Hotel design involves paying attention to both big and small details. In addition to structural function, and aesthetics, hotel designers strive to create a home-away-from-home. Then, there are the small details to consider. It turns out that one of the smallest of these details – the hotel mini-bar – is being phased out by hotels worldwide.

Hotel Minibar London

Hotel Minibar. Source: www.ehospitalitytimes.com

Why is the hotel mini-bar being phased out? In addition to being costly and difficult to manage, recent surveys show that only 21% of the hotel-going population cares about the mini-bar. Modern hotel guests spend more time relaxing and socializing in hotel common areas than they used to, using the internet, grabbing a drink, or gabbing with table neighbors during the continental breakfast. We find the social aspect of this trend fascinating.

Oak Long Bar + Kitchen

Oak Long Bar + Kitchen. Source: Matthew J. Lee via boston.com

One might think, given the hyper-connectivity that exists for corporate and recreational jet-setters via phones and gadgets, guests would be more apt to spend time quietly and alone in their rooms. Instead, according to experts like David Corsun, director and associate professor at the Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver, travelers spend more time outside their hotel rooms in lobbies, bars, and computer bays. Perhaps the lack of human-to-human contact due to technological connectivity makes travelers more interested in human engagement when they’re away from friends and family.

Either way, even a simple change from mini-bar to no-mini-bar will begin to alter how we think about hotel design. Ready to re-think your hotel’s interior? Contact LS&A Architecture and Interiors.