Are free WiFi connections important to you when you travel? According to Hotels.com®, the ability to stay connected without paying for is the most sought-after hotel amenity. Recent research by the leading online accommodation booking service says that in addition to complimentary Internet connections, globe-trotters also want free food and beverages, with caffeine being a must.
- 34 percent say free Wi-Fi is the number one factor in choosing a hotel even on leisure stays.
- 56 percent of respondents said free Wi-Fi was their number one must-have when traveling for business.
- 66 percent indicated free Wi-Fi is the amenity they most wish would become standard at all hotels in 2013.
- Free Wi-Fi trumps both free parking and complimentary breakfast when it comes to choosing a hotel for both leisure and business travel, showing that access to the online world is a necessity for modern-day travelers with over a third still looking to stay connected while on vacation. In fact, just 11 percent of global travelers said they would be willing to pay for Wi-Fi when staying in a hotel.
The global reliance on free Wi-Fi mirrors results of the 2012 Hotels.com Amenities Survey of North American travelers, though the percentage of travelers wishing for complimentary Wi-Fi to become standard has more than doubled.
"With an increase in airlines and airports offering free Wi-Fi, tech-savvy travelers expect the experience to continue upon arrival at their hotel," said Taylor L. Cole, APR, travel expert for Hotels.com. "They are using their tablets, smart phones and laptops to plan activities, stay connected to family and even order a delivery meal straight to their hotel room, so it's no surprise they require free and fast Wi-Fi."
Other essential away from home hotel perks:
- Technological creature comforts of home are also high on the priority list for travelers with 23 percent choosing high-end coffee makers as their top modern in hotel room amenity.
- Totally wired rooms which are completely controlled by one remote for any need took 20 percent of the vote. Guests also indicated they would like to enjoy that much-wanted free Wi-Fi on hotel-provided tablets for guest information, room service and local guides (15 percent). After brewing their coffee and grabbing their loaner tablet, American travelers don't want to cozy-up in just any old chair. According to the U.S. specific survey results, contemporary massage chairs are American's third favorite modern amenity.
- Keeping hydrated when travelling is important to hotel guests with 43 percent choosing complimentary bottled water as the most appreciated simple amenity.
Only respondents from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Brazil rated free power adaptors above bottled water. Tabletop electrical outlets integrated into desk and desk lamps came in as the second most appreciated simple amenity in the U.S. – we've got to have somewhere to plug in all those gadgets.
- Free breakfast ranked as the favorite (31 percent) non-tech item global travelers want to see become standard at all hotels in 2013.
- Happy hours, wine tastings or any other time with free food and drinks is 42 percent of global travelers' favorite newly offered hotel service amenity, with international breakfast options coming in second (19 percent).
- Travelers cite unlimited free food and beverages as their most (23 percent) missed comfort from home when travelling. Another 14 percent said they miss access to cooking in their kitchen the most.
Americans love our food, but we're also constantly on the move, which is why it comes as no surprise that U.S. travelers in particular actually ranked 'breakfast on-the-go' as their second newly offered hotel service over international options, which took third. They were also keen on gaining use of in-room fridge without the fear of being charged for moving something over to stow leftovers or their self-purchased beverages (21 percent indicating it should be standard by 2013).
Five-Star Life – The Highs and Lows of Luxury Perks
- 26 percent say their favorite amenity while staying at a luxury hotel is the high end fitness center and/or spa, while designer toiletries also rank highly (21 percent).
- While travelers enjoy their time living the highlife, the promotion of bath menus/bath butlers (26 percent) and turn down service (24 percent) as amenities simply aren't of interest according to survey respondents.
- More than half of respondents (54 percent) chose the complimentary use of a Rolls Royce Phantom as the "outrageous" luxury hotel amenity they'd most like to experience. No real surprise there.