Road Warrior

Here's how hotels are dealing with Wi-Fi

Kevin Farrell
A pedestrian walks past the Marriott New York Marquis hotel, Feb. 11, 2009.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg News | Getty Images

The average American traveler checks into a hotel with 2.9 Wi-Fi connected devices. In Canada, Australia and the U.K., that number rises above 3. These data-gobbling gadgets can wreak havoc on the aging Internet infrastructure that snakes its way through today's hotels.

Take a peek at how a few hotels are preparing for, or retreating from, Wi-Fi war:

South Congress Hotel | Austin, Texas: This hotel celebrated opening day with a plan to revolutionize the way the industry handles the Internet. Each of the property's 83 rooms has been given its own dedicated Wi-Fi access point, with speeds in each room reaching 500 mbps. South Congress is quick to point out that that number is higher than many hotels' entire bandwidth capacity. Perks like Apple TV, a Google Chromecast and even a special Alamo Draft House streaming service are staples in each room, truly testing the streaming limits.

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Marriott Hotels | Nationwide: Marriott played the game of Wi-Fi-blocking thrones earlier this year, and was dealt a fatal blow by House Federal Communications Commission. The hotel blocked personal Wi-Fi hot spots at a business conference in its Nashville property in order to make guests pay for the hotel's own internet access. The FCC ruled that blocking Wi-Fi or radio communications in this manner is illegal, putting the entire industry on high alert. Marriott was fined $600,000, but won back a few fans with the recent announcement that Netflix streaming would be available in 300 of its properties by 2016.

OYO | India: OYO's 2,000 properties across the subcontinent adhere to 21-year-old founder Ritesh Agrawal's millennial vision: not only do they have free Wi-Fi, which isn't that common in India's budget hotels, but they have an app for booking and a proprietary room service app.

Palace Resorts | Mexico & the Caribbean: Bleisure is more than just a silly word across Palace's beachy, sun-drenched properties. In order to court spend-happy millennials, Palace added vegan dining options, workout boot camp classes, and the crown jewel — immersive poolside Wi-Fi. Hey, give the people what they want…if what they want is to post bathing suit selfies promoting your brand.

Hyatt Hotels | Worldwide: Hyatt rang in 2015 with a late December commitment to bring free Wi-Fi to all 573 of its hotels by February. But ah, ah, ahhhhh, of course there was a catch. The brand continues to offer a "premium Wi-Fi service" option, meaning that anything more than dial-up speeds will have to be purchased in some locations.