel team didn’t feel comfortable putting a Rolex, Cartier bracelets and other fine baubles into a box and just shipping it to the United States.
“The guest was in Los Angeles, so I took it myself,” Markos Chaidemenos, managing director of Canaves Oia, said via email. “I had a trip to Vegas, so I brought the jewelry to Vegas [and] then gave it to a trusted friend, a travel agent who was headed to L.A. We were able to provide door-to-door delivery!”
The team at Boston’s Liberty Hotel, part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection, recently found a collection of framed paintings and drawings, including a turn-of-the-century Rembrandt print reproduction.
“Most lost and found is mundane … cell phones, chargers, clothing, etc.,” said Adam Butner-Burroughs, room manager at the Liberty Hotel. “But occasionally something interesting pops up.”
It’s hard to top art from the Golden Age. However, other valuables like an $800 hair dryer (“Who knew hair dryers went up that high?” asked Butner-Boroughs) also got left behind over the years.
Guests might be forgetful, but they are also grateful once they reunite with their possessions.
The team at Relais Christine, a luxury boutique hotel on Paris’s Left Bank, performed a stuffed animal search-and-rescue miracle ahead of a transatlantic flight.
A child’s beloved teddy bear got sent away with the linens and laundry the day before the family flew back to the U.S. By early afternoon the next day, the laundry team found the beloved teddy bear. However, time was ticking before the guests left for the airport.
The stress was high, fueled by the fact the laundry facility was 30 miles away from the hotel in the suburbs of Paris. Just as the guests loaded luggage into their taxi for the airport, another taxi with the bear arrived just in time for Teddy to switch cabs and head back to the U.S.
“The daughter was about 6 years old, so it was THE teddy bear: irreplaceable!” a spokesperson with the Relais Christine told TPG via email.
The above-and-beyond service extends to Las Vegas, where guests at Aria Resort & Casinos attended Cirque du Soleil’s “The Beatles LOVE” show at The Mirage and purchased a “Blackbird” Beatles shirt from the gift shop. They forgot the shirt at the hotel and didn’t realize they left it behind until they got back home in Michigan.
The Aria team worked with The Mirage and multiple departments at both resorts to retrieve the shirt and get it back to the Michigan couple.
“The husband was extremely grateful for the over-the-top service we provided and expressed his gratitude by sending a large gift basket with all the ‘Tastes of Michigan,’ which included sodas, chips, candy and healthy snacks hailing from his beloved home state,” the Aria concierge said via email.
Sometimes all you need is love — and a diligent hospitality team — to retrieve your memorabilia. Or pet.