Free Wi-Fi reigns but wanes as top hotel amenity

Minibars and bathroom phones the most unloved room items

Sydney, 7 May 2015 – Free Wi-Fi is still the number one amenity for Aussie travellers when choosing a hotel for both leisure and business stays, but is slowly making way for other must-haves, according to the latest research from the hotel experts.

With the increased availability of free public Wi-Fi hotspots and comprehensive mobile data plans, travellers appear to be less reliant on free hotel Wi-Fi and are looking to other essentials in their hotel selection process.

The latest global survey of around 5,000 travellers found that while complimentary Wi-Fi is still the top factor for 26 per cent of Australian leisure travellers when choosing a hotel, this is down significantly from 41 per cent in 2013.

Forty-two per cent of respondents said free Wi-Fi is their must-have when travelling for business, also down from 47 per cent two years ago.

Over half (51%) of Australians admitted to pocketing non-complimentary amenities from their room, with slippers being the most popular item.  By contrast, 69 per cent of Colombians indicated they had never pinched from a hotel.

Katherine Cole, Regional Director, Australia, New Zealand & Singapore for the brand, said: “It’s no secret that both leisure and business travellers rely on technology to make their travel experience easier. The results of our survey show travellers are using the internet more than ever and they really do want to see this offered as a complimentary amenity in the hotels they select.

“Recognising travellers’ technology needs, offers a range of helpful online tools and apps, including an Apple™ Watch-compatible app that allows travellers to find nearby hotel deals, view upcoming reservations and locate their hotel,” Ms Cole said.

Here are some other highlights from’s latest global amenities survey:

A love of food & beverage

  • Free breakfast is once again the second must-have amenity for Australian leisure travellers (13 per cent) and third for business travellers (12 per cent), who ranked proximity to mass transit, restaurants and shops and an in-room coffee maker or tea kettle ahead of a free meal.
    • The most desired breakfast items are: coffee/tea (46 per cent), meats (39 per cent) and fresh fruit (38 per cent)
  • High-end coffee makers or espresso machines are travellers’ favourite modern in-room amenity (30 per cent).
  • 36 per cent of respondents say complimentary bottled water is the simple amenity they want in all hotel rooms, compared to 53 per cent in 2013.
  • Complimentary breakfast is the top non-tech amenity travellers wish would become standard at all hotels today (31 per cent) and free parking is second (12 per cent). Interestingly, nearly a quarter respondents (24 per cent) said they would go without free breakfast in order to pay less for their hotel stay.
  • Travellers’ dream amenity is visiting a chocolate parlor to choose their own treats for the turndown service.

Hotel guests’ second & third loves

Aussie travellers also enjoy:

  • Wired hotel rooms with one remote control for multiple functions and smart device docking stations are the equal second most favourite modern in-room amenities.
  • The most desired tech items hotel guests want as standard in their rooms are HD TVs (9 per cent) and gadget-charging stations.

Falling out of love

  • 24 per cent of Aussie travellers say minibars aren’t worth the hype and 22 per cent say they go unused.
  • Phones get no love: bathroom phones are the most unused item (25 per cent) and no one voted for cordless phones as the simple amenity wanted in hotel rooms.

According to the survey, Asia Pacific travellers chose free Wi-Fi, free breakfast and swimming pool as a must when choosing their hotel accommodations for leisure travel. To view hotels with all these amenities, please visit makes it easy to book the type of accommodations with amenities travellers want through easy to use theme/type and amenities filters.

Get in on the conversation with #HotelAmenities and tell us which hotel perks you prefer.

Notes to the Editor:

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.