Global travellers want to keep connected

Wi-Fi and creature comforts are hotel amenity must haves

Global travellers are looking for a home-from-home experience when they stay in a hotel according to the latest research from leading online accommodation booking service, Hotels.com®. Topping the list of must-have hotel amenities are free Wi-Fi and free food and beverages, with caffeine being a must. All the rest is just well… extra.

Staying Connected…for Free 34 per cent say free Wi-Fi is the number one factor in choosing a hotel even on leisure stays. 56 per cent of respondents said free Wi-Fi was their number one must-have when travelling for business. 66 per cent indicated free Wi-Fi is the amenity they most wish would become standard at all hotels in 2013. Free Wi-Fi trumps both free parking and complimentary breakfast when it comes to choosing a hotel for both leisure and business travel, showing that access to the online world is a necessity for modern-day travellers with over a third still looking to stay connected whilst on their holidays.

In fact just 11% of global travellers said they would be willing to pay for Wi-Fi when staying in a hotel.  “With an increase in airlines and airports offering free Wi-Fi, tech-savvy travellers expect the experience to continue upon arrival at their hotel,” said Kate Hopcraft of Hotels.com. “They are using their tablets, smart phones and laptops to plan activities, stay connected to family and even order a delivery meal straight to their hotel room, so it’s no surprise they require free and fast Wi-Fi.” 

The Perk of New Technology Favourite “Modern” In-Room Amenity It would seem that the technological creature comforts of home are also high on the priority list for travellers with 23 per cent of global respondents choosing high-end coffee makers as their top modern in hotel room amenity. Totally wired rooms which are completely controlled by one remote for any need took 20 per cent of the global vote. Guests also indicated they would like to enjoy that much-wanted free Wi-Fi on hotel-provided tablets for guest information, room service and local guides (15 per cent global). 

It’s the Little Things that Count Most Appreciated Simple Amenity Keeping hydrated when travelling is important to hotel guests with 43 per cent choosing complimentary bottled water as the most appreciated simple amenity. Only respondents from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Brazil rated free power adaptors above bottled water.

The Way to Hotel Guests’ Hearts – Through Their Stomachs! Free breakfast ranked as the favourite (31 per cent) non-tech item global travellers want to see become standard at all hotels in 2013. Happy hours, wine tastings or any other time with free food and drinks is 42 per cent of global travellers’ favourite newly offered hotel service amenity, with international breakfast options coming in second (19 per cent). Travellers cite unlimited free food and beverages as their most (23 per cent) missed comfort from home when travelling. Another 14 percent said they miss access to cooking in their kitchen the most. 

Five-Star Life The Highs and Lows of Luxury Perks 26 per cent say their favourite amenity while staying at a luxury hotel is the high end fitness centre and/or spa, while designer toiletries also rank highly (21 percent). While travellers enjoy their time living the highlife, the promotion of bath menus/bath butlers (26 per cent) and turn down service (24 per cent) as amenities simply aren’t of interest according to survey respondents. More than half of respondents (54 per cent) chose the complimentary use of a Rolls Royce Phantom as the “outrageous” luxury hotel amenity they’d most like to experience. No real surprise there!  British respondents were even more enthusiastic about this opportunity, with 60% voting it their fantasy amenity. The surreal car ride beat out access to a tea sommelier (nine per cent), in-room mixologist (nine per cent), and fragrance butler (five per cent) among other lesser desired extreme amenities.  Hotels.com makes it easy to book the type of accommodations with amenities travellers want through theme/type and amenities filters to help guests find the perfect home away from home they desire. 

Editors Note: The survey was conducted in January 2013, using a weighted average based on a sample size of more than 8,600 respondents across 28 countries/cities: 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, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, USA.