May 10 2016

A Mini History of the Minibar

The Standard

A  wise man once said it’s the little things in life that make the big things happen. We at The Standard love the minibar, and we think it’s one of those little things. No matter what you want from your hotel stay, the minibar has you covered—it makes the big nights big, and those antisocial hermit nights perfectly hermit-y. It’s hard to imagine a hotel stay without one, but minibars weren’t always a thing. To celebrate the beauty that is the minibar, here’s a mini history of one of the best little things in life. 

1960s
Siegas, a family-operated German appliance company, becomes successful with its mini fridge product. It becomes a big hit with the hotel and leisure industries.
1963
JFK opens the Madison Hotel in DC, and rooms come installed with mini fridges. While they didn’t have liquor in them yet, the concept of the mini fridge becomes an expected luxury travel amenity in America.
1973
The Siegas Company is acquired by Electrolux, which takes the name “minibar” global.
1974
A man named Robert Arnold takes a flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong and sees mini bottles of liquor for the first time. He orders a shipment for his place of work, the Hong Kong Hilton, stocks minibars in all 840 rooms, and the in-room cocktail was born!