Tag: Hotel MinibarsView All Tags
In a move that is most certainly a reason to jump on the next hotel bed you come across, properties around the world have begun to pull the plug on the overpriced, in-room vending machines we call mini-bars. Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt are all onboard with the change, and while not all brands will follow along, we expect to see a major decline in numbers over the next couple years.
Now, the concept of the mini-bar is really great in theory. It's nice to have a beer or quick snack at your disposal in the room, but hotels really took the wrong turn with their approach, jacking up the prices, billing guests if they merely removed an item to inspect it, and charging for the "privilege" to have the mini-bar emptied for fridge space. They also ran into problems of billing, relying on a site inspection by staff to add the charges to the room. Guest honesty also came into play in a variety of ways. You could get out of a mini-bar bill pretty easily by refilling a vodka bottle with water or simply insisting you didn't have anything upon check out. Most hotels, if you push it enough, are not going to lose your business over a bag of M & Ms.
With that, we offer a hearty good riddance to the mini bar, and we applaud the big brands for beginning to make this much-needed change. According to reports, the decision came at the hand of guest complaints of high prices and, we're assuming, the resulting loss of income the hotel suffered.
Our standards for hotel minibars may have permanently shifted following a recent visit to London’s Café Royal. Not a feature we usually pay a lot of attention to, the luxurious, leather-encased cabinet housing a selection of premium liquors and fine glassware inside its Empire Suite was a stand out in an already pretty impressive 2,000+ square foot space.
When we last spoke about Café Royal (our pick for Best Hotel Renovation in 2012), the historic Grill Room and Domino Room – haunts of Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, and George Bernard Shaw – had been restored to their original splendor. Now, just over half a year later, six Historic Suites (of which the Empire Suite is the largest) are being added to the range of hyper-modern rooms the hotel already offers.
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We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Cheetos and johnnie Walker
What’s In: Locally-made or healthy alternatives
Sometimes it’s late in the day, dinner was hours ago and you’ve got the munchies bad, or it’s early and you just want to grab something before you rush out the door to your meeting. Your eyes drift over to the minibar, but that ubiquitous, teensy can of Pringles isn’t going to keep you fuelled, never mind toned. What’s a road warrior to do?
Fifteen Beacon goes beyond the standard M&M's and sodas to include local faves like Boston Baked Beans and Cape Cod all-natural potato chips, plus healthy alternatives including coconut water, protein bars and Emergen-C. To top it off, they even offer pampering products like cucumber eye-cream and Sprayology -- a holistic product for your travel-stressed immune system.
Local products abound at the Fairmont Pittsburgh including Betsy Ann Chocolates, Torn Ranch snacks, Naturally Yours trail mixes and local beers (Penn Pilsner and Yuengling). And here’s the best part: in keeping with the idea of “be good to your body, be good to the earth” they also offer complimentary, refillable glass bottles for you to fill with filtered water from dispensers located on each floor.
For you appreciative craft beer lovers, the minibar at Enchantment Resort in Sedona has swapped out mass-produced beer brands for locally-made Grand Canyon Pilsner. They also keep full bottles of local Arizona wines, chocolates, snacks and full-size bath products atop cabinets and vanities to really tempt you to indulge yourself.
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Design / Hotel News / India Hotels / Hotel Minibars / Hotel Bars / → All Tags
An India-based company that specializes in designing bars for high-end hotels throughout New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore (including ITC Maurya, where Obama stayed during a visit in 2010) has come up with a new concept that's sure to catch people's attention: a fully-equipped personal bar for hotel suites.
The nifty "BarTrender Pro" basically whittles down all the elements of a high-end hotel bar—cocktail mixing station, built-in refrigeration, dual zone wine preservation, separate storage for glasses and bottles—into one compact, fully integrated unit.
Just looking at it, we get the sense that even ignoramuses like us who have never bartended a day in our lives (save for once, during college, which was a failure on all accounts) would be able to slap together a half-decent beverage. With the bar's attractive smooth surfaces and backlit shelves, at the very least, we'd look good doing it!
The bar has been on display at multiple showrooms in Jasola and Mumbai, and plenty of folks have expressed interest in buying a unit for themselves, but the company's chief designer said that production is still being limited to two hundred per year. He went on:
"These are prized possessions, and we plan sell limited numbers each year per region. Luxury hotel chains have considered the bar for their suites."
What do you think? Is this something you would use if it showed up in your hotel room? Or would you rather just head downstairs and order a drink the good old-fashioned way? Let us know your thoughts below!
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Marriott swooped in last year and made plenty of Marriott Rewards members happy by adding the Carlton Hotel to its Autograph Collection. And while perhaps the place isn't quite as historic as its Autograph Collection sister hotel, The Algonquin, the Carlton still has a few tricks up its sleeves...
So for those of you planning on staying here, here's a little secret: up in room 1105, you'll find the exact bookcase you see pictured above. Looks like a normal bookcase, right? Wrong. The bookcase is in fact a door that opens onto a hidden wood-paneled room, accessible only to guests staying in room 1105, which is also known as The Speakeasy Suite.
For more photos, click through!
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We know how hard it can be getting out of bed sometimes. We normally use our iPhone alarm to jolt us awake (followed by a big cup of strong black tea), but we're aware there are other more soothing ways to get the job done. Like...a wake-up call from Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson when you stay at The Strand in New York City.
