28
Jan
2008

mission impossible Be careful not to touch anything at the Wynn Las Vegas

Family friends recently returned from a trip to the Wynn Las Vegas, but the first story they had to tell wasn’t about luxurious accommodations, gambling, restaurants, or shows. It was about the snacks on top of their minibar.

The motion-detector minibar wasn’t new to me. Those are bad enough: You move any item in the minibar, and if you don’t put it back within 60 seconds, you’ve bought it. So much for making room to store your own food or beverages in there.

But what the friends told us was about the outside of the minibar. Snacks were placed on a tray. Not inside anything, but out in the open. (Here’s a link to a photo of the display.) There’s a warning that the food is on an electronic scale, and moving the item means you bought it.

This is just absurd. What if you wanted to look at the nutritional information on the back? Or, as one Expedia review noted, what if you have kids who inquisitively pick stuff up? (Best not to take the kids to the Wynn!) And check your bill: As one TripAdvisor reviewer learned, after getting hit with $100 of minibar fees, even though they didn’t consume anywhere near that much, you need to watch your charges, to make sure you didn’t accidentally budge anything.

What’s next, a tripwire that triggers a fee if you use the bathroom?

Related:
- The hotel minibar is dead! Long live the hotel minibar!
- Upgrades and Downgrades: Pizza delivery to your plane, wi-fi minibars, why airport security wants to sniff your armpits, and more

pixel Be careful not to touch anything at the Wynn Las Vegas
Categorized in: hotels, minibars

69 Responses to “Be careful not to touch anything at the Wynn Las Vegas”

  1. Jamman Says:

    Now I think of all the times i’ve opened a minibar and not checked up on my bank statement afterwards, perhaps I’ve been charged for things for years without even noticing! :)

  2. Mike Maddaloni - The Hot Iron Says:

    The minibar at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel also had the motion detectors, and an LED display that was illuminated 24/7! It said if anything was moved, removed or even added, I would be charged. I wonder what they charge for adding something they don’t sell?

    Also, the room safe was under the fridge, with the controls at the top of it. I looked all over for it and kicked it accidentally.

    mp/m

  3. Charlyn Says:

    The new Red Rock Resort off the Strip has the same “feature” and worse, the resort is touted as kid-friendly. I mentioned it in my review:
    “My only complaint [about the lush King guest suite]? The mini bar items sat on the low dresser in plain view, and we were charged every time an item left its base for more than a few seconds. Try policing a 5-year-old in a room with that temptation.”

  4. Borntraveler Says:

    Reminds me of that old joke:
    Man and wife go to check out of their room, theres a charge for $100 for fruit basket on the bill. Man says I didn’t order fruit, and front desk replies that everyone is charged because there is fresh fruit in the room everyday. The man looks at the bill and crosses off $500 in charges. The front desk asks why? the man says thats for having sex with my wife. The front desk man says I didn’t. And the man replies.. “Well she was available in the room everyday!”

  5. halhiker Says:

    Waaaaa! Is it really so hard not to touch anything in the mini bar that you don’t want? I’ve seen these things in hotels for years and have never had an problem and my kids have never taken things either.

    Learn to control your impulses people. Don’t be so grabby.

    Or go stay at Motel 6. I doubt they have those mini bars there.

  6. james Says:

    Is this clearly marked on the minibar? I have used minibars to store my own water and leftovers.

    If you move it, then they bill you, just contest it at checkout. As them to check the room, verify the heap of stuff is there, then remove it from your bill.

  7. Ian Says:

    What prevents the maid services from removing items, or even just knocking into them?

  8. Andy Beal Says:

    I stayed there recently and on checkout they tried to bill me for items from the minibar I hadn’t taken. I pointed it out and they quickly removed the charges – no questions asked.

    Be warned though, if you don’t check it, they won’t either.

  9. jack Says:

    @Ian: what prevents the maids from moving items indeed?

    I’ve had a few charges added to my bill for minibar goods that I never used [I am very careful never to use them].
    One charge was at the Meridien in Boston, one time was in a hotel in London.

    I protested and the charges were removed without argument.

    Which leads me to wonder how many people don’t complain and how much money that adds to the bill…

    I’m certainly not saying that a hotel shouldn’t charge for services. But only for those that it has delivered. And, if at all possible, not at extortionate prices.

  10. Bryant Says:

    Recently stayed at the Red Rock in Vegas. Wonderful place, just call downstairs and request a mini frige be delivered, no charge.
    Great service and staff!

