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What the maid saw and other risqué business

What do Brad Pitt, Bob the Builder & a canoe all have in common? They've all been lost property

Housekeeping staff see all manner of weird, wonderful and sometimes horrifying things when they do the rounds making beds and cleaning rooms.

Among some of the most common items guests leave behind are phone chargers, toothbrushes, glasses, books, teddy bears, passports and single shoes, which are often found under the bed.

Some of the finds are amazingly quirky. It’s quite common for housekeeping staff to find false teeth left behind in rooms, and according to one UK hotel chain, guests left behind a total of 80 prosthetic limbs in a single year.

Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash

In America’s Washington state last year, police were called to the Lacey Days Inn when housekeeps found a baby deer in a guest’s bathroom.

The guest told the officers they found the deer a week earlier standing beside its mother, who had been hit by a car.

A survey by Reddit users found that among other things housekeepers found after guests checked out was a drawer full of spaghetti sauce, adult toys with a note asking them to be cleaned, and many prosthetic limbs.

Other housekeepers have reported things such as full nappies in the room safe, apparently for safe keeping; while another housekeeper screamed when she found a body next to a suitcase containing $2 million.

Travelodge staff in England come up with an extraordinary annual checklist of items that guests have left behind.

The company’s “Lost and Found audit” includes everything from a winning Euro Lottery ticket to a bathtub full of jersey potatoes that the guest had apparently forgotten about when he checked out.

At another hotel, a guest had left behind a pair of Alpacas, while one apparently forgot about the Aston Martin in the carpark.

Another guest left behind an urn containing the ashes of a beloved husband.

There was a Land Deed & Title for property in the Scottish Highlands, though the housekeeping staff at Edinburgh Central Princes Street knew there was no “finders-keepers” mandate.

So too at a Travelodge in London where a guest left more than $1million worth of share certificates in the room.

One movie fan left behind life-size cut-outs of Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt, two of Hollywood’s most handsome heartthrobs. It was more downmarket at the Birmingham Broadway Plaza where a guest checked out leaving 20 Bob the Builder costumes, complete with work belts and hard hats.

Other items that housekeeping staff around Britain have turned over to Lost and Found include a canoe, a mobility scooter, a gold bravery medal from World War II, and a current pilot’s licence.

Most of the items were returned, but sometimes housekeeping uncovers things when the owner can’t be traced, including a hand found under a bed. It was the result of a drug deal gone wrong.

As a rule, hotels don’t call guests about lost property for privacy reasons – the guest may not want others to know what they’ve been up to, so it is the responsibility of guests to pursue missing items.

Advice from Queensland Police is that if you can’t find a personal property item, you should immediately contact places you have visited before reporting it as lost to police.

Then if you still cannot find your property, complete a “report lost property form” online. You will receive an email within 48 hours with your police reference number.

Accom News would love to know the most unusual items your guests have left behind?

Grantlee Kieza

Grantlee Kieza OAM has won three Queensland Media Awards, two Australian Sports Commission Awards and has been a finalist for the Walkley and News Awards and for the Harry Gordon Award for Australian sports journalist of the year. In 2019 he received the Medal of the Order of Australia for his writing. You can find more of his writing in our upcoming Accom News print magazine!

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