It’s Amazing What Hotels Will Sell You….And For How Much!

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I recently stayed at the JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur and I have to admit that, on my first night, I had pretty bad jet-lag. It wasn’t the kind of jet-lag that allows you get on and do things albeit at some cray hour of the night – this was the kind of jet-lag that makes you lethargic and really not much use to anybody.

I couldn’t sleep, there wasn’t much on TV and I was bored with the media I’d loaded on to my MacBook.

As I was debating the merits of getting dressed and finding out what Kuala Lumpur is like at 3:23am I noticed the mini-bar menu – these are always good for a laugh – so picked it up and took a look.

To my surprise the menu had more than just mini-bar items on it….it had pricing for a surprising number of items that were around me in my room.

Anyone want a JW Marriott bathrobe?

a white robe on a swinger

Using an exchange rate of 4.28 Malaysian Ringits = 1 USD that will set you back approximately $34…not too bad really.

How about a JW Marriott umbrella?

a black umbrella on a white table

That will be a little over $9 – that’s a bargain! 🙂

Have you just woken up in your hotel room and realised you need a JW Marriott ice bucket?

a black container with a lid

If you can look past the fact that this is actually just a regular black ice bucket with a transparent JW Marriott sticker applied crudely and crookedly then it’s yours for almost $39 dollars.

$39??!!! How is a plastic ice bucket with a lop-sideded sticker worth more than a bathrobe?!

Madness! 🙂

Are you sitting in your room wondering how you’re going to hang up all the clothes you bought in the malls when you get home?

a group of swingers on a rack

Not a problem. The JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur has you covered with a selection of hangers…all of which will cost you around $4 each.

Do yourself a favor and head down to IKEA…you’ll pick up more than you can carry home for $4!

Those who want a souvenir but who don’t have much room in their baggage are covered too. How about a bottle opener with no obvious markings?

a bottle opener on a marble surface

That will set you back a little under $6….although that will be a wasted $6 if you pack it in your hand baggage – airport security is bound to consider that a lethal weapon.

It doesn’t end there.

The number of items on the menu was incredible!

a white paper with black text

What was more incredible was what the hotel thought people may be interested in buying.

$40 for the bedside Sony alarm clock – has anyone actually thought to themselves “ah…an alarm clock! That’s what I can’t find at home…I’d better buy this one”?

a alarm clock and a round black device on a table

Have you just remembered you’re a bath mat short at home? Can’t be bothered to go to Macy’s? Why not take the one in your hotel bathroom (the one hundreds of guests have stood on before you)?

a bathroom with a sink and toilet

That will be $8….which is a great price compared to the ice bucket!

How about a kettle?

a box with tea bags and condiments

Never mind that for a lot of guest it probably won’t even work on their home voltage, it’s yours for just $93.


I’ve owned a lot of kettles in my time and not one has come close to costing me that much.

If you’re reading this and don’t think that’s a lot to spend to boil some water then please get in touch via this blog….I have a big tower in the center of Paris to try and sell you 🙂

Last but not least I have to mention the fact that you can apparently buy every item of bedding you see in the room.

a bed in a hotel room

I realise that this isn’t completely strange as a number of hotel chains (including Marriott) have online stores where guests who enjoyed their bed during a visit can purchase linens, pillows etc….

But who turns up at a hotel and then decides that their life won’t be complete unless they leave with the $130 duvet?!

More importantly….who travels with enough luggage to give them enough room to take a duvet home with them?

It’s also pretty amusing (at least to me) to see what you can get for the price of some of the minibar items.

  • A box of mixed nuts will buy you a bath mat, a face towel and a hanger…and you’ll get change
  • A bottle of Perrier is worth a fraction more than a set of ice tongs…but Evian isn’t worth more than a single coat hanger
  • A can of beer will essentially buy you a pillowcase and an ashtray

If you think of it like that why would you buy the disposable items when you can enjoy all of those everyday items for years to come? 🙂

Yes, all of this is very much just tongue in cheek and yes, I realise that some of these prices have been provided to let light-fingered guests know what they can expect to find on their bill should they “forget” to take a hotel item out of their baggage before they depart… but seriously……has anyone actually ever considered buying any of this stuff while on a visit?

Let me know 🙂


  1. As a Malaysian, I have heard of a few horror stories & the reason why every thing has a price.

    Guests from a particular region in the world used to check out of fancy hotels with everything carted away. This included the bed sheets, art works, tv, lampshade, etc. The costs of replacement far exceeded the guest entire paid stay.

    Hence why upon departure, reception would always inform housekeeping to check the room before you check out while you are at the counter. If things are taken, you cannot argue that they were included in the price of the room as everything is priced up. The prices are meant to discourage you from taking those things but of course if the hotel can make money with you insisting on purchasing at that ludicrous price, why not!

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