By Lana Marshall
Britain’s hotels are regarded across the world for offering a premium service unrivalled by most other destinations, but the provision of free WI-Fi in London hotels is notably short.
Despite living in a digital world that is reliant on us being constantly connected, the number of hotels in the capital that don’t include free Wi-Fi in the cost of the room is rather shocking. Indeed, the price of simply hooking up to the web has become one of the biggest incremental costs associated with an overnight stay.
That guests have to pay extra bucks if they want to use the internet during their stay is really very disappointing. Although there are a few hotels that endow their guests with free internet services there are several prominent chains that have decided to eschew this objective. In the latest survey conducted by travel search engine KAYAK, Britain is one of the worst countries in Europe for charging high rates for the Wi-Fi facilities with France, Spain, Turkey and Sweden coming out on the top.
At the same time, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham have landed in the list of ten worst cities for complimentary internet in their hotels. Although London was not included in the list of ten such cities, it was certainly not in the top ten either and various high-status and large chain hotels in the capital still insist on charging for the internet.
Despite their being various space Apart Hotels in Hyde Park providing the basic Wi-Fi connections for free, there are many others which are still charging something extra to provide high speed connections. There are bountiful chains of hotels proffering free connections for the limited period before applying a charge. Holiday Inn, for example, provides complimentary access in only some of its properties.
A recent survey by Hotels.com revealed that free Wi-Fi is one of the most valuable accommodation facilities guests generally seek out when looking to book a hotel. With more business travellers than ever coming to stay in the city one suspects that it’s not just the expansion of Heathrow that will keep London competitive next to its European counterparts. Wi-Fi is a basic facility of the 21st century and the hotels that insist on charging for it are most likely the ones that house the most empty beds at night.