by Bryan Darrow | March 01, 2007

Bottle of Yoo-hooHotel companies seem to be split on the minibar issue: Either they’ve replaced it with an empty refrigerator, figuring travelers would prefer to fill it themselves, or they’ve headed in the opposite direction, exploring new frontiers in snacks, beverages and useful trinkets, to entice visitors to splurge. Below are some minibar options from the latter camp, featuring local, personalized and convenient in-room delights.

The Omni hotel chain now offers Sensation Bars, minibars stocked with location-specific items that appeal to multiple senses. Guests at the Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza, for example, can enjoy a package that includes Visine for dry eyes, California Golden Pretzels and a Great Lines from Great Movies soundtrack. In the rooms at the Omni Berkshire Place in New York City, guests may purchase a Zagat Survey, Yoo-hoo, Pretzel Crisps or a Great Buildings of New York guide.

The Clarendon Hotel + Suites, a boutique hotel in Phoenix, offers the “Pimp My Fridge” package. When booking, guests can ask for the “Organics” or “High on the Hog Pig-Out” packages, or they can request specific items to be put in the in-room refrigerator.

Some hotels are stocking practical items for forgetful business travelers. The minibar at the Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, includes several frequently requested items, including tights and nail-polish remover for women, and an extra pair of black socks for men.