The Mini Bar goes Maxi

The death
of the mini-bar?

At this point in time, hotels are at the forefront of the hospitality industry with new landmark openings cropping up all the time – in the last six months alone in London we’ve seen the opening of Raffles at the Old War Offices, the Peninsula in Hyde Park and the Mandarin Oriental in Mayfair. Hotels are often found leading the way with innovative changes in technology and as interior designers, we pride ourselves on making sure we visit new openings to keep ahead of upcoming design trends.

a photo of a backlit spirit bottles in red and warm tones -Photo by Sergio Alves Santos-Kai interiors Hackney
Photo by Sergio Alves Santos | Unsplash
Cocktail in a coupe on a marble table agaisnt a blue velvet fabric- Photo by Ambitious Studio Rick-Barrett-Kai I
Photo by Ambitious Studio | Rick Barrett
A photo of Hotel bed in the dark with a warm bedside table on - Photo by Jp Valery-
Photo by Jp Valery
Photo by Adam-Wilson

It’s time for a drink

One big trend we’ve seen recently is the decline of the mini bar. The world’s first minibar was introduced at the Hong Kong Hilton Hotel by manager Robert Arnold in 1974 and it was once heralded as the height of luxury. These days every good hotel has a mini bar in its rooms and as dated as they can sometimes look and feel, they still make a great addition to a hotel room. When we work on hotel designs, we always try to add mini bars in to secret cocktail cabinets or desk elements to create fun features for guests to discover should they need a drink or snack in their room.

However, it seems the mini bar could soon be a thing of the past, to be replaced by a maxi bar. “What is a maxi bar?” we hear you ask. Well, thanks to the rise of travellers looking for a more bespoke and personal experience, the maxi bar is a variety of things. Firstly, some hotels are offering actual bars in hotel rooms – in a Soho House bedroom for example you have access to spirits, lemons and limes, ice, a cocktail shaker and even vermouth spritz so you can mix the perfect martini once the clock strikes 5pm. At the original Raffles in Singapore, a drinks trolley roams door to door early in the evening serving up any drink you desire from a cold beer, to a bubbling Champagne or a vintage vin rouge and in Baccarat Hotel in New York, the maxi bar features an entire Ladurée selection.

The concept of the maxi bar allows hotels to customise items tailored to individual preferences – something which has proven to result in customer loyalty and repeat booking.
When you’re a fan of the mini or the maxi, a strong interior design team like ours can suggest the best ways to appeal to customers for the most unique stay possible.

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Hotel illuminated sign from street in the night - Photo by Marten Bjork-unsplash - Kai interiors
Photo by Marten Bjork | Unsplash
Pistachio macaroons served on porcelaine plates with small dasies - Photo by Heather Barnes- Kai interiors Hackn
Photo by Heather Barnes