If you’ve traveled around a lot, then you’ve probably come across hotels that will use every opportunity to try and squeeze every last dollar out of you. One globetrotter and TikTok user Uptin (@uptin) pointed out that The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas did this in his room with a mini-bar and countertop filled with an enticing array of snacks, their prices gouged to incredible amounts.
After rallying off the items’ exorbitant fees, Uptin offered up his solution to satisfying his snack cravings while on the road without paying the equivalent of several gallons of gasoline for a couple of ounces of water.
“So this is the mini bar at the Venetian and as you can see, this M&M’s is $14, $14 for this,” he exclaims. “And these Cheez-Its, if I were to get these Cheese-Its, this would be $12. Big Fiji is $16, the little one is only $12.”
He then opens the fridge to showcase the hotel’s own branded water bottles.
“If you open the fridge, you see like just the generic Venetian Water, you’re like, ‘Oh this might be included, this might be free,'” he says. “No, that’s $11. $11! For this! And remember, everything is like, automated now so the moment you just pick it up they will charge you.”
Instead of wasting his money on jacked-up products one could purchase at pretty much any retailer, Uptin decided to walk to a nearby pharmacy that is located in the same building as his hotel to get his snack on. He went on to say that there are other nearby options folks could use to their advantage as well without forking over an arm and a leg for in-room incidentals.
Even with out-of-control food inflation putting massive dents in the wallets of Americans since 2021, Uptin said that the treasure trove of goodies he was able to purchase at Walgreens came out to around the same price as two Venetian water bottles in the in-room refrigerator.
“OK but so instead what I did is I went downstairs there’s a Walgreens in the lobby and you can buy all of this,” he says. “There’s also a CVS across the street and all of this is the price of like literally spending as much as you would on your two Venetian water bottles.”
Uptin concludes his video with a bit of speculation into the thought process of having automated snack-charge countertops and refrigerators in the hotel rooms.
The TikToker believes that hotel management is hoping folks who return to their rooms inebriated will see the tantalizing food displays and, not being sound of mind, will just grab anything they want, forgetting that there are hefty charges.
“I think they’re basically just counting on you to be drunk to grab anything from here,” he says at the end of the clip.
This isn’t the first time that hotel guests have slammed establishments for ridiculous fridge policies: one flight attendant who travels with their own meals said that the hotel they were booked at charged guests $40 just to use the room’s refrigerator. The appliance was rigged with a sensor that automatically charges guests whenever an item is removed from the fridge, and while she had no interest in dining on the snacks and wanted to just keep her food chilled, she had to fork over her own cash just to use the fridge. So she opted to purchase a styrofoam cooler from a drugstore and use the hotel’s complimentary ice to keep her meals cold.
Some TikTokers shared their own tips and tricks for making sure you don’t leave your hotel with a hefty bill just because you wanted a sip of water in the middle of the night or to snack on some M&M’s.
“I usually tell them to remove it from my room!” one wrote.
While another commented, “I would be asking for a empty fridge!”
Someone else shared a way folks could get back at the hotel—there’s technically no charge for keeping the refrigerator open. “No charge for the free fridge ac though,” they said.
Another TikToker who seemed like a seasoned Las Vegas traveler wrote their own money-saving tip for visiting Sin City without breaking the bank, advising, “The trick is to order from Amazon the day before and get it delivered to a locker on the strip.”
While some TikTokers questioned the legalities of hotel chains charging customers to use refrigerators, it appears that this has been a gripe travelers have had for quite some time. One person who said that they worked as a hotel manager wrote in a Baby Center forum discussion that there is no such law prohibiting hotel chains from charging guests for using refrigerators, but many questioned the ethics of forcing folks who are traveling with children and need to refrigerate pumped breast milk or medications to pay for it.
An All Business article states that if guests explain they have medications that need to be refrigerated “almost all hotels will provide [patrons] with a refrigerator” in this instance.
The Daily Dot has reached out to The Venetian via email and Uptin via TikTok comment.