How Much Would You Pay For A Bottle Of Water?

This week I had a quick business trip to Chicago for a conference. I stayed at a nice hotel that caters to business travelers, so I expected to pay a few dollars for the 1L bottle of water that was in my room. I was shocked when I read the fine print on this tag.



Even though I get reimbursed for my travel expenses, I don’t like to waste my firm’s money, so I put the water bottle down and paid $2.75 for a 3/4 L bottle of water at the gift shop–a bargain in comparison!

Later I noticed this 8 oz. bottle of water in the bathroom.


Yep, that tag says $7.00 too!

Now, I figured that the price on the small water bottle was a mistake. I was nearly certain that that small water bottle in the bathroom was supposed to be complementary, but I didn’t drink it–I didn’t want to be wrong!

As I was discussing this pricing with a colleague who was staying at the same hotel, he remarked that the large water bottle was on a tray with a sensor, so I might have been charged if I had moved the bottle. Now, I know that hotels have sensors in the refrigerators, but I didn’t realize that the innocuous-looking tray that held the water bottle and a few cans of chips and M&Ms was a computerized device ringing up charges each time I picked up a package to read the price or nutrition label!

I pulled up my hotel charges and saw that I had indeed been charged for the water … $9.30 with tax! The front desk reversed the charges when I called to tell them that I had not opened the water bottle. They also confirmed that the small bottle of water in the bathroom was complementary.  Still, the experience left a bad taste in my mouth. (No apologies for the pun!)

I do have some good news on the water front. I love the new Camelbak water bottle I got last week.  I found it in the cycling section of a sports store, but it is just what I need for my One Direction fuel belt.


The top has a twist-lock feature, but even if it is open it does not leak or drip. You have to squeeze the body of the bottle slightly to get water to come out. It performed well during the GW Parkway Classic. I left it in the open position and nothing splashed out and it was really easy to get a drink when I wanted one.

How much have you paid for a bottle of water in your hotel room?

Have you been surprised by other hotel charges? 

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7 Responses to How Much Would You Pay For A Bottle Of Water?

  1. Miz says:

    HOLY MOLY!! I once paid a LOT for a bottle on the streets of vegas in the heat of the summer.
    otherwise Id…um…hit up the tap 🙂

  2. I paid a super high amount at an airport (can't remember which one). At hotels I usually make use of the ice machine and tap water – I'm big into drinking tap water (I can't tell a difference in taste!).
    I think $7 is very excessive even at a nice hotel.

  3. Carrie says:

    OMG – that's rediculous! And to have an overpriced bottle on a sensor.

    I hate buying water at places like the movie theaters and Disneyland. I tend to like to bring a bottle and just refill it at the drinking fountains. I recently bought a bottle with a built-in filter. Although it started leaking and now I'm annoyed. But, I saw on Amazon that they will replace a leaky bottle, I just have to remember to follow through.

    So, that was Chicago in your IG picture. I thought it was, but then I was doubting myself.

  4. Abby says:

    I stopped buying bottled water after I watched the documentary, Tapped. It's terrible for you! And charging $3, much less 7, disgusts me. I always travel with a refillable bottle. Most places have water fountains.

    • I haven't seen that movie. I do usually use my own refillable water bottle but sometimes I forget it, or can't find a good water fountain — the one at Terminal A in National Airport in D.C. is sort of icky. O'Hare airport in Chicago has a cool water fountain designed for refilling water bottles.

  5. Lorraine says:

    Great post! Makes me glad I have been using my own refillable water bottle.

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