The free Wi-Fi is part of a broader program to differentiate the brand from the competition. "It helps us establish better loyalty for our customers," Whetsell said, citing $250 million in other upgrades made at his hotels last year.
The basic Wi-Fi will be offered for free in rooms, lobbies, restaurants and at the pool areas of all 18 hotels and resorts in the chain. Going forward, it will be standard at all new properties including Chicago and Orlando, Fla., said Loews spokeswoman Sarah Murov. Meeting spaces are not included in the free access and will continue to be sold to groups booking those areas.
(Read more: Inflight Wi-Fi sometimes more vital than legroom)
Previously, guests paid $14.99 to $20 per day, depending on the location of the Loews hotel. While the basic connection speed will be free, someone wanting to stream more than one movie at a time or download a 100-page PowerPoint presentation may still want to upgrade for a faster connection, Murov said.
On average, it will cost $14.95 for the faster connection, Murov said.