  11. rbb Says:

    Heaven help you if there is an earthquake and the mini-bar tips over…

  12. sarah Says:

    I have stayed at Wynn and in addition to letting you know that you will be charged, it says that you have 60 seconds to decide if you want to purchase. In this time you can review the product or if your child knocks it over you can put it back. I also recommend checking your bill daily. They make it very easy to do this on the tv in the room. If you notice something that may have been a mistake you should call and discuss with a supervisor. This property is a 5 star resort and does not take its’ customers for a ride with an *4 snack you didn’t eat!

  13. Schlomo Says:

    60 seconds? That’s crazy.
    I used to, when I traveled a lot, used to put things in the mini-bar – weird candy, generic pasteries, teenager booze like Zima – just to see if anyone noticed quickly enough to call me. (which they never did)

    How would the Wynn handle that?

    It’s tempting to consider an Indiana Jones move where I take their bottle of Glenfiddich and smoothly replace it with a bottle of NightTrain discount whiskey!

  14. Smartia Says:

    That is ridiculous. I wish all hotels who treat their guests as thieves would go out of business. Even if I made millions each year and could afford the most luxurious of hotels, I’d be offended by that BS.

  15. james Says:

    Just like a car rental- a quick snap of the cameraphone might be helpful upon checkout…

  16. Fred Says:

    If I’m staying at a hotel for more than a day or two I always ask that the fridge be cleared out completely. I wonder how that would screw up the sensors?

  17. Bob Bane Says:

    If I buy a candy bar from somewhere else and leave it on the tray, do they give me a $3 credit on my bill?

  18. Jonathan N Says:

    I’ve been to Wynn, and there is a note beside the mini bar that warns you about this. I have no idea why you are crying over this when the hotel clearly tells you what will happen when you touch it.

  19. george Says:

    I am going to bring lead weights with me and place them on the minibar scale and watch as my negative charges offset my room bill….

  20. Tom Ritchford Says:

    “…there is a note beside the minibar that warns you about this…”

    Right, and by that time you’re *already in the room* with a little trap area that if you touch, costs you money.

    Has it occurred to you that you are *paying* for the room? That you shouldn’t have a booby-trap that costs you money and has a glaring red light on it?

    I’d never check into one of those hotels — if I did, I’d insist upon their removing their vile little device.

    There used to be a time when hotels treated you like a guest.

  21. PC Medic Says:

    As one responder pointed out, perhaps you would like to see what you are about to purchase (contens, nutritional value, etc).
    By the way, how long now have you worked for the rip off hotels in Vegas? It is called deceptive business practices if you ask me.

  22. Bruno Says:

    I feel smart for once: I guess most people are dumb then …

    1. you have kids in the room, don’t blame the minibar, blame the education you give your kids.
    2. why would these drinks be free of charge? is there anything free in this country?
    3. shouldn’t you check your bills anywhere, all the time anyway?
    4. 60 seconds to make up your mind once you picked any item up: you really need more than 60 seconds to decide if you want a snikers?
    5. what prevents the maids from removing stuff? a remote or pda only given to the minibar guys to open the minibar.
    6. “i won’t go to a hotel that has a minibar?” go to a motel 6 then, like mentioned below. Any 5-diamond property has to have a minibar. I guess it will be out of your league.
    7. “I wish all hotels who treat their guests as thieves would go out of business” = I wish most people weren’t thieves … there would be no use for an automatic minibar then
    8. “Even if I made millions each year and could afford the most luxurious of hotels, I’d be offended by that BS” = offended by what? making you pay for a drink? even at home you pay for your drinks … why shouldnt you in a place of business.

    Sorry for the people with intelligent comments … but I really wonder how the others make a living … without using simple logic and their brains …

  23. S A Says:

    The folks who say “read the note!” or “control your kids” must work for credit card companies or hotels. You just shouldn’t have to read fine print when you walk into a room, and while we try to tell our kids that they shouldn’t pick stuff up, let’s be real, you can’t control them unless you put them in a cage. Commenters like Bruno are blaming the victim.

  24. David Ourisman Says:

    I agree with Fred’s thought. If you don’t intend to use the overpriced mini-bar, ask to have it emptied out by the hotel (or decline the key).

