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

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Hotels are great. amiright?

You get to kick your shoes off and enjoy time away from home. Grab some ice and chill that drink or throw some ice in your glass and enjoy a relaxing evening.

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

One of the questions that we get a lot about ice and traveling is why do hotels have ice buckets?

A hotel provides ice buckets to their guests because they have one ice machine in a central location. Guests are asked to go to the ice machine and fill up their bucket and then return the ice to their room. The ice bucket is used to distribute the ice in your room, or it can be used to place your drinks into the bucket to keep it cold.


You have to be careful because some ice machines in hotels are not taken care of and the ice can be filled with bacteria and other nasty stuff.

If an ice machine is not cleaned on a regular basis, then mold and bacteria can grow in the ice, and this can make you sick.

Don’t be afraid of asking the front desk when the last time the ice machine was cleaned. If the ice tastes or smells off, then do not take any of it.

Most hotels offer ice bucket liners so that you know that it’s clean. If you want you can even purchase your own ice bucket liners from Amazon.


Sometimes you think that the more expensive the room the cleaner that it will be, but this isn’t always the truth.

Jennifer Stagg, MD, naturopathic physician and author of “Unzip Your Genes: 5 Choices To Reveal A Radically Radiant You,” said,

“You would think paying more for a hotel would also net you a cleaner room, but investigative reporters have found that not always to be the case.”

Jennifer Stagg

There are several places in every hotel that dirt and grime love to hide out, and you need to be aware of them. These include:

  1. The ice bucket
  2. The remote
  3. The bathroom counter and faucet
  4. The hotel desk
  5. Phone
  6. Coffee Makers
  7. Comforter and pillow
  8. Room keys
  9. Sofa and Chairs
  10. Carpets
  11. Air Vents

Make sure that you walk through your hotel and make sure that everything is clean before you get settled into your room.

It’s also a good practice to bring disinfecting wipes with you to use on various items inside your room – you can never be over cautious.


People want to have ice when they are in a hotel and hotels know and understand this. Since the 1890s, when commercial ice makers were introduced, hotels have been consistent in making sure there is ice available for their guests.

Kemmons Wilson, the founder of the original Holiday Inn, which opened in 1952, was the first hotel to offer FREE ice to their guests via the ice machine. Wilson was so frustrated on how much he would spend when traveling on extra fees. He was baffled that he had to pay for ice when he went to a hotel, so he decided that ice would be free for all his guests at the Holiday Inn.

This prompted other hotels to follow this example until every hotel and motel offered free ice for their guests.

Why Do Hotels Have Ice Machines?
Why Do Hotels Have Ice Machines?

When was the last time you had to pay for ice at a model? It’s all included in the price, and if it’s not, then you need to find a new hotel.

If you go to a hotel and the ice maker is broken, then you could probably ask the kitchen to provide ice for you. Most hotels are magnificent about this and strive to please their guests.


Ice is used for so many applications that it’s hard to narrow it down for one reason. Most people fill their ice bucket and use it to chill their drinks, and others use it to put in their glasses.

Ice Buckets are for Keeping Your Drinks Chilled
Ice Buckets are for Keeping Your Drinks Chilled

The American love affair with ice continues and will continue for years to come. Hotels give you the convenience of always having ice available to you.


If you are staying at a hotel for a long time, then why not bring some ice accessories with you on your stay.

Try bringing a portable ice maker so that you can make the ice yourself, or use an ice shaver (some are very portable) to make some cool desserts and treats.

If your hotel has a pool, this allows you to make excellent drinks in your room and bring them down by the pool to lay in the sun. Does life get any better than that?


Why enjoy ice just at a hotel when you can enjoy having ice every day! We love our portable ice maker and use it all of the time for parties, family gatherings, and everyday use.

We have a great list of the top portable ice makers available to you on Amazon for the best prices.

Jerry Wilson

Jerry Wilson

Find informative articles, videos on home and living, family, work-life, helpful products, hacks, how-tos, and everything in between.

1 Comment
  1. Visiting Spain. Alot of hotels have no nor small refrigerator in the room. Buying ice at store adds up fast and annoying when it melts fast. Where do you complain?

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