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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by uggboy, Apr 14, 2014.
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The hotel minibar is dying; long live the nearby convenience store
What took us so long to push back ?
I think laziness on our part, and timings on their (convenience store's part).
I think the minibar is still alive in places that have barriers of many sorts.
Timings of alternatives are not suitable to many guests
Too far away from the hotel
Religious (Alcohol ban, or restrictions)
sure the Hong Kong hotel manager sees more people are unwilling to be gouged just for convenience, there are many shops open until late all across HK
I think the 7-11 near Lan Kwai Fong (bar district) is literally the busiest convenience store in the world because young (and older) people are unwilling or unable to pay the high prices in the HK bars, they just buy booze in the shops and hang out in the streets in front of the bars
Yes, too many people willing to overpay for the mini bar. I must say that part of the blame is on business covering the travel expenses, so their employees don't care about the cost of the mini bar.
At the end of the day, something is only expensive because the demand is high.
Hopefully if companies start tightening up on expenses for a business trip, less people will be using the mini bars.
I think that it is precisely because businesses, more cost conscious during the recent near-great-depression global economic downturn, have greatly tightened up on reimbursable or allowable travel expenses that the mini-bar may be a thing of the past, save for very high-end rooms...
This will either lead to the extinction of Mini Bars or reduction of cost when hotels realize that at those prices one could almost buy a six pack in some locations for the price of one miniature Mini Bar beer can.
And one more, IHG RA's are definitely going to be "happy" when this perk disappears.
There may have been too many complaints when the uninitiated who don't travel often to hotels that have minibars open them, thinking that they're only small refrigerators and later discovering charges for their usage on their checkout folios which then have to be removed if nothing was taken from it. That would add delays and longer lineups at a busy hotel as the problem is resolved.
When I stayed at a Movenpick hotel 2 years ago in the Middle East (Aqaba), I asked at the front desk about the prices on the soda, juice and water stocked in my hotel room's "minibar". Their answer was: "there is no charge, it's all there for you to use, and we restock it daily". That is a very smart hotel policy!
I use my hotel room minibar to refrigerate my own sodas, etc. at every opportunity that I have to do so. A hotel charge for cooling my own drinks would be a pretty contentious item, especially when checkout arrives, especially if there was no visible statement to the effect of a "refrigeration charge".
I bet in Amsterdam, the minibars are cleaned out regularly.
OTH, Only once did I find a full-sized refrigerator, totally empty The Management company managed both the hotel and few floors were designated vacation rentals. The hotel being overbooked** when I arrived, they moved me into this room on a floor with a kitchenette, utensils, and empty refrigerator. I complained to the front-desk. As a compensation, they let me have free wifi and a voucher
[** This hotel also was popular with packaged tourists pushed by two competing airlines flying from LGW ]
Only once did I find a price at the mini bar appropriate. I think in IC in Merida they had a can of Corona for $3.
[quote[** This hotel also was popular with packaged tourists pushed by two competing airlines flying from LGW ][/quote]
Ah, yes, those rowdy Brit football fans!
Of course they shouldn't charge you for using it for cooling your own liquids. However many hotels have something on the doors of their minibars that let them know you've opened it, and may generate a charge by your doing so. However if nothing is taken/used from it there should be no problem having the charge removed. Just be sure that your sodas, and particularly the etc's., are not the same as those they'd left for you at the outset. or you may have problems proving that you didn't use the hotel supplied etc's. Some of the minibars also have sensors that indicate if the products they supplied have been moved around, so be entirely sure you don't move theirs to make room for your similarly bought, shaped, and flavored items, including those etc's that might be even more troublesome.
That's a lot if IT and Inventory system investment and for what purpose?
It is obviously a poor ROI and I cannot imagine having a staff in some back office jumping up (punching fist in the air) and calling for immediate replenishment of items because the sensor says you moved an item to presumably consume the said item...
With such illogical investments, no wonder the high charges.
Lounge access also probably helped dealt a mortal blow.
True, but if you hadn't seen it yet, just be aware that in some locations it'll show up on your folio when least expected.
Wow! What's next, mini-cameras in your hotel room to see if you're opened the minibar?
In IC properties you can pick up any item from a mini bar, look at it and put it back with no charge. They have a delay of I think 30 seconds. They even mention it somewhere on the bar menu I think.
Holy smokes! Does the minibar self-destruct if you don't return that item in 30 seconds?
No, but you bill will explode.
Vendor: ".. our systems are world renowned and is installed in many places where valuables are kept and closely tracked..."
Jewellery store owner: "Interesting. Can you name me a few of these clients if they are not too sensitive"
Vendor: "Most certainly. Our highest end version was recently purchased by the IC hotel chain to track some of their most valuable inventories. It comes with movement detection, sensors and a adjustable delay which you can then program it to trigger off some other actions you may choose to do so."
Jewellery store owner: "Amazing. I never knew that IC are taking such great care of their customers belongings. I should consider staying with them in future on my business trips as I usually carry a lot of samples with me. Do you retro-fit these systems into their existing room safes or do you have a separate safe catalogue.
Vendor: "Oh my apologies. This system was not installed into their safes but was installed in every single one of their in-room mini bars. We installed them as retro-fits and since then, they seemed to have improved their bottom line by 200%. They are so happy that they gave us a bunch of night stay coupons. Would you like to have one?"
Please don't give them any more suggestions! If pointed directly at the minibars, I'd have to do my contortionist routine to allieviate the possible possibility of those monitoring the cameras seeing me comfortably relaxing in my shorts and sweatshirt, and them enjoying the video so much that they'd be further inclined to charge us more if I didn't walk by the lenses again, which by all chances, would then cause the cameras to shatter, causing additional fees that I would then have to either argue over, or apologise for. And my wife is very shy about anyone other then me seeing her in her nightie.