Are Andaz Free Minibars Being Eliminated?

Are Andaz Free Minibars Being Eliminated?

52

A few days ago I wrote about potential changes coming to the complimentary minibar at Hyatt’s Andaz brand. There’s a positive update regarding that… sort of.

Andaz is “refreshing” its minibar concept

Each hotel brand has some amenities that make it unique (or at least that hotels try to market as unique). In the case of Andaz, the brand has offered complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic drinks in the minibar.

As initially noted by View from the Wing a few days ago, the Andaz Scottsdale no longer offers free minibar drinks and snacks. Here’s what a Hyatt spokesperson had to say about this at the time:

We are currently working to refresh the Andaz minibar experience to better suit the needs of today’s travelers. During this interim period, properties can determine what minibar selections are offered on a complimentary basis.

This certainly caused some confusion, and made it sound like this wasn’t a mistake, or like one property was simply breaking Hyatt’s rules. However, following that story, a Hyatt spokesperson reached out to clarify that complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks continue to remain a brand standard for Andaz:

The standardized free minibar remains a brand standard and guests and members can continue to expect complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, though the variety of complimentary options may vary property to property.

I pushed back a bit to clarify whether that meant the Andaz Scottsdale was breaking Hyatt’s policies by charging for non-alcoholic drinks. It was confirmed that this particular property isn’t following Hyatt’s policies:

Andaz hotels have the flexibility to offer the specific types of non-alcoholic beverages and snacks that reflect their destination, but this must include items beyond complimentary water. We are working with Andaz Scottsdale to review its offerings.

Andaz Mayakoba minibar

Many Andaz properties have eliminated minibars

While it’s good to know that Andaz properties can’t charge for soft drinks and snacks in the minibar, readers pointed out in the comments section that the Andaz Scottsdale isn’t alone by not offering a complimentary minibar. Other hotels are just going about it a bit differently.

Many Andaz properties seem to have eliminated minibars at the start of the pandemic, and have just never brought them back. They’re not violating the rules because they aren’t charging for the items that are supposed to be complimentary, but rather they’re just not offering them at all. Unfortunately I can’t say I’m surprised.

Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen endless cost cutting from hotel brands, ranging from daily housekeeping being cut, to minibars being emptied, to room service being eliminated, to club lounges being closed.

Along those lines, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Andaz properties have just chosen to stop stocking minibars. Admittedly the snacks and soft drinks cost the hotel very little, but rather the bigger expense is the staffing required to keep minibars full. Current labor shortages in many markets don’t help with that either.

Clearly Andaz properties are trying to see what kind of cost cutting they can get away with. Is the free minibar a core part of the brand’s value proposition, or do most guests just not care that the free minibar hasn’t returned?

Does this change the value proposition of the Andaz brand?

Bottom line

Hyatt is in the process of “refreshing” the Andaz minibar concept, with hotels potentially having more local items that reflect their destinations.

The good news is that Andaz properties can’t charge for snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, as before, and the Andaz Scottsdale just isn’t following Hyatt’s policies. The bad news is that many Andaz properties seem to have just completely stopped stocking minibars. Like so many things, they’ve been a casualty of the pandemic.

What do you make of the Andaz minibar situation?

Conversations (52)
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  1. Javier Guest

    Hi! do you have updated menus of the Andaz Mayakoba? i'm looking to have my anniversary trip to that resort but if it is too pricey (Inflation) then i would head back to other hotel.

    Thanks in advance!!!

  2. Matthewsf Guest

    “The standardized free minibar remains a brand standard and guests and members can continue to expect complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.”“They’re not violating the rules because they aren’t charging for the items that are supposed to be complimentary, but rather they’re just not offering them at all”
    Ben-aren’t hotels that have eliminated the entire mini-bar offering in fact violating the rules by not maintaining the brand standard? I had an Andaz overseas claim they...

    “The standardized free minibar remains a brand standard and guests and members can continue to expect complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.”“They’re not violating the rules because they aren’t charging for the items that are supposed to be complimentary, but rather they’re just not offering them at all”
    Ben-aren’t hotels that have eliminated the entire mini-bar offering in fact violating the rules by not maintaining the brand standard? I had an Andaz overseas claim they couldn’t offer anything beyond water due to local Covid governmental restrictions….yet ever other luxury/high-end hotel in the same city (Ritz, Four Seasons, Conrad, Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, etc.) did in fact offer and have a fully stocked mini-bar in guests rooms. Seems they should be held accountable.

