Free Wi-Fi, Breakfast Among Most Preferred Hotel Amenities
Free Wi-Fi still rules when it comes to the one hotel amenity travelers refuse to be without.
According to recent research revealed by Hotels.com this week, 30 percent of leisure travelers single out the complimentary service as the top factor when selecting a hotel, and that figure jumps to 50 percent for guests traveling on business.
Nonetheless, those percentages have declined since 2013, when 34 percent of leisure travelers and 56 percent of business travelers considered free Wi-Fi the leading factor. The slight decline can undoubtedly be linked to the increased availability of Wi-Fi service in public places and affordable mobile data plans.
Meanwhile, Hotels.com's research found that complimentary breakfast remains the second most valuable amenity among leisure travelers (21 percent) and third among road warriors (12 percent). And when fueling up, fruit, coffee and tea are the No. 1 items guests are seeking out.
Unsurprisingly, meats, eggs, toast and juice are also popular among both types of travelers.
The research also shows that free Wi-Fi (top tech amenity) and complimentary breakfast (top non-tech amenity) are the top amenities travelers wish would become standard at all hotels in 2015.
A non-tech amenity often overlooked is free parking, which 10 percent of leisure travelers cite as being atop their list when booking a stay.
When it comes to the hotel features guests can live without these days, minibars and telephones lead the way. Nearly one in four travelers believe minibars fail to live up to the hype and 24 percent of U.S. travelers say they never even use them.
Bathroom phones may be convenient in some cases, but with the emergence of cell phones they earn the title of most unused item, with 22 percent of travelers admitting to getting by without them.
It seems travelers would rather have access to a remote control capable of performing multiple functions (22 percent) or a docking station for their smart device (15 percent).
Given its popularity among leisure travelers and importance to business travelers, it's extremely unlikely that free Wi-Fi will be unseated as the top amenity hotel guests look for in the years to come. However, as hotels catch up and technology advances, it certainly has the potential to become a standard amenity in the future.
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