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Can You Drink Alcohol in Hotel Rooms? Eat Food in Hotel Rooms?

A family eating in a hotel room.

Yes, you can drink alcohol and eat most things inside your hotel room. Some hotels already have these items available in your fridge or mini bar, depending on the star level of the hotel. Others let you order from their kitchen, mini-market, or your favorite place on the hotel property.

So feel free to bring your food or order at the hotel, but it doesn’t hurt to check first as a handful of hotels want no outside food on their properties. I’ve done all of the above, but keep in mind that because you have a maid assigned to your room doesn’t mean you should make a total mess. If you have an accident, at least leave a decent tip.

Do Some Hotels Have Eating and Drinking Restrictions?

A dinner table in a hotel.

Yes! For example, the W states in its policy that if you’re caught serving liquor(acting as a waiter, or in other words having a party or drinking in public areas,) they will confiscate the alcohol and return it upon your departure.

Many people often misunderstand this clause. What the hotels are trying to prevent is a party inside the guest’s room. If you and the other guest want to relax and drink, that’s no problem. The important thing is not to get to a level where you cause any disturbance and, most importantly, do not destroy the hotel’s property in any way.

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Many hotels appear to have similar no-alcohol rules. They explicitly state that you should not bring alcohol onto the property.  The Schultz Hotel in Europe, for example, says, “It is not allowed to bring alcoholic drinks into the hotel.

The consumption and serving of alcoholic beverages are subject to the regulations of the Protection of Young Persons Acts.”

What are the Reasons Some Hotels Prefer no Outside Food?

A lady eating breakfast in a hotel room.

One hotel operator in India, Amol Dhir, says with the reduced rates for hotels, they need additional revenue. He emphasized that having guests purchase items at the hotels would help to boost revenue. He adds, however, that the mess is another major factor.

Ordering meals from off the property and having it delivered to guests’ rooms is often a hassle for the hotel’s housekeeping staff,” Dhir continued. Soiled linen is an expensive luxury that cheap hotels just cannot afford because guests bring food into their rooms to eat in bed while watching TV.

A third factor he pointed out was the contaminated food that guests get from the outside at times. That leads to them getting sick on the hotel property, and the hotel is responsible for their health and safety while they stay there.

Can You Cook in Your Hotel Room?

A person cooking a meal using a pan.

Unless you’re staying at a resort that provides a kitchenette or kitchen or any property that provides such, cooking in your room is never OK. You can bring food from outside that requires being heated up and most hotel rooms provide a microwave for that purpose.

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The All Season Inn and Suites, for example, states categorically that if you bring appliances into the room, they will charge a hefty fee. “For us, nothing is more essential than the well-being of everyone who enters this building, including our visitors, employees, and contractors. The only exceptions to this rule are the hotel’s complimentary microwaves and refrigerators, which guests are not permitted to use. Using any type of cooking equipment in the room will cost at least $300.00. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Coffee makers
  • Hot plates; toasters
  • Rice cookers
  • Water heaters
  • Open flame
  • Barbecue grills
  • Burners
  • Heating appliances

Also, anything else that is used to cook food. The use of gas or charcoal grills, as well as open flames, are prohibited on the property of the hotel. We have a microwave in the breakfast area that’s available to registered guests 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the breakfast section, coffee is also offered around the clock.”

What Problems Do Hotels Have With Outside Food?

A person serving breakfast in a hotel.

Oftentimes, the problem a hotel has is with foods that carry a pungent smell. The problem is that not only does the smell affect other guests, but it can prove difficult to remove from the room. You could end up getting charged for the excessive cleaning service.

Many hotel policies state, “To avoid a cleaning fee, please do not microwave any strong-smelling foods. The odor will be hard to extract from textiles. Because most commercially prepared microwaveable food has never created a problem before, we recommend it. Using a microwave to cook your freshly caught fish is a problem.”

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What Does the Liquor Act Say About Alcohol at Hotels?

Australia

By law, a hotel operator is required to provide an alcohol-free atmosphere for guests and employees alike, as outlined in Liquor Act section 148A. Staff happiness is critical for a hotel’s efficient operation and financial success, and this must be understood by all hotel owners and operators.

Staff turnover is higher in places that don’t foster RSA, according to research. 12 Failure to design and follow house policies may result in high turnover and other human resource management concerns, which might also put a strain on profit levels owing to the constant expense of searching for, recruiting, and training new employees.

Europe & Asia

A couple toasting a wine and fresh fruits.

Most hotels in Europe appear to be okay with you bringing alcohol as long as you drink it in your room or on a private terrace. For instance, a representative of  Andante-Hotel in Barcelona responded on Trip Advisor that they are okay with outside alcohol. They do provide beer, sandwiches, etc which you can take to your room as well.

“If you plan to drink in your room or on the terrace, you are allowed to bring your alcohol, but you are not allowed to carry bottles outdoors. Swimming pool parties and other social gatherings are not permitted under any circumstances. Contacting the hotel should never be a problem. We can’t wait to meet you when you arrive in Barcelona. Greetings and best wishes.”

The United States of America (USA)

The Holiday Inn, for example, is a zero-tolerance property. US law prohibits the consumption of alcohol in public places, and these establishments follow suit. The pool area, hallways, lobby, and parking lots are just a few of the common areas that many hotels, including Holiday Inns, claim are alcohol-free zones.

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Can An Increase In Hotel Insurance Claims Be Attributed To Drunken Behavior?

A hotel room with a bucket of wine.

However, if the proper house rules are not put in place to limit excessive alcohol consumption, it could hurt the cost of staffing. Insurance premiums can go up if the proper mechanisms aren’t in place. 13 Increases in insurance premiums will put more pressure on the bottom line and may designate hotels without suitable residence policies as high insurance liabilities, rendering those hotels incapable of getting reasonable liability insurance at affordable premium levels.

How Do Issues With Food And Drink Impact Hotel Profits?

Posting and publicizing house policies can improve the idea that the property is secure. In the long run, this could lead to an increase in the hotel’s revenue and profits. The posting of house policies will also have a positive effect on employee morale and retention rates.

Creating a secure place that minimizes excessive alcohol use would not only ensure that every one of their visitors can appreciate their vacation in a safe hotel, but it will also protect a critical asset: their employees.