Hotels offering free, portable Wi-Fi for guests…sound too good to be true? For the world’s leading hotel brands, this service is soon to be the next big thing.
Room Mate Hotels, the chic Spanish hotel chain founded in June 2005, will soon be introducing their latest amenity, “WiMate Total WiFi” to their 19 properties located throughout Europe and the Americas. Room Mate has been testing this program for the past few months, and guests love the added mobility of portable Wi-Fi, which allows them to enjoy their travels without having to worry about where to find their next internet connection.
According to a 2014 study conducted by Skift and American Express, 35.2% of the 825 travelers surveyed named complimentary Wi-Fi as the most desired amenity when choosing a hotel for business. Room Mate CEO Enrique “Kike” Sarasola was quick to agree, stating, “When we did a survey with our clients, they said the most important thing was the Wi-Fi. It’s helped our direct reservations a lot. It’s been a good way of making revenues.”
Today, many hotel guests are often subjected to high roaming and data charges in order to hop on the web, but Room Mate is changing this process with their portable, mini-routers that can support up to 5 devices. Guests can request a mini-router on the Room Mate website during the reservation process, or upon their arrival at the hotel’s front desk. This service will soon be available at all Room Mate hotels including three in the United States: Room Mate Grace in New York City and Lord Balfour and Waldorf Towers in Miami Beach.
There are also many third-party companies that provide rentable Wi-Fi routers for international travelers such as XCom Global, All Day Internet Spain and Travel Wifi, but having hotels intervene and directly provide the service allows for an easy, streamlined experience for all parties involved.
With a changing technological landscape, hotels can benefit from providing amenities, like portable Wi-Fi, that benefit both business travelers and those seeking an easier way to upload their next Instagram.
– Emily Shearburn