Orlando Hotel Rethinks Minibars

Hotel minibar contents can range from the dull, meaning empty, to the outrageous – think bikinis and teddy bears – but the Peabody Orlando hotel has launched a new program that asks the guest what they want in advance.

The fancy hotel recently launched a program it calls "Feed the Fridge" program, where guests can pre-order customized packages, or design their own, and the fridge will be stocked and waiting for them in their room upon arrival.

So if a guest is not planning to leave the room for the evening, perhaps the "Night at the Movies" is just the ticket. It comes with beer, water or wine, plus popcorn and a chocolate bar.

For someone who needs a pick-me-up, the "Energizer" ($15) offers up three energy drinks for a kick start to the day. Those looking for a little diversion might like "The Card Shark" ($18), which comes with a deck of cards, plus a six-pack of beer. Opponent not included.

Peabody Orlando

But the Peabody isn't the only hotel trying to figure out how to make minibars make sense. The Washington Post reports that though 83% of the highest-end luxury hotels have them, may lower-priced hotels opt out altogether.

Recently some hotels have started to offer choices at check-in, such as at the Grace Hotel in New York, which will then send your order up to the room, while others just leave you to your own devices to stock the fridge from off-property or from room service.

"At the end of the day, what we decided was we're going to give them refrigerators and give people what they want, when they want it, if they want it," said Peter Kacheris, director of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.

Both the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and the Swan and Dolphin in Orlando have programs in place to let guests order items for their mini-fridge at check-in or through room service.

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