Just the kind of news I like to see hitting my inbox, after all, you know how much I hate paying for Wi-Fi in hotels. Accor, the name behind brands such as Ibis, Mercure and Novotel, have announced that they are to offer free Wi-Fi across 194 properties in the UK.
Accor will be officially rolling out free Wi-Fi in all Ibis budget, Ibis, Ibis Styles, Novotel, Mercure, Pullman and MGallery hotels in the UK, most importantly incorporating all bedrooms and public areas. When I saw the announcement I did wonder if it would include bedrooms (as so many chains have led with similar PR exercises, but only provided coverage in reception) so this is good to see.
The service will provide visitors at Accor hotels, including 59 Ibis hotels, 76 Mercure hotels and 31 Novotel branded hotels, with access to free, high quality Wi-Fi throughout their stay, with many hotels offering the fibre optic Wi-Fi to guarantee the best possible service. Guests will be able to access free Wi-Fi in bedrooms, meeting rooms and all public areas of the hotel.
Accor go on to say that this initiative is in-line with their wider commitment to emphasising guest satisfaction for both business and leisure customers and follows industry research from the BDRC highlighting the significance of free Wi-Fi for hotel guests (they could have just asked me). Recent figures revealed that free Wi-Fi throughout hotels is the most important factor for business travellers when choosing where to stay. Demand for high quality, free Wi-Fi has been boosted in recent years by the increased use of connected devices such as tablets.
Thomas Dubaere, Managing Director of Accor UK & Ireland explains, “Free Wi-Fi has become the norm at many coffee houses or bars but in the past with hotel groups it can vary from property to property, and differ between the public areas to bedrooms. We recognise that guests expect to have free Wi-Fi wherever they are in the hotel and for it to be a quick, high quality connection.
This is why we invested across all our brands in the UK in super, fibre-optic Wi-Fi so that guests can use smartphones, tablets, laptops – whatever technology device – at ease, anywhere in the hotel and for no charge.”
Now the small print (but in line with what you’d expect) – the hotels will offer free Wi-Fi to 512k, which allows guest to browse the Internet and check emails at an efficient speed. Premium high speed Wi-Fi is available to buy in many properties using fibre optic Internet, ideal for data streaming.
Will the other global chains now follow suit?