A Guide to Hotel Ice Dispensers in Chicago

Chicago is a major tourist spot, and a hotel ice dispenser is one of the first amenities new guests ask about. They need a quality hotel ice dispenser to provide them with ice during their stay. The hotel bar needs a reliable ice machine to provide ice for drinks. Our helpful guide will help you choose the right ice machine for your hotel, motel, or resort.

Need help choosing a hotel ice maker?
Call us today!


A Guide to Hotel Ice Dispensers in Chicago

Types of Hotel Ice Makers

Hotel ice dispensers are popular in the hotels and motels because they allow guests to get ice without the help of an employee. Hotel bars, restaurants, and kitchens also need an ice machine for drinks and to prepare food. Below are some of the types of ice makers for different business needs:

  • Hotel Ice Dispensers

    Hotel Ice Dispensers

    A hotel ice dispenser not only allows guests access to ice, but it’s also the safest way to do it. Hotel ice dispensers dispense ice directly into glassware or bucket. Guests don’t have to scoop ice out themselves. All our Hoshizaki hotel dispensers are ADA ice makers to accommodate guests with disabilities. These models are compatible with our Hoshizaki modular ice machines.

    View our Hotel Ice Dispensers

  • Modular Ice Machines

    Modular Ice Machines

    A modular ice machine's only job is to produce ice. They do not come with a built-in bin to store the ice. You’ll need to purchase a hotel ice dispenser or bin to hold the ice supply. Modular ice machines come in a large range of sizes to meet the needs of any hospitality industry. Choose between 500 – 1900 lbs of ice a day.

    Learn More About Modular Ice Machines

  • Countertop Dispenser

    Countertop Ice Makers

    Countertop ice makers fit on top of a counter so customers and employees can have access to ice. Some countertop ice makers come with the machine and dispenser, while others require that you buy a machine to fit on top. They produce between 500-800 lbs. of ice a day. Countertop ice makers are popular in office break rooms and waiting rooms. They are a hygienic way for customers and employees to grab ice and don’t take up a lot of space.

    Learn More About Countertop Ice Makers

How Do I Select the Right Type of Ice Cube?

Whether it's for your hotel ice dispenser or bar, choosing the right type of ice is more than a matter of aesthetics. There are cubes best suited for room service or to help elevate the look of your bar's cocktails.

Hotel Ice Makers in Chicago

Hotel Ice Maker Installation Requirements

Hotel ice dispensers should be easy for guests to find but should not take up space in your hallways. Most hotels install an ice dispenser in small side rooms. Wherever you choose to install your ice dispenser, make sure it’s in an area that meets the model's installation needs.

  • Hotel Ice Machine For Sale in Chicago


    Ice machines produce heat – which is why small rooms can be problematic if you’re trying to keep the machine cool. Hotel ice machines that overheat produce less ice and break down than machines located in wide open rooms with 70-degree temperatures. Free up at least 1 foot of space on all sides of the unit.

  • Hotel Ice Maker in Chicago


    When ice melts, the leftover water needs to be flushed away. You need to provide proper drainage for your hotel ice dispenser or else you’ll likely find a puddle of water collecting around your ice machine. A floor drain is the most common choice, but hotels may need to consider other drainage options. If your hotel does not have the proper drainage set up of your model, you’ll likely need to call a plumber.

  • Best Ice Machine For Hotel in Chicago


    Small commercial ice machines that produce under 800 lbs. of ice a day require a outlet that can provide 110v of electricity. Large ice makers that produce more than 800 lbs. generally require 220v. Amperage needs are dependant on the model you choose, as well. You may need an electrician to install the right outlet to meet your model’s electric needs.

  • Used Hotel Ice Machine in Chicago


    If you’re going to make ice, you’re going to need water. Depending on the model, ice makers require flow rates between 3-5 gallons a minute. If your water line doesn’t provide your model’s water needs, you’ll need to hire a plumber to install one. Low water flow leads to smaller, malformed ice cubes.

