Upscale hotels most likely to charge for Wi-Fi access

Fewer hotels are offering free breakfasts, and more are offering free in-room wireless Internet access. However, the more you pay for your room, the less likely you are to get free Wi-Fi.

Those are some of the findings from a recent survey of 10,000 hotels conducted by Smith Travel Research for the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Wireless Internet access is being offered by 91 percent of hotels, up 35 percent from four years ago, according to the survey.

Only 15 percent of hotels charge for Internet access, down from 18 percent in 2006 and 22 percent in 2004.

But charges for Internet access were most common at more expensive properties, with three-fourths of luxury hotels and 91 percent of “upper upscale” hotels charging guests to access the Internet from their rooms.

Other findings:

Thirty-five percent of the hotels that responded to the survey also offer iPod docking stations in their rooms, and most of these hotels were also luxury and “upper upscale” properties.

Nearly three-fourths offer a computer in the lobby for guest use, though economy hotels are least likely to offer this service.

Fifty-nine percent offer a complimentary breakfast, down 9 percentage points from 2006.

Forty-three percent said they have flat-screen TVs in guest rooms.

The survey is conducted every two years.