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Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:35 pm
by michaeljc70
This is an etiquette question. When staying in a hotel with a stocked mini bar, if there is room in it is it inappropriate or okay to store your own stuff in there? Their stuff is in the front so mine would be put in the back not impacting their ability to see if I used their stuff (yes, I am in a hotel now).

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:36 pm
by White Coat Investor
No. You paid for it, might as well use it.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:39 pm
by sometimesinvestor
ASk the hotel when you check in. I think most would say ok

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:47 pm
by stoptothink
It's fine...as long as you leave a tip

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:49 pm
by Trader Joe
michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:35 pm
This is an etiquette question. When staying in a hotel with a stocked mini bar, if there is room in it is it inappropriate or okay to store your own stuff in there? Their stuff is in the front so mine would be put in the back not impacting their ability to see if I used their stuff (yes, I am in a hotel now).
Not rude at all.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:51 pm
by SlowMovingInvestor
I don't think it's rude at all. If anything, I would say any decent hotel room should provide a fridge rather than something that most patron's don't use.

[And yes, I know lots of hotels have only mini bars in the room]

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:52 pm
by TallBoy29er
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:47 pm
It's fine...as long as you leave a tip
Huh? I agree it's fine. I also tip for room service. But why exactly are you tipping to use a fridge provided for your convenience? (I may have misinterpreted sarcasm, sorry of that's the case :sharebeer )

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:58 pm
by 3504PIR
+1 on asking at the front desk, often mini bars have built in sensors which trigger when you remove an item. In that case if you move it you buy it.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:00 pm
by michaeljc70
3504PIR wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:58 pm
+1 on asking at the front desk, often mini bars have built in sensors which trigger when you remove an item. In that case if you move it you buy it.
I have seen that at hotels. They definitely don't have sensors here. This is not in the US. Though it is a pretty nice hotel, the mini bar looks low tech. I was surprised at check-in. I didn't need to give a credit card (booked through 3rd party site). They said if I use the min bar I can pay before I leave.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:35 pm
by ralph124cf
3504PIR wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:58 pm
+1 on asking at the front desk, often mini bars have built in sensors which trigger when you remove an item. In that case if you move it you buy it.
The easiest thing to do is to ask the front desk to remove the hotel items so that you can use the fridge for your own things. I have done this many times, and I have never had any pushback.

Ralph

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:38 pm
by stoptothink
TallBoy29er wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:52 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:47 pm
It's fine...as long as you leave a tip
Huh? I agree it's fine. I also tip for room service. But why exactly are you tipping to use a fridge provided for your convenience? (I may have misinterpreted sarcasm, sorry of that's the case :sharebeer )
Yes, you missed the sarcasm. Just a quip on the rash of (IMO) ridiculous tipping threads lately.

I use the mini bar fridge virtually every single time I stay at a hotel because I don't eat out when I travel, including this past Saturday-Monday. I just let the front desk know at check in and it has never once been an issue. On that note, should I be tipping the front desk worker for allowing me to use the mini bar fridge?

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:58 pm
by TallBoy29er
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:38 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:52 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:47 pm
It's fine...as long as you leave a tip
Huh? I agree it's fine. I also tip for room service. But why exactly are you tipping to use a fridge provided for your convenience? (I may have misinterpreted sarcasm, sorry of that's the case :sharebeer )
Yes, you missed the sarcasm. Just a quip on the rash of (IMO) ridiculous tipping threads lately.

I use the mini bar fridge virtually every single time I stay at a hotel because I don't eat out when I travel, including this past Saturday-Monday. I just let the front desk know at check in and it has never once been an issue. On that note, should I be tipping the front desk worker for allowing me to use the mini bar fridge?
That's funny. I bought a couple bottles of gin at a local distillery today. They had a tip line. I'm thinking, what the hell. Should I start tipping the clerk at the grocery and pharmacy as well??? :confused

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:25 pm
by Kenkat
At the hotels I stay at, the only minibar is the one next to the ice machine down at the end of the hall.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:54 pm
by rjbraun
I have routinely used the hotel mini bar for personal food items in the past; however, I guess I need to be more careful in the future.

