Career hotelier Jacob Tomsky has revealed what could be one of the coolest travel tips ever: how to never pay for the ridiculously over-priced beverages in hotel mini-bars.
In the book, Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles and So-Called Hospitality, published by Doubleday, he details a genius way to score ALL the drinks.
Here’s the extract, originally published by the Sydney Morning Herald, along with a few more *equally-awesome tips which you can read here.
You don’t have to pay for the minibar (part one)
The minibar is checked (maybe) once a day by a slow-moving gentleman or lady pushing a cart of snacks. You might never even see a minibar attendant. They are like mole people. They peer into the confusion of bottles and bags, looking for something to be replaced, looking for something that is no longer there. They replace it and put a mark on their room chart. These marks are then, at some point in the future, delivered to another fallible human who manually inputs them onto a guest account. Can anyone see the margin for error in this process? Because it’s HUGE.
Maybe the attendant failed to notice the cashews were consumed Monday but catches it on Tuesday and the charge is applied to your bill on Wednesday, even though you just checked in five minutes ago. Even before a guest can manage to get through half of the “I never had these items” sentence, I have already removed the charges and am now simply waiting for them to wrap up their overly zealous denial, so we can both move on with our lives. And this is why, essentially, you are able to eat and drink everything for free.
Never, ever, will the hotel accuse you of lying. That is the absolute last stance hotel management wants to take. You think a respectable hotelier wants to go through your garbage looking for spent M&M’s wrappers?
You don’t have to pay for the minibar (part two)
Check in at the desk and make a strong request for a non-smoking room, possibly mentioning allergies. Refuse help from the bellman and go up to your room unaccompanied. Immediately open the minibar and shove every goddamn item into your suitcase. Then: smoke a cigarette on the bed and gaze out the window. After: call down to the desk and complain about the smoke smell in the room. Request to be moved. Go to your new room, close the door and get fat and salty and drunk on your suitcase of snacks.
They will never trace that minibar to you. Moving rooms in the system, when it’s done the same day you check in, leaves almost no trace, no overnight confirmation that you ever occupied that suite. Certainly nothing that allows them to track down those five minutes where you stole $500 worth of individually wrapped snacks.
*Actually doing this would be stealing, and while it is a ingenious way to do so, Business Insider Australia in no way condones actually going through with it.
Read the SMH’s full story here.
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