In what seems to be a growing trend in the hotel industry, a 5 star hotel on Canton Road in Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui district launches free mini bars that are restocked daily.
Next to paying for Wi-Fi, surely one of the biggest complaints among hotel guests is being charged ridiculously high prices for drinks in the mini-bar.
Some hotels I have stayed at have actually gone through my garbage and attempted to charge me for stuff I bought outside the hotel!
Are mini bars a thing of the past?
During my recent trip to Seattle, Washington, the Best Western motel I stayed at had a microwave, sink, coffee maker, and refrigerater.
Complimentary coffee was supplied, but the fridge was empty. I simply made a trip to a nearby Whole Foods or a mini-mart to stock up on drinks and snacks each day.
I did, in fact, consume most of my meals in the room during my 9 night stay at the motel.
Mini Marts and Free Drinks
A small number of hotels are either offering mini-marts in the lobby with empty fridges in the room (such as the Holiday Inn Resort Baruna in Bali) or mini bars stocked with complimentary drinks (such as the Hansar Bangkok in Thailand).
A few (such as Sri Panwa in Phuket) offer complimentary snacks. The Chedi Club in Bali even provides complimentary spirits in addition to the free soft drinks!
The trend seems to be growing as hotels recognized the tremendous ill-will that overcharging for drinks and snack can cause – especially among leisure travellers, who are not on expense accounts that they can charge back to their employers.
Gateway Hong Kong
The Gateway Hong Kong in Kowloon’s touristy Tsim Sha Tsui district is the latest hotel to make the move toward mini bars with free drinks.
The recently refurbished hotel will launch complimentary mini bars on 15 December 2014.
Complimentary beverages will include 2 bottles of water, 2 cans of beer, Classic Coke, Diet Coke, and orange juice.
There are also Nespresso coffee machines with a free selecton of coffee capsules. And Wi-Fi is complimentary throughout the hotel, as well.
The hotel has 400 rooms and access to a 24 hour gym and outdoor swimming pools at sister hotels located nearby.
Gateway Hotel, 5/F, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Harbour City, Hong Kong. Telephone: (852) 2118 7284. Hotel Website: Marco Polo Hotels
The hotel is a part of the massive Harbour City shopping complex. It is short walk from the Star Ferry, bus terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, and several upscale shopping malls.
Hong Hum Station, Mongkok, and other points on the Kowloon Peninsula can be reached by taxi.