We stayed at an Intercontinental earlier this year. I was surprised to come across the following language, which was posted, imo, in rather small type on the mini fridge:

"This is an automatic refreshment center. Any items removed are automatically billed to your account.

If you would prefer to use this refrigeration space for personal items, please contact room service, and your refreshment center will be emptied and deactivated. A small charge for this service will be billed to your account.

If you should need additional refrigeration space, please contact guest services."


In the "Your Room At A Glance" information card, the following language appeared under Mini-Bar:

"The mini-bar will automatically charge to your guest room account once an item has been removed for longer than 10 seconds. Complimentary coffee and tea is provided daily for your consumption. A menu with pricing is located in your room."

By the time I got around to noticing the "fine print", I had already shifted stuff around in the mini-bar though nothing had been opened or consumed.

I felt pretty outraged. I was on vacation and didn't expect to have to go around the room reading every little detail before touching anything. At a minimum, I think the hotel should put a seal on the fridge or something with a warning in large letters about removing any item for over 10 seconds.

Fortunately, when I spoke with he front desk about things they said I wouldn't be charged for any of the moved items, and I wasn't. I'm not even sure they had intended to charge me; maybe it's just language to warn people, at least for now.

I guess times are changing. When we stayed at a Sheraton recently we had to request an in-room fridge beforehand. It arrived empty, which is the way we wanted it, but I guess a small fridge isn't standard these days in what I assume was a 4-star hotel.

Caveat emptor! :shock:

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:56 pm
by abuss368
I don’t see an issue. Perhaps it will send a message that the hotel is not competitive!

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:58 pm
by Finridge
Most hotels will, for no charge, remove their drinks from the refrigerator if you request this.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:06 am
by Whakamole
Not rude. If I need space, I'll take out items that won't spoil at room temperature (alcohol, Coke, etc.) Never been charged or had the hotel say anything.

I also put anything back when I leave the room.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:15 am
by anoop
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:38 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:52 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:47 pm
It's fine...as long as you leave a tip
Huh? I agree it's fine. I also tip for room service. But why exactly are you tipping to use a fridge provided for your convenience? (I may have misinterpreted sarcasm, sorry of that's the case :sharebeer )
Yes, you missed the sarcasm. Just a quip on the rash of (IMO) ridiculous tipping threads lately.

I use the mini bar fridge virtually every single time I stay at a hotel because I don't eat out when I travel, including this past Saturday-Monday. I just let the front desk know at check in and it has never once been an issue. On that note, should I be tipping the front desk worker for allowing me to use the mini bar fridge?
Only if they have a tipping jar, otherwise it would be condescending. :twisted:

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:27 am
by j0nnyg1984
The last place i stayed that had a stocked minibar (Hilton Amsterdam Airport) had a note stating that the fridge was for their items only, not to put any personal items inside.

I put two bottles of water inside anyways, and no additional charges were levied.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:54 am
by TomatoTomahto
Back in the day when I used insulin, I would use the mini bar to keep it cold. I did not consider it rude.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:07 am
by Dude2
Finridge wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:58 pm
Most hotels will, for no charge, remove their drinks from the refrigerator if you request this.
Exactly, but, of course, unless you are a seasoned business traveler or live a jet-setter lifestyle, there's no way to know it.

One can adopt an attitude that most people have which is to believe the hotel works for them, and it needs to meet your demands, not the other way around. This is the squeaky wheel gets the grease principle. If you know how to play the game, you end up with way more than the default guest. That in itself is rude and might be contrary to our principles, but it's business.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:34 am
by barnaclebob
Some hotels have systems that automatically detect when you move something and charge you for it. I had a lot of charges that had to be removed just from picking stuff up to look at it.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:47 am
by Grasshopper
I throw the hotels off by sometimes leaving one of my beers in the mini bar. :beer

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:07 am
by bberris
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:34 am
Some hotels have systems that automatically detect when you move something and charge you for it. I had a lot of charges that had to be removed just from picking stuff up to look at it.
So that means you can't drink a $10 beer and replace it with a 1$ one that you got at the store?

