Why Do Hotels Have Ice Buckets? Your Hotel Ice Questions Answered

Many of us have experience staying in hotels and to our knowledge, they are the most comfortable places on earth. They render comfort and peace to many folds, compared to the general home setup. The comfort essentials of these hotels depend on the cost of the hotels and the comfort essentials they render. Apart from the usual compliments they offer which include refreshments and personal hygiene essentials, some high-end hotels offer ice buckets for their customers in their hotel rooms. If you still wonder why these ice buckets are there in your hotel room, then this post is for you. 

The hotel rooms can’t have individual ice freezers or ice makers in the rooms. Some hotels will have ice machines in the hallways as it is not possible to make ice in the individual rooms. The ice buckets will allow the user to retrieve and store the ice in the room at least for a few hours until they melt. These ice buckets help people to keep things cold in their hotel rooms until the drink is opened.

Why is Ice Given as a Mandatory Compliment in Some Hotels? 

People in countries like America and the UK love ice more than people in other countries of the world. This love affair began when industrial-sized ice machines were introduced in the year 1890. In the early years, hotels were the only businesses to offer readymade ice and now it has been offered for free in most of the hotels. They have ice machines in every hallway and even in individual rooms. It has been known that Mr. Kemmons Wilson was the pioneer in the introduction of ice machines and ice buckets in the hotel rooms. He was the founder of Holiday Inn and was the one who was started with the ubiquitous free ice supply in the hotels of the US. He offered ice-free for all his guests in his hotel, the Holiday Inn, which was opened in the year 1952 in Memphis. The trend slowly spread all over the country. 

Americans love ice, and it was once considered to be an expensive luxury good. But now ice has become much plentiful and less costly. Keeping up the ice demand was quite pricey for hotels, before the advent of the ice machines. Now that the ice machine shaves have become quite popular, it becomes easy for customers to get their ice easily and the ice buckets help them to collect ice and keep it in their rooms to enjoy chilled drinks as they desire.

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Is it Safe to Use the Ice Buckets in the Hotel Rooms?

Ice Bucket

There is a common thought that the hygiene of the ice buckets in the hotel rooms can be questionable and the hotels are generally not the cleanest of the places, even most hotels state that they clean the rooms and the utilities exceptionally well between the guests. Some hotel guests also state that they sacrifice the chilled drinks in the hotel rooms, to stay fit and healthy.

Most of the hotels found that the ice machines in the hotels in major countries and cleaned and inspected regularly so that they do not support the growth of bacteria and discourage the buildup of slime in their interiors. It is important to check the authenticity of the ice machines first, as the ice is filled from these ice machines in the hotel room ice buckets. Most of the hotels clean these ice machines and buckets periodically and between users so that they don’t get any complaints from any of their guests, getting sick from these ice machines. 

There is also a hygiene protocol that is been used by these hotels that states that they put a plastic bag into the bucket so that they don’t come in direct contact with the bucket. Also, these bags can be disposed of after the guests leave the hotel room. It is the responsibility of the hotel business unit to make sure that the food they serve and the containers they are served in complies with the food hygiene law at all times. 

The hotels should ensure that drinkable water is used to make the ice in the ice machines and the food handlers are also expected to observe the best personal hygiene practices to ensure regular hand washing protocols. The hoteliers should also clean the equipment that comes in contact with food periodically to ensure that the food and the container in which it is handled are not contaminated. 

Answering the Common Questions that Arise in the Minds of People, as to Why Hotels Use Ice Buckets?

Why do hotels offer ice buckets for their guests?

It is one of the most common questions that arise in the minds of the people who visit and stay at hotels frequently for personal or business trips. A hotel offers ice buckets to its guests, as it knows pretty well that guests love ice and chilled drinks, and it is not possible to supply an ice machine in every single hotel room. Thus, these hotels have their ice dispensers in the hallway and a central location. Guests should fill the ice in their buckets and keep them in their rooms. They can use them to place the drinks on in their room and to keep them cold and serve them chilled.

What is the need for an ice machine and an ice bucket in a hotel?

We can say that there is no hotel business without ice. The hotel industry makes use of ice for many different uses and it is hard to narrow down on any one particular reason, why it is been used in the hotel. They use it to make chilled drinks, iced tea, cold beverages, to prepare mocktails, cocktails, fruit juices, etc. Guests also love to use ice, perhaps to fill their ice buckets with ice and use them to chill their drinks or to transfer the ice cubes into the glasses and drink the chilled beverages. Availability of ice is the requirement of every single hotel guest and thus the hotels offer their guests the convenience of making ice available to them at all times.

