by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | December 31, 2014
Hyatt Hotels Corp. will begin offering free Wi-Fi at all of its hotels worldwide, on an unlimited number of mobile devices or laptops, in guest rooms and public spaces, beginning February 2015. "Internet connectivity is no longer an amenity. It has become an integral part of travelers' daily lives and a basic expectation," said Kristine Rose, vice president of brands for Hyatt, in a statement. "Travelers shouldn't have to remember which brands or locations offer it for free or the strings attached to get it." Hyatt's move trumps those of other major brands, whose free Wi-Fi offerings come with restrictions and fees. Last October, Marriott International announced plans to provide free, standard Wi-Fi to members of its loyalty program, Marriott Rewards. Members needing more bandwidth, however, will have to pay between $5 and $7 depending on the property and their Wi-Fi needs. Hilton Worldwide began offering faster Wi-Fi service in January 2014 at its limited-service and extended-stay brands, which already offer guests complimentary standard Wi-Fi. For $3.95 guests can bump up to a faster network, which will allow up to three devices. In February, members of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts SPG loyalty program will receive free standard in-room Internet access when they book through one of the company's digital channels, including via the SPG app. The offer is good for reservations made on or after Feb. 2, 2015.