Posts Tagged ‘w hotels’
My wife and I recently went away for a weekend and we stayed at the luxurious American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin – for which we got a room at a good rate. Having my smart phone, I wanted to check out directions to Whistling Straits, their award-winning golf course. Not to play the course, but just look at the scenery. At my level of golf I can’t justify the $350 green fees for the privilege of playing one of America’s great golf courses. Perhaps if I played better… Regardless, when I was about to use my phone for directions to the golf course, I thought to check to see if Wi-Fi was available in the hotel. I was pleasantly surprised, not only was Wi-Fi available, it was available free of charge to all guests on the property! This got me thinking what other hotels offer free Wi-Fi and which do not.
When I searched Comperemedia, I observed a few examples of hotels that advertised free Wi-Fi to consumers. A print advertisement for the Best Western in Bloomington, Minnesota offered “complimentary Wi-Fi, iPhone, and iPod charger.” An online ad for the Residence Inn answered “Free Wi-Fi” to the question of “What’s included with my stay?” Holiday Inn, in a direct mail piece, showcased “100% free Wi-Fi in every room.”
When looking online for hotels that offer Wi-Fi access, I found two guides, which were located on TravelPost (http://www.travelpost.com/hotel-internet-access.aspx) and HotelChatter (http://www.hotelchatter.com/Hotel-Wifi-Report/2011). The results of who charges for Wi-Fi – and who offers free Wi-Fi were surprising. Less expensive hotels, such as Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Holiday Inn, Howard Johnson, and Super 8, all offered free high-speed internet access. However, expensive hotels, such as Four Seasons, InterContinental, Ritz-Carlton, and W Hotels charged various fees for internet access for their guests. Personally, as a consumer, I do not like or want to be charged to connect to the internet. Why should I get nickeled and dimed for Wi-Fi that is offered for free by McDonalds and Starbucks? What is next for these higher-end hotels? Paying for the number of towels that you use? The higher-end hotels can charge up to $600 a night, but then you have to pay an extra ten or twenty dollars just to connect to the web. That just seems wrong to me. I feel that Wi-Fi should be included free of charge in all hotels.
I find it interesting you can get free Wi-Fi at Holiday Inn, but the InterContinental will charge you costly fees for connecting to WiFi. This is even stranger considering that the InterContinental Hotels Group owns both Holiday Inn and InterContinental. My only guess to why hotels charge for Wi-Fi access is that the more expensive hotels tend to cater to business travelers and the hotel likely assumes that the business traveler can expense the Wi-Fi access back to their employers. Regardless of the reasoning, I hope the remaining hotels that do not offer free Wi-Fi eventually get on the bandwagon of offering free and reliable internet access for all guests. (And hopefully soon!) But for now, at least some high end hotels, like the American Club, are doing the right thing by offering free Wi-Fi for its guests.