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Evaluating Hotel Mini-bars

Davies + Starr Minibar

Photo: Davies + Starr

Water Bill

On average, bottled water costs $3.90 at the hotels we visited. La Samanna, in St. Martin, charged the most: $9 for Perrier and $9.50 for Evian; a bottle of Himalayan water at the Oberoi Amarvilas, in Agra, India, is a steal at 60 cents.

Buzz Factor

Expect to find Kingfisher beer ($5.30) at the Oberoi Vanyavilas, in Ranthambhore, India; Russian Standard vodka (50 ml, $9.40) at the Kempinski Hotel Moika 22, in St. Petersburg; and Bali Moon liqueur in a Javanese clay bottle at the Grand Hyatt Bali (50 ml, $8.50).

Sugar and Vice

Over 80 percent of the hotels we visited had at least one chocolate fix. And while more nutritious options do exist, like fresh fruit ($12) at Little Dix Bay, on Virgin Gorda, there are unhealthy ones too: cigarettes for $3.60 at Básico, on Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

Bare Necessities

The Merchant’s House Hotel, in Tallinn, Estonia, keeps its mini-bar minimalist—selling only eight beverages, and no food or liquor. Meanwhile, 45 items (from Rice Krispies Treats to Pellegrino in assorted flavors) are available at the Regent South Beach.

Outside the Icebox

Tigerlily, a boutique hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland, had one of the widest selections: guests can snag umbrellas for $30, dental kits for $6, and gifts like scented candles, also $30.


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