Wet Bars and Hotel Bars – Amenities That Travelers Love

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Hotels aim to provide guests with amenities and services that make their stays more enjoyable and convenient. Two popular offerings are in-room wet bars and hotel bars. Understanding what these entail can help travelers make the most of them during their hotel stays.

Wet Bars and Hotel Bars - Amenities That Travelers Love

What is a Wet Bar in a Hotel Room?

A wet bar is a small bar area with a sink, counter, mini fridge, and cabinets stocked with glasses, ice, and bar tools. It provides the convenience of having basic drink-making supplies in your hotel room.

Wet bars offer guests the ability to enjoy alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages privately in their rooms without having to go to the lobby bar or order room service. The set-up allows you to store and make simple drinks and snacks during your stay.

Typical Features of Hotel Wet Bars

Though features can vary, most hotel wet bars include:

  • Sink – For washing glassware, making ice water, etc. Often mini-size.
  • Counter space – Provides area for preparing drinks.
  • Mini fridge – Keep beverages chilled and store snacks. May be stocked or empty.
  • Cabinets – Store glassware, bar tools, coffeemaker, and minibar snacks.
  • Electric kettle – For making coffee, tea or hot water.
  • Ice bucket – Along with ice if provided.
  • Glassware – Cups, glasses, and sometimes wine glasses too.

What Can You Make at a Wet Bar?

Wet bars allow guests to make a variety of basic drinks in their room, including:

  • Soft drinks – Such as soda, juice, mineral water, etc. if stocked in fridge.
  • Coffee and tea – With kettle, supplies, and minibar cream/sugar.
  • Frozen drinks – Fruity mixes blended with ice.
  • Beer and wine – Open and pour your own from minibar.
  • Cocktails – Make simple mixes like rum and cola.
  • Mocktails – Non-alcoholic mixed drinks.

While most wet bars won’t have the ability to make complex craft cocktails, their supplies facilitate quick and easy drink preparation.

Benefits of In-Room Wet Bars

Wet bars provide several advantages for hotel guests:

  • Privacy – Enjoy drinks in the comfort of your room versus hotel bar.
  • Convenience – Make self-serve drinks and snacks instead of waiting for room service.
  • Customization – Control ingredients and strengths more than ordering at hotel bar.
  • Independence – Set your own drink schedule versus bar hours.
  • Value – Potential cost savings over room service or minibar pricing.

What Time Do Hotel Bars Close?

In addition to in-room wet bars, most hotels also have a bar and lounge on-site for guests. Operating hours vary, but they typically close earlier than bars not attached to hotels.

Average Hotel Bar Closing Times

Hotel bar closing times often range between 10 pm and midnight, but can be as early as 8 pm or as late as 2 am in some cases. High-end and Vegas hotels in party destinations tend to have later closings.

Factors like day of the week, location, seasons, and events can impact hotel bar hours as well. Hours are usually extended later on Fridays and Saturdays compared to weeknights.

Why Hotel Bars Close Early

There are several reasons why hotel bars typically close earlier than neighborhood bars and nightclubs:

  • In-house guests – Hotel bars cater to in-house guests, who often turn in earlier than the general public. Late hours would keep guests awake.
  • Noise control – Late night noise needs to be minimized to avoid disturbing guests sleeping.
  • Smaller crowds – Hotels lack the heavy foot traffic that keeps neighborhood bars busy into late hours.
  • Licensing – Hotels often have conditional use permits limiting late night disturbances.
  • Staffing – Keeping a bar fully staffed into very late hours may not make financial sense for most hotels.

Getting a Late Night Drink at Hotels

Though earlier than outside bars, travelers still have options for a late nightcap at hotels:

  • Room service – Full drink menus are usually available for delivery to your room, even late.
  • Minibars – In-room fridges are stocked with beers, wines, liquors, and mixers to make drinks.
  • Wet bars – Make your own drinks and snacks using the amenities in your room.
  • Lobby bars – Some keep partial service until midnight or later for night owls.
  • Nearby bars – Hotels located in busy areas make outside nightlife easily accessible.

Hotels aim to strike a balance between guest relaxation and responsible service when setting bar hours. But ultimately there are still late night options for guests in the mood for a drink.

Tips for Enjoying Wet Bars and Hotel Bars

To make the most of in-room wet bars and hotel bar amenities:

  • Review wet bar supplies – See what is provided before going out to buy anything. Most have the essentials.
  • Ask for restocks – Request more ice, glasses, etc. if your wet bar is running low on something you want.
  • Inquire aboutOpening hours – Confirm the hotel bar’s hours of operation so you don’t miss last call.
  • See if food is available – Most hotel bars offer a full or limited menu for ordering appetizers and small plates.
  • Dress appropriately – Hotel bars tend to have more relaxed dress codes than nightclubs, but avoid ripped clothing or swimwear.
  • Tip bartenders – Follow standard tipping etiquette and tip bartenders 15-20% on drink orders.
  • Drink responsibly – Enjoy wet bars and hotel bars in moderation for a safe, low-key experience.

Wet Bars and Hotel Bars Enhance Stays

Wet bars and hotel bars prove popular amenities among travelers by allowing convenient access to drinks during their stays. Understanding the features, tips, and operating hours helps guests take full advantage. With proper planning, they can enhance any hotel experience.

Jennifer Tuffen
Jennifer Tuffen

I'm Jennifer Tuffen, a travel enthusiast and storyteller, six years and 10+ countries deep into a journey of discovery and cultural immersion.