HotelChatter Annual WiFi Report 2011: Best
Best Hotel WiFi 2011
1. HOTEL INDIGO: Hotel Indigo is like the hotel version of a perfect date--the inside is just as beautiful as their online profile indicates, they care about the environment and what's going on in the neighborhood, they appreciate a fine wine and some good food and you walk away wanting to see them again. They also don't charge you for WiFi. In the past two years, Hotel Indigo, part of the InterContinental Hotel Group, has been rapidly expanding across the U.S. and abroad, taking their brand standard of free WiFi with them. And unlike other village bicycles, we don't mind if everyone gets a ride.
2. KIMPTON HOTELS: If Hotel Indigo is the perfect date, then Kimpton Hotels is the long-term relationship. We've been hitting up Kimptons for nearly a decade now and even though we had a lover's spat when they started charging for WiFi in 2006, like any couple determined to make it, we compromised--by joining the Kimpton InTouch loyalty program. Since WiFi is complimentary for members and since it's free to join, the WiFi is essentially free. We're about ready to put a ring on it.
3. ALOFT HOTELS: There's not much we look for in a one-night stand except for a comfy bed, clean rooms...and free WiFi. The stylish budget brand from Starwood is perfect for the tech-connected road warrior hitting the office parks during the week or for the jetsetting traveler who would rather pay for a hotel room for six hours than sleep on a plastic chair in the airport. Aloft originally started out in random suburbs across the U.S. but is now opening in way cooler cities around the world. Don't forget to grab some Bliss toiletries before you sneak out in the morning.
4. FAIRMONT HOTELS: Usually, Fairmont Hotels and their luxury rooms are way out of our league but every so often we like to pretend that we could stay at Fairmonts forever. That is until we get the check-out bill. But because Fairmont's Presidents Club loyalty program offers WiFi for its members and is free to join, WiFi is one less charge to worry about. And you know what they say--it is better to have joined a loyalty program for the free WiFi, then to never have joined the program at all.
5. THE BUDGET BRANDS: Everyone has secret relationships that they hide away from friends and family but when times are rough and money's tight, these brands practically spoil us with their free breakfast, free parking and free WiFi. Holiday Inn, Best Western, Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn and many others, we do appreciate all that you've done for us over the years. And thanks to several brand renovations like Holiday Inn's new "social hubs," Courtyard's new lobbies and even Sleep Inn's new brightly colored rooms, we're ready to go public with our once secret love affair.
WHO ELSE OFFERS FREE WIFI?
Always Free, For Members
· Kimpton Hotels: Simply become a member of their Kimpton InTouch loyalty program and you're on your way to free internet.
· JDV Hotels: The majority of Joie de Vivre's properties offer free WiFi in the public areas and guestrooms. But for the few holdouts that still charge, all members of the Joy of Life Club (JDV's loyalty program) get complimentary internet access, regardless of status level.
· Omni Hotels: Most Omni properties charge a fee for WiFi access; however, signing up for the Omni Select Guest loyalty program which is free to do earns you complimentary WiFi at all levels.
· Fairmont Hotels: There is a fee for internet in guestrooms, but if you are a member of the Fairmont Presidents Circle (membership is free) you can get complimentary internet access during your stay.
· Loews Hotels: Most Loews hotels have it free in their lobbies but it becomes free in-room for members of their YouFirst loyalty program who reach the Blue level which is two to four stays a year.
· Wyndham Hotels: Wyndham's ByRequest program is free to join and offers complimentary internet to members.
Always Free, For Elite Members
· Hyatt Hotels: Hyatt offers free WiFi for Platinum and Diamond members of the Hyatt Gold Passport program. The Platinum level requires 15 eligible nights in a calendar year.*
· Marriott Hotels: For the Marriott brands that don't offer free WiFi (Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance and JW Marriott), Gold and Platinum levels of the Marriott Rewards program can sign on for free. But it takes 50 nights to achieve Gold status. (Gold and Platinum members of Ritz-Carlton Rewards also get free internet access.)
· Hilton Hotels: Hilton offers free WiFi for Gold and Platinum members of their HHonors loyalty program. It take 36 nights to achieve Gold level.
· Starwood Hotels: Starwood Preferred Guests loyalty program offers Platinum members free WiFi at all Starwood Hotels. Platinum level takes 50 nights to reach.
*There are other ways to reach the elite levels of these loyalty programs from signing up for credit cards to participating in different promotions throughout the year. We've chosen just to represent the amount of nights you would have to stay in the brands' hotels to break into the upper echelon.
Have you logged on in a hotel recently? Let us know your Best and Worst Hotel WiFi Experiences Here.