Hoteliers think outside the bar for in-room drinks
Hoteliers think outside the bar for in-room drinks
08 MARCH 2019 9:27 AM

From a bloody mary cart service to a beverage butler to an in-room wine vending machine, hotels are giving guests options other than a self-made cocktail from the minifridge for drinking alcoholic beverages in the guestroom.

REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Some guests don’t have time for a cocktail at the hotel bar, which is why these hotels are giving guests unique options for enjoying an alcoholic beverage in the guestroom.

The Godfrey Hotel Boston offers a bloody mary cart service to guests who want to enjoy a drink in their room, said Paul Sauceda, corporate director of sales and marketing at the hotel.

Guests at The Godfrey Hotel Boston can call up the cart from the guestroom phone, and from there, a team member at the hotel wheels up a cart stocked with a house-made bloody mary mix, pickled garlic, fresh celery and other drink garnishes, he said. The first drink is poured for the guest by the team member, and then is left in-room for guests to enjoy more.

Sauceda said the bloody mary cart was born from his idea of having an alcohol cart pushed through the halls with an ice cream truck type of theme music at a certain time each day. Other team members thought that might disrupt the guests too much, so they settled on the bloody mary cart service.

The cart is popular among guests who might not have time to make it down to the lobby for a drink, such as parents traveling with small children who might just want one drink before settling down for the night, he said.

Beverage butler
The Nobu Hotel Miami Beach in Miami, Florida, incorporated a “Beverage Butler” service shortly after the hotel opened in 2016, Mutlu Kucuk, GM at the hotel, said via email.

He said it is one of the hotel’s complimentary services offered to “surprise and delight guests.”

The Beverage Butler at Nobu Hotel Miami Beach makes rounds daily for guests who want an in-room cocktail from 5 to 7 p.m. daily, Kucuk said. Guests are able to order their cocktail of choice and the butler will make it, he said.

Most guests of drinking age take advantage of this service, he said.

“We believe F&B is where the guest experiences are created and enhanced, so why not take advantage of it, and create memorable moments?” he added.

Wine vending machine
The Four Seasons Silicon Valley added a first round of wine-dispensing machines to its guestrooms in August 2017, Richard Lanaud, director of food and beverage at the hotel, said via email.

The machine is stocked with two bottles of wine at a time, usually a red and a white, and glasses of wine are dispensed to guests. The cost of a glass is comparable to what it would be at the restaurant or bar, he said.

Lanaud added that the biggest benefit of having the machines at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley from a guest perspective is elevating the wine drinking experience for guests who want to enjoy a glass from their room.

“From an operational perspective, the software seamlessly incorporates with our existing systems,” he said. “The technical team (from the company that made the machines) are very accessible and quick to respond should we run into any issues with the machine, which is also a huge benefit for us.”

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