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Cool Amenity of the Day: WiFi On-the-Go

January 31, 2013 at 10:05 AM | by | ()

It's hard to believe that in 2013, there are hotels that charge for WiFi. We're not talking the budget places, either: while several wallet-friendly chains actually do provide comp internet access, it's the luxury brands that typically nickel-and-dime you for connecting fees, sometimes as much as 20 Euros a day (we're looking at you, Rocco Forte.)

In 2009, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts took a bold move and became the first international five-star brand to drop WiFi charges at all of their hotels, and later did the same for many of their Kerry and Traders brand properties. To keep up with technology—and their tech-savvy guests—Shangri-La last week announced that they are taking connectivity even further by offering free WiFi access in all their hotel cars by the end of 2013.

Shangri-La Hong Kong's Rolls-Royce Phantom lets you surf and ride in style

Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong, where the company is based, was the first to introduce in-car connections in 2010, while the new Shangri-La Toronto is the most recent to join the club, hooking up guests in their Mercedes-Benz R and S class limos. Upcoming properties in London, Istanbul, Doha and Sanya will also offer the service.

Note that while the WiFi is free, the car ride is typically not; airport transfer prices range from approximately $90 one-way in a BMW 7 series in Bangkok to about $219 one-way in a Rolls-Royce Phantom in Hong Kong. Some properties also have billed-by-the-hour chauffeured cars on hand to take you around the city for sightseeing or shopping.

Tech-wise, this may be just the beginning for Shangri-La: In Taipei, guests are welcomed in the car via FaceTime, and in Singapore, cars are equipped with iPads loaded with city info.

[Photos: Shangri-La Hotels]

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