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Should internet access at top hotels be free?

KeyboardI know a bugbear of many of you is being charged for internet access at luxury hotels.   You’re already paying a top rate and perhaps understandably don’t expect to have to be charged for your internet usage.   Marriott has announced that five of its brands (Courtyard, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites and SpringHill Suites) now offer guests free WiFi hotels in the U.S. and Canada.   That’s great to hear, but what about extending this to other locations and other brands?   What about Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott and Bulgari?

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. What’s funny about this is that it’s such an obvious revenue grab by the hotel companies, just sticking it to the customers. It didn’t cost any more to install that WiFi system at a Ritz-Carlton than it did to install one at a SpringHill Suites. Yet at one it’s free and one charges you out the nose.

    I refuse to log on when I’m at a luxury hotel that charges for WiFi. I just walk or drive to an Internet cafe or go to a competitor hotel’s bar out of principle. These days, Internet access should be like hot water or clean sheets–a given part of the room cost.

  2. Yes! If it can be free at small local shops in the neighborhood, then it should definitely be free in all hotels even if they’re not a luxury brand. It just makes sense!

    Brandon Watts
    Criteo Evangelist

  3. I just stayed at a Marriott in Marco Island, Fl and the internet rate was $13.95 and did not log on in my room. I just got in my rental car and went to the local coffee shop. When will the hotels wake up and smell the coffee?

  4. Tom is this the rate per hour? Ridiculous! Well I would be happy if the hotels would just let you use wi-fi for free since wi-fi is cheap anyways.


  5. No doubt, free Internet access should be a must for top hotels. The hotel accomodation is to provide clients with all required services including communication means.

  6. I disagree. The hotels know their clientelle. The high end ones can charge for internet, because people will pay. Maybe a better strategy, would be to offer it free on weekends, for leisure travelers. Or possibly, to include it in your status with the hotel (platinum, diamond etc..)

  7. In the current economic situation the luxury hotels will be feeling the pinch with corporate travel down – surely they should be adding in free internet as a carrot for business travellers as companies will not be too happy to have to pay for that as well as everything else!

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