Marriott Hotels Business Travel News

Read the latest news about JW Marriott, Fairfield Inns and Courtyard Marriott. Business travelers can stay up on changes to the Marriott Rewards Program.

Hotels offering Free Wifi, Business Travel

More Hotels Offer Free wifi with Extras

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts is giving travelers the one thing they’ve said they want the most: free wifi.

hotel wifi

Starting February, all guests at Hyatt hotels worldwide receive free wifi on an unlimited number of devices in both guest rooms and public spaces.

You won’t have to be members of Hyatt’s loyalty program. Nor will they have to book directly with the hotel rather than a third-party site like Expedia or Travelocity.

Hyatt believes the move “doesn’t just help travelers. It helps us just as much,” Kristine Rose, vice president of brands for Hyatt, wrote in a blog item. “We can’t continue to differentiate and innovate our guest experiences when we’re charging some guests for the technology that powers future improvements.”

Hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott have given free wifi to guests at their less-expensive properties while charging for it at their premier brands.

Starting next month, Starwood Hotels and Resorts will offer complimentary wifi in rooms and public areas to all Starwood Preferred Guest members, and those with Gold and Platinum status. The guests will have to book directly through Starwood channels such as its website or mobile app.

Marriott Rewards members will receive free wifi in Marriott Hotels, Renaissance and JW Marriott. Members will be able to pay $5 to $7 a day, depending on the market, for premium bandwidth. The upgrade will be free for Gold and Platinum elite members. Wifi is free in the lobbies of all Marriott International brands.

Hilton offers complimentary wifi to all Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members. Several Hilton brands also offer free standard wifi to guests. In 2014, Hilton started a new system that lets guests purchase premium Internet starting at $3.95.

InterContinental Hotels Group, ICH, offers free wifi to its Rewards Club members. Premium service is also available for a fee at select properties.

Wifi Policies at our Major Hotel Chains

  • IHG: Free wifi for all Rewards Club members.
  • Hyatt: Free for all guests. Premium wifi available for a fee (Free for Diamond and Platinum Hyatt Gold Passport members).
  • Marriott: Free for all Rewards members. Premium wifi available for a fee (Free for Fold and Platinum elite members).
  • Hilton: Free wifi for all Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members. Premium wifi available on a tiered pricing system.
  • Starwood: Free wifi for all Starwood Preferred Guest members. Premium wifi free for SPG Gold, Platinum, and Partners.

Demands of Business Travel

Where some of us dream of a day at the spa for relaxation, Peggy Fucci looks forward to boarding a plane and traveling thousands of miles to meet with a potential customer.

A long flight to Europe gives her time to take in a movie, clear email and read a magazine without interruptions: “It’s peaceful. My phone doesn’t ring. It’s me time.”
Yesterday’s road warriors have evolved into today’s global gladiators who are not just taking the red-eye across country for business, but across hemispheres and time zones.

They are shaking off jet lag to meet with clients across continents and mastering ways to use extended flight time to their advantage.

Avoiding lost luggage, delays and travel mishaps takes know-how and planning.

Whether she’s off to Sao Paolo or Beijing, Fucci takes only a carry-on, a prepacked, wheel-in-any-direction bag that she refers to as her miracle suitcase. Fucci has found a driver in most international cities with whom she can leave her suitcase and rush straight to meetings.

Most crucial, she has gained global clearance, allowing her to breeze through security checks and bypass long lines. She also uses airline apps to check ahead on her mobile phone for flight delays. “Between that and traveling light, I can gain at least an extra 30 minutes to an hour at home with my family,” she says.

For international travelers raising children, balancing work demands with the family’s needs takes extra coordination. Embracing technology and using international data apps help.

United Pay with Miles, Starwood Marriott Hilton Hotel Updates

Marriott and Hilton Announce Last-Minute Penalties

The airline industry has generated billions in revenue by charging fees on top of base fares. Now the hotel industry has the same idea.

Marriott Resort Cayman Islands

2 hotel companies, Marriott and Hilton, recently announced that they would increase their fees by tightening rules on last minute cancellations. Business travelers have been accustomed to being able to cancel a reservation at many hotels, without charge, some as late as 6 p.m. on the day of arrival.

Effective now, at the Marriott and Hilton hotels. Both companies say if you don’t cancel your reservation the day before your scheduled arrival, you’ll be charged a penalty of 1 night’s room rate.

Pay with Miles at Newark Airport

You maybe used to cashing in your frequent flier miles for a free flight, but now you can use them at the airport to buy a steak dinner, a neck pillow or perhaps a glass of wine?

United passengers flying through Newark Liberty Airport’s Terminal C can now pay for food and merchandise with miles they’ve earned through the airline’s loyalty program, instead of cash.

The new payment system kicked in at a few airport restaurants last week, and United and partners, OTG Management, believe this marks the first time a terminal has allowed the use of miles to pay for purchases.

Open Hotel Doors With Your Phone at Starwood

You leave your plane, get a cab, and arrive at your hotel, and stand behind a travel group as each tourist checks in one at a time. Starwood Hotels & Resorts is working toward a day when you’ll skip the front desk and simply open your door using your smartphone.

The service, called SPG Keyless, rolls out to Starwood loyalty customers on Nov. 5 at 10 in hotels across its Aloft, Element, and W brands, including Aloft Beijing, W Hollywood, and Element Times Square. The hospitality company tested the program earlier this year and plans to make it available in 150 hotels around the world by early 2015.

