10 coolest hotel minibar items
While the worst minibar is undoubtedly an empty minibar, there's no escaping the fact that most, even when bursting with small clinking goods, are over-priced and underwhelming.
But some are worth a lingering look, even if to partake would mean forgoing the cost of dinner that night.
These hotels have reinterpreted the minibar to provide an alternative (and sometimes very luxurious) convenience for the discerning hotel guest.
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1. Bling H2O bottled water
Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago, United States
A thirsty hotel guest at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago should forget about snapping open the generic bottles of Evian in the mini-bar. Rooms here boast a “water library,” serving four different types of designer bottled water.
The star of the “water library” is Bling H2O. The water comes from English Mountain Springs in Tennessee. But what gives the Bling H2O its name (and its price tag of US$25) is the bottle, which is hand-decorated with Swarovski crystals.
If the Bling H20 is too decadent, the “water library” includes other designer bottled water choices that hail from Wales, Argentina and Australia offered at US$10.
401 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611, United States; +1 312 588 8000; www.trumpchicagohotel.com
2. Oxygen bottle
Banyan Tree Ringha Hotel, China
Hidden in Shangri-La in a Tibetan valley on a secluded high mountain 3,200 meters above sea level, Banyan Tree Ringha is breathtaking resort.
Luckily, their minibar has taken their guests' lungs into consideration, providing oxygen canisters for free. Inhaling oxygen is a way to anti-ageing -- if you believe Simon Cowell.
Hong Po Village, Jian Tang Town Shangri-La County, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province; +86 887 828 8822; www.banyantree.com
3. 'Tiny Bubbles' Champagne package
The Peabody Orlando, Orlando, United States
No two guests are the same, so why should minibars be similar? The Peabody Orlando's “Feed the Fridge” program allows hotel guests to request specific minibar packages according to their own preferences and plans for the evening.
The concept banks on convenience -- providing exactly what hotel guests need in an easy-to-order method so bypassing the bleary-eyed midnight run to try and find a convenience store.
The family-friendly “Night at the Movies” package includes concession-stand classics like soda and popcorn. A fancier “Tiny Bubbles” package includes two small bottles of Champagne and a Carr cracker and cheese combination.
Or go for the the "Micro Brewery" package, which includes three types of local brews: Ybor Gold, Napa Smith Amber and Hurricane Reef, for US$28.
9801 International Drive, Orlando, Florida 32819, United States; +1 407 352 4000; www.peabodyorlando.com
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4. SleepEase homeopathic spray
XV Beacon, Boston, United States
Instead of depending on alcohol to dull the pains of traveling, XV Beacon has gone the route of alternative and holistic medicine.
Available in the minibar are homeopathic sprays from Sprayology, with SleepEase and Life Detoxer sprays that do exactly as their names suggest -- soothe the symptoms of insomnia, jetlag and environmental toxins.
In addition to these all-natural sprays, the minibar also supplies other items to pamper the body including an eye pillow, cucumber eye cream and peppermint foot cream.
15 Beacon St., Boston, Massachusetts 02108, United States; +1 617 670 1500; www.xvbeacon.com
5. Full-sized liquor bottles
Grand Resort Lagonissi, Athens, Greece
There's nothing more unsatisfying than half a drink, so thank God for Grand Resort Lagonissi's full-sized liquor bottles.
All the rooms at the Grand Resort Lagonissi stock sodas and chocolate bars for the hoi polloi, but what marks the true VIP from regular folk are the minibar drinks in the VIP rooms.
Though by minibar we mean maxibar, because really, what minibar can hold nine bottles of liquor and a fully-equipped Nespresso coffee machine?
40th kilometer Athens-Sounion, 190 10 Attica, Greece; +30 22910 76000; www.lagonissiresort.gr
6. Arizona Stronghold wine
The Enchantment Resort, Arizona, United States
How do you get a 32 percent hike in minibar sales? Take your products out of the fridge and put them where no guest can ignore them.
The Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona, places two bottles of local Arizona wine and chocolate-covered grapes in full view of guests next to the TV. It also offers locally brewed Grand Canyon American Pilsner beer.
Leather trays are also used to strategically place snacks in plain view and cause a greater deal of temptation.
525 Boynton Canyon Road, Sedona, Arizona 86336, USA; +1 800 826 4180; www.enchantmentresort.com
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7. Selamlique Turkish coffee cups
Çirağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey
Çirağan Palace Kempinski goes all out-on culture, stocking its minibars with signature Turkish souvenirs.
Chew some Turkish delights, sip Turkish coffee from the delicate coffee cup by Istanbul's fine brand Selamlique, yours for a cool US$90.
Or for some peace of mind go for the rosary or the "evil eye," also on offer in the menu.
Ciragan Caddesi 32, Besiktas, 34349 Istanbul; +90 212 326 4646 ; www.kempinski.com
8. Macallan Lalique 57 and Remy Martin Louis XIII Rare Cask
Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, Russia
The minibar at the Ritz-Carlton Moscow is not just a cure for a midnight thirst; it's a gift to all sophisticated drinkers that pass through.
Its selected minibars include a premium choice of full-size bottled alcohols, a wide range of snacks by Hediard and also luxurious amenities like ESPA Aroma candles.
Cognac Remy Martin VSOP (US$533) and a bottle of Macallan 12 Year-Old (US$500) are available in the Executive and Carlton Suites. You can upgrade to The Macallan Lalique 57 and Remy Martin Louis XIII Rare Cask if you fancy.
Tverskaya Street 3, Moscow 125009 Russia; +7 495 225 8888; www.ritzcarlton.com
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9. Classic Florentine liqueur by Santa Maria Novella
Four Seasons, Firenze, Italy
Visitors to the Four Seasons Florence will discover that fairy tales can come true, if you open the minibar door.
This Rivendell-like hotel offers "Elisir di China " and "Elisir di Rosa," two liqueurs by Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, one of the oldest pharmacies in the world.
Founded 800 years ago and authorized as a pharmacy for more than four centuries, it is still producing liqueurs using the traditional recipe, believed to have medicinal values.
Santa Maria Novella’s liqueurs are made by the cold extraction of herbs and spices in alcohol, first performed by monks centuries ago.
Borgo Pinti, 99, 50121 Firenze, Italy; +39 055 2626 1; www.fourseasons.com
10. DIY cocktails kit
W Retreat & Spa, Maldives
It is heartbreaking to know W's Maldives' minibar no longer sells Heidi Klein's designer bikini. Yet, their minibar, or mini munchie bar in W Hotel lingua, does not disappoint.
A DIY cocktails kit is provided in each retreat so guests can either create their own cocktails, or W's signature cocktails following the recipes provided.
Less playful patrons can head to the refrigerator fully stocked with the sommelier's personal suggestions.
Fesdu Island, North Ari Atoll, Republic of Maldives; +960 666 2222; www.starwoodhotels.com
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