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Apr. 14 2010 - 9:13 am | 198 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Hotel charges for water and WiFi

Evian for eight bucks. Photo by Sue Frause.

As much as I’m a fan of Fairmont (it’s my favorite big brand hotel, maybe ‘cuz the robes have my initial on them), I find it irritating to be welcomed by a bottle of water with a hefty price tag.

I stayed at The Fairmont San Francisco recently, and that’s what greeted me when I walked in the door of my lovely room with a sweeping view of San Francisco Bay: a bottle of Evian for eight bucks.

My other pet peeve with the hotel is that they charge for the Internet. Granted, some of their properties give the first 24 hours gratis, but after that it’s around $14 a day.

Sure, you can use the free WiFi in the lobby, but I just can’t see myself padding through the hallways in my monogrammed Fairmont robe to hunker on down in one of the cushy couches. But there is a way around the charge: join the Fairmont President’s Club.

The loyalty program is complimentary, and among the many benefits are free WiFi and local phone calls. I think they should throw in the water, too.

Opus Hotel, with properties in Vancouver and Montreal, leaves a complimentary bottle of water (in a cool logo bottle) at turndown. So does another one of my Vancouver favorites, the Wedgewood Hotel & Spa. But they do it one better, as the water is accompanied by a homemade cookie.

Back to the WiFi charges. HotelChatter.com compiled its Annual WiFi Report 2009. It looks like it pays to grumble, as the tide seems to be turning toward free WiFi.

Let ‘em know!

The next time I’m in Vancouver, I’ll make a reservation at the St. Regis Hotel. Currently their rates start at $129, and include complimentary WiFi, water and breakfast for two.


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    I'm a professional freelance writer and photographer who has been in the journalism 'biz since 1988. I live on a small farm on an island in Puget Sound with my husband, chickens, turkeys and our very own field of dreams. When I'm not packing and unpacking from exploring the seven continents (yup, I've done 'em all), I enjoy theater, movies, jazz, fine food, heavenly spas and long dinner parties with my family and friends. Oh, I grew up in the '60s and I sort of remember it through the haze.

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