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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

10 things that annoy us about hotels #1 Minibar Sensors

Sure we could just ask for an ice bucket for that nice bottle of crisp white or bubbly we bought at the airport duty free. But we want to put it in the mini bar in the room that we’ve paid for. And that's not always as easy as it should be. Those sensors that automatically charge to your account anything that you move in the mini bar are a little too ‘big brother’ for us. Just what are people doing to the mini bar contents that has made this so necessary? And they're even doing it in five-star luxury properties? They sure are.
A general manager of a large multinational hotel responds:
“Scotch bottles filled with tea, vodka replaced with water, beer cans opened every-so-slightly, emptied, then put back in the fridge... The list is endless! And we just don’t have time to take out every item in every mini bar everyday to check if it’s still intact. But at our hotel we still don’t use the sensor system - despite it obviously being more efficient - because it treats the guests like criminals. However, when we do refurbish the rooms it will be hard not to consider installing them because we lose a lot of money each day through people tampering with the contents of the fridge.”
Well, you know who you are. Will you please just give it up.
So, what annoys you about hotels?


Anonymous said...

Just another reason to refuse to use the mini-bar...

I'll be interested to see the rest of the top ten. I did a piece on my hotel bugbears for Ninemsn ( and it got the most comments I've ever had there. Some of them are priceless - but there are a few interesting points from the hotel industry too.

Congrats on the blog by the way - it's a really good read.

Lara Dunston said...

Hi David

Yes, but don't you hate that you can't use the mini-bar?! Like everything else in the room, because we've paid for it we should be able to use it, even if we're just using the fridge.

What if want to buy some parma ham and a nice little block of reggio, a bottle of vino, and have a snack and a sip before we go out... then where do we put the leftovers? Do we let them go to waste because the mini-bar is full?

I might test out a hotel with one of these mini-bars next time and remove all the contents so I can put my own stuff in, and then return everything the next day and see how they react! :)

I'll have to go check out your bugbears. Or should I wait til the end of our series? Maybe we should join forces and combine them all and write a book? Just one of those humorous little things that would make great bedtime (toilet?) reading!

Thanks for reading, David!

Anonymous said...

Very true, and specially these things are done at 4 or 5 star hotels. Have seen other hotels or B&B gives you something complimentary rather than charging you double for using their mini bar. Very annoying indeed.

Anonymous said...

I hate this too. I have had two interesting experiences around this though. The first at Bernardus resort in Carmel, CA. For a $20 per night resort fee you get a fully stocked pantry to use as you please. It has wine, crackers, cookies, soda, water the works. You can eat until it's empty, after that you must pay to refill it. You can also empty out your little fridge and fill it any way you like. At the QT Hotel in New York City you can choose to stock your minibar at check in. The check in desk is a candy counter/magazine kiosk. You just choose what you'd like and pay for it there. Take it up to your room and stash it. Don't want anything? That's fine, more room in the fridge for dinner leftovers.