  25. Smart Consumer Says:

    How is it deceptive if there’s a big warning sign right there that says “anything removed for more than 60 seconds will automatically be charged to your room.” …and how long does it take you to decide if you want a box of peanuts? Does it take you more than 60 seconds to read the nutrition information on any one item?

  26. VB Says:

    What ever happened to having to have to order room service, and have things delivered to you when you wanted them. At least then you _know_ you’re paying for the food, as you see the prices next to the items you’ve ordered on the menu.

  27. Smart Consumer Says:

    There’s a big sign right at the front of the snacks that says “if you remove something for more than 60 seconds it will be charged to your room.” It’s hardly “fine print.”

    As for not being able to control the kids? Further proof that kids do not belong in Las Vegas.

  28. sandwiches Says:

    Regardless of whether I’m stupid or not, I am also loud and persistent. I have gotten more ridiculous charges taken off from hotel bills than most people spend on hotels their entire lives.

    All you have to do is complain loudly to the management and they’ll remove most charges.

    Don’t feel bad about the “poor ol’ hotels” being ripped off. They make enough money off “hedge trimming” and “window cleaning” rip offs in addition to already costing an arm and a leg to stay there.

  29. Mark Says:

    You brought up an excellent point. Please don’t EVER bring your kids to Vegas–I don’t care WHAT hotel you are staying at. Vegas isn’t a city for anyone under 21. Kids are loud, annoying, and spoil the fun. Do yourself a favor and hire a nanny with the money you’ll save from these minibar charges.

  30. Frank Zhao Says:

    Haha, so you don’t pull an indiana jones trick on them?

  31. Pages tagged "travel" Says:

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  32. Gavin Says:

    I have had the minibar contents removed from hotels before.

    You just call the front desk and say “Have the contents of the minibar removed inside 30 minutes or I am leaving and reversing all charges on my card”

  33. L Says:

    Holy crap, I couldn’t read beyond point #1, Bruno. You’re an elitist jackass. I can’t stand high and mighty shits like you.

  34. jim Says:

    Bruno who do you work for? A trap is
    still a trap. I beleive in paying for
    what I eat or drink. I am not aware that looking is the same as consuming. Wre is the warning sign.Trolls such as you contribute nothing to informing consum-
    ers about such unethical practices.

  35. Greg Says:

    Pay cash at check-in. Don’t give them a cc number for incidentals. If they don’t follow you to the room and remove the stuff. Eat it all.

  36. NM Says:

    Hey, what if I drop around coke-shaped bottles full of poison? As long as I put a disclaimer on the label, it’s ok, right?
    Just trying to push your “logic”.

  37. Bruno Says:

    you are right on both counts. Just ask for a refund and they will give you the money back. And yes, the hotels make money and the minibars are not their main source of income. Only problem is … why shouldnt they try to make more money, like you, any business and me try everyday?

  38. Bruno Says:

    WOW … very interesting comment!!! you’re making me change my mind about minibars now!!! I insulted some of the people and I didnt feel right about it right afterwards. But at least, I participated in the discussion with a relevant comment. Where’s your comment? aahh … I’m a jackass and thats your comment. I’m sure it will change people’s lives!!!

  39. Bruno Says:

    I work for a company that manages 14 luxury hotels. What I can say is that guests rip off hotels WAY MORE than hotels rip off guests. I guarantee that. According to North American satistics, about 30% of pentential revenues from minibars is stolen by guests. Do you think 30% of luxury 5-diamond hotels try to steal money from their guests? Not saying it doesn’t happen, but when it comes to minibars, the hotels are the ones suffering.

    Being a troll … I’ll add a small mathematic challenge. Imagine having to refill 4,000 minibars at the Bellagio with minibar attendants paid $13 an hour. They have to check every single minibar and every single item inside. Imagine the payroll just for the minibar department. Companies providing auto minibars are not here to screw us up. They’re in business just to minimize the number of rooms to be visited. Not having an auto system is the reason for having Cokes at $6.
    I don’t care about minibars, but I am aware about them. Who replaces tequila with piss in these bars? The hotels? No … face it, these properties have to have minibars to become 5-diamond and have to deal with guests stealing and pissing in bottles.

  40. Bruno Says:

    I’m a troll that can read a snickers label in less than 60 seconds. You need more … impressing!!!

  41. Bruno Says:

    Right on!!!!

