The Waldorf-Astoria Wants Its Stuff Back

The famed hotel launches an amnesty program to retrieve its keepsakes

The Waldorf-Astoria wants to take back history and is asking past guests to return hotel items that may have secretly checked out when they did. Past guests are being encouraged to return all items predating 1960 with no questions asked during the amnesty period running through Sept. 15.

Items the Waldorf-Astoria hopes to recover include silverware like demitasse spoons used during the hotel’s supper club years, menus, dishes, linens, and ashtrays. However, the hotel isn’t concerned about the lost monetary value but instead is focusing on the historical significance.

"The hotel team has seen people selling silver serving pans, silver coffee pots, creamer pots, bottle openers, [and] menus from famous dinners on eBay, so [we] know there are a lot of culinary items out there," said Meg Towner, social media manager for the hotel.

The Waldorf-Astoria is asking that returned items include a brief description, including the date when the item was taken and the guest’s associated memories. The Amnesty Program hopes to expand the storied hotel’s archives and its historical gallery, "Host to the World," located beside the main lobby.

While there’s no reward for returning the amnestied items, guests will have any guilty consciences wiped clean and the hotel’s staff will evaluate returned items and select the best to be displayed on the Waldorf Astoria’s Facebook page. The top returned items will be showcased in the lobby museum.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.