Sound crazy? Here's a little background: 50 Cent, along with entrepreneur Chris Clarke, founded a line of all-natural energy drinks known as SK Energy Shots back in 2011 (actually, the product name was originally Street King, but in 2012 it got abbreviated to the less confrontational "SK".) Better yet, the SK Energy brand has a philanthropic mission, with every energy shot sold providing a meal to a hungry child through the United Nations World Food Programme.
Now, the Strand has partnered with SK to offer the energy shots in all 176 guest rooms. But to really help raise awareness, the hotel is offering the option of a (pre-recorded, duh) wake-up call from Mr. P-I-M-P himself. No further details have been released, though we're wondering, if it happens to be your birthday, do you get your name called out in a special rendition of In Da Club?
It would be accurate to report that every time Britney Spears checks out of a hotel, the minibar has been cleaned out. But it would be more accurate to report that the minibar is actually emptied before she even gets there in the first place.
Us Weekly is reporting that, as a preventative measure, Britney's team requires all hotels to remove the contents of the minibar before the star arrives. That way, she won't be tempted back into her maniacal old head-shaving ways. She's got a proper job these days, crushing the dreams of aspiring pop stars. She ain't got time to be boozing it up in hotel suites!
Welcome to another hotel dispatch from our newest special contributor, The Smooth Operator. We can't divulge his identity but we can tell you he's spends about 70 percent of his time on the road, staying in all the hot hotels and checking out their restaurants and bars to see if the social scene is up to snuff. If you're deciding whether or not to take a chance on that hip boutique hotel in the city, read The Smooth Operator for his opinion first. (Or send us an email and we'll have him answer it for you!)
During my last stay at the Hazelton Hotel in Toronto, I was put in room 323. An expanded suite with extensive square footage, the room was impressive but the layout didn’t work and the room felt like a long hallway – not comfortable at all.
The closet units, however, are exceptional – definitely more than enough hangers (which has proven challenging in premium hotels lately) and great space / design overall. The closet was larger than some rooms I’ve stayed in this year, but shockingly, no iron or ironing board available for the premium clients who stay there.
After three requests over two days I finally had someone from housekeeping provide an iron. (Ed. Note: We guess the iron is not a totally useless amenity for our S.O.)
Sometimes, it's the little touches that make a hotel stay which is why we spend a large part of our time devoted to showing you what's in a hotel room minibar, what magazines are laying on the nightstand and what toiletries are placed on the sink.
Right now, over at the fashionable Mark Hotel on New York's Upper East Side, they are going a little old-school with their mini-bar items by offering Kodak disposable cameras alongside the usual snacks and booze. Except these cameras are done in black and white stripes, a reflection of the hotel's signature marble floors of black and white stripes.
Now you can capture your stylish stay in a stylish way. Then you can show your grandkids that once upon a time photographs were actually done on film. Priceless!
Rates at The Mark start around $455 for a superior courtyard queen but the hotel is running a special summer offer that gives you 20 percent off the room rate if you stay two nights or more. That brings the price down to about $365 a night. The cameras are $18.
It’s not often a hotel minibar can tempt us with something we actually want to buy, which is why the minibar at Public Chicago made us smile during our stay the other week.
As we showed you back when the hotel opened, the minibar contains a Public-branded pack of postcards of film stars, like Dustin Hoffman as a bell man for the Ambassador East.
This time, we took the $10 plunge and opened the pack, tempted by a picture of Elizabeth Taylor. But if you’re looking for postcards that trumpet their origins, as we were, prepare to be disappointed – the hotel’s name is on a sticker on the pack, and nowhere on the cards.
Having said that, not only do you get a neat little clutch of glam black and white pics of the stars of yore – they’re all pictures of said stars at the Pump Room, or the Ambassador East. The same photos as you’ll find by the
Ppublic bathrooms downstairs below the lobby.
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Specials / Red Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Chicago Hotels / Hotel Packages / Hotel Minibars / Hotel Bars / → All Tags
It's National Wear Red Day, and across the country, the American Heart Association is urging everyone to raise awareness about women's heart disease by wearing the color red. And since we've already done our work pointing out the best Valentine's Day hotels (for both NYC and Miami), here's a look at some heart-conscious hotel efforts happening this month.
First stop: Kimpton's Hotel Palomar, which is offering a new gluten-free minibar to provide guests with healthy snacks when they get back to their rooms. Our favorite item? The KIND fruit and nut bars, which we always make a point of slipping into our carry-on whenever we travel. So fruity and chewy and delicious! The minibar will also be stocked with Izze soda, Glutino pretzel twists, and Lundberg rice chips.
Hotel Shopping / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Minibars / Hotel Toiletries / Gramercy Park Hotel / → All Tags
The plush, dark rooms feel more like your rich, moody uncle's place than your typical hotel room and they are full of lovely little details, including the Allure magazine-editor-curated toiletries--a mix of best-of-the-best products rather than all items from the one brand.
And now, you can take a whole lot of the hotel home with you. For a price. You see, the rooms at GPH are designed for you to shop til you drop. Everything in the collage above—from the pretty tassels right down to the tray that the bathroom toiletries are sitting on—is for sale.