Free internet in hotels

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ronone69

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There is movement to free internet in the upmarket hotels. Up to now, many hotel groups have seen this as a revenue raiser. Some however have finally realised they are pissing of clients.

Shangrila has recently introduced free wired or wireless internet in all rooms in all hotels. Starwood (Sheraton, Westin, etc) group has had free internet in most hotels in public areas and have included this at some hotels in the benefits offered to Platinum members. Hyatt have from 1 April 2009 introduced free wired and wireless internet for all Platinum members too - but with Hyatt Platinum you only need to stay at a Hyatt hotel 5 times or 15 nights a year - Diamond is their top level.

Who else has noticed changes ? What are some of the other groups doing ?

:)
 

dede

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I recently stayed at the Bayview Boulevard in Sydney and got three days of free internet by putting my laptop close to the window and picking up Unwired free wi-fi from a nearby cafe location. Usually there'an unsecured connection you can use as well.
 

oz_mark

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Some Intercontinentals are offering free Internet to Ambassadors and Royal Ambassadors (see http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/amb/offers/internet-offer). Notably only Melbourne in Australia though.

I am not sure it is about 'pissing' customers off - being charged thorugh the nose for everything at the up market hotels seems part and parcel of doing business with them. In the case of Hyatt and Intercontinental it seems to be more about trying to drive business through the loyalty programs.
 

misstam

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Free hotel wi-fi is still, surprisingly to me, not so commonly available.
I spend 6-9 months of the year on the road & also book accommodation for the touring companies - I find it's always worth my while to scout for hotels with free internet (a happy company is much easier to live with on the road!).

Given, a fair portion of that time is spent in regional Australia, so what i notice is that there is definitely a trend of more 'country' hotels offering free internet to be competitive; whereas some upmarket major city hotels seem to be doing the opposite, to make even wi-fi another "exclusive" & expensive facility they offer.

Preferred Hotel Group offer free internet to "I Prefer" members (free to join). :)
 

anat0l

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I think the situation is not changing as dramatically as we'd like it to be.

As a Hilton HHonors Gold, I can get complimentary internet by changing my free Gold amenity - one of Exec room upgrade, free internet or 1000 HH points or by using the Exec Lounge. Otherwise, without status, the charges would be quite expensive (although admittedly Australia Hiltons are much, much better than any rates in similar standard NZ hotels! Now there's somewhere I think they won't be going to any form of complimentary internet soon!)
 

Dee Thom

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Most of my travelling is outside of cities, so usually stay at motels or caravan parks ( in a cabin ), most motels have wifi for free, whilst the parks charge about $10 for 6 hours. The local library usually has free wifi, or gold coin donation; Maccas McCafe usually has free wireless for customers.
Driving in the U.S. I stay at "Days Inn" chain of motels, virtually all of which offer free wifi.
Cheers,
Dee.
 

NM

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In my experience, the more up-market or expensive the hotel, the less likely it is to have free internet services (except as part of loyalty program status). And the more up-market the hotel the more expensive their internet rates become.

For example, in the USA you get free internet (mostly WiFi) at all Hilton Garden Inn Hotels, but not a Hilton Hotels.
 

NM

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I recently stayed at the Bayview Boulevard in Sydney and got three days of free internet by putting my laptop close to the window and picking up Unwired free wi-fi from a nearby cafe location. Usually there'an unsecured connection you can use as well.
Beware the "honey-pot" when looking for free/unsecured WiFi internet access from unknown sources :shock:;).
 

anat0l

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In my experience, the more up-market or expensive the hotel, the less likely it is to have free internet services (except as part of loyalty program status). And the more up-market the hotel the more expensive their internet rates become.

For example, in the USA you get free internet (mostly WiFi) at all Hilton Garden Inn Hotels, but not a Hilton Hotels.