  3. Matthewsf Guest

    “The standardized free minibar remains a brand standard and guests and members can continue to expect complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.”“They’re not violating the rules because they aren’t charging for the items that are supposed to be complimentary, but rather they’re just not offering them at all”
    Ben-aren’t hotels that have eliminated the entire mini-bar offering in fact violating the rules by not maintaining the brand standard? I had an Andaz overseas claim they...

    “The standardized free minibar remains a brand standard and guests and members can continue to expect complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.”“They’re not violating the rules because they aren’t charging for the items that are supposed to be complimentary, but rather they’re just not offering them at all”
    Ben-aren’t hotels that have eliminated the entire mini-bar offering in fact violating the rules by not maintaining the brand standard? I had an Andaz overseas claim they couldn’t offer anything beyond water due to local Covid governmental restrictions….yet ever other luxury/high-end hotel in the same city (Ritz, Four Seasons, Conrad, Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, etc.) did in fact offer and have a fully stocked mini-bar in guests rooms. Seems they should be help accountable.

  4. iamhere Guest

    You're complaining about a Coke and a bag of potato chips. The key point is non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. Many hotels have this available all day in their lounge anyway. Many more trivial unacceptable issues at a hotels these days.

  5. Sam Guest

    What’s next?
    Have a water meter by the door?
    Have housekeeping take the readings before you checkout and charge you per Liter of water you used in the shower?
    The nickel and dimming of travelers is getting out of hand especially from luxury brands.
    There’s usually not much of a difference between Mercure/Novotel and luxury hotels now justifying the price premium for many travelers.
    May I Add.. Mercure Budapest had complimentary water bottles and a candy bar.

  6. Dander Guest

    The nickel and dining of the travel experience is annoying. Seriously is it too hard to give a couple of sodas and a candy bar away?

  7. Dwondermeant Guest

    Wow
    I’m excited once again to receive a stale packaged cookie and a half once bag of potato chips and a free bottle of the most luxurious water in the world crystal Geiser
    I’m just overwhelmed with such generosity
    Rather have a fully stocked mini bar with something I’m willing to actually consume thank you.just make sure the hotel leaves some personal space for leftovers

  8. FordF-150 Guest

    Stayed at the Scottsdale location this past November, the mini bar wasn’t the only thing lacking. The room and patio were filthy.

  9. Creditcrunch Diamond

    I recently stayed at Virgin Hotel Chicago and found their mini bar concept quite appealing. Most if not all items were priced very competitively with price matching to local stores nearby, now free is great but not been ripped off is a happy compromise.

  10. Andrew Diamond

    Ah, when corporate speak lands so poorly. “[...] better suit the needs of today’s travelers.”

    In a downward economy, today's travelers need to spend more money? Or are they dropping the base room pricing? Based on my stay at Andaz Tokyo yesterday ($800 for a single night), probably not.

  11. Ann Guest

    Bummer... That was why I liked them best.

  12. Jerry Diamond

    Andaz Abu Dhabi was empty in September

  13. Steve Diamond

    Andaz Napa mini bar was empty both times I've visted both pre and post covid.

  14. WorldTravelGuy Guest

    Why show a minbar in Japan for this article?

    1. henare Diamond

      because that's the photo he happens to have?

  15. Sam Guest

    Savannah and LA Andaz have both done away with free minibar as well. Or in those cases actually with any minibar at all.

  16. Amt Guest

    You’re well out of date… This disappeared from many of their properties during Covid and didn’t return. Andaz London and West Hollywood haven’t had mini bars for years. They replaced them with a snack table in the lobby and will provide water from a fridge ‘on request’ though it seems no one actually knows if a guest is entitled to any water, if they have already received an allocation of two waters or if water...

    You’re well out of date… This disappeared from many of their properties during Covid and didn’t return. Andaz London and West Hollywood haven’t had mini bars for years. They replaced them with a snack table in the lobby and will provide water from a fridge ‘on request’ though it seems no one actually knows if a guest is entitled to any water, if they have already received an allocation of two waters or if water is just for globalists.

