Global travelers’ desire for free Wi-Fi is still the number one amenity when choosing a hotel for both leisure and business stays, but it is slowly declining according to the latest research from online accommodation booking service, Hotels.com.
Here are the highlights:
Staying connected for free
- Complimentary Wi-Fi is the top factor in choosing a hotel for leisure stays (30 percent), as compared to 34 percent in 2013. In the U.S., 25 percent of leisure travelers selected Wi-Fi.
- 50 percent of respondents said free Wi-Fi is their must-have when traveling for business, down from 56 percent two years ago. U.S. business travelers follow closely behind at 49 percent.
- Free Wi-Fi is the tech amenity 60 percent of respondents wish would become standard at all hotels this year, six percent lower than in 2013. 53 percent of U.S. guests also share similar desires.
With the increased availability of free public Wi-Fi hotspots and enhanced mobile data plans, travelers appear to have lessened their reliance on hotel Wi-Fi.
Love of food & beverage
- Free breakfast is once again the second must-have amenity for leisure travelers (21 percent) and third for business travelers (12 percent), who ranked proximity to mass transit, restaurants and shops ahead of a free meal. In contrast, free breakfast ranked second for both U.S. leisure (22 percent) and business travelers (14 percent).
- The most desired breakfast items are: Fresh fruit and coffee/tea (tied at 16 percent), meats and eggs (tied at 12 percent) and bread/toast, and a nice juice selection (tied at 8 percent).
- In-room, high-end coffee makers or espresso machines are travelers’ favorite modern in-room amenity (23 percent), while U.S. travelers preferred wired rooms that controlled lighting, TV, temperature and shades with the convenience of one remote.
- 33 percent of respondents say complimentary bottled water is the simple amenity they want in all hotel rooms, and 32 percent of U.S. travelers agreed.
- Complimentary breakfast is the top non-tech amenity travelers wish would become standard at all hotels today (27 percent) and refrigerators for personal use is second (15 percent). Only 3 percent of respondents said they would go without free breakfast in order to pay less for their hotel stay.
- Travelers’ dream amenity is visiting a chocolate parlor to choose their own treats for turndown service.
Hotel guests’ second and third loves
Global travelers also enjoy more than free Wi-Fi and breakfast:
- Free parking is the third consideration when leisure travelers book a hotel (10 percent).
- Wired hotel rooms with one remote control for multiple functions and smart device docking stations are the second and third most favorite modern in-room amenities at 22 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
- Far behind free Wi-Fi, the most desired tech items hotel guests want as standard are gadget charging stations and HD TVs (both 8 percent) and wired rooms (7 percent).
Falling out of love
- 24 percent of global travelers say minibars aren’t worth the hype and 17 percent say they go unused. Likewise, minibars are declining in value among U.S. travelers with 24 percent admitting to never using them.
- Phones get no love: bathroom phones are the most unused item (22 percent) and cordless phones only got 1 percent of the vote as the simple amenity wanted in hotel rooms.
- Noise from other guests is the top (21 percent) annoyance during hotel stays. Similarly, U.S. hotel guests demand soundproof rooms with 65 percent of respondents agreeing that rowdy neighbors are the bane of their hotel stay.
When asked what they have taken (and never returned) from a hotel room, only 27 percent of Argentinian hotel guests said “nothing,” followed by Singaporean and Spanish guests at 29 percent and 30 respectively. By contrast, 69 percent of Colombians and 67 percent of Norwegians, Koreans, Hongkongers and Danes indicated they have never stolen from a hotel. Only 47 percent of U.S. travelers are able to rest with a clear conscience.
The most taken item is stationery at 20 percent, yet only one percent of respondents say it’s a simple amenity they’d like to see in their rooms more often. Slippers are in second (12 percent) and key cards are third (10 percent). Stationery (28 percent), room keys (24 percent) and magazines (10 percent) were the most taken items among U.S. travelers.
About the research
The survey was conducted via email in March and April 2015. Results are based on a weighted average based on a sample size of more than 4,700 respondents across 28 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and USA.