Hotel Car & Record Airfare Updates for Sept 2008

Hotels

Sheraton Opens at JFK
The Sheraton JFK Hotel, a new build, has opened at New York´s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The 150-room hotel is a full-service hotel with meeting facilities, complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport, a restaurant, indoor pool, business center, fitness center and Club floor. (Source: Starwood Hotels Resorts press release).

Marriott Raleigh City Center Opens The 400-room Raleigh Marriott City Center has opened next to the new 500,000-square-foot Raleigh Convention Center. The 16-story hotel is attached to the convention center and has more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space, a business center, swimming pool and fitness center. It has two Italian restaurants and a 1,400 square foot Starbucks. (Source: Marriott press release).
Cars
Avis and Budget Offer Flicks to Go
Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car are introducing Flicks-To-Go, portable DVD players that attach
to the back of a car’s headrest. They include a choice of speakers for multiple viewers or two high-quality headphones which customers can keep. (Source: Avis press release).
Record Airfares
If it feels as though you’re paying more for airfare, there´s a reason. The latest Business Travel Monitor reports that domestic and international airfares hit record levels in the second quarter of 2008. The good new is that companies can save money by emphasizing travel policy compliance.

Among the study’s findings:

  • The average one-way domestic fare was $260, up $24 from the same period last year, a 10 percent increase, and up $27 from the first quarter, a 12 percent increase.
  • The average one-way international fare hit its highest level since the inception of the Business Travel Monitor in 1999. These fares increased 11 percent over the same period last year, averaging $1,080.
  • The percentage of international business class tickets dropped to their lowest level since 2004. Increases in the percentage of tickets purchased for the back of the plane indicate that travelers are trading down.

(Source: press release).

Hotel Information March 2008

Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton will implement a smoke-free policy at more than 300 properties in the U.S., the Caribbean and Canada.

Both brands expect to be completely smoke-free in the U.S. and Canada by Dec 31. The two Starwood brands have begun converting all smoking guest rooms to nonsmoking rooms in preparation for the new policy.


Major Hotel Chains´ Internet services

Best Western
Free Internet is a standard in the United States. The brand is working on making it a standard in Europe.

Carlson Hotels
Began phasing in free Internet service as an in-room amenity at Radisson Hotels & Resorts in 2005 and into Latin America this year. Some lobbies offer free WiFi.

Hilton
Extended Stay, mid-price brands offer free Internet access. Individual upscale properties offer free access.

Hyatt
Upscale properties generally charge for Internet access. Midprice Hyatt Place offers free WiFi throughout hotels.

Intercontinental
Holiday Inn offers free Internet access. Extended stay brand Staybridge Suites made WiFi a free amenity in both the lobby and in rooms this year. Upscale properties generally charge for in-room service, although some offer free lobby Internet.

Marriott
Introduced free high-speed and WiFi to guest rooms three years ago at its midprice and extended stay brands and this summer announced that it is eliminating WiFi charges for guests in public areas. Upscale and luxury brands still charge for Internet Service.

Omni
Among the first upscale brands to make free WiFi a brand standard

Starwood
Four Points by Sheraton offers free wired and wireless Internet access. Many W Hotels offer free WiFi access, but in-room Internet connections usually carry a charge.

Wyndham
Free Internet access for mid-priced brands. Select upscale properties give Wyndham ByRequest members access.

Hotel & Car Rental Information Fall 2006

Marriott International
last week detailed its growth plan to add 85,000 to 100,000 hotel rooms worldwide within the next three years. Overall, this plan represents a 5% -6% compound growth annually, and the growth will focus strongly on international properties.

Marriott expects to add more than 30,000 new hotel rooms outside of North America by 2009, which would be an increase of more than 30 percent.

Business Meeting

Additionally, as much as 60% of additions to Marriott’s full-service brands will come outside of the United States, which it currently reports at less than 1 percent.

Confort Inn
When you stay just two separate times at any Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion or MainStay Suites hotel in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean or Mexico by December 15th, you earn enough points for a free night on a future stay at more than 1,000 hotels.

And the more you stay, the more free nights you can earn. Choice Privileges rewards program is easy, fast and free to join at www.choicehotels.com.

Hyatt
Earn a free night at Hyatt Hotels & Resorts worldwide after every two eligible Hyatt stays between November 1, 2006 and January 31, 2007, when you pay with your MasterCard card. Register at www.goldpassport.com.

After three consecutive years of strong increase in occupancy, U.S. travelers should find major city hotel lobbies a little less crowded in 2007.

While the number of hotel rooms occupied will continue to grow at a 1.4% pace, the number of new accommodations is projected to increase by 2% in 2007. The net result is a forecast of a slight 0.6% decline in occupancy for the nation’s largest lodging markets.

Hotels are approaching the peak of the current business cycle,
according to R. Mark Woodworth, president of Atlanta-based PKF Hospitality Research (PKD-HR). A slight slowdown is likely, although the hotel industry is still expected to see continued growth in revenue and profits.

The average occupancy rate is still projected to be a healthy 68% in 2007, which is still well above the long-term average of 66.4%. That means that travelers could still have some trouble booking hotels in certain markets.

Woodworth said that 24 of the 52 cities PKF tracks will see an increase in occupancy in the coming year.

XM Satellite Radio
is back in the National Car Rental fleet at no charge! The service is available on various models within the midsize, full size, premium, luxury, mini-van and SUV car classes.

XM is America´s number one satellite radio service. The 2006 lineup includes more than 170 digital channels, including music, sports, talk, comedy, children’s and entertainment programming.