    They have also ditched turndown service and seem to do their best to get guests to take a ‘Covid safe or green option’ which if you ask what that means, equates to no housekeeping at all. This is as recent as September 2022.

    1. Jacques Guest

      I stayed at the Andaz West Hollywood last week. Snacks by the front desk are mainly a small bag of trail mix. Water is an aluminum bottle that one can refill at will. Free coffee in the lobby only till 8:00am. No turndown and housekeeping only upon request.

    2. Samo Guest

      Why would anyone need bottled water in London though? I understand it in Asia and Africa but elsewhere it's just useless as one can get an unlimited water in the bathroom. Radisson Blu Waterfront Stockholm provides a large empty bottle you can fill with water, in case you want to refrigerate it or have some by the bed and that always seemed sufficient for me.

  17. frrp Gold

    Who actually buys anything from a minibar? I mean, surely the literal only reason to buy from there is that the apocalypse is currently in progress so theres no shops, no bar in the lobby and no supplies brought with you? I mean, why else would anyone pay 5x the cost that the minibars always charge?

  18. TravelinWilly Diamond

    “We are currently working to refresh the Andaz minibar experience to better suit the needs of today’s travelers.”

    I see they got my feedback and took it to heart, GREAT JOB, HYATT!

    I specifically said “The complementary items in the minibar cheapen my stay experience. It’s high time to start charging me for every item I consume to better suit the needs of me, today’s traveler, and DO NOT MAKE IT CHEAP, as I can...

    “We are currently working to refresh the Andaz minibar experience to better suit the needs of today’s travelers.”

    I see they got my feedback and took it to heart, GREAT JOB, HYATT!

    I specifically said “The complementary items in the minibar cheapen my stay experience. It’s high time to start charging me for every item I consume to better suit the needs of me, today’s traveler, and DO NOT MAKE IT CHEAP, as I can only appreciate that which costs most.”

    Kudos to Hyatt for acting on this.

  19. Joe Guest

    Meh. I'd rather have the option of buying an item from a full minibar than a feeble free mini bar with nothing but a choc bar and some water/coke in.

    1. Andrew Diamond

      But you know you'll get the worst of both worlds as they "reimagine it for today's traveler."

  20. David Guest

    Andaz Tokyo in November had a full complimentary minibar at exactly the same standard as pre-pandemic, including a cold green tea, sodas, and orange juice. Breakfast was also back to normal. As a regular visitor prior to March 2020, this was a real relief and will keep me returning to this property.

  21. Kendall Guest

    Just stayed at the Andaz Ottawa on Dec 2

    The minibar had a complimentary bag of chips, a small piece of chocolate, 2 cans of Coke, and a Perrier water

    They knocked on my door the next day to refill the minibar

  22. Kevin Guest

    Hmm - someone needs to update the Andaz website. The official Andaz homepage still says "Our complimentary mini-bar invites guests to taste local treats and non-alcoholic beverages." False advertising? If Andaz Scottsdale has been non compliant with the publicly advertised brand standard, what is the recourse? Any class action attorneys out there?

    1. Santos Guest

      Class action… this is a cute comment.

  23. Matthew Guest

    Staying at the Andaz San Diego right now. No items in the minibar, and everything must be ordered (at a charge).

    1. Tom Guest

      Ha. I’m staying here too. Also empty minibar.

    2. Andrew Diamond

      Gotta love what Hyatt has done lately.

      Spending billions on other companies? Check. Keeping customers happy? Meh.

  24. ycgcdg New Member

    To be honest I rarely use the Andaz mini bars I don't drink coke and I usually do not like the snacks I do like the waters those that have tonic water are also nice but so it's no big deal to me.

  25. jeffyk99 Guest

    I want to get feedback from others on this. I've always thought the minibar prices were outrages and that's why people don't usually consume anything from it. It always had me thinking, if the hotels actually charged a resonable price wouldn't people eat snacks and drink soda/beer more often?! Of course mark up the prices some but not too much and it would be a win win situation for both sides. I always thought hotels...