Hotel Ice Making Machines in Chicago

We’ve serviced ice machines across Chicago. No matter the challenge, we know exactly how to keep your hotel ice machine running smoothly. Our pre-installation checklist shows you what you need to provide to install an ice machine in your hotel. If you have a challenging environment, give us a call and we'll help you find a solution.

Pre-Installation Checklist

What Type of Ice Machine Condenser Do I Need?

Condensers give off heat as your commercial ice machine runs. Each ice machine has a cooling system that works to make sure the inside of the machine doesn’t overheat. There are three common types.

Air Cooled Ice Machines

Air cooled ice machines are the most common type of cooling system because they are simple and cost-effective. A fan inside the ice machine works to cool condenser coils and force hot air outside of the machine and into the surrounding environment. To allow hot air to escape, these systems need plenty of space (at least a foot of space on all sides).

View Our Air Cooled Ice Machines

Hotel Ice Dispenser Cleaning and Sanitizing

Cleaning Your Ice Bin

Cleaning Tips

It's possible that mold and slime can grow in your hotel ice machine or ice bin. If a health inspector finds excessive amounts of mold or slime, it will lead to a health code violation.

Learn More

Mold and Slime

Risks of Mold and Slime

Hotel ice machines need two professional cleaning visits per year. Cleaning helps eliminate mold and slime inside your ice machine, so it won't end up in ice.

Learn More

Prevent Scale Buildup

Cleaning Schedule

Hotel ice dispensers in areas with high-mineral water can gather scale. Scale clings to machine parts and leads to costly repairs. Cleanings and water filters are the best way to limit scale.

Learn More

Professional Ice machine cleaning

More About Disinfecting

Diseases such as Legionnaires' disease are dangerous to guests with immune compromised systems. Disinfecting your ice machine will kill these diseases.

Learn More

How Much Does an Ice Machine Cost?

A hotel ice dispenser can cost between $1,500 for small undercounter ice machine to over $10,000 for a high-volume ice maker and bin. If you buy a modular ice machine, you will also need an ice bin or dispenser to store the ice. There are also some hidden costs involved with properly caring for an ice machine as well. Here are the most common:


You need preventive maintenance for your hotel ice machine and the average cost is around $300 per visit.

Ice machine manufacturers recommend two maintenance visits per year. Preventive maintenance optimizes your machine, so it runs smoothly and provides the most ice possible. An ice machine technician will also point out potential problems that can lead to expensive repairs.

Water Filters

Water filters reduce the amount of dirt, minerals, and sediment that enter your hotel ice maker. An ice machine water filter costs between $15-$100 depending on the type. You’ll need to replace them about twice a year. If your water filter clogs, they can cause smaller, malformed ice cubes to form. Ice machines in a challenging environments may require additional water filtration in addition to a standard sediment filter.


Depending on how severe the problem is, an ice machine repair can cost either a few hundred dollars or a few thousands. Here are some examples of some common ice machine repairs and their estimated costs:

  • Hot Gas Valve Replacement - $600
  • Expansion Valve - $600
  • Compressor Repair - $1500
  • Evaporator Repair - $2500

All-Inclusive Hotel Ice Dispenser Program

We sell and lease top-quality hotel ice makers, hotel ice dispensers and bins from the best ice machine brands in the industry.

Our experienced team of technicians will keep your hotel ice machine in top condition with preventative maintenance, cleaning and repairs. Don’t worry about tracking appointments, we'll call you when your machine is due for its next service. Our all-inclusive ice machine leases come with a hotel ice machine, maintenance, cleaning, and repairs for a low monthly cost. We’ll even provide backup ice if your hotel ice maker is down for repairs for an extended time.

The hospitality industry never sleeps, and neither do we! We maintain 24/7 customer support to assist you at any time of day.

There’s a lot to take into consideration when choosing a hotel ice dispenser, and we are here to help! Our Ice Machine Experts are happy to help you determine your ice needs for your hotel, motel, or resort.

Contact our team!

Hotel Motel Ice Maker Chicago