Free Wi-Fi Becomes Battleground for Hotel Chains

1/2/2015
The LA Times has reported  that Hyatt Hotels Corp. will offer guests free Wi-Fi starting in February, including at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza in Westlake Village. Hyatt will offer free Wi-Fi for guests without requiring membership to its loyalty program Marriott and Starwood hotels give free Wi-Fi to loyalty reward members.
 
Marriott International, the Maryland-based hospitality giant with more than 4,000 hotels worldwide, threw down the gauntlet last month by announcing that it was offering free wireless Internet to guests who join its loyalty rewards program. The offer begins in January.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., the Connecticut-based company with more than 1,200 properties, matched Marriott’s offer earlier this month. Under Starwood’s deal, guests must be members of the loyalty program and book a room through the Starwood website or the SBG app to get the free Wi-Fi. The program starts in February.

Now Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. is entering the fray, offering free standard Wi-Fi for all guests – even those who don’t join its loyalty rewards program. There is one catch: If Hyatt guests want to upgrade to a premium Wi-Fi service, they must pay a fee, which has yet to be announced. Elite members of Hyatt’s loyalty rewards program get the faster Wi-Fi free.
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