Archive for January, 2014
Liveport, a leading provider of hospitality wireless Internet services, announced today that they have completed a significant guest Wi-Fi system upgrade at the Relais & Chateaux Wedgewood Hotel and Spa in downtown Vancouver.
The Wedgewood prides itself on providing excellent guest experiences, but the previous Wi-Fi system was falling short of expectations. The new wireless Internet system will provide guests with reliable, fast and free Wi-Fi throughout the entire property.
“We’ve seen free Wi-Fi become the most requested guest amenity across the industry in the last few years,” said Philip Meyer, Wedgewood Hotel’s General Manager. “Our new system allows us to meet and exceed guest expectations.”
Meyer points out that guest demands on their wireless systems have skyrocketed in the last year, primarily due to mobile devices such as Apple’s iPad and streaming video applications such as Netflix. “With Liveport’s technology, network management and guest support, we can stay ahead of the technology curve,” he said.
Liveport provides guests with a secure tunnel to the Internet for each of their devices, and manages the network to prevent abuse.
“Without network management in place, it only takes one or two users to basically make the network unusable for all guests,” said Danny Bakker, Vice President of Liveport. “We prevent that from happening to ensure every guest has a great experience online.”
Liveport services more than 400 properties in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.
“Guests today really just want to get online with minimal fuss,” said Bakker. “Simplicity is king. That’s what we’ve focused on, and hoteliers and guests are responding well.”
About Liveport Corp.: Liveport provides wireless Internet in more than 40,000 hotel rooms across North America, Australia and the UK. Liveport’s customer brands include Holiday Inn, Westin, Crowne Plaza, Best Western, Days Inn, Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, Super 8 and Ramada, as well as many boutique hotels. Liveport provides an end-to-end solution for hotels, packaging all planning, access points, installation, upgrades and 24/7 toll-free guest technical support in one low monthly price.
About The Wedgewood Hotel: The Wedgewood boutique hotel in Downtown Vancouver offers 83 luxurious rooms with superb service. Located in fashionable Robson Square, The Wedgewood is a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux collection of fine hotels and gourmet restaurants.
It looks like some Hilton brands are going to begin providing faster Wi-Fi for guests—but there’s a cost to it.
USA Today is reporting:
The new Wi-Fi tier will become an option at Hilton’s limited service and extended stay brands: Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and Home 2 Suites.
Josh Weiss, vice president of brand and guest technology for Hilton, says the hotels will start offering the faster Wi-Fi in the next two months and roll it out to all hotels in those brands throughout this year.
The price will vary depending on the location, but guests will typically be charged $3.95. They will be able to use it on up to three devices.
Weiss says guests have indicated in surveys that they would be willing to pay for upgraded bandwidth.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out for Hilton. Our experience has shown that guests are willing to pay for a premium service, and we love the $3.95 price point for three devices. It makes cost recovery very possible and likely won’t upset guests.
Liveport provides tiered guest Internet access in the Liveport Plus package.
Read the full USA Today story here.
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.