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Hotel amenity etiquette: what to take and what to leave

Even the most parsimonious innkeepers want you to take their grooming products and paper goods home, the thinking being that every time you use an item that bears the hotel’s name you’ll remember what a wonderful time you had there and plan another visit (and not just to take more stuff). At the supercool Chic & Basic budget hotels in Amsterdam and Barcelona, the owners even anticipate guests’ illicit impulses: their toiletries read, “This is the cutest soap that you will steal from a hotel. Enjoy it.” and “Amazing quality shower gel rarely found as hotel amenity.”  François Delahaye, general manager of Paris’s Hôtel Plaza Athénée, confirms that the shampoo, shower gel, slippers, of course, and even ashtrays (remember those?) are good to go. Delahaye says anything with the hotel’s moniker is extra-desirable. The good news is that plenty of coveted items offered by hotels can be yours, legitimately, for the swipe of a credit card. Have sweet dreams of the bed at the Four Seasons? Everyone knows you can order it. Develop an unwholesome relationship with the Perspex mini-mannequin lighting at the Soho Hotel in London? The property can arrange a set for you.

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