Can You Leave Alcohol In A Hotel Room? And Who Can Drink It?

Can You Leave Alcohol In A Hotel Room?

One of the questions that you might have come through your mind if you are a frequent traveler is what happens to the alcohol you leave in a hotel room? Well, this question would be surprising for some as leaving your beer or alcohol in a hotel room is something that most extravagant spenders do – unless you have made a mistake and forgotten it, right?

But for those who want to leave something good for the staff or are in the habit of leaving the alcohol in the hotel room, such a question is quite genuine.

To be honest, the answer to this question is not simple as it involves different organizations and even different countries. So, the employees’ attitude and the organizations’ policies may vary considerably.

In this article, we’ll cover the following main topics:

  • Reasons for leaving alcohol in the hotel room
  • Treatment of open and packed alcohol bottles
  • How do employees deal with it?
  • How does management deal with it?

Reasons for leaving or not leaving alcohol in the hotel room

Not everyone can gather the courage to leave alcohol in the hotel room. Firstly, because many of us find it expensive enough to order it for ourselves, leaving them in a hotel room does not make any sense. It probably reflects the wastage of money from the perspective of such individuals.

Secondly, many of us aren’t sure what will happen to the alcohol if they leave it in the hotel room. If it has to get into the waste, there is no point in leaving it behind in the hotel room. If no one has to consume it, why can’t it be you? And of course, you have paid to purchase them. So, why not consume them?

So, what is a consumer leaving alcohol in the room thinking?

You might be forgetful

One of the prominent reasons for leaving alcohol in the hotel room is that you might forget it in there. When you pack around and make adjustments to your travel plans, you can likely forget different things. And packing alcohol along is one of them.

You might not get the chance

You might not have packed your alcohol because you might have wanted to consume it the last night. But there could be other engagements or commitments at the last moment that might spoil this plan. So, when late, you might not get enough time to pack it up at the last moment. It might leave you regrets, but you cannot do much about it. And frankly, as compared to catching up on your flight, this loss wouldn’t be much.

  • You might not have consumed it fully

If you have opened an alcohol bottle, there is a little chance that you have not consumed fully and there is still much left in the bottle. In this case, you cannot pack it along to your home town, so the best solution is to leave it in the hotel room.  

  • You might want to tip the staff

Another reason you might leave the alcohol in the hotel room is to tip the attendants. In some cases, the hotel staff is friendly, and they have genuinely contributed to make your stay lovely. So, leaving the alcohol bottles in your room could be one of your ways to tip the staff. In such a scenario, the customers usually add a thank you note. So, the staff knows that you haven’t left them in haste or because of other reasons and your sole motive was to say thank you.

What does the staff do with the alcohol bottles left in the hotel room?

So, now that we know the reasons for leaving the alcohol bottles in the hotel room. Let’s review what the staff actually does with it.

Who finds the bottle?

The first question you’ll have when thinking about what happens to these bottles is who finds them. Once you check out from the hotel room, the cleaning staff cleans the entire room for the next guests. So anything you have left in the hotel room is found by the cleaning staff. And it won’t be long after you have left the room; it will usually be a matter of a few minutes in most hotels, but it depends upon the hotel and its specific guidelines.

What do they do with it?

Again, the hotel guidelines are essential when considering submitting found goods. There is always a chance that the customers will return to the hotel if they have forgotten something important. In this scenario, usually, the hotels have the policy of submitting all the goods to the lost and found department in the hotel. Usually, the found products are kept for a few days to a few weeks. If no one comes and claims those products, the employees are usually allowed to distribute them amongst themselves.

Well, there can be many other things that fall under this category, but we are sure that you’ll all agree that alcohol bottles do not fit there. Firstly, it is highly likely for any customer to come back for a bottle of alcohol either opened or packed. Secondly, it is difficult for the staff to resist consuming it or at least taking it home with them. So, what happens specifically with these bottles?

There can be multiple scenarios that might occur with these bottles.

Room attendants can claim it for themselves

Even if the hotel policy requires the employees to report if they have found the alcohol bottles in the hotel room, they can still claim it for themselves. This means that the person who cleans the room has the right over the bottle found in that particular room. They can use it as they like.

Room attendant can offer it to a friend or relative

Not necessarily every house attendant will be a drinker. So, once the bottle comes in their possession, they can offer it to a friend or relative as a gift. Usually, this is the case with unopened bottles.

They can be sent to the bar

If you have left the unopened alcohol bottles in the room and they are of the same brand that the hotel bar uses, a few hotels might require them to be sent to the storage or the bar. They usually account for these bottles as an extra inventory and use them to earn more money or offer a happy hour to the customers.

Honestly, if this is the hotel policy, it will be better if you didn’t leave any bottles in the hotel room, won’t it?

They can be sent to the lost and found department

Even for the alcohol bottles and other food items, a few hotels might have the policy of holding them for a day before they do anything with them. You can expect the alcohol bottles to go to this department directly once the food is in such a situation. They are usually kept there for 24 hours if you need them back.

If the bottles are open, they will definitely be trashed right away.

They can be used in the break rooms

In some hotels, there is a policy that every food and drink found in the hotel room must be brought in the break rooms. So, that becomes the collective property of the entire hotel staff. They can consume it during their breaks. For the alcohol bottles, consuming them within the shift hours isn’t an option. It might just be consumed when the workers are off-shift; this is done to keep their work ethics intact.

The staff may consume it right there

This is quite common for the opened alcohol bottles. The room attendant and the other staff cleaning your room might consume the opened bottles right away if they want to, irrespective of the time of the day. This is obviously against the hotel policies, but such an act often goes unnoticed, or even if the hotel management knows it, they cannot do much about it. So, this could be the fate of the opened bottles.

Summing up

There can be multiple ways an alcohol bottle might be dealt with if you have left it in your hotel room. In most cases, the employees cleaning the room will get it. So, if you want to tip them, you can safely assume that leaving the bottles in the hotel room will be enough. You can add a thank you note as a good gesture. Besides, adding it will also ensure that the lost and found department does not keep it for the waiting period and it is handed to the attendant right away.