Marriott offers free WiFi to rewards club members

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on September 16, 2010

Marriott announced that it will begin offering free internet access for all its Platinum and Gold-tier members as part of its Marriott Rewards loyalty scheme.

The move will allow the hotel chain’s most loyal guests to receive free internet at any one of its properties around the world. Those that wish to participate in the programme will need at least 50 nights in the firm’s hotels to reach Gold status.

Despite Marriott making the generous move, it is little compared to the free internet that can be accessed by all at competing brands, Radisson, Holiday Inn Express and Andaz hotels. However, the move is being heralded as a step towards more accessible business services at the leading hotel chain.

In a survey recently conducted by Quadriga, a hotel technology firm, it was revealed that hotel guests found having a reliable internet connection nearly as important as having clean, working bathroom facilities and a good mattress. With 62 per cent citing internet as a priority, it was not far off from the 70 per cent that cited a decent bathroom and comfy bed as vital.

The survey’s target group was comprised of business travellers in the UK, however it details information that is beginning to hold true for hotel guests around the world. According to a recent US survey, it was found that more than 93 per cent of hotels in America offer internet access with many offering it free. However, Quadriga points out that guests expecting a connection that runs as quickly as the one in their homes may be in for disappointment. The firm stated that offering a home broadband line to a 100-room hotel demands a high bandwidth, which can be expensive to purchase.

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