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Accor announces free wi-fi at its UK hotels

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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 speed 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.

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Comments (2)

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  • Sir Stamford says:

    The hotel chains are notorious in having a diffential pricing for internet access even within the same chain. For example, within the Hilton Group – you get free wifi staying at Hamptons Hotels & Suites, Homewood Suites but not at Hilton Hotels. There is free access at Courtyard Marriott and Residence Inn but not at JW Marriott, just as a second example.

    It is worth restating the free internet access policies for some of the major hotel chains, excluding Accor and IHG (already mentioned above).

    Hilton – free access for Gold or Diamond Hilton HHonors members.

    Hyatt – Platinum and Diamond members of Hyatt Gold Passport program receive free in-room Internet access.

    Starwood Hotels – Platinum reward members receive free Internet. The Gold members can choose to receive either bonus Starpoints, free Internet or a free drink.

    Marriott – Gold and Platinum Marriott Rewards members receive free high-speed Internet.

    Finally, if anyone has a spare 5 minutes, you should have a look at this excellent grahical summary from the HotelChatter Wifi report. It lists the hotels which provide free access. You should be aware that the report was produced in early 2013 and may not reflect recent changes.

    Sir Stamford

  • signol says:

    I was at Mercure Banbury recently and was given free wifi, presumably due to being Accor Platinum. Though the 3G through my phone was faster.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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