Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

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
A White House press briefing as told by CNN's sketch artist The White House started banning cameras during some briefings, so CNN sent in sketch artist Bill Hennessy. More
The best gadgets for your next business trip Hotels often lack the resources business travelers need to work efficiently. But fear not: These six gadgets will turn any hotel room into a temporary office. More
Must-have gadgets for business travelers For many business travelers, commuting through airports and enduring flights is the worst part of any trip. Thankfully, these seven gadgets help make life on the road -- and in the air -- much easier. More

Special Offer