Should I pay extra for the ice that I use in the hotel?

No, most of the hotels don’t require their guests to pay for the ice in the hotels and the price you pay at the hotel for your stay should include the ice cost as well. Even if you find that the ice maker in your hotel is broken, you could ask the kitchen in the facility to provide ice for you. Most of the hotels strive their best to serve their guests with the ice their desire and to please them.

Should I opt for an expensive room to enjoy the comforts of ice with an ice bucket in your room?

No. Most of the standardized hotels offer kettle, ice bucket, and other essentials as part of their complementary items to their guests. And if you happen to stay in a three-star hotel and above, you can probably have an ice bucket in your room and remember you are going to be filling it yourself from the ice dispenser in the hallway and thus the type of room you choose has nothing to do with the availability of ice and an ice bucket in your room. Some high-end hotels can also have ice makers in the room to serve their guests with their required ice.

Will the ice buckets in the hotel be clean and safe to use?

Most of the hotels maintain their ice machine in the best condition and they also disinfect the ice bucket periodically and before accepting new guests in the room so that even the slightest chances of cross-contamination is eliminated. But some hotels do not maintain their ice machines in proper condition and there are chances that their ice machines be filled with bacteria and other unwanted stuff. If the ice machine and bucket are not cleaned appropriately and periodically, there are chances for the mold and bacteria to grow on them, and this can make you sick. Be sure to ask your front desk about the sanitation protocols being followed in the hotel and the last time that the ice machine and the bucket were cleaned in the hotel.

Most of the hotels offer ice bucket liners to make sure that the ice container is clean. You can ask for the ice liner if it is not available in your room or the worst case, carry your bucket liner that you can buy online and use during your stay in the hotel.

What is the purpose of ice buckets in the hotel?

The ice buckets in the hotels are meant to keep the drinks in the hotel room cold and also to fill up the coolers with the ice. Most people in the hotels stay there as part of their travel and they generally come to the hotel room only to rest for a night before moving on. they might want to have a chilling drink at night and don’t have to pay for them. It is a complimentary gesture of most hotels to include an ice bucket in the hotel room.

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Few Reasons Why Most Hotels Have Ice Buckets

If you are still not convinced about the usage of the ice buckets inn e modern-day hotel rooms, here are few crazy reasons why hotel rooms have ice buckets in them. Most of the hotels use ice buckets with lids, to help preserve the ice in a frozen state for long hours and to supply a rejuvenating drink to the guests and visitors. They can be real saviors for the restaurant business, as it helps the attenders to keep the ice handy and eliminate the need to run back and forth to refill ice from the machine. There are also several advantages of ice buckets and they are as follows,

a. They Serve as a Style Statement to the Restaurant

Ice buckets complement the hotel room with their exceptional style and design and are popular in most hotels. Their classic look and style make people crave their elegance in the hotels and they make it very easy to draw ice easily without polluting or contaminating the ice. Their delicate look is capable of adorning any space and service ice in these ice buckets serves as a smart gesture to draw the attention of the guests in the hotel. Some of these baskets have a curved design and shape, helping in keeping the ice frozen for a long time and chilling the wine bottles efficiently.

b. It Prevents Frequent Trips to the Ice Machine

The ice bucket eliminates the need for taking trips to the freezer and helps in storing the ice in them instantly. They can be placed on the hotel table and relish the drinks at their comfort. Ice buckets can be managed professionally by the hotel attenders and they can pour the ice, by avoiding spillage. Ice buckets are also mandatory in the bars and in party places, to help the party run in an uninterrupted and organized way.

c. Ice Buckets Can be Lasting Long

We understand that the ice buckets are versatile, but they are budget-friendly and also ahs a long-lasting life. The cost of the ice buckets is thus pretty much negligible, considering the many advantages they render. These buckets are made of stainless steel, which prevents the condensation of ice and makes it a highly exceptional product that helps in the preserving of ice and serving it for guests for a long time.

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Bottom Line

Thus, the ice buckets have exceptional applications in the hotel industry and most hotels offer them as a complementary gesture to their guests and offer them an exhilarating drink experience. It is best to use the ice buckets that are available in the hotels with ice bag liners, to maintain hygiene with the ice. 

I'm Sara Wilson, the founder, and author of IceMakerCage. I'm also the head of the expert team that tests various ice makers and brings the best advice.

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