It's a trend that seems to be picking up steam, and as far as I'm concerned, it's about time! Yet another hotel has decided to scrap in room Internet charges. This time it's the The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou. It's not the first five star hotel in town to make wi-fi free, and I doubt if it will be the last.
The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou, started offering complimentary Internet access throughout its 351 guest rooms on 1 January 2013 as part of its effort to provide guests “with a more convenient, comfortable, and efficient environment for business and leisure in the New Year”.
The hotel's food and beverage outlets and other public venues are included in the scheme to make wi-fi free.
"Internet access has become a vital part of our daily lives, and we are pleased to now be offering guest room connectivity to every guest," says Andrew Rogers, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou.
Ritz-Carlton is a member of Marriott International.
Sofitel Guangzhou Sunrich
One of the first things I noticed after checking into the Sofitel Guangzhou Sunrich a couple of years ago was that going on line was as simple and plugging your computer in and turning it on. It was just like being at home.
The hotel was newly opened. I asked the hotel's general manager about this, and he said that it had been a very conscious decision – based on lots of customer feedback.
“Eventually every hotel will offer free Internet access,” he told me.
“We wanted to be one of the first.”
Smart Phones and Social Media
With the growing popularity of smart phones and social media, free Internet access is no longer an issue restricted to traveling business people that need to stay connected with clients and the home office.
Free wi-fi connections are now at the top of many hotel guests' "want lists".
Budget accommodation in China has been offering complimentary Internet access now for quiet some time. It's good to see that five star hotels are starting to catch up.
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