Published: 13:49, 11 January 2022
A Vera Wang wedding dress and a 6ft cuddly giraffe are among bizarre items left behind at Kent hotels in the last year.
Forgetful guests checked out without an array of unusual items at branches of budget hotel chain Travelodge.
At Canterbury's city centre branch, a wedding dress by celebrity designer Vera Wang - which can retail for tens of thousands of pounds - was among items left behind, along with some holy water from the popular pilgrimage site of Lourdes in France.
At the city's other branch on the A2 at Dunkirk, a cake in the shape of Canterbury Cathedral and a "large collection" of snowglobes were forgotten.
And in Whitstable, a set of diamond cufflinks, a crystal nativity and a large six-foot cuddly giraffe were left behind.
In Ashford, one guest left behind their marriage certificate
Meanwhile a designer sketch book and a business plan for a new product launch were found in Sandwich's Travelodge.
But these items - all of which have now been reunited with their owners - are far from the most surprising things found by hotel staff in the last year, as a spike in staycations led to a rise in lost property.
The housekeeping team at Rhyl Seafront Travelodge were pleasantly surprised when they entered one room, to be greeted by a huge inflatable unicorn pool float sitting on the bed, while a Newcastle customer had to arrange for a courier to pick up his inflatable banana boat from Newquay Seafront Travelodge after he forgot to pack it.
Meanwhile, a large jar labelled ‘Brighton Sea Air’ was found at Brighton Seafront Travelodge, and a dress made out of postcards was discovered at the branch on Bournemouth seafront.
At Manchester Central Travelodge, a cute Pomsky dog called Beyoncé was also left behind.
Beyoncé’s owner thought her sister had put the dog in her car seat, and they only realised she was missing when they were 50 miles into their journey back to Leamington Spa.
The owner of a miniature horse called Red Rum was beside herself when she got home and realised that she had forgotten her horse box -with Red Rum still inside it - at Cockermouth Travelodge car park.
Travelodge spokesperson Shakila Ahmed said: “In 2021, following Freedom Day, we welcomed back millions of customers to our 582 UK Travelodge hotels including our hotels in Canterbury, and we saw a significant increase in bookings.
"This has led to a range of interesting items being left behind by our customers across our UK hotels.
"This year’s lost-and-found audit includes a rise in holiday themed items, wedding props, precious sentimental items, smart gadgets and beloved pets.
"This includes a 6ft flower arch made from white roses, a Chewbacca costume, a collection of Roald Dahl books and even a groom!
“When it comes to why so many of our customers forget their treasured items, it’s basically due to us all being time poor, juggling multiple tasks and being in a hurry to get from A to B. In the rush, valuable possessions are easily forgotten.”