Evaluating Hotel Mini-bars
Published: April 2009
By Bridget Moriarity
The hotel mini-bar can test the will of even the most frugal traveler. But what’s the price of temptation?T+L’s editors have been taking stock on recent trips across five continents. Here are our favorite finds and biggest beefs.
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.
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.
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.