A stuffed crocodile and the complete works of Shakespeare are just some of the unexpected items left behind by hotel guests, according to Swallow Hotels.
The group, which has more than 130 hotels in the UK, asked staff to compile a list of the strangest things left behind in hotel rooms over the past year.
While underwear, car keys and rings were the most common affects forgotten, a wedding dress, FA Cup final tickets, a wooden leg and an urn full of ashes were definitely a shock.
Most worryingly was the distressed couple that phoned a Swallow Hotel in Kent, who having checked out in a rush to make a wedding, had left their six-month old daughter asleep in the room.
Still, it must make a change from the general larceny of London guests, which according to separate research from budget hotel chain Travelodge are the most likely to steal items from their rooms in the country (Caterer, 22 June, page 9).
Travelodge also found that the fairer sex was anything but, with 54% of the women questioned in 2,000-strong study admitting to nicking things from their rooms.
Top 10 list of bizarre items found in Swallow hotels 1) A wedding dress
2) FA Cup Final tickets
3) Various kinky role play uniforms
4) An urn containing human ashes
5) A wooden leg
6) A wedding ring (found after the wedding reception)
7) Numerous disposable cameras (Swallow has a policy of never having these developed)
8) Several sets of car keys
9) More than 100 pieces of underwear
10) An ice pick (see point three)
By Chris Druce