RA minibar questions [merged]

Old Oct 26, 2007, 6:16 pm
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RA minibar questions [merged]

Are all beverages from the minibar in a personal room free? I checked my bill today from London, and it turns out I was charged for some champagne i drunk. I phoned the hotel and they said that they charge for alcoholic drinks and only give free soft drinks -is this right? I am not convinced!
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 7:41 pm
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Originally Posted by IAMORGAN
Are all beverages from the minibar in a personal room free? I checked my bill today from London, and it turns out I was charged for some champagne i drunk. I phoned the hotel and they said that they charge for alcoholic drinks and only give free soft drinks -is this right? I am not convinced!
That is ridiculous! I have never heard that alcoholic beverages is not included for RA. Some hotels even offer not only all the drink free, but also free snack inside or above the mini-bar. You should write to [email protected] to make a complaint. Obviously the staff you talked to on the phone is not familiar with RA's privilege.
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 9:41 pm
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Originally Posted by GordonGordon
That is ridiculous! I have never heard that alcoholic beverages is not included for RA. Some hotels even offer not only all the drink free, but also free snack inside or above the mini-bar. You should write to [email protected] to make a complaint. Obviously the staff you talked to on the phone is not familiar with RA's privilege.
It doesn't actually state one way or other in the T&Cs

Complimentary beverages from the mini bar in the Royal Ambassador’s personal room only, and for in-room consumption by member only (benefit excludes non beverage items).

It doesn't say that all beverages in the mini bar are complimentary, so the IC may be within its right to only offer non alcoholic beverages

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Old Oct 26, 2007, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by IAMORGAN
Are all beverages from the minibar in a personal room free? I checked my bill today from London, and it turns out I was charged for some champagne i drunk. I phoned the hotel and they said that they charge for alcoholic drinks and only give free soft drinks -is this right? I am not convinced!
London

]Re: post 1221 below from "Please post your Royal Ambassador experiences" thread:-----------------------------------------------------------------------------[/

IC London Park Lane

Were you happy with the hotel?
Yes overall.

Which room did you book?
Booked Inner Ct, upgraded to Royal Park Exec

How are the rooms?
Would agree with previous posts. The room and bathroom are small but obviously newly refurbished.

How is the Exec. lounge?
Don't know. Was £80+VAT extra.

What was good and what was bad?
Good - B/f included on rate (I think it was £25 + VAT if you had to pay!). Was quite a good breakfast though and I haven't seen "homemade" hash browns at this hotel chain in the UK before! Newly refurbed. Free minibar with no charges at check-out.
Bad - Expensive if you want to eat or drink. No special RA VIP treatment or welcome that I've seen at other ICs.

Value for money? Would you return?
Yes but only on a bogof! Didn't pay for breakfast on bogof night. Would agree with other things people have already said about this place.
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by bello
London

]Re: post 1221 below from "Please post your Royal Ambassador experiences" thread:-----------------------------------------------------------------------------[/

IC London Park Lane

Were you happy with the hotel?
Yes overall.

Which room did you book?
Booked Inner Ct, upgraded to Royal Park Exec

How are the rooms?
Would agree with previous posts. The room and bathroom are small but obviously newly refurbished.

How is the Exec. lounge?
Don't know. Was £80+VAT extra.

What was good and what was bad?
Good - B/f included on rate (I think it was £25 + VAT if you had to pay!). Was quite a good breakfast though and I haven't seen "homemade" hash browns at this hotel chain in the UK before! Newly refurbed. Free minibar with no charges at check-out.
Bad - Expensive if you want to eat or drink. No special RA VIP treatment or welcome that I've seen at other ICs.

Value for money? Would you return?
Yes but only on a bogof! Didn't pay for breakfast on bogof night. Would agree with other things people have already said about this place.
"Free minibar with no charges at check-out."
Would they have changed their policy on this?
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 1:04 am
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The easiset thing is to e-mail the hotel GM and ask if there was a change of policy. Either way request a refund.
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by uk1
The easiset thing is to e-mail the hotel GM and ask if there was a change of policy. Either way request a refund.
I would agree with querying it and requesting it to be removed , just not try throwing a rule book at them given that the rule book doesn't clearly state that they have to provide all beverages free

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Old Oct 27, 2007, 2:25 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
I would agree with querying it and requesting it to be removed , just not try throwing a rule book at them given that the rule book doesn't clearly state that they have to provide all beverages free

Dave

Not suggesting that at all. It's about a change of policy. Each hotel applies the policy in different ways. The London IC until now has included all mini-bar content. It has changed it's policy. The correct approach would be to tell RA's what the policy is particularly when it had changed. I think it was probably simply an error, but if not and if the RA wasn't told there's no harm in asking for the charge to be reomved on the basis he hadn't been told of the policy change and then shrugging if it isn't.
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 3:02 am
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From what I understand, "free mini-bar" means everything in the mini-bar is free, simple as that. If they don't want to give you free alcoholic beverages, then they should not put it in the mini-bar in RA's room.