At least Hiltons in Australia are capped per day. In some other hotels, the rates are per hour or per minute without caps and/or are bandwidth limited (or excess charges), which are far worse. And we are not talking about hotels at the same standard as Hiltons or equivalents.
 

drron

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I havent really found it a great problem though a lot of my travel has been in the USA.Most of the Hilton chain I have been able to get free internet.comes standard at Hamptons and HGIs.Set my preference for DTs and Embassy as upgrades basically pointless.Leaves the Hiltons.In fact in the USA you can get free wifi at most.Usually in lobby.Happens even at the Waldorf.However they usually dont tell you its available.just go and sit in the lobby,look up available wireless networks and you are sure to pick the right one.In europe Hilton is expensive.Asia-usually some form of free internet-often in lounge.
SPG-Again in USA the 4 points have it and it is being introduced into the lobbies of most Sheratons.In Europe I have little experience but was given it at the Westin Palace Madrid.Similiarly in Asia but it was free at St.Regis Shanghai.
Travelling Australia I have obviously been unlucky with most motels I stay in charging for it.Yes the local library is a good idea but I prefer the convenience of accessing where I am staying and at night so for me the Telstra prepaid modem goes everywhere.
When I am not chasing status then I agree with misstam-the I prefer group are good-free wifi,upgrade to all loyalty program members and free to join.
 

Jeffrey O'Neill

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it does irk me that some hotels think $30+ for 24 hrs of internet access is somehow good value.

i've mainly been mainly travelling in Asia the last few years and found a few hotels that offer either free or reasonably priced internet access, and i tend to stay at these if i can get a decent rate.

possibly the more expensive hotel chains are trying to remain competitive in terms of their room rates by keeping them low and then bleeding you dry on $10 bottles of water and dodgy taxi meters connected to your LAN port :eek:
 
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moa999

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Will just drive more and more people to using 3G wireless cards.

My company has a number of the 3G USB sticks, software is installed on all laptops and you just grab and go as needed.
 

markis10

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Will just drive more and more people to using 3G wireless cards.

My company has a number of the 3G USB sticks, software is installed on all laptops and you just grab and go as needed.

Domestically yes, thats been the case for some time, however overseas its a different story, and for OS visitors in OZ. Roaming rates on 3G are not kind, in fact they make hotel net look cheap.
 

2muchplastic

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My current experience is that c. 25% of the hotels I'm staying in offer free internet. And of the rest, probably another 70% are taken care of by the corporate IpassConnect VPN software, so it's very rare I end up having to pay for internet access!
 

Keith009

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All Ws I've been to have free wifi in the Living Rooms. Given I spend most time there when staying at a W anyway, i don't mind not having it free in-room.

I think it's a brand standard for Sheratons to have free internet terminals in the lobbies now.
 

ronone69

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Guys

Thanks for this. Some good info.

I have a 3 3G card in Australia and this works fine most of the time. I use this where the hotels charge for access.

Overseas however is different. In Thailand you can get broadband net access with AIS on a prepaid plan. I unlocked my 3 modem and use it for this. The cost is by the hour ie 50 hrs or 100 hrs access, no download limits, amount A$5 for 50 hours.

Singapore Singtel have a lot of free wireless - you get a number to SMS on arrival with the details. Also, passes from most of the major telco's but many hotels don't have free wireless. Similar in HrK although the exec clubs there seem to have free wireless (unlike the Shetraton in Perth who have lost the plot).

Phillippines and Thailand has free access at many hotels in exec lounges although Marriott seem to still like to charge !!
 

munitalP

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My 3G access is through Telstra (not bigpond)

My recent RTW, I used the card in nearly every country I went to - I was very surprised how little it cost - with roaming fees, about 2.2 times the usual cost...

I did find raddisson hotels offered free access as well, mind you, carrier pigeon would have been faster for email access...


Mr!

:shock:
 

congee

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posting from the now "free internet" at grand hyatt in melbourne.

AUS$30/night approx, has been one of biggest pet peeves of 5* hotels. not all folks qualify at hyatt, but this is a start. i also carry a 3G modem for such occasions, but now that MEL GH can provide free internet and my favourite grand hyatt hong kong has had free internet for a while for club level rooms, I may now be able to get rid of the 3G modem. :D
 

ronone69

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BTW, if hotels charged A$3 a day and provided a good high speed service I would probably not complain as this would give them a nice 200% margin for the service but when they charge A$30 a day which is 100 times the cost and give them 1,000% margin, then I think it is fair enough to complain.

Further, the Sofitel in Brisbane for example has a 10MB (yes 10MB not 100MB) wired connection that is cough yet they charge $30 per day + GST.

This is something else to watch : some hotels quote a price per day and then add GST / VAT plus 10% service charge !!!!! What a rip off
 
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