Never mind the trouser press – where’s the wi-fi?

Better connection up here than in my hotel. Hmm..

I’ve just got back from a week away in beautiful Snowdonia (no, that’s not my 4×4) and found myself reminded yet again that the best things in life are free – fresh air, mountain scenery, wi-fi.

And like all the best things, you don’t always appreciate them till they are gone. Getting away from it all is great, as long as “all” doesn’t include the ability to communicate.

Yet again, I was struck by the fact that so many leisure businesses fail to understand that free access to good quality wi-fi is as fundamental to their customers’ needs as toilet facilities.

Spending a penny

You don’t ask me to type in a 14 digit codeword, set up an account and pay a premium rate before I can take a wizz, so don’t ask me to do it to access wi-fi. That’s if you have wi-fi in the first place.

So much of what we do on holiday – from deciding where to go to booking a ticket to keeping up with gossip at home – is done online that to have no, or restricted, access to the internet has a huge impact on the quality of your stay.

The place we stayed was fine – but I’ll never go there again. Don’t give me a trouser press but no free internet access and a terrible connection speed.

When I find I have faster access to the internet on my smartphone at the top of Wales’s highest mountain than I do in my hotel, it’s time to find a new hotel.

Time and again I come across restaurants that either have no wi-fi access, or lock it down with a price to log in. It seems almost unbelievable that there are still hotels that don’t have free access to wi-fi.

If you are in the business of accommodating people – whether that’s in your rooms, your tables or your conference facilities – wi-fi should just be there. Like running water, lightbulbs, chairs, toilet paper..

Internet access is a fundamental, basic requirement not a premium add-on. If you don’t get that, don’t be surprised if you don’t get customers.

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