According to a new survey by Hotels.com, hotel guests would rather have wi-fi over an iPod dock, high-end coffee maker, video game system or workout DVDs/equipment. A lot of the 415 guests surveyed said that the availability of wi-fi was a big factor in their decision of hotel while on holiday or business, with more than 38% saying internet access is a must at a hotel. Additionally, 35% said wi-fi is the single amenity they want to have available at more hotels, while 31% say they want wi-fi to become a standard hotel amenity this year.
However, the Hotels.com survey also found that just 25% of hotel guests say breakfast is essential to their stay, while 23% said their favourite in-room amenity nowadays is using their iPad. On the more traditional side, 45% surveyed said happy hour at the hotel's bar, any activities involving free food and drinks, and wine tastings are favourite new amenities. One thing they don't want to use is the loo phone, with 37% saying they have never touched one.
On top of this, Hotels.com also asked about hotel room theft and found 12% admitting to taking a book or magazine, while 14% admitted to taking towels. However, 66% said they were innocent and claimed to have never stolen a hotel room item. The gap between male and female was also evident in the survey. It found that 23% of women prefer to see designer toiletries, and 27% of men wanted access to the spa and fitness centre. Additionally, 38% of women wanted a pre-stocked kitchen with their favourite drinks and foods, while 35% of men said a celebrity-style stay was their top option.
Hotels.com director of public relations and social media Taylor L. Cole says it's no surprise that so many hotel guests require free and fast wi-fi considering the explosion of mobile use over the last few years. Many people never travel without their smartphones, laptops and tablets - which have become just as essential as toothbrushes. Guests use these electronic devices to plan their next day of activities, while they have also seen more mobile bookings on the day of a stay. Travellers are creating trips on-the-go with their site's Tonight's Local Deals and mobile apps that feature exclusive deals. It's only natural people want to stay connected in their rooms too, he added.
On this note, Hotels.com has also recently announced the launch of its Windows Phone 7 app. The Hotels.com mobile app - which has been available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices - has been downloaded several million times. It allows users to look for and book at nearly 149,000 hotels across the globe.
Commenting on the app for Windows Phone 7, Christelle Chan said that they have seen a rise in demand from people looking for accommodation on-the-go since their mobile app was launched last year, with 70% of all searches being made on the day of intended stay. If the latest stats are any indication, the popularity of the Windows Phone will increase in the next few years, and their mobile portfolio has been expanded to that to meet demand. They have already seen success on the App Store and Android Market (now called Google Play) and are excited about offering the app to Windows Phone users as well.