Marriott International, announced today that more than 1,200 of its hotels offer wireless high-speed internet access worldwide. Marriott says it is the largest deployment of wireless high-speed internet access in the hotel industry, offered at select Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn and SpringHill Suites hotels. Free wireless is available in rooms, hotel lobbies, meeting rooms and public spaces. Fairfield Inn expects to provide free high-speed internet access at approximately 500 hotels by the middle of 2004.
Marriott's “Wired for Business” at more than 180 Marriott and Renaissance hotels delivers in-room, high-speed internet access and unlimited local and long-distance phone calls within the U.S. for $9.95 per day.
“Wireless high-speed internet access is the next major technology initiative for the hotel industry. The number of travelers who carry laptops with wireless capabilities is expected to continue to increase as wireless technology becomes more widely available, said Lou Paladeau, Marriotts vice president, technology business development.
Meanwhile, all 2,300 Best Western hotels will soon have free Wi-Fi. “It's the No. 1 amenity requested by virtually everyone, especially businesspeople,” said Tom Higgins, CEO and president of the Phoenix-based hotel chain. “High-speed Internet for free is going to be where it's at.” [Daily Wireless]