Friday, September 08, 2006

Water: another view


We all know that anything you eat or drink in a hotel will be overpriced. Room service is fantastically expensive, and no trip would be complete without discussions about the $8 miniature bag of M&Ms or the $10 bottle of water.

While I was in New York this week, this issue bubbled up a couple of times, and it got me wondering. So as I sat in my room and pondered the value of overpriced water that likely came from a tap, I started to stare at the object of my price-conscious-consumer ire, and I realized it could be an interesting thing to explore with my lens.

The light, cast by an artsy-looking desk lamp and filtered onto a soft white desk, seemed to almost invite additional observation. Now that I'm home, this image reminds me that even snobbishly packaged and priced items can be cut down to an aesthetically pleasing size if we take the time to look at them in a new way.

Your turn: Do you think that hotels overcharge for the little things? Got an example? Do you try to work around their pricing structure?

32 comments:

Deana said...

When we were in Niagara falls last month at the Marriott I told my husband I would hate to enter one of those suites with little kids....they would go right for those bright bags of gummies and M&Ms and they were $12 and $14/bag.
You'd have to take them away and they would cry. I would be the one at the front desk upset because they left them out and my kid's ate $100 of candy!
Only in dire emergencies do I get a drink or water out of the fridge. I never touch the overpriced food items.

Deana said...

Oh and Michele sent me! Have a great weekend.

Finn said...

Hotels? Overpriced? No! Never! [/sarcasm]

I refuse to pay $10 for a bottle of water when I can pay half of that around the corner and bring it to my room. And when in NYC, the tap water is just perfect. They have the best-tasting, coldest tap water I've ever had.

And I never even look in the minibar.

Here from Michele's today. Have a wonderful weekend.

utenzi said...

Michele sent me, Carmi.

I refuse to buy anything that's in a hotel room fridge. The prices are insane. I've read articles in Forbes and Fortune regarding just how profitable those items are and I don't want to pad their bottom line at my expense. I usually have some candy that won't melt in my bags since I am always eating candy and the water from the tap is fine with me.

Uisce said...

We took the kids to Atlantis (Bahamas) a couple years ago and the water was outrageously expensive... really affected our enjoyment of the whole vacation.

I travel with a case of water bottles wherever I go -- in my car, I mean. I pay about 16 cents each for bottles some vendors will charge no less than a buck and a half for!

Linda said...

On my wedding night I came down with the most incredible headache (no, it didn't affect the activities, lol). Since we were staying at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta, right down the road from our home, we hadn't packed for a "trip". So we had to request a bottle of tylenol from the concierge.

They brought up a bottle. A travel-sized bottle with a total of 10 tablets in it. Regular strength. Plastic tube. Paid no mind to it, just took the tablets needed to alleviate the pain.

When we saw the bill the next day, after checking out, I decided I needed to KEEP the rest of the pills, as they MUST have been made of gold...it cost $12.95 for that container!

I think they (the hotels) rip us off completely. They have us at their mercy. Nowadays, when I pack, I take EVERYTHING I could possibly need. I also familiarize myself with the closest local pharmacy and grocery stores, and buy what I might need THERE.

When we were in Normandy, France, we went to the local store to purchase bottled water, because the hotel was charging us 10 times the cost. For a 1 litre bottle in the local store it was 49 euro cents...the hotel wanted 5 Euro. CRAZY.

Annabelle said...

Carmi, I think its a great image - even if the water was overpriced. I can't say I have been to a hotel as of late - but when I did, I never ventured near the fridge or the bar...

sol said...

Having just spent more on our hotels for the Sturgis Bike Rally than we spend on our house payment.. yes, I think everything is over priced.
Sortof.
For the first time we used room service. They had a charge for the tip already.. which I hadn't noticed AND a spot to fill in for an added tip. So.. they got double tipped.
Was it worth it? To say I did it once... yeah! To do it again, nah..But in all things you pay for convenience so it's a matter of how much it's worth to you..and the benefit you recieve.

sol said...

Oh.. yeah.. Hi from Michelle's

netchick said...

OOOOhhh ya! How about $7.50 for a SMALL thing of Pringles at the mini bar? Insanity! Great shot, Carmi!

ps: Michele sent me today, but I'd have visited anyhow!

barbie2be said...

i think places like hotels, airports and tourist attractions seriously over charge.

back in July when i was working at the san jose grand prix i went to my neighborhood starbucks to get my morning fix. i spent $1.95 for a grande americano. later that day when i got a break at the race i walked to the starbucks that was inside the race boundries and paid $4.00 for a grande drip coffee. i noticed that they were also charging $4 for bottled water and snacks like a slice of pound cake. both of those normally sell for around $1.50.

it just disgusts me to see such gouging.

happy friday, btw!

Zee said...

Yes, most everything is overpriced in hotels -especially water.

