The vanishing hotel mini-bar
There is a certain excitement about opening the door and walking into your hotel room. The fun of new things to look at, new smells, and even the anticipation about what the stay will be like.
I love the childish rush and uncontrollable urge to bounce on the bed, open cupboards and drawers, push aside the blinds to check out the view and flick through every available channel on the TV. My frenzy of activity culminates on opening the mini-bar as I cross reference the exotic lager, imported bottled water and late night chocolate fixes with the hotel price list and wonder why anyone would pay the extortionate charges – all the while in the back of my head justifying to myself why I might need to consume them later instead of visiting the local convenience store.
I like to call it my hotel room check-in ritual.
But there are a growing number of budget hotels where the climax of the hotel room check-in ritual is missing. The mini-bar is empty!
The concierge at the 4 star Holiday Inn Darling Harbour Sydney says “There were quite a few instances in the past where guests would drink the alcohol and then fill the bottles back up with water. So we had to remove the mini-bar.”
Replacing stolen alcohol is expensive and for many budget hotels this is a cost they simply cannot afford. But is taking away the mini bar the best solution?
Take a look quick through Trip Advisor and you’ll find thousands of disgruntled guests moaning about their empty mini-bars. “National Disaster!” Is the negative feedback these budget hotels receive on social review sites really worth the cost of a couple of drinks?
Perhaps placing a card in the bar fridge explaining why the mini-bar is empty could go someway to help unsuspecting, ritualistic guests understand and be more positive about the change.
What has been your experience. How many hotels have you stayed in that have taken away the mini-bar or other facilities because of the actions of a few? Leave a comment and let us know.
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