  42. Mike Says:

    I gotta say – Bruno, you got to watch that attitude but the man got a point.
    I stayed in almost all those hotels mentioned and I guess you can call me a heavy minibar consumer.
    In 7 years of traveling around the country, I have never been charged for a product that I haven’t consumed.
    When you are checking out, they give you a bill with what you consumed. With those automatic minibar, they don’t make mistakes:

    - If you put the product back before the 60 secs, it won’t be on the bill
    - if you put it back after the 60 secs and didn’t consume it, just say you didn’t have it (don’t have to be loud). The hotels that have that kind of minibar are very carefull with the way they treat their customers. they will most likely take it off right away or send somebody to check the room (waiting time: time to finish the check out).

    I also tried to cheat the system a couple of times just to see what would happen but there is nothing interesting you can do.

    I have been to the Bellagio many times with my wife and kids. Kids took some stuff, I paid for it (normal). They knocked some stuff down, the minibar guy saw it later and took it off while he was refilling without having me pointing to it. I don’t see what the problem is, Maybe Wynn got a problem, never stayed there.

    You just get pissed off for anything, you don’t like having the hotel able to keep track of what’s going on with their products and making money accurately just like everybody is trying to do. Just pay what you should pay, just like when you go to the store. Not less or more.

  43. Bruno Says:

    My bad … that last comment was for “Smart Consumer”. The hotels don’t put poison to sell but the guests piss in tequila bottles and put water in vodka minis … What helps to avoid guests from doing that …> automatic minibars!!! Drink piss from a bottle at the Bellagio .. who are you gonna complain to? the previous guest?

  44. Bruno Says:

    Charlyn!!! Listen to what you say. Don’t you think the trays are put there especially for impulse sales? The job of any vendor is to make you want to purchase something from them. Business 101!!!

    Next time, ask for that tray to be removed. They’ll do it for sure.

    Please … when I was 5 and my mom asked me not to do something, I wouldnt do it. Same with my kids. It’s called education. Now you’re telling us that your 5yo kid has control over you!!!

  45. sandwiches Says:

    They have a right to make money just like any business. However, we have the same right to “negotiate” prices just like any business, as well.

    Much like we don’t have to accept their prices and simply not become a patron, they also have the right to refuse our “offers” when we complain.

  46. Valerie Says:

    You forgot about the “intimacy kit” on the snack/mini-bar located directly behind the chips! That’s right… not just food and drink, but also a small box designed to help you out in bed! We stayed at the Red Rock this weekend and were surprised at the technology spent on the mini-bar alone.

  47. John Says:

    If you’re so smart, how come you can’t spell “Snickers”?

  48. John Says:

    Let me see any of “teach” a child not to touch anything on the minibar. I didn’t say “consume,” I said “touch.” Children impulsively touch things, and don’t give me this “I could teach my child” crap because no young brain can absorb the consequences that will pass if they touch something for a couple of seconds. If you tell me you weren’t that way when you were kids, or your kids aren’t, you’re flat-out liars.

  49. Bruno Says:

    Cause i didn’t take 60 seconds to check the spelling …

  50. sandwich eater Says:

    I don’t think that your stupidity is as unimportant as you think – your loudness and persistence are simply by-products of it anyway.

    have a nice day now y’hear?

  51. sandwiches Says:

    I am so glad to see that people like you can have such eloquence and finesse with words.

    You are a testament for mentally challenged people everywhere that you can do just about anything you want to do.

    Good for you, son! =)

  52. Bruno Says:

    Dear sanwiches, I’m sorry I missed your enlightening comment. I totally underestimated you, I didn’t know you knew words as complicated as “eloquence”. Is it a new word for you?

    Let’s go back to the topic. You miss the point my obtuse friend. The hotel provides a service so you can stay in your room and get a drink. Most people don’t know, but i dont blame them, that service turns out to be extremely expensive for the hotel. That’s why the end-user prices are also expensive. A guest removes an item and consumes it, he will be charged. A guest removes it and puts it back within the time limit, no money is taken. If it’s after the designated time, just ask for a rebate at the front desk. Best of worlds!

    Again, personal insults don’t solve anything :) hummm … I’m guessing you’re republican, right?? haha!!

  53. sandwiches Says:

    Bruno, those comments I made were not directed at you. They were for “sandwich eater.”

    Sorry for the confusion.

  54. Bruno Says:

    Oops … my bad sandwiches!

  55. Glider Says:

    Quiet interesting comments. I should have come to this post earlier.

    I always had a question, who started the rip off first? Did hotels start putting these charges because guests were stealing things, OR, did guests start stealing things because they thought hotels are ripping them off?