If it happened to be an IC hotel in Middle East, then I don't blame them as some muslim countries have some straight rules and restriction on alcohol, they might not want to encourage you to drink alcohol, so I am not surprised if they have to charge you even though you are RA, but this is IC London! It seems to me that this hotel is trying hard to dig out every single penny from RA's pocket by finding a grey area in the T&Cs. This is cheap, tricky, cheesy and unacceptable. I don't mind if they act cheap, but at least they have to inform you in advance about their free mini-bar policy for RA when you check in, not when you check out. I might be wrong as I mentioned that the staff that IAMORGAN talked to on the phone is obviously not so familiar with RA's privilege.

However, there are some very generous IC hotels that really give RA free for whatever you can find, drink and eat in the room. For example, IC Amstel^ and IC Athens^ are very generous about that. I posted a thread about the mini-bar at IC Amstel. IC Singapore is quite stingy, they only offer RA free beverages in the min-bar including couple of small, cheap alcoholic drink, but not the snacks. Somehow I think this is quite stupid as a bottle of champagne definitely cost more than a small can of Pringles.

Last edited by GordonGordon; Oct 27, 2007 at 2:11 pm
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 3:41 am
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Originally Posted by uk1
Not suggesting that at all. It's about a change of policy. Each hotel applies the policy in different ways. .
I agree. I was just adding in a reference to a previous poster that suggested lodging a complaint for the hotel being wrong when the terms dont clearly state that the hotel is wrong

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Old Oct 27, 2007, 6:21 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
I agree. I was just adding in a reference to a previous poster that suggested lodging a complaint for the hotel being wrong when the terms dont clearly state that the hotel is wrong

Dave
I was charged for a beer and an orange juice from a mini-bar in India. It took a quick phone call to a get a refund. No bad will intended, just a new-ish receptionist who hadn't yet experienced the pleasure of too much RA contact.....

Common sense and communication should solve the problem. Coming over lawyerly is a tad overkill at this stage I'd have thought.
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 9:33 am
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I sure hope the mini bar alcohol is free in IC London, as Ill be staying there in about 1.5months....

Though a simple letter to Amex with a copy of the rules should fix that right up..
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by IAMORGAN
Are all beverages from the minibar in a personal room free? I checked my bill today from London, and it turns out I was charged for some champagne i drunk. I phoned the hotel and they said that they charge for alcoholic drinks and only give free soft drinks -is this right? I am not convinced!
Rubbish...I stayed there recently and gave the mini-bar a good hammering...at no cost.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by JimmyTheJock
Rubbish...I stayed there recently and gave the mini-bar a good hammering...at no cost.
I stayed at the IC London this summer on points all beverages and snacks were free, see below part of my stay report.

What was good and what was bad?
Good – mini bar did not have any alcoholic beverages I thought this might be due to the room being booked using points. Spoke with reception who assured me this was not the case and it was probably due to the previous occupant asking for all alcohol to be removed. As it was quite late I was told to order drinks from room service at no charge and they would re-stock the mini bar the next morning which they did.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 7:07 am
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Originally Posted by GordonGordon
From what I understand, "free mini-bar" means everything in the mini-bar is free, simple as that. If they don't want to give you free alcoholic beverages, then they should not put it in the mini-bar in RA's room. (...) It seems to me that [IC London] is trying hard to dig out every single penny from RA's pocket by finding a grey area in the T&Cs. This is cheap, tricky, cheesy and unacceptable. I don't mind if they act cheap, but at least they have to inform you in advance about their free mini-bar policy for RA when you check in, not when you check out.
I fully agree with you
IC London policy regarding upgrades and minibar is all the more surprising as this hotel is fully owned by IHG, as most of the ICs are independently owned and managed. They cannot ignore the rules they ask their franchise partners to follow.
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