Hyatt Is Rethinking Free Minibar At Andaz Hotels

Update December 9, 2012: on further investigation it appears the Andaz Scottsdale was simply non-compliant with brand standards. While Andaz properties are being given flexibility over what drinks and snacks are complimentary minibar items, just providing water is not sufficient.

Hyatt’s Andaz brand launched 15 years ago, and first gave us the Andaz Liverpool Street in London, the Andaz West Hollywood, and Andaz 5th Avenue in New York. One of the core elements of the brand has been that non-alcoholic beverages and snacks in the room are complimentary. That’s no longer the case.

At the Andaz in Scottsdale, only water is now complimentary. Snacks and soda are charged there. I wondered whether it was simply the case of a rogue hotel failing to bring back amenities from Covid cuts. Unfortunately that’s not the case. While many Andaz properties still honor the minibar amenity, there’s been a change to brand standards letting hotels more or less do as they please on this front.

According to a Hyatt spokesperson,

We are currently working to refresh the Andaz minibar experience to better suit the needs of today’s travelers. During this interim period, properties can determine what minibar selections are offered on a complimentary basis.

If Hyatt genuinely said ‘the specific sodas, juices, and snacks were right a decade ago but we need some healthier snacks at least – not just chips and chocolate – I could accept that. And if, in the meantime, they were letting individual hotels decide to keep offering the same items, or update them with healthier fare, that would make sense. But they’re allowing hotels to ‘determine to [just offer offer] on a complimentary basis.’ Someone at Hyatt believes that customers would prefer to pay for soda than have it included? Or is this just another excuse for a cost cut?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Good God, what could a few sodas and chips cost a hotel per room per night when they’re buying in bulk? Maybe $3?

  2. Experienced a shade of this at Andaz Vienna last week. Contents of not really cold at all “fridge”: 2 bottles of water, a Manner chocolate wafer, and a small pack of pumpkin seeds. They did have a decent happy hour. It seems like a really easy, very inexpensive way to create a delightful brand experience – and shortsighted to backtrack it.

  3. The Andaz Liverpool had been inconsistent with minibar stocking from near the beginning of opening. Even in its first couple of years, it seemed to not always have been a priority to restock the minibar in full. Too often it felt like I was only being given “leftovers”.

  4. Who goes to the Andaz for the chips and soda? Who drinks soda, anyway?

    Usually the Andaz has decent food etc., and as a Globulist I get that for free.

    The Andaz Liverpool street was one of my favorites for the formal restaurant which seems to have gone the way of the corona thing and now it’s the more casual restaurant on the street. Food there is great.

    5th Avenue lost its street level restaurant too, and I regularly used free globalist breakfast on business meetings.

    Andaz San Diego is the worst, btw. Papagayo in Costa Rica amazing, maybe the best.

  5. I actually just stayed at the Andaz Liverpool and was lucky to have a full minibar. I would have paid for the cookies—they were fantastic.

    Generally liked the hotel, although I thought that they were trying a bit hard for that “just be yourself” atmosphere.

  6. I would rather have an empty fridge than any mini-bar. I’ll stock it with my own alcohol and leftovers.

  7. Gotta love the corporatespeak for “We are going to hose you without any prior announcement by removing a signature feature of the Andaz brand.” That’s the kind of thing I expect from Marriott, not Hyatt.

  8. These programs tend to migrate toward becoming increasingly indistinguishable from each other.

    Hyatt’s not as bad as Marriott and Hilton yet, but it’s also on a trajectory that is not good for me as a consumer.

  9. Come on people. Is any of this a surprise? Until the revenue needle moves, they will keep doing this sort of thing.

  10. Make sure you can make the experience as crappy as you can that’s great for a so called luxury boutique brand right?
    And for Globalists make sure after reaching 60 nights or more you guarantee with all your hospitable excellence a free plastic bottle of water on the house to thank them for their loyalty
    It’s all so overwhelming pure luxury.Or be asked to take a walk to fill your own bottle from a fountain.As for your free breakfast of OJ and a croissant just don’t go over your 25 dollar limit so you can still call it free
    And make sure to increase award room redemptions so that they frequently now cost more in points than revenue.rooms WTF
    Way to go Hyatt what other improvements do you have for your guests in 2023
    Sad but I’ve moved on. I once was Hyatt regular staying 100 nights a year or more

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