HONOLULU, Hawaii — According to Travel Hawaii LLC, a leading Hawaii Internet booking service, guests at Hawaii hotels can enjoy free high-speed internet access in their rooms, or they can pay up to $20/day. Different Hawaii hotels have wildly varying charges for this new “must have” amenity.
In Waikiki, for example, guests staying at Starwood’s Moana Surfrider (http://Travel-Hawaii.com/Moana_Surfrider,_A_Westin_Resort.html) must pay $13/day for Internet Access, while next door at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach (http://Travel-Hawaii.com/Outrigger_Waikiki_on_the_Beach.html), high speed Internet access is free for all guests. Over on Kauai, about half the hotels have free high-speed Internet access, while others charge between $10 and $15/day.
“This wide variation in pricing reflects two things,” said John Lindelow, Travel Hawaii’s owner. “First, the advent of the Internet has created a strong demand for continued Internet access, even when people are on vacation. It’s as essential as phone service or maid service.
Guests feel that they MUST stay connected. Second, the situation has exposed the confusion within the Hawaii hotel industry as to how to handle charging for their services, like bottled water, phone calls or internet access. The hotels can’t decide whether to bundle such things into their room charge, charge a resort fee, or charge by itemizing everything the client gets.”
Perhaps the most egregious example of Hawaii hotels nickel and diming their clients is at those hotels that charge guests for in-room Internet access and also charge a hefty, mandatory “Resort Fee.” For example, the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort (http://Travel-Hawaii.com/Wailea_Beach_Marriott_Resort_&_Spa.html) charges a mandatory $25/day Resort Fee, but guests who want Internet Access in their rooms must pay an additional $13/day. Of the 15 Hawaii Hotels that charge the much reviled Resort Fees, six charge for Internet Access on top of their Resort Fee. (A complete list of Resort Fees at Hawaii Hotels and what they include is at http://Travel-Hawaii.com/hawaiiresortfees.html.)
To empower their clients with critical information, Travel Hawaii maintains a database of Internet Access fees at Hawaii hotels at http://Travel-Hawaii.com/hawaii_hotels_internet_access.html. Included for each hotel is information on the cost of Internet Access in the rooms, in the business center, and elsewhere in the hotel. In addition, each hotel’s web page contains a full description of costs and policies for Internet Access at the hotel.
“Another layer of this puzzle that we’re documenting is the wired versus wireless Internet, particularly in rooms,” said Lindelow. “So many people are traveling with laptops, iPhones, and other wireless devices, and they want wireless access. So our database includes that distinction when we know it.” Increasing numbers of hotels offer wireless Internet access throughout their hotel, and some charge differentially for wired versus wireless access.
About Travel Hawaii LLC
Founded in 1997, Travel Hawaii has become a leading Internet booking service for consumers wishing to vacation in Hawaii. Travel Hawaii maintains sophisticated online booking systems and databases focused on Hawaii travel.