Loews to offer free Wi-Fi to all guests at all hotels
Loews Hotels and Resorts is the latest chain to offer free Wi-Fi to all guests in their rooms, bucking the industry norm of charging for it, especially at higher-end properties.
The New York-based luxury hotel chain says every guest room at each of its 18 properties throughout North America will now be equipped with complimentary wireless Internet access.
“We look at it as a service our guests at Loews expect because they are getting it at home,” says Paul Whetsell, president and CEO of Loews. “I don’t think it’s sustainable to keep charging for it.”
Loews properties had been charging from $14.99 to $20 a day for Wi-Fi, depending on the market. Most of their lobbies had complimentary Wi-Fi. Now all of them will in addition to the guest room Internet.
Those guests who use an excessive amount of bandwidth will still incur a charge, however.
Several studies have shown that free Wi-Fi is one of the most coveted amenities among hotel guests. In a Hotels.com survey of 8,600 travelers worldwide, just 11% said they would be willing to pay for Wi-Fi when staying in a hotel.
The article goes on to point out that InterContinental Hotels Group will begin offering free Internet to its Rewards Club members. IHG, parent company of Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, is the largest hotel chain based on room numbers and has 71 million Rewards Club members worldwide.