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Hotel WiFi – Where It’s Free and What Elite Status You Need

by on January 30, 2014 · 9 comments

in Accor, Club Carlson, Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG Rewards, Kimpton, Loews, Marriott, Omni Hotels, Shangri-La, Starwood

In this day and age, having WiFi during hotel stays is essential, whether it be for business, personal use, or simply convenience. This is especially true when traveling abroad and wanting to avoid expensive data roaming charges for your personal devices.

Free no wifi

Many hotels still charge for WiFi.

However, many hotel chains, especially the higher-end ones, still do not offer free WiFi, and in fact, many charge upwards of $20 for you to surf as you would at home! There’s nothing worse than arriving at a hotel after a long day of traveling and find out you have to pay $20 a day for super-slow internet.

Luckily, this seems to be slowly changing – both in terms of price and speed – and hopefully free WiFi will simply be a given at all hotels in the future. That’ day’s not quite here yet, but I did want to put together a simple list of the major hotel chains and which offer free WiFi, which charge, and how you can avoid those fees with elite status.

This list scratches the surface and lets you know where you can expect free internet generally, but for a more detailed look, you can also head over to HotelChatter’s WiFi Report.

Free Wifi

People value free WiFi when finding a hotel. In fact, more than anything else!

Accor: Accor, which owns Ibis, Mercure and Sofitel hotels, among more, is offering free WiFi in guestrooms and lobby at some of their locations including those in the UK. Currently, about 1700 of their 3,500 hotels have free WiFi and they are continuing to expand the service, including to many Sofitels and Novotels in Europe, where WiFi charges can be most expensive. Ibis, Mercure and Pullman hotels generally offer it for free. Definitely double check your property before traveling though.

Best Western: All guestrooms have free WiFi at all Best Western locations in the United States. Most, but not all, international locations offer it as well.

Finding out your hotel has free WiFi can be a joyous moment.

Finding out your hotel has free WiFi can be a joyous moment.

B Hotels: According to the BSignature Elements, the”B In Touch, which is a set of complimentary technology offerings including FreeB WiFi” are valid for all guests in room.

Club Carlson: They offer free WiFi if you sign up for the Club Carlson Rewards program, and this is valid all membership levels: Red, Silver, Gold and Concierge. All Radisson Blu locations offer free WiFi for all guests, in-room and in the lobby, as does Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites brands.

Fairmount Gold

The Fairmount offers free in room internet if you are gold member.

Fairmont: WiFi is free in the lobby for all guests. If you want to have WiFi in your room, you must join the Fairmont President’s Club (for free) or be sure to book a  Fairmont Gold Room.

Hilton: WiFi is free for free for Gold and Diamond Hilton HHonors members at at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, and Hilton Grand Vacations. Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and Home2Suites also offer free WiFi to all guests regardless of membership.

Hyatt: Platinum and Diamond members of the Hyatt Gold Passport program receive free in-room WiFi. Andaz hotels and the Hyatt House, Hyatt Place and Summerfield Suites brands offer free WiFi regardless of Gold Passport membership.

You don't need elite status to get free WiFi at the Holiday Inn.

You don’t need elite status to get free WiFi at the Holiday Inn.

IHG: As of 2014, WiFi should be available to all members of the IHG Rewards program, whereas last year it was only available for Gold and Platinum elite members. All of the Holiday InnHoliday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Suites locations also offer free WiFi regardless of elite status.

Joie de Vivre: Though most of the JDV Hotels offer free WiFi in public areas and guest rooms as a standard, there are a couple that still don’t. However, members of the Joy of Life club can access internet for free at those locations simply for being members.

Kimpton: All InTouch member have free in-room WiFi at any of their hotels.

Loews recently launched free WiFi in every guest room at every resort.

Loews recently launched free WiFi in every guest room at every resort.

Loews: They have just recently launched free WiFi in every guest room at every resort. Hurrah!

Marriott: Gold and Platinum members receive free WiFi worldwide. WiFi access is also free to all guests at Courtyard Inn, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, SpringHill Suites, and Fairfield Inn brands in the US and Canada. Marriott Rewards is also launching free WiFi access across all their hotel brands located in the Asia Pacific region for any Marriott Rewards member.

Omni: Free WiFi is available when you sign up for the Select Guest Reward program (also free to join).

Peninsula: Most of the Peninsula hotels offer free WiFi the rooms. A few select locations only offer it in the lobby.

Soon the Shangri La will even offer WiFi in their cars.

Soon the Shangri La will even offer WiFi in their cars.

Shangri-La: WiFi is free in guestrooms and the lobby in all 78 Shangri-La locations. They are also rolling out free WiFi in all the Shangri-La hotel chauffeured cars and limousines.

Starwood: There is free WiFi for Platinum members. Gold members can choose to receive bonus Starpoints, free Internet or a free drink upon check-in. Starwood’s Aloft, Element and Four Points brands offer free WiFi as a standard.

Swissotel: Once you join the Swiss Hotel Circle Program, you can get WiFi for free, though some Swissotel locations will offer it to all guests for free.

Wyndham: All Wyndham properties promote free WiFi as a brand standard.

Note: these policies are constantly changing. Feel free to leave comments if you find that a policy has changed or is different that you’ve read here, or you’d like to add something.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • Ven

    More important than free wifi is good wifi. As an 100 night + Spg Plat. I don’t think I’ve found a single starwood with decent Internet speed. The ones that offer free wifi to all are even worse. I end up using my T-Mobile hotspot for just about everything. Are any other chains better?

  • Becky

    Looks like it makes more sense to stay in lower end hotels, especially in Marriott brands, in order to get free wifi. How ridiculous!

  • Cowbuoy

    What about the other Hyatt brands?

  • Jim

    Although limited to the Midwest and SouthEast, Drury Inns always has free parking and free WiFi. We use them quite a bit. I don’t understand why a room at $150+ per night would charge for Wifi, yet a room at $50 has it for free. From what I’ve experienced at Drury, it is fairly fast and reliable, and available in the rooms. Plus, it doesn’t take long to build up “usable” points. FWIW.

  • FP

    I’m guessing it’s market segmentation. Hotel companies figure that higher-end lodgings cater to business travelers who are able (if not willing) to pay for these charges while lower-end properties are used by leisure travelers who are a lot more price sensitive.

  • Daniel Dodd

    I had slow and expensive wifi in both Marriott (AC Hotel) and Starwood hotels in Spain last year. I stayed in a Radison Blu Madrid and got free internet and it was a heck of a lot faster. The AC hotel did have free wifi in the lobby, and I know one of the Starwood hotels did, but I cant remember about the other Marriott or Starwood I stayed at.

  • Jordan C.

    It’s more about the age of the building. I used to work at a major Starwood property that just slapped a massive wifi network on top of their existing network. Barely any upgrades to the infrastructure. If you’re a 100+ night Plat, you’ve no doubt stayed at this property.

  • http://www.doctorofcredit.com/ doctorofcredit

    And this is why I love IHG.

  • JRodg

    I’m a standard rewards member at Marriott and have found that front desk staff freely give free WiFi access codes to basic members upon check in (at Courtyard and Marriott brands at least)

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