    I want to get feedback from others on this. I've always thought the minibar prices were outrages and that's why people don't usually consume anything from it. It always had me thinking, if the hotels actually charged a resonable price wouldn't people eat snacks and drink soda/beer more often?! Of course mark up the prices some but not too much and it would be a win win situation for both sides. I always thought hotels would make more extra revenue from the minibar just by pricing it lower. E.G. can of soda instead of $6 charge $2-$3, can of beer $4, bag of chips $3 instead of $5 etc.
    Other people I know who make good income say they usually never get anything from the minibar because its a rip-off. I don't know how much hotels actually make from the minibar and maybe I'm totally off and they have plenty of people who purchase from the minibar but it seems like its a mistake and they can make extra cash if they didn't price gouge so much.
    What do you guys/ladies do when checking into a nice hotel? Do you spend $$ on the minibar?? Just very curious. Thanks.

    1. Al K Guest

      Exactly my thinking. Stayed at many luxury properties over the years, but I do not like to pay for ridiculous mini bar prices. If options offered were healthier and reasonably marked up, I would utilize for convenience.

    2. Maryland Guest

      Was the point that the mini bar offerings were previously complimentary?

    3. Eve Guest

      Basic economics support your intuition but sadly there are “some” people who do go out of the way to pay the extreme $$$ for those 7-Eleven snacks.

      A good case is families, it is even from own personal experience when I was small, my cousins and I would raid the mini bar everyday and our parents would just say to eat it because we are “hungry”.

      In any case, pricing it lower will...

      Basic economics support your intuition but sadly there are “some” people who do go out of the way to pay the extreme $$$ for those 7-Eleven snacks.

      A good case is families, it is even from own personal experience when I was small, my cousins and I would raid the mini bar everyday and our parents would just say to eat it because we are “hungry”.

      In any case, pricing it lower will always be a win win case nonetheless, but as long as those few people who keeps on using mini bar exist, hotels will always think it is a safe bet. I would love some snacks at the odd hours of the night but when a 50cents bag of chips cost $5, I just do not want to touch it.

      That being said I have fooled some hotels a few times in past where I would finish half the mini bar overnight and then replace the items from a grocery next day lol

  26. John Guest

    “ it’s the same reason that room service and minibars aren’t profitable for many hotels”

    The problem is it’s hard to tell if they are profitable. A pure numbers guy would say room service and minibar cost X and we only get 0.9X in revenue? Cut it!

    The problem is a hotel’s RevPAR, occupancy, ADR, etc. are impacted by the presence or absence of services. For example, a lot of business people like the...

    “ it’s the same reason that room service and minibars aren’t profitable for many hotels”

    The problem is it’s hard to tell if they are profitable. A pure numbers guy would say room service and minibar cost X and we only get 0.9X in revenue? Cut it!

    The problem is a hotel’s RevPAR, occupancy, ADR, etc. are impacted by the presence or absence of services. For example, a lot of business people like the option of room service after a long day and a lot of leisure travelers like room service breakfast. If it’s not offered they will look elsewhere. But it’s hard to prove that cutting room service caused the 8% drop in revenue per available room. Even when the truth is that when you count the money lost on room service against the fall in room revenue, you find out that room service was actually quite profitable.

  27. Matt Guest

    Scottsdale was stingy pre-COVID. Wife stayed there for her bachelorette party and said they provided 1 soda, 1 juice, a bag of nuts, and a bag of chips for the 4 girls in the room and when asked for more, they said there'd be a charge. This particular Andaz is not worth the prices they charge even with a minibar. Have had amazing experiences at Andaz's in Tokyo, Mexico, and Costa Rica though.

  28. NK3 Member

    This is not a super recent change for the Scottsdale property. We stayed there last Christmas and the minibar was stocked but not free. They actually charged me for a bunch of stuff, even though we did not use any of it. They did reverse the charges when asked. At the front lobby they have complimentary cookies, and were happy to give us water bottles whenever we needed them.

  29. jon Guest

    shame on hyatt. they are cutting their brand, soul, and reputation. they are cutting stuff so much, I am starting to not go out of my way to stay at Hyatts or to be loyal. It's becoming a mirror image of Marriott. Penny pound foolish. Hyatt is becoming just a different company who doesnt care about its guests.

  30. Eleanna Guest

    I stayed in Andaz Vienna in the last week of November 2022 and the mini-bar was still complimentary (we were told so even upon arrival at the reception). But it had a bare minimum of things, such as two bottles of water (restocked daily), a soft drink (which I didn’t drink), a bag of some seeds (I wasn’t interested) and a small box of a local brand of chocolate wafers (which was delicious). In addition,...