I had a terrible experience in July, and I bitched at management for their terrible service (I used to work in Hospitality, so I KNOW what their standards are). To show us how sorry they were they sent us a basket full of water bottles and chocolates. Both were terrible, too.

Dave said...

Here from M ichele's this time. Water over trhe next century or so could well become a very valuable commodity and the prices that you quote could seem very cheap!

Karen said...

Oh, of course they do! They've got us captive so they're allowed to. Hospitals do too, although, thankfully, I haven't been in one in a long while! (Knock wood.)

Cool photo. Returning the visit Carmi. Here via Michele's!

Wordnerd said...

Well, I'd gladly pay $10-$12 for your image of water, that's for sure. Incredible shot.

That said, I think that hotel charges are right up there with movie concession charges. Impossibly overpriced and I, on principle alone, refuse to take part. I will continue to buy my theater candy elsewhere, where it is reasonably priced, and walk right by those $5 candy bars in the case.

Can you help me down off my soapbox? Thanks.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh absolutely! Everything is overpriced...Room Service, that little Fridge filled with goodies...When I traveled, the first thing I wold do is find a place I could by BIG bottles of water and I would bring them back to my room....And NEVER take anything out of the Fridge.
I do LOVE Room Service, but....it has gotten out of hand. Still, if I were still able to travel, I would absolutely get Room Service for my Breakfast!

Twist of Kate said...

Well heck yeah, they overcharge. And I can't give an example because I can't even afford to ask what the price is. :) Muchless STAY in a hotel. AHAHAHAHAHA! Hey Carmi, here from Michele's today.

Cyndy said...

I was in Mexico, the Mayan Riviera, a bottle of water was 5.00 and you REALLY need good water down there. Just ask my intestinal tract! The only neighbor I'm going to now is Canada where I'll be safe.
Here from Michele.

Tia said...

Hah! I think they count on you to be drunk enough from your evening out not care that the bottle of wine you are drinking from the mini bar cost more than your mortgage payment!

Hi from Michele.

mar said...

I refuse to pay the hotel prices. We buy our water and diet cokes from the nearby supermarket (there is always one here in Europe) and shameless walk into the hotel with the cans/bottles. The hotel prices for beverages are ridiculous! Here via Michele's this time!

Kim said...

Hotels definitely take advantage with the mini bar prices, and have you had a drink at the pool bar lately? Hello! Like twelve bucks! But when we are on vacation we almost always splurge for the room service. It's just fun and different from home.

Michele sent me! Happy weekend!

rashbre said...

When I was in Brussels, Belgium recently, the hotel cafe actually had a water menu! I'd not seen this before and even as a realtively seasoned traveller, I felt the need to blag a copy!

rashbre said...

oops and Michele sent me today! Hiya!

Nikki-ann said...

I never touch the fridge in the room. A friend once needed to put something IN the fridge and so moved everything around, not knowing there were sensors to tell the hotel what had been taken. She spent a while at the reception desk explaining she'd not taken anything and didn't want it on her bill!

Here from Michele's. Enjoy the weekend!

srp said...

Not here from Michele, just here.
Glad to see you got home OK. The hotel overcharges for everything. But, if you were to go to one of the little street dring vendors selling juice, water, soft drinks and such, you can get a bottle of Avian or other bottled water for $1. It was so hot when we were there, we had to and they were set up everywhere. So, buy elsewhere and take to the room.

dena said...

Oh, yes they do charge a fortune for those little items they leave in your rooms. Top on my list of overpriced colas and candies is the Bellagio in Vegas.

Michele sent me, and it's about time I've visited you again.

colleen said...

I guess I don't ever order anything or buy anything when I'm at a hotel. I always go out to eat. We usually travel everywhere with as much Floyd water as we can carry. We're spoiled by it.

tamara said...

yeah, i think hotels overcharge, but does it really matter when you get photographs like this?

happy friday from michele's meet and greet.

Killired said...

thats an awesome pix... i had to look at it a few times to figure out what angle you took it because it's so interesting... i remember being in cancun on our honeymoon... i think we ordered the hotel pizza for room service one night but i dont remember what it cost... and i can't remember where we got our water but i know it was expensive... we got sick anyway cause they said it could be from eating salad or any fruits/veggies washed in their water... like the salsa... which was awesome down there! i'd love to go back but i can only imagine how much more it cost now! we were there in '94.

jenny said...

hi, I'm NOT here from Michele's :).

we're not much for staying in places with minibars...i'd have to padlock it to keep the kiddos away...

but I did pay 13.99 to see Walk the Line last year. Exactly two days before it came out on DVD. Rip off? oh yeah.

kenju said...

Of course they are overpriced, Carmi. That is the price we pay for ease of availability. I seldom avail myself of them, however. When we go on a trip, I buy my water or sodas (I carry a cooler if it is a car trip) and snacks - so that we don't have to buy those.

Michele sent me this time.

Shane said...

need feeds greed