Hotel minibars are usually associated with a desperate post-sightseeing kind of hunger. Desperate because traditional minibar options have been $11 tins of almonds, $9 small bottles of water, and a bag of the cookies that get left behind in vending machines. But just as hotels have wised up about room service, they’ve started filling in-room refrigerators and cabinets with gourmet snacks, top-shelf liquor, local wines, and even a “water library.” And some hotels are coming around on price, too, offering their delicious treats with cheaper price tags, and sometimes even for free.
Whether traveling to Arizona, New York, or Portugal, we all want a taste of the local flavors, which is something hotels have caught onto. As a result, hotels from coast to coast and beyond are putting locally sourced snacks and drinks in their minibars, from amaranth and chocolate snacks in Mexico City and Brooklyn Beer in New York to local olive oil cookies in Portugal and regional candies in Boston. But are local goods enough to keep guests in their rooms long enough to really indulge? Hotels are covering that base, too, with snacks and drinks that encourage sticking around to, say, mix your own cocktails or play with treats like Pop Rocks and a Pez dispenser.
Then, there are minibar accoutrements that are truly unique and extravagant, like the water library at the Trump International Hotel in Chicago — one of the many bottles offered in their collection will cost you $25. In Orlando, Fla., at the Peabody Hotel, guests can call ahead and pick specific items from a menu for their in-room fridge to be filled with, with their “Feed the Fridge” program. At Chicago’s James Hotel, 13 different liquors, mixers, and a kit with tongs and a corkscrew inspire mixology-enthusiasts, while New York’s Chatwal Hotel is a hit with candy-store aficionados, with candy cigarettes, mason jars filled with candies, and fancy chocolate bars on offer.
We’re sure they’re not trying to keep you in the room for too long, but these hotels are definitely upping their game with some of the most gourmet treats around.