Accor, parent company of Novotel, Ibis, Sofitel and Mercure amongst others, has announced that all of its UK hotels (bar three Formule 1′s) are now offering free wi-fi.
In a move already seen elsewhere, free wi-fi is being capped at 512k. I was operating off this at the InterContinental in Dusseldorf recently, and it worked fine – although you won’t be downloading video with it.
More impressively, Accor is capping the cost of its high speed internet access at £3 per day at those properties equipped to offer it. This seems a sensible price to pay for a higher quality service, especially compared to the £10 / £12 pricing I have seen elsewhere to step up from 512k.
Don’t forget that internet access is also now free at Holiday Inn, HI Express, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental hotels for elite (Gold or Platinum) members of IHG Rewards Club. From January 1st, ALL members of IHG Rewards Club will receive free internet access – even those who sign up for free at the front desk when checking in!
When I was in New York and Boston last month, the InterContinentals where I stayed both gave me full, high speed internet for free due to my status. This was certainly something I appreciated.
We are now in the odd situation where you can stay at an Ibis and get free internet, or stay at a Four Seasons and pay a hefty daily fee! It remains to be seen how long it will take for all of the big chains to fall into line.
(If free internet is close to your heart, I also ran this post last month on airlines which offer free inflight internet access.)