Has anyone encountered this on their travels?
erc remember when you request a fridge in your room be prepared to pay $35!
This is just yet another potential charge to be aware of before finalizing your hotel bookings.
We always put some wine or food in the min bar if there is no refrigerator in the room so this not good news. The few times we did not have either a mini bar or refrigerator we just use the heck out of the ice machine keeping the stuff cold by putting it in the laundry bag (always travel with a spare plastic bag) and keeping it on ice wrapping it in a used bath towel.
I knew I didn't like Las Vegas for a reason now I know what it is!
Yep. In 2005, I went to a convention in LV being held in the Flamingo. When leaving, we looked at our bill and they were charging at least $5 for a bottle of water and it was on everyone's bill. Everyone was asking for a bill correction. Our group had purposely walked to a nearby convenience store to get several bottles of water so we wouldn't have to drink their water, the the unopened bottle was still on the desk. That group never went to the Flamingo again. The next year was at the Hard Rock Hotel. I don't remember whether Hard Rock had just bought it (I think that's the case) or just sold it.
Many small hotels always have fridges and microwaves, I don't get why big hotels don't. But if there is no fridge in the room and I have beverages I always fill the sink with ice and stick them in there and have extra ice in the bucket to refill. Ive read that some hotels charge you for keeping stuff in the mini bar or even tampering with.
I've heard about the tampering charge, too. If it's even opened, it's assumed something was taken. It seems like that happened to us in Toronto years ago. I'm sure it did. I complained and that day while we were gone, they gave us a beautifully wrapped basket of fruit and a Hershey's chocolate cookbook, along with a certificate that said "Favorite guest of the day". Talk about good PR!!!
I've not encountered it. Very inhospitable in my opinion. Just put a (non-mini bar) mini fridge in every (full service hotel) room and forget about it (yes, if hoteliers still want to set a bottle of water on the desk with a $5 price tag, go ahead, just make sure it gets dusted off for the next guest ), mini fridges being far less of a hassle than ice buckets (hard to keep leftovers in an ice bucket with melted ice anyway ).
Properties that treat their guests well by providing them with utilitarian items (like a mini fridge) that are useful rather than annoying (like the rip off mini bar that no one dare touch or risk being fined/charged, sometimes even being fined/charged without touching it ) will reap dividends in repeat business.
The complications of the vexatious mini bar. It should go the way of the Dodo bird. Who wants or needs it?
I think that full service want you to use and pay for that service. I stayed at a Marriott that had no ice machines and no fridge. I asked about a fridge and was told yes for $35. So you had to call room service if you wanted ice. They did put 1 bucket if ice in the room in late afternoon but it usually melted before I needed it.
I'm sure they do, however who consumes that stuff? And at those prices? How many more happier customers would they have with a complimentary, empty in-room fridge as opposed to those happy with the "be very afraid careful... be very, very afraid careful" mini bar? I think the smarter revenue is on repeat, happy customers (I like the booby trapped mini bars, no ice machines and/or $35/night mini fridges about as much as I like the CY Bistros and - oh ya, no more lobby coffee).
I like having a fridge in my room (I like keeping real milk in it for my morning coffee, indeed I like my morning coffee and I like it in my room. ) And I like properties that make it all possible. Which is where you'll find me. Many full service properties offer this. If they stop, I'll stay elsewhere. It's pretty important to me.
I can tell you a few people that buy that stuff.......Folks that are inexperienced and/or think it's free. One of my offspring, who shall remain nameless, hasn't always had a good feel for the value of "things". On occasion, I have set up an overnight accommodation for this young adult. When the credit card (mine) was settled..... movies, mini bar items, just about anything that can be overpriced, was purchased without a care in the world.
The second person, a work colleague that travels infrequently, met me in the lobby after having consumed all the "free" beer in their room. They didn't feel too good when I explained to them that the "free" beer was actually $9 per bottle...
I have a standing request for a fridge on all my reservations. Many places do have one as a standard feature. In a few locations, I've noticed that one was delivered to my room before I arrived per my request . Never has this involved an extra charge. Occasionally, I have to do without, but most of the time my preferences are honored.
I leave the minibar alone, but as long as it remains full, I can't see why a guest should incur a charge for putting things inside. Of course, finding any space inside might be a problem.
Let us hope that this practice of provision remains in place. I have been fortunate in that most of my full service stays involve the (empty) mini fridge as a standard feature. After all I've read, I've learned to look upon the mini bar with a weary eye, like an unwanted "entity" that shares my room.
(Oh no, it's alive! I saw it move. Did you see it move? Just now! It moved. I saw it. )
I have begun to request that the mini bar be emptied out upon my arrival. I haven't had a problem yet. I simply explain that I'm not going to purchase any of the items. Then, I store a few bottles of water and any other small items I choose without an issue. If I was told they were going to fine me, I may just check out and into a different hotel.
This is the best yet. You not only get to cool your stuff but let them know that you don't want anything from the minibar.
I had a hotel that offer me the key to the minibar at check in and I refused it and had them assure me that this way I could not be charged.
In the past, I was heading for the airport and they said that I took water from the minibar can would not check me out unless I paid some ridiculous amount. I did have to pay it and it was not a Marriott and I know that I had no place to complain.
My stay in Bangladesh was at a two hotel chain. They emptied the minibar at checkin, as I requested. When I went down to check the bill the night before I left, there were two charges for Oreos...lol. It took me a couple of minutes to plead my case, but the FD staff did remove the charges.
One word of caution is that some hotels are now using sensors on the stocked mini fridges and snack trays where you get charged if you remove it. I was told that if you even pick it up, you get charged! I actually noticed on one of my stays that someone had eaten half of the Pringles out of the tube, and must not have tripped the sensor so it wasn't replaced. Don't know how housekeeping missed that one...
If I'm on business, I typically only need a couple drinks on ice so I just use a bucket if there isn't a fridge. However if you are travelling with kids, get them to remove the items and bring you a fridge! So far I have only have had issues in large MR convention centers.
I have never experienced this;
Although my employer pays about anything I consume/buy here in China, I always try to spend his money like it's my own;
I am not sure if you guys look down to me as a cheap "lamer" ( I replaced the other word here), but I always buy beer at the local shops, because it is 5,5 RMB/beer iso 34 RMB/beer; because the price difference is just too much for me to bear;
I always put them in the minibar; didn't even think about this possibly being a problem...
I do, however, sometimes use the minibar;
When the bar is closed, and I need to cater somebody a small bottle or wine, or when I didn't have the time to buy beer myself, etc.
...but the prices are always ridiculously high.
I have seen quite a lot inland-China hotels as well;
Being lucky I invested 4 years of my life to be able to speak/understand/read/write Chinese, I have even seen differences in minibar pricings;
prices in English are sometimes higher than prices in Chinese!
(even a non-Chinese-reading person could compare the two price lists and see for themselves)
I have had some fights whilst checking out, pointing out I will not pay more for a beer simply because I am not Chinese.
In this latter case it is not about the money I save for my employer (usually the "English price" is about double the "Chinese price", and a "Chinese minibar-beer" in inland-China is around 15 RMB / 2 USD / 2 EUR), it is about the fact that I don't like their mentality of "ripping off" foreigners.