Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hotel Refrigerator Rant - Why Can't Luxury Resorts Provide Refrigerators?

I was reminded, while staying at the beautiful Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, how much a refrigerator can enhance a hotel stay. And, I'm reminded that many high-end hotels think we don't need a refrigerator or space in a mini-bar. Loew's had a regular refrigerator in the room. It was pre-stocked with goodies, but had room for my diet colas. I was happy.

However.... many very lovely resorts have installed mini-bars that are fully stocked with expensive luxury items (read liquor) and, I have found, they are also weighted so that if you move one of their bottles of wine out, to place your can of soda in the fridge, you will be charged (even if you put it back later). I was told this at the desk when I checked in to a luxury resort. And, forget room for that delicious morsel left over from dinner. There was absolutely no room. I resorted to trundling down the hall each day to the ice machine, ice bucket in hand, to find something to cool my soft drinks. I guess they think we'll order room service if we wish to sip on anything but a 75 degree can of cola.

Now, another refrigerator story. I checked in to my favorite cheap motel during a volunteer food run to the elders on the Navajo Nation. I don't expect much at $45 per night but was surprised when the desk clerk said they had given me a room with a refrigerator! I was jubulant. I entered the room, unpacked and opened the refrigerator. It wasn't cold. Hmmmm. I fiddled with the dials and it would not turn on. I then checked the connection to the wall socket and saw a fireman's nightmare. There was a power strip with more plugs in it that I could count. The TV worked off of this power strip but the refrig did not.

So I unplugged the refrigerator and lugged it over to the other side of the room where there was a free wall outlet. Bingo! The refrigerator worked. Throughout my stay I had room for my soft drinks, orange juice and leftover dinner boxes. The room looked weird but, for $45 per night, I had a working refrigerator.

Now, why can't five-star resorts provide a refrigerator for all their guests? Why?