Travel Fanboy

Can You Really Not Bring Outside Food or Drink Into Your Hotel Room?

There was quite a kerfuffle recently when a published policy for Virgin Las Vegas made the rounds. Miles to Memories has a good rundown of the brouhaha, which started when a YouTube comment on their channel prompted them to dig around Virgin Las Vegas’ site. In short, they found the following on Virgin LV’s FAQ page:

Outside food and beverage is not permitted in our guest rooms. Our resort offers an array of restaurant offering including pre-stocked in-room minibars, and 24-hour room service for your convenience.

Grammar aside, it’s an odd, public-facing proclamation. Many resorts have similar, albeit looser policies policing outside food and beverage. Though, for many, you’d be hard-pressed to see it prominently on their websites.

I talked to the director of hotel security of a Vegas resort (not Virgin) about this policy and those similar in the industry. My hunch was that the rule may not be as strict as Virgin is hinting and they would merely look to leverage it when guests stroll up with multiple coolers, looking to use their hotel room to host an absolute rager.

They confirmed my suspicion. “At most resorts, it just isn’t practical to become the food police,” explains the director, “If I saw someone walking into my resort with a pizza, I wouldn’t stop them and I wouldn’t instruct my people to either”. So what does raise an eyebrow? “If I see someone rolling a keg into our lobby, yeah, we’ll be having a chat”, they said.

Of course, we’d rather you buy our stuff, but if we’re not getting noise complaints and you respect the room, we’re not going to get involved.

Director of hotel security, Las Vegas

Some resorts encourage guests to bring their own food. All suites hotels with kitchens are popular options with families for this reason. But even hotels without appliances don’t mind as long as you’re practicing some modesty, according to the director. “Of course, we’d rather you buy our stuff, but if we’re not getting noise complaints and you respect the room, we’re not going to get involved.”

This isn’t me telling you to thumb your nose at Virgin’s rules. They’re clearly stated and they’re free to enforce it as diligently as desired. But I’m not sure it means you need to leave your bottle of water in the car or bag of chips at the door. You’re likely in the clear as long as you’re not throwing your own version of Lollapalooza on your double queens. “For my peers and I”, the director explains, “you have to weigh the interaction against the letter of the law and pick your battles.” Those minor infractions just aren’t worth any friction of the guest experience. Policies like the one Virgin has, they say, are “just blanket coverage to police the ridiculous”. It is Vegas, after all—ridiculous isn’t hard to find.

Feature photo: Not Virgin Las Vegas. I think it’s Mirage. I can’t remember. It’s a hotel room. That’s the point.

Travel Fanboy

Adam is the editor of and Beyond being the world's most famous travel influencer, he's passionate about reckless points and miles pursuits. Formerly of Vegas Fanboy fame.