Free breakfast has
become more prevalent at U.S. hotels during the past two years, while free
Internet has become less so, according to a survey conducted by the American
Hotel & Lodging Association and STR.
Based on responses from
more than 12,000 U.S. hotels, the biennial survey conducted between March and June found 23 percent of
properties charge for in-room Internet service, up 8 percentage points from a low
in 2008. The charges remain clearly divided by tier: 84 percent of luxury
properties and 76 percent of upper upscale properties charge for in-room
Internet, while 18 percent of upscale and 26 percent of upper midscale
properties charge for the service. No midscale properties in the survey charged
for Internet service.
Charges for exercise
facilities also have become more common, with 25 percent of hotels levying them,
up from 21 percent in 2010.
On the other hand, following
a "massive spike" in recent years, 79 percent of U.S. hotels now
offer free breakfast, according to the survey. The jump may be partly due to a
different mix of hotels in this year's survey than in previous years. Nearly all
mid-tier hotels—95 percent of upper midscale and 97 percent of midscale—offer
free breakfast, as do about half of U.S. upscale hotels.
Some new technology
developments thus far have had little penetration into U.S. hotels, according
to the survey. For example, 3 percent allow check-in via mobile devices and 1
percent allow guests to use mobile devices as room keys. Lobby check-in kiosks
also are vanishing, with 7 percent of hotels using them compared with 28
percent of hotels in 2008.