Hey, who hasn’t ravaged the hotel minibar late at night? It seems like a harmless indulgence until check-out, when the hotel bill claims the little can of Pringles cost a total of $5. At about 20 cents a chip, that was one expensive snack, one which could have been bought at 7-Eleven for much less.
Before your next snack attack, check out this list of hotels with the most delicious minibar menus. It may not save you a dime, but at least you’ll be splurging on organic goods, wines hand-picked by a sommelier, or locally sourced treats instead of M&Ms and mini booze bottles.
Boutique hotels like the Kimpton properties are realizing that even though convenience is king, offering unique minibar items guests won’t find at the corner store reflects on the ethos of the hotel. For instance at Kimpton’s Hotel Vintage in Portland and Seattle, local Pacific Northwest wines from wineries like Eola Hills are available.
Deana Kay, Vice President of Torn Ranch, a leading supplier of gourmet snacks to upscale hotels, believes that hotel guests are looking for an experience when they peer into the mini fridge. “People know how much Snickers and Pringles cost and how much they’re overpaying. They want something unique that goes with their travel experience,” she says. The minibar item becomes a souvenir, like at Cooper Square Hotel in downtown New York City, which stocks pretzels from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket.
A mix of healthy snacks to temper the indulgent offerings is another rising trend. “People want fresh,” says Kay. Also retailing at Saks and Neiman Marcus, Torn Ranch supplies that demand with items like roasted jumbo cashews, their most popular product, along with dried fruit and trail mixes. To that end, the Shore Club in Miami keeps a health bar and a collection of organic goodies on hand.
It may seem frivolous, but you’ve got to hand it to the hotels on our list — they work hard to respond to their guests’ needs. Most avid travelers would agree that attentive service and thoughtful details are the keys to a great hotel stay.