Changing the Perception: Pricing your Minibar Right

No one likes to feel nickel-and-dimed, especially when they’re already paying beaucoup bucks to stay in their suite. Hotels are notorious for hiking prices on their minibar offerings, and as a result, most people have the perception that the minibar is there to rip them off. Sure, tracking inventory, staffing minibar attendants, and products mysteriously disappearing means time and money, but offering items reasonably priced or complimentary will garner great TripAdvisor reviews and leave your guests feeling warm and fuzzy.

Here are some hotels who make the case for lower-priced minibars:


The Kimberly
The Kimberly Hotel, located in midtown Manhattan, could get away with high prices for their in-room snacks. Instead, they don’t charge much more than the bodega down the block. When your customers are living it up around the Big Apple, coming back to a $3 can of Pringles or an $8 glass jar of high quality cashews seems like a steal.


Andaz San Diego
The Andaz in San Diego mixes it up by offering a handful of items complimentary. Chips, granola bars, and non-alcoholic drinks are free while the higher end items are offered for a price. This is a great way to give your guests value without taking a huge hit to your bottom line.


Kimpton Hotels
The Kimpton offers members of their loyalty program a $10 credit to use as they please, whether it be on a cocktail at the bar, or a snack from the in-room minibar. It’s a great way to reward your guests and keep them coming back.


This unique property in Denver offers up all sorts of delicious in-room snacks for free. One look at their TripAdvisor page, and it’s evident that this popular perk contributes to their high ratings.


SLS Las Vegas
This Las Vegas resort crafted a campaign called #MyVegasStory. It includes an invitation for their guests who book a room for 2 or more nights to raid the minibar for free (among other perks). This clever tactic gets people talking, hashtagging, and excited about staying at the property, because who doesn’t like looking like a baller on Instagram?

It’s not difficult to see that snacks and amenities are highly regarded and much appreciated while scrolling through hotel reviews. These properties have found a way to turn the notoriously cynical views of the minibar into marketing machines, surprising guests and adding value to their stay, making those resort fees and room rates seem all the more worth it.