Intentionally misleading the "newbies" is not cool.
I think this is the root of whats bugging me. If someone is a "newbie" why would they assume anything? Isn't everything new and therefore unfamiliar? Wouldn't the prudent action be to take a few mere seconds to find out what you are getting yourself into before getting into it? Yes there are different rules and expectations out there, and there are lots of little signs around hotel rooms, and lots of stuff that's not addressed with a sign. But really how long does it take to read a tag? I'm guessing 60 seconds at most, probably more like 10 seconds. So even if there are 20 tags around the room, we're talking about 4 or so minutes total. Is that such an outrageous expectation of a "newbie" to invest in their stay?
The thing is, the hotel is /not/ expecting the newbies to invest effort in reading the small print. The hotel is counting on the fact that their guests will not do this, and taking advantage of that.
I don't know that I agree. Many posters have stated they know the bottles cost money, so I doubt the hotel assumes most are unknowing newbies. And some have said they happily pay $4+ for water, others that they have simply replaced the bottle later, so the hotel isn't pulling one over on either of these groups. And a tag hanging off a water bottle is pretty obvious and in your face - either its annoying and literally in your face, or you have to take a moment to remove it - a bottle tag, IMO is not discreet.
I think the hotel was merely trying to not be obnoxious about a huge price tag in the room. Most people know to check (or in IMO should bother to check even if they didn't know
) so why be all tacky and make a huge price tag? The tag wasn't discreet, just the price was. And only
discreet - not hidden or hard to find, just discreet, on the wholly not-discreet tag.