“Instead of mini bar they have cups of pee in the drawer,” a disturbing but not completely uncharacteristic Yelp review of the La Cienega Motel in Los Angeles says. That gross sentence is accompanied by a photo of a full specimen cup left behind by a previous guest who, from the looks of it, was moderately dehydrated during his or her stay.
That’s beyond nasty, but if a recent survey of vacationers is true, your hotel’s minibar might be filled with a stranger’s pee, too. Hosbec, a hotel association for properties on Spain’s Costa Blanca, said that one out of every three guests that filled out its recent questionnaire admitted to downing miniature bottles of booze and then refilling them with water, other liquids or, yeah, even their own piss.
“‘It may seem ridiculous, but I can assure you it is true, a Hosbec spokesperson told the British tabloid Mirror. ‘We have had people filling bottles with pee, and thank God that staff have always detected it.” And apparently, the worst offenders are British tourists.
On other parts of the survey, guests fessed up to stealing hotel towels, allowing unregistered guests to crash in their rooms, and swiping some extra helpings from the breakfast buffet to eat later in the day. None of those are ideal behaviors, but at least no one is at risk of accidentally drinking a tiny bottle of urine.
According to the Mirror, Hosbec is now considering removing minibars altogether, replacing them with additional vending machines in the common areas. But back to the pee: Pulling that unsanitary switcheroo is disgusting—but it’s also kind of impressive, because those bottles are tiny. (What is the best way for filling an airplane bottle with pee? Dunking it into the toilet? Having an extraordinary urethra? Urinating into something els– wait, don’t answer that. We put our toothbrush in that glass by the sink.)
Several years ago, a Swedish hotel worker wrote on Reddit that she’d actually had to deal with someone who tried to swap pee for booze. “Check the seals on the things in the minibar,” she advised. “I once had a guest who had drunk the whiskey and then peed in the bottle, closed it, and put it back. I've also seen candy three months past the [expiration] date.”
Wait… the candy’s old, too? Ugh, get rid of those minibars now.