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?