8 of 9
BACKNEXT
Hotel mini-bars - 1,300% markup
Hotel mini-bars - 1,300% markup
The chocolate bars and sodas in a hotel mini-bar can look alluring to tired and hungry travelers. But you'll rack up a huge bill if you open up that fridge. Gummy Bears for $14, anyone?

Oyster Hotel Reviews (oyster.com) sends senior editor Will Begeny to hotels across the country, undercover, to get the skinny on hotel stays -- and he's found some egregious examples of price-gouging. Across the board, items are usually marked up by 3-4 times the retail price.

Among his findings in Manhattan: a $10 pint of water at the Mansfield Hotel; $150 "wood-smoke" candles at the Gramercy Park Hotel; and a $12 toothpaste kit at W New York's The Tuscany.

"The minibar has turned into a sort of status symbol, especially for higher end hotels," Begeny says. "They'll include rarer products, like those candles, so people don't realize how overpriced they really are."

And yes, there really is a 1,300% markup on Gummy Bears at the luxury Manhattan hotel Omni Berkshire Place. None of these hotels returned requests for comment, but a rep for the American Hotel & Lodging Association said guests pay a premium for the mini-bar's convenience.

"People have started to realize this is a scam, that they can walk to a store a block away and spend half as much," Begeny says. "Of course, if hotels have to toss some of the older inventory because no one's buying it, they could mark it up even more."

NEXT: Hotel in-room movies - 200% markup

Last updated February 02 2010: 11:12 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
50 years of the Ford Mustang Take a drive down memory lane with our favorite photos of the car through the years. More
Cool cars from the New York Auto Show These are some of the most interesting new models and concept vehicles from the Big Apple's car show. More
8 CEOs who took a pay cut in 2013 Median CEO pay inched up 9% in 2013 to $13.9 million. But not everyone got a bump last year. Here are eight CEOs who missed out. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.