Knowing how much I talk about free internet and wi-fi at hotels and the importance of this to travellers, I couldn’t resist commenting on the press release I saw on Monday from Hilton Worldwide, promising their Gold and Diamond Hilton HHonors members complimentary high-speed internet access at more than 3,600 hotels (including brands: Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations). Excellent news for members!
Moving away from this announcement, I still find it staggering when I go to a hotel and they don’t offer wi-fi in my room. Maybe I am being a little bit of a geek, but this to me is a key requirement of any city hotel. I’ll forgive small countryside retreats, but for a hotel chain not to offer wi-fi, or at the very least high-speed internet connection in all bedrooms is bordering on the prehistoric. Yet still, I arrive at hotels and the only wi-fi connection is in the lobby or public areas. This leaves me frustrated – so what does it do to the guests?
My second bug-bear is those hotels that do provide wi-fi but it’s of poor quality. I recently stayed at a hotel where to my admiration, wi-fi was available in all guest bedrooms and was free of charge (my perfect combination!). However, it was difficult to access, made even more tricky because of a lack of troubleshooting knowledge on the front desk and lack of information in my room. When I eventually connected, the speed was so bad that it was quicker to use my Blackberry for everything.
Hotels, please take note. It’s fantastic to offer wi-fi in guest bedrooms, especially complimentary access – but if its poor quality and low-speed, this just reflects badly on your property and guests soon start to become frustrated and they will subconsciously take this into account of their overall guest experience.