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More hotels are offering free Wi-Fi, parking and a hot breakfast

The lobby of the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland, Ore., is shown. More hotels are offering free Wi-Fi, guest parking and a hot breakfast, according to a new survey.
The lobby of the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland, Ore., is shown. More hotels are offering free Wi-Fi, guest parking and a hot breakfast, according to a new survey.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Good news for weary travelers: Hotels are plying guests with more freebies, including wireless Internet, parking and a hot breakfast.

But some extras that have long been a staple of the hotel industry are disappearing, including swimming pools, minibars and room service.

Among the findings of an online survey of more than 8,000 U.S. hotels, 98% of the hotels said they offer in-room Wi-Fi and only 9% of the hotels charge for the service.

Luxury and upper-scale hotels are most likely to charge for Wi-Fi while mid-scale and economy hotels are least likely to charge a wireless fee, according to the survey, commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Assn., a trade group for the hotel industry.

Katherine Lugar, the group’s chief executive, said the findings help “hoteliers make decisions that will allow them to deliver the best possible service and guest experience.”

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Other things turned up by the survey: The number of rooms with high-definition or flat-screen television has increased from 84% in 2014 to 88% this year; the rate of hotels that offer a free hot breakfast rose from 45% to 58% in the same period; the number of hotels with all non-smoking rooms jumped from 62% to 85% in the same two-year period; the number of hotels that offer free guest parking climbed from 72% to 85% this year.

But some of the extras travelers have come to expect at hotels are going away, including room service, which is offered at 22% of hotels this year, compared with 37% in 2014.

Only 3% of hotels now install minibars in rooms, down from 6% in 2014. Swimming pools are also evaporating: 43% of hotels have swimming pools compared with 47% in 2014.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

To read more about the travel and tourism industries, follow @hugomartin on Twitter.


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