What Is An Honor Bar? [Explained]

Eager to know about honor bars?  Look no further. We got you covered in this article. 

So actually what is an honor bar?

Well, an honor bar is an alternative to having a staff person ring up your drink. You are all on your own responsibility to pay for it. Honor bars are usually found in hotel rooms. Besides, at weddings, the newlyweds also set up honor bars. It can also be found in clubs or lounges. 

Yes, we understand this could be a little confusing for you. But worry not. We’ve discussed the honor bars in detail in this article. 

So stick with us till the end. We’re certain that this will help you. 

Without any further ado let’s dive in. 

Mythbusting Common Misconceptions: Free Drinks?

A common misconception surrounds the honor bar. People think the drinks at a hotel or a restaurant’s honor bar are free.

But, an honor bar in hotels or at lounges does not cater free drinks. Most hotels will charge you for the number of bottles you opened. 

Now that it’s out of the way. Let us discuss further how does an honor bar work?

3 Types of Honor Bar: Elaborated

Honor bars actually mean, rather than having a staff person ring up every drink, you are all on your honor to pay for it. Honor bars are used for different purposes in different places and events. 

Here we jot down the most commonly used forms of an honor bar. 

Honor Bar in Wedding

Alcohol consumption at weddings is no secret. The newlyweds are in charge of making sure that every adult gets booze. Hence, they need to set up a bottomless bar at their wedding. This bar is set up to cater to the guests. 

Now let’s answer what is an honor bar at a wedding?

The drinks in this bar or the honor bar are free. By free we mean free for the guests. All the expenses are covered by the newlyweds. 

Sometimes the expense could be a bit too overwhelming for the couple. Come on who wants to stop drinking when they have bottomless drinks right? 

The couple probably wishes you did though. Starting a new life is expensive enough in itself. And that one person who doesn’t stop drinking at the wedding piles up to that. 

Thus, often you’ll see that the newlywed couple sets up a jar near the bar. What for? It’s like a tip jar. In the jar, you pay for the drinks you make for yourselves. 

There’s no one to supervise the money jar. Despite that, guests usually do not pour a drink without putting in some money. 

This is how a typical honor bar operates at a wedding. Some people frown upon this practice. As they feel like they are being obligated to pay. 

On the flip side, some people appreciate this. Because this helps the newlyweds to save up some money for themselves. 

Honor Bar in Hotel Rooms

In the case of hotel rooms, most good hotel rooms have a corner for booze. It’s preserved for the guests. Don’t get your hopes up just yet.

Let’s take a look at what is an honor bar in a hotel?

Unlike the wedding bars, the hotel room booze is not complementary. Although the breakfast choice, continental or the hot breakfast could be complementary.  

There is a collection full of booze at our disposal. You can serve your own drinks from there. And enjoy the comfort of the hotel room. 

This set-up is called an honor bar. 

But when you checkout you need to pay for every bottle you’ve opened. 

If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, you can get your own. Here’s a table for that: 

[amalinkspro_table id=”76″ aff-id=”undefined” new-window=”on” nofollow=”on” addtocart=”off” /]

Now you could wonder what if you didn’t tell the exact number of bottles you’ve opened. How’d the hotel authority know? To answer that you first need to know how the hotel rooms’ honor bars work. 

In most hotels, every honor bar is rigged with sensors. These sensors trigger when you open a bottle. And when you trigger a sensor the alert is already sent to the hotel staff. And its bill is added to your total bill.

But sometimes a false trigger could be alerted. In that case, you need to let the hotel staff know about it. Then readjust your bill. 

There are hotels that do not have a sensory system. What they do is they keep a fixed number of bottles in the hotel room for guests. 

The guests are required to write that down for the hotel staff. But failure to do so would not cause any trouble. Because keeping tabs on the small amount of booze is not that difficult. 

That’s how they keep your tabs on booze. 

It’s actually easier to do so than keeping tabs on the early departure fee.

Some people argue against the need for an honor bar in hotel rooms. But most people do not mind having the option to just take out a bottle from the stock. If you can afford it then why not? 

Honor Bar at Clubs and Lounges

Okay, before we move ahead, let us clear one thing out first. 

Do not confuse the Honor Bar at Palm Beach with a normal honor bar. The Honor bar at Palm Beach is an expensive restaurant. 

Much like the Honor Bar at Ritz Carlton.  They have their Honor Bar Menu as well as Honor Bar Delivery system. 

Now that’s out of the way we move on to what’s an honor bar at Clubs and lounges? 

The answer to that is simple. You serve up your own drink in the club and then report it before checking out. And pay for it. 

This could be a gala or a club membership program. These kinds of services are generally enjoyed by the elite society people. They do not like to pay frequently for their drinks. 

So what they do is they drink up as much as they want then report it while checking out. The bill is prepared in accordance with the amount consumed. 

Here you could ask what if someone wants to steal some drinks. As in, I do not want to pay for it.

You see, only rich people attend these galas or are members of these clubs. They do not want to buy a bad image by stealing some booze.

In any case, what happens when someone does try to steal? In case they get caught they will be dealt with in private. As for the club members their membership is most likely to be canceled. And will be banned from that club. 


Are all the drinks in the honor bar alcoholic? 

Most drinks in the honor bar are alcoholic. Honor bars are generally set up to serve alcoholic drinks. Be it a wedding, a hotel room or a club. Guests serve up their own drinks from the honor bar. And ultimately pay for the drinks they consume. 

Does the honor bar help the staff?

Yes, the honor bar helps the staff. The staff does not need to manually keep tabs. However, a question may arise, what’ll happen to the bartenders? Don’t worry there are still bars and lounges in most Hotels. Despite having an honor bar in every room.

How much is spent on bars at weddings?

Considering the location and liquor package you select, the prices may vary significantly. The estimated approximate price of a completely open bar with quality alcohol is $4,150, according to The Knot. Whereas an open bar with less expensive spirits costs $2,550.


So if someone asks you what is an honor bar? 

You can tell them it’s an open bar where you serve your own drinks. Keep a tab for yourself. And then pay for the drinks you have had. 

Hope you find this article informative. 

Thank you for sticking with us till the end.

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