At a Los Angeles hotel where a tourist recently found a bag of money left by a previous guest, another traveler was met with another startling discovery in the room. Yes, a thirsty guest wanted a drink but was horrified to learn the price of a bottle of water from the minibar after drinking it.
“Mind you, amongst all this extravagance (alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in the fridge) there were outrageous prices (and) steep fines for what many of us do quite regularly with the mini-bar,” the tourist’s warning was published by the British The Sun newspaper. So, the cost of a 1-liter bottle of water cost him $31 (about UAH 1,250). But the most expensive was a bottle of Patron (premium-class tequila brand) with a volume of 200 ml, that is, like a cup of coffee – for $ 75 (3000 UAH). Such examples are enough to make you faint, the author assured.
“There was no price list next to the fridge warning that your wallet will be emptied faster than the roulette wheel a few floors down. Instead, this information was hidden on the page of the TV in the room,” the traveler was indignant.
However, such hotels stop the common method of cheating guests by substituting more expensive booze for a cheaper one. Modern mini-bars, equipped with accurate scales and special sensors, report to the center, in this case, the hotel administration, what manipulations were carried out with the refrigerator.
According to the “victim”, he would instead rent an entire refrigerator from this hotel than use the local mini-bar. “Chilling your $4 beer for 24 hours in the hotel minibar will cost you more than 10 times the price of the beer itself,” he added.
Another hotel guest shared an image of a similar warning at his hotel. “The power center is on the sensor. There is an automatic charge of $50 for using the sideboard to store personal belongings.
Another tourist told his horror story about using the hotel’s mini-bar to cool the alcohol brought to the room. “I’ve been to the MGM Aria, they have advanced mini bars equipped with sensors. The refrigerator detects when the object is moved or the size or weight of the contents changes. We brought our alcohol and used the mini-fridge to keep the drinks warm, and when we left, MGM charged us a ‘personal use fee’ of $25 per day,” he shared, though he didn’t specify how many nights he had to pay for use of the refrigerator.
As experts noted earlier, tourists who decide to challenge the hotel’s actions regarding the automatic withdrawal of money for the open door of the mini-fridge and to store their products there has a good chance of compensation. Especially if there is no warning price list nearby.
However, there are resort hotels that have completely abandoned mini-refrigerators in their rooms. For example, since 2018, they have not been used by hotels on the popular Costa Blanca in Spain. The decision was made after a series of incidents involving British tourists. According to the hotel management, the guests secretly emptied the contents of the bottles, then filled them with their urine and put them back. When leaving, they denied everything and drove without fines.