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:28 am
by barnaclebob
bberris wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:07 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:34 am
Some hotels have systems that automatically detect when you move something and charge you for it. I had a lot of charges that had to be removed just from picking stuff up to look at it.
So that means you can't drink a $10 beer and replace it with a 1$ one that you got at the store?
That would probably work, it depends on how their system tracks it.

My experience happened in a higher end hotel and as soon as I got a confused look on my face when they mentioned mini bar charges when checking out they asked if I just picked something up. I said yes and they took the charges off.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:51 am
by VictoriaF
It's rude of hotels to tempt you with over-priced alcohol and snacks.

Victoria

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:02 pm
by TomatoTomahto
VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:51 am
It's rude of hotels to tempt you with over-priced alcohol and snacks.

Victoria
But I do prefer that the temptations be overpriced, as I’m more likely to resist. A $1 beer might get me. A $10 beer, no way.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:19 pm
by michaeljc70
VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:51 am
It's rude of hotels to tempt you with over-priced alcohol and snacks.

Victoria
:beer
The prices would have to be less than half what they are for me to even be slightly tempted.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:55 pm
by BuckyBadger
I stayed at a lovely hotel in Savannah - nice but not super fancy or expensive or anything.

They gave us a couple of sodas, a bag of chips, and a bag of m&ms with a note explaining that they were for us to enjoy free of charge.

Considering it all could be purchased from Costco for about a dollar fifty, it's not like it was a big deal for them, but it was just such a nice gesture i promised to stay there again if i ever went back to Savannah.

It was called the Andaz Savannah if anyone is interested. I think they gave everyone a glass of wine, too.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:59 pm
by squirm
We take out the stuff and put our stuff in it. When we leave we put their stuff back in.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:42 pm
by JackoC
Kenkat wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:25 pm
At the hotels I stay at, the only minibar is the one next to the ice machine down at the end of the hall.
Was going to say we usually stay at medium level hotel/motels (Hampton is our most commonly used chain by far) and they don't have minibars. The few further upscale places we've stayed in recent years in the US I don't remember them either actually; I remember those mainly when I stayed at upscale places overseas on employer's dime. The places we stay at generally have an empty small fridge, obviously for our stuff.

But generally I don't get wound up about arcane aspects of what's 'rude' to companies I'm paying for services. I avoid personal rudeness to people who work for those companies, but I guess 99% of a hotel's employees couldn't care less personally what guests do with the fridge. If I saw a sign saying don't move stuff around without asking, then I'd ask. If I missed the sign or there wasn't one, I wouldn't worry about it.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:44 pm
by michaeljc70
I did decide to use the minibar for my stuff. I just bought 2 diet cokes and went to put them in there. I wondered, since they are the same product as in the minbar, if I need to keep track of what is mine. I turned over their can and it had a colored dot on the bottom (it looks printed). I turned over the regular Coke and beer and same thing (different colored dots though). I believe the hotel has the distributor or manufacturer put that on the bottom so they know if you took their product and later replaced. So, this is a heads up regarding the trick I've heard in the past to use what you want from the minibar and replace it later. Would they check that and notice? That I don't know.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:56 pm
by Herekittykitty
VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:51 am
It's rude of hotels to tempt you with over-priced alcohol and snacks.

Victoria
I agree and extend the sentiment to: It is rude of hotels to put items including food and drink for sale in your room at all.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:07 pm
by Atilla
If you run into a hassle with a minibar with sensors and you really want to use the fridge space - I have heard tell that in the US if you inform the front desk you are insulin-dependent and need the cold storage they will accommodate you at no charge.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:41 am
by Hug401k
This is why my kids think hotels like Hampton Inn and Hyatt Place with a room fridge and free breakfast are the really fancy hotels. They were wondering why we stayed at a cheap place without these things this summer, when it was actually a "nicer" hotel. I'm starting to agree with them. :D

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:09 pm
by Clever_Username
Hug401k wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:41 am
This is why my kids think hotels like Hampton Inn and Hyatt Place with a room fridge and free breakfast are the really fancy hotels. They were wondering why we stayed at a cheap place without these things this summer, when it was actually a "nicer" hotel. I'm starting to agree with them. :D
As someone who is currently living in a hotel that has a room fridge and something that passes for free breakfast, I agree with your kids.

