Accor hotels now offering free Internet across Australia

By David Flynn, October 2 2013
Accor hotels now offering free Internet across Australia

Silver, gold and platinum members of Accor's LeClub Accorhotels loyalty program will enjoy free Internet at most of the group's Australian hotels from this week.

The move sees Accor join other leading hotel brands, including the InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott, in providing free Internet access to regular guests.

In-room Internet charges remain a sore point among many business travellers as they typically add $25 per day to the bill, even at a five-star hotel.

Accor's free Internet deal will be offered at the company's Australian Pullman, Sofitel, MGallery, Sebel, Novotel, Mercure, ibis and ibis Styles hotels, although not at ibis Budget properties.

Classic-grade members of the LeClub Accorhotels scheme will still have to pay to use in-room Internet at Accor properties, although the wi-fi signal is free in hotel lobbies.

Accor says its decision follows "an in-depth trial to uncover the best solution for both guests and hotel owners". This included some hotels offering free Internet across the board while others offered a two-tier system under which basic Internet access was free but a 'premium' service with higher speeds attracted a fee.

“We understand that most people today travel with laptops, tablets and smartphones and want to access the Internet wherever they are" said Simon McGrath, Accor’s Chief Operating Officer Pacific.

McGrath said that during Accor’s trial, guests expressed more interest in the quality of the Internet connection than the price.

Feedback showed that most guests would prefer to pay for faster unlimited Internet access than use a free system that was slow and didn’t allow them to download larger files.

“We continue to look at ways to reduce or even eliminate the cost of Internet for our guests but at the end of the day, with the current restraints and the lack of a cohesive national broadband system in Australia, we believe this model is the best model to allow the vast majority of guests to access some level of free wi-fi during their stay" McGrath said.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

28 Jul 2013

Total posts 81

Long overdue!

22 May 2011

Total posts 88

They should make it available for Classic members too to encourage membership numbers for Le Club Accor (like Langham hotels do).  It is still unacceptable that small 3 star hotels can offer wifi for free while Sofitel charges guests $25 who havent yet stayed with them before.

21 Sep 2012

Total posts 49

Totally agree that all members should have it.  It was scary what the Ibis wanted to charge me for using the internet for 2 hours in Wellington.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Oct 2013

Total posts 93

NEquine - I was just in Ibis Wellington a handful of weeks ago and I know, their internet prices were ridiculous, and CBD Free Wifi was, out of reach in the rooms (where's my surprise face?) - went down to a cafe two blocks down Featherston St and viola! Free internet connection with decent speeds!

Now if only Accor could do something about your dodgy sales tactics and false advertising for discounted rooms. I was an Accor member but recently moved to Hilton, simply due to the endless promises of discounted rooms.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 244

Can't believe we pay premium on their 4-5 star chains e.g. Novotel, Sofitel and they can't even provide complimentary WiFi in the first place...

Australia is not tourist friendly in terms of Free WiFi venues.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Oct 2013

Total posts 93

It's funny that Mr McGrath partically places the blame on a lack of an NBN. While I agree with him, it's still no excuse that the Sofitel Wenthworth in Sydney charges ~$25 when the Raddisson Blu down the street offers it for free (with very good speeds and no network congestion, mind you).

While this is a welcome gesture from Accor, there's a reason I haven't been finding myself in their hotels lately...

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