    I stayed in Andaz Vienna in the last week of November 2022 and the mini-bar was still complimentary (we were told so even upon arrival at the reception). But it had a bare minimum of things, such as two bottles of water (restocked daily), a soft drink (which I didn’t drink), a bag of some seeds (I wasn’t interested) and a small box of a local brand of chocolate wafers (which was delicious). In addition, there were different kinds of tea, coffee pods for the Illy machine, sugar and sugar substitutes, also restocked daily. Overall, I thought it was fine as I don’t stay in much, although I’d prefer peanuts to the seeds!

  31. Mon Guest

    I like the idea of just picking up the items at the front desk or by request. Minibars are nice, but restocking is not consistent and much rather have some type of self service system with limits on how much you can take. Easier for everyone.

  32. stvr Guest

    San Diego was where I first experienced this.

  33. Eric Guest

    Andaz Maui moved the snacks to the front desk about 18 months ago. You have to request them there, but they are still “free.”

    1. Kevin Guest

      Just checked out of Andaz Maui and they still have free snacks in the room as of right now. 2 bags of maui potato chips, 2 bags of macadamia nut cookies, 1 can local root beer and 1 can passion orange juice drink. And housekeeping refilled daily as we consumed them.

    2. Jodi Guest

      I was just there at the end of Nov, and in the fridge there was a can of root beer, as well as a can of Passion Orange, and a couple bags of chips and a pack of cookies on the shelf. No mention of anything at the front desk.

  34. Jerry Guest

    Welcome to the new American world of no customer service. What little customer service we used to have in this country will soon be eliminated and it will be a "take it or leave it" type of travel industry. Definitely don't want to be a front line worker anywhere.

    1. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

      New American? Where have you been for the past half century? America is about squeezing as much profit as possible. That means charging as much as one can get away with, while simultaneously offering as little as one can get away with. America is not the place for warm fuzzy feelings. It is where people come to make money. If you seek a true sense of community, you must look to other countries that are...

      New American? Where have you been for the past half century? America is about squeezing as much profit as possible. That means charging as much as one can get away with, while simultaneously offering as little as one can get away with. America is not the place for warm fuzzy feelings. It is where people come to make money. If you seek a true sense of community, you must look to other countries that are not so brutally capitalistic.

      Make your money and move on. That has been the motto of the USA since at least Reagan.

    2. frrp Gold

      Dont forget youre expected to also pay a tip for the total lack of service lol

  35. Mike Saint Guest

    No news. Andaz hasn't stocked things in their fridge throughout most of COVID. I've been to several throughout the past 2 years and there hasn't been anything in the fridge for a while.

    1. Gary Leff Guest

      But this is a case of an Andaz stocking items and charging for them

    2. Mark Guest

      That hasn't been my experience. Since 2021, Amsterdam, Vienna, Maui, London and 5th Avenue have all had free minibar snacks. As i recall, at Maui they were held at the front desk but they expressly stated at check in that they were available.

    3. Mm Guest

      Andaz Singapore minibar ok
      End of Nov 2022

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

TravelinWilly Diamond

“We are currently working to refresh the Andaz minibar experience to better suit the needs of today’s travelers.” I see they got my feedback and took it to heart, GREAT JOB, HYATT! I specifically said “The complementary items in the minibar cheapen my stay experience. It’s high time to start charging me for every item I consume to better suit the needs of me, today’s traveler, and DO NOT MAKE IT CHEAP, as I can only appreciate that which costs most.” Kudos to Hyatt for acting on this.

4
John Guest

“ it’s the same reason that room service and minibars aren’t profitable for many hotels” The problem is it’s hard to tell if they are profitable. A pure numbers guy would say room service and minibar cost X and we only get 0.9X in revenue? Cut it! The problem is a hotel’s RevPAR, occupancy, ADR, etc. are impacted by the presence or absence of services. For example, a lot of business people like the option of room service after a long day and a lot of leisure travelers like room service breakfast. If it’s not offered they will look elsewhere. But it’s hard to prove that cutting room service caused the 8% drop in revenue per available room. Even when the truth is that when you count the money lost on room service against the fall in room revenue, you find out that room service was actually quite profitable.

2
Dander Guest

The nickel and dining of the travel experience is annoying. Seriously is it too hard to give a couple of sodas and a candy bar away?

1
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