I have also been put up in (on the job travel and/or job interviews) supposedly fancy hotels that didn't have a room fridge, or a television set, or in two cases that come to mind, a full door on the shower.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:13 pm
by arsenalfan
If no sensors, I pull out the hotel's nonperishables (sodas, water, booze, etc) and put my stuff in there.

I leave hotel's beer (cue debate over whether temp changes skunk beer) and perishables in the fridge.

At the end of the stay, I return everything back.

No erroneous billing or problems to date.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:39 pm
by 6miths
ralph124cf wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:35 pm
3504PIR wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:58 pm
+1 on asking at the front desk, often mini bars have built in sensors which trigger when you remove an item. In that case if you move it you buy it.
The easiest thing to do is to ask the front desk to remove the hotel items so that you can use the fridge for your own things. I have done this many times, and I have never had any pushback.

Ralph
This is a great idea. I have never thought of doing this as usually take the 'easier to get forgiveness than permission' approach but what are they going to say in this day of online reviews. Definitely have no issue using the fridge in the room and in some ways an upside to using mid-price hotels as they are more likely to provide an empty fridge with no minibar. Similar to wifi - only place that ever charged for wifi was upscale hotels. Ridiculous.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:41 pm
by Sconie
I think it's fine to use the mini-bar fridge. Hey, you're paying for the room-----it's yours-----and if they don't like it, ask them to remove THEIR refrigerator from YOUR room.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:22 am
by Ependytis
No need to worry about using the hotel refrigerator or if the hotel even has a refrigerator. I make my own cooler. I do this by filling a resealable bag with ice and placing it a reuseable grocery bag lined with newspapers. This last 24 hours even in HawaiiI and is portable.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:36 am
by Herekittykitty
Hug401k wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:41 am
This is why my kids think hotels like Hampton Inn and Hyatt Place with a room fridge and free breakfast are the really fancy hotels. They were wondering why we stayed at a cheap place without these things this summer, when it was actually a "nicer" hotel. I'm starting to agree with them. :D
I agree with your kids. I can't figure out why the more expensive hotels offer less than the mid priced hotels such as Hampton Inn and Hyatt Place. And I can't figure out why people would go to hotels that charge more and provide less. it has always baffled me.

ETA: It makes me nuts to go to conferences that are held in hotels like that - that charge more and provide less.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:23 pm
by onthecusp
It was just one night, but a few months ago stayed at a hotel with an additional mandatory "resort fee" that was above the price from hotels.com. It included $x from the minibar and presumably could check out things like skateboards, balls to take to the park, etc. Seems like a complete rip off, those were some expensive chocolate covered nuts we took because we didn't want anything else.

Re: Hotel mini bar - rude to use for own stuff

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:25 pm
by TheDDC
Herekittykitty wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:36 am
Hug401k wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:41 am
This is why my kids think hotels like Hampton Inn and Hyatt Place with a room fridge and free breakfast are the really fancy hotels. They were wondering why we stayed at a cheap place without these things this summer, when it was actually a "nicer" hotel. I'm starting to agree with them. :D
I agree with your kids. I can't figure out why the more expensive hotels offer less than the mid priced hotels such as Hampton Inn and Hyatt Place. And I can't figure out why people would go to hotels that charge more and provide less. it has always baffled me.

ETA: It makes me nuts to go to conferences that are held in hotels like that - that charge more and provide less.
... your last line answers your question. Because business travelers generally pay more, have subsidized expense accounts, and are the suckers who who work for organizations that can write this off. Companies are feeding the “upscale hotel” beast. I don’t think many families would find a “business class hotel” worth the money.

-TheDDC