The mini-bar at Kimpton's Ink 48 hotel in New York. Photos by road warrior John Ruda.

The mini-bar at Kimpton’s Ink 48 in New York. Photo by John Ruda.


When frequent traveler Bob Yodice travels with his wife and kids, the mini-bar used to be off limits. Why? Money. I think we can all agree that hotel minibar items are often priced far too high to justify the convenience, which is one reason why they’ve started to vanish from hotels since the recession.

But one hotel chain that’s kept steady with mini-bars in guest rooms trying to reverse that image, according to one loyal Travel Update reader.

Road warrior Bob Yodice told me this week that he believes Kimpton Hotels & Resorts’ $10 credit – via its “Raid the Minibar” program for loyalty program members – is making him rethink the scary mini-bar. Guests can use the $10 credit towards mini-bar snacks, candy, beverages and alcohol.

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“Kimpton’s reversing the psychology of the minibar,” Yodice told me recently via email. “We’ve really created a culture with families where the mini-bar is this forbidden black hole. Kimpton was the first I’ve seen to really make an attempt to break that thought process.”

Of course, there’s a down side to consider. For some customers, having a $10 credit is “free” money that can be used towards a larger purchase. Even Yodice admits to being in this crowd when traveling alone.

“I’ll take the $10 credit,” he said. Then “I (then) end up spending $20 total. I grab a bottle of wine and gummy bears, or buy bottles of water.”

Readers: Do you wish hotels gave you a credit towards buying something?

The price list for mini-bar items at Kimpton's Ink 48.

The price list for mini-bar items at Kimpton’s Ink 48 hotel. Photo by John Ruda.