Dear Hard Rock Hotel, Chicago,
The Boy and I enjoyed our last evening in Chicago (after living there 15 and 10 years, respectively) in your fine hotel. Our room was great--we really enjoyed our cheap upgrade to a suite. The bed was comfortable, the toiletries were stellar, the hair dryer was the best I've ever had in a hotel, I'm enjoying my downloