Survey reveals hotels guests want WiFi over everything else

10:21 AM, Apr 6, 2012   |    comments
  • Image courtesy Bob Riha, Jr., USA TODAY
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What is your favorite hotel amenity?

Survey says: Free WiFi.

Okay no surprise there, but according to a new survey, hotel guests would overwhelmingly take WiFi over high-end coffee makers, an iPod dock, video game systems, and workout equipment/DVDs. Over high-end coffee makers? That surprised me, but clearly I'm addicted to caffeine.

Many of the 415 guests polled reported that the availability of WiFi factored into their decision on which hotel to book. More than one-third-38%--said free WiFi was a must when staying at a hotel, 35% said it is the single amenity they want to see more of in hotels, and 31% said they want it to become a standard amenity at hotels this year.

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"Given the explosion of mobile use in the past few years, it is no surprise that travelers are requiring free and fast Wi-Fi," said Taylor L. Cole, director of public relations and social media for "Many guests never travel without their tablets, smartphones and laptops. It's as intuitive as packing a toothbrush. Guests use these items in their rooms to plan activities for the next day."

Cole also said he's noticed an uptick in mobile booking the day of a stay. "It is only natural that they'd want to stay connected while in their hotel rooms," he said.

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The survey revealed some more interesting tidbits:

- 23% of guests said their favorite modern in-room amenity was the use of iPads.

- 45% reported that their favorite new amenities are happy hours, wine tastings or any other activities involving free food and drinks.

- 31% of travelers want complimentary bottled water in their hotel rooms (34% of female travelers and 24% of male travelers).

- Some guests admitted to stealing linens/towels (14%) or magazine/books (12%) from hotel rooms. But the majority-more than 66%--have never stolen an item from their hotel room.

Travelers felt extra luxuries like turndown service and bath menus were "not worth the hype." (44% of female respondents and 30% of male respondents)

The bathroom phone is the least used hotel amenity, with 37% of total respondents saying they never touch it.

When asked about amenities at luxury hotels, women prefer designer toiletries (23%) and men prefer the fitness center and spa (27%).

When asked if they could stay celebrity-style, the top option for both men (35%) and women (38%) was to have their kitchen pre-stocked with their favorite food and beverages. A close second was the ability to have a private pool and hot tub in the room (37% of women and 34% of men.) These options beat out an arcade, fresh flowers everywhere, private staff or a movie screening room.

For a detailed look at the survey, go to

Barbara De Lollis/USA Today

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