Do you consider free wifi a necessity when you are looking for accommodation in a hotel? For the business traveler it is a prerequisite, often a hotel suite is a temporary office. In this day and age, it is outdated for hotels not to have adequate wifi service in every room.
Asking guests to pay for their internet access is also a mute point, it tends to make the hotel look tacky and substandard. If they penny pinch by charging for a simple thing like wifi, what other fundamental services do they charge for?
Imagine the scene, you have chosen a plush hotel to impress your lady and paid THB10,000 a night for the pleasure. The suite has a comfy sitting room and even a TV in the bathroom, but before you can begin to start the wooing process you need to book a swanky restaurant for the ultimate seduction.
Then disaster, you cannot connect to the hotel’s wifi without paying a fee. You ponder to yourself that fact that you have already laid out some serious money for the room, surely it must be included in the price?
The lack of wifi could be a serious deal breaker that would make you choose that hotel again, no matter how good the rest of the hotel was.
Most hotel chains have now cottoned on to the fact that internet access should come as standard and for free. If for no other reason, it allows patrons to access wifi which provides the hotel with an opportunity to give brands free marketing via their social media channels.
A spokesman for The Holiday Inn Group has been quoted as saying, “In today’s fast-paced world we know that travelers need to stay connected, it is one of our hallmarks that ensures guests have a convenient and comfortable stay.”
So why do all hotels not follow suit?
In the case of budget hotels, they tend to be franchised and that means they can maximise profits by building the cost of wifi into the overall room rate. But more luxurious hotels can be operated by brand management which will see charging for wifi as a way of getting more affluent people to stump up more.
To be fair, it does cost more to operate wifi in a larger building. You have to take in the cost of a lot more technical equipment, the increase in operating costs and ensuring that wifi is available everywhere in the hotel.
If you are intending to use the internet for work purposes or a heavy play session like streaming TV, you probably will not get far with bog-standard wifi.
In these cases it is probably acceptable that you pay a levy for faster broadband, after all, it will cost the hotel more to provide the facility. This all depends really on how much you have paid for your room.
In summary, in this day and age, people expect some sort of wifi coverage free when they stay at any level of hotel. Additional charges may be acceptable if a better or faster service is offered as an option.
A hotel such as V20 in Bangkok stands out head and shoulders above the competition, by offering superb fast broadband throughout as part of the very reasonable tariff.