Why Is A Hotel Minibar’s Vodka Often Cheaper Than The Peanuts?

It’s getting late. You’ve had a rough day, what with that sprint to catch your connecting flight through Atlanta and then that thing with the cab and the monkey, ugh — time to kick back and relax in your hotel room. So what do you reach for first, the almost $20 can of peanuts or the more reasonably priced, albeit tiny bottle of vodka?

Yes, the vodka is often cheaper at a hotel minibar, reports Quartz, using data from a recent TripAdvisor survey that looked at the prices of in-room orders. That can include anything from a sandwich to a can pf peanuts, a bottled water or that tempting little mini-bottle of booze.

Hotels included in the survey were the 10 four-star hotels most popular with TripAdvisor’s users in cities like New York, Oslo and Toronto. And at many of those, not only are the peanuts more expensive than vodka, but even pricier than a bottled water. To be fair, a mini-bottle of booze in a hotel room is usually smaller than a bottle of water. Otherwise that is a great deal.

But why would hotels price it that way? Maybe to use the vodka as sort of a gateway purchase: Drink that vodka after a long day just to wind down, because it’s the cheapest thing in there, and suddenly you’re hungry for a salty snack. Cue the peanuts. And then $18 later, you’re thirsty. Here comes that water, price be damned!

Or you can do what the smart people do — just bring your own tiny bottles and snacks and charge yourself nothing for the pleasure of consuming it all, while pointing at laughing at the disconsolate, neglected minibar fridge.

The inexplicable prices in hotel minibars around the world [Quartz]

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  1. ShadyTrust says:

    Even better, remove stuff from the mini-fridge placing it nearby so it’s clear it hasn’t been consumed, then put your own stuff in the fridge to keep it cool. I’ve done this on every cruise I’ve been on and have never been charged for taking anything out of the fridge. Just put it back when you’re done.

    • CzarChasm says:

      Some hotels have a pressure sensor that automatically charges you to keep people from taking items out and then replacing them with something identical at a later date.

  2. CharlesWinthrop says:

    Actually, it’s because the peanuts appeal to a wider “audience” than the vodka. Maximizing profits 101.

    I’ve tended bar at a hotel before. Trust me, the vodka they use isn’t all that great.