  56. Watcher Says:

    Did you people bookmark this thread? Three months is a long time to be harping on such an insignificant subject.

  57. mac Says:

    sandwiches – Why do you feel the need to complain loudly?

    “Regardless of whether I’m stupid or not, I am also loud and persistent. I have gotten more ridiculous charges taken off from hotel bills than most people spend on hotels their entire lives.

    All you have to do is complain loudly to the management and they’ll remove most charges.”

    sigh. Most intelligent people would prefer to handle such situations with a more reasonable and refined attitude. Braying like a donkey at the front desk only serves to irritate everyone in earshot. But hey! It gets you what you want, so it’s OK, right?? Who cares about anyone but myself.

    meh.

  58. tripso.com | Maid on a mission: 6 secrets for avoiding housekeeping hell Says:

    [...] even want access to them? In my experience, hotels take a hard line on minibar charges, and they go to great lengths to make sure their guests are [...]

  59. Smarta$$ Says:

    You people are all idiots. Get a life.

  60. rugger2141 (rugger2141) Says:

    Twitter Comment


    @whateverdude Weight sensitive minibars prob only at mega-ritzy, Vegas Wynn type places, lol @ Mission Impossible floor [link to post]

    – Posted using Chat Catcher

  61. Todd Says:

    Mind you Wynn is a hotel with 2400 rooms. It would be virtually impossible for staff to keep track daily of what the guests are consuming. Also Wynn does provide a complimentary fridge upon request. Also the front desk warned me every time I checked in as well as a sign provided right next to the food. For those who do accidentally pick things up the items are simply rebated off the bill and the guest is not charged.

  62. Hillcrest Guest House, St. John, US Virgin Islands Says:

    I offer a large refrigerator with goodies; bacon, eggs, cookies, chips, juice, sodas, ice cream, chocolate candy and a bottle of Cruzan Rum, at no extra cost.

    I was amazed to hear about sensors, being charged for items moved, etc.

    A vacation is suppose to be relaxing and guest should be treated like guest.
    Phyllis Hall
    Owner

  63. maria Says:

    Hillcrest Guest House, St. John, US Virgin Islands : thats normal: you ask almost double price than the price that i pay for wynn

  64. Bryan Says:

    I just returned from a Vegas, and staid at the Wynn. It was the best trip I’ve ever taken. As far as the org. story. Yes they do have pressure sensors on the minibar items. But, as far as your kids getting a hold of it? Maybe if your kid is 12+ years old. The items are placed at the highest point in the room. On top of a dresser type of item. I’m 6′ and the items were level with my chest. If your kids are tall enough to reach these items then they are old enough to know better. If they don’t know better, or listen that’s your lack parenting, and disciplining correctly over the years. Not Wynn’s fault. There is a sign right in front of the items that states you may pick up the items and read the info, but you have 60 sec. you can read a little then place it back then pick it up if it is really that important to know the info. on an item you don’t plan to buy anyway. Or just go to the shop right by the elevators that has all that stuff and read it if it’s that big a deal. In the end you you are not buy who cares?

  65. Hoteles, huéspedes y seguridad: más y más tecnología | Blog de Viajes Says:

    [...] El otro tema es el minibar. Los hoteles buscan evitar que algunos huéspedes puedan consumir productos sin pagarlos. Al menos una de las soluciones posibles es extremadamente molesta: minibares con detectores de movimiento. Si un producto es retirado de su lugar más de una cierta cantidad de segundos, se lo factura como comprado. El tema ya tiene un par de años, como puede verse en este blog. [...]

  66. Wynn Hotel And Casino Las Vegas Says:

    The golden rule of staying in nice hotel rooms is “do not take from the fridge”. The hotel rooms in the Wynn are designed to make a large profit from their snacks because they know that after a long night of drinking, the customer is easier to permit junk food eating with themselves. You cant really blame the Wynn for doing this though. They are in business for themselves. Think of it kinda like purchasing popcorn, drinks, and candy at a movie theater. They have got you where they want you. Are you really going to go down to the gift store to purchase a soda for a dollar or would you just rather sit comfortably drunk and pay 2.50 with out going anywhere? The hotel feeds off instant gratification and drunk people, and I would do it if it were my own hotel.

  67. Josh baby Says:

    If it doesn’t say a time limit? Will I still be charged if it says if you remove an item
    You will
    Be charged?

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