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Guests at Bryant Park Hotel No Longer Have To Walk Across the Street To Get Free WiFi

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  Site Where: 40 W 40th St [map], New York, NY, United States, 10018
January 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM | by | Comment (1)

As of yesterday, the Bryant Park Hotel offers free WiFi

On December 29, a little birdie clued us into the fact that Bryant Park Hotel was considering making the switch to free WiFi. And in a moment of somewhat warranted self-flattery, we wondered if our list of New Year's resolutions for hotels had anything to do with the its decision.

But Front Desk Manager Darren Sumner set the record straight, explaining that over the years, the hotel had received "many, many requests from guests," and simply wanted to "listen to their needs." So it seems we aren't the only ones who like to gripe about hotels still ruthlessly charging for the convenience of in-room WiFi. Not that surprising, really. We're just glad to be a part of the revolution.

As we found out back in 2006, many guests have been able to successfully pick up the free public WiFi in Bryant Park, across the street. Only problem with that was, if you happen to be lounging in your bathrobe, or have tight deadlines (we know about those!), you were a little screwed.

Now, the hotel has rendered that WiFi-hopping obsolete. But it seems an increasingly competitive hotel industry might be the main reason why BPH decided to convert. According to Sumner:

"We wanted to give more to guests to entice them to stay with us. As you know, it's become pretty popular for hotels to offer free WiFi; a lot of guests who travel frequently have mentioned they would really appreciate it. So we decided to offer it. "

Being located in such a public part of the city, we also wondered whether BPH was worried about WiFi hangers-on, who would wander into the hotel and mooch off of their connection. But that doesn't seem to be a concern either:

"We don't have to worry about that. We're a small boutique hotel, so there's nowhere really for them to sit around."

Anyone still interested in mooching off the hotel might have more luck at the nightly open bar, which runs from 5-6pm on weeknights.

[Photo: CourtneyMay/HotelChatter Flickr Pool]

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I wonder...

if Andaz Fifth Avenue played into this decision as well. They are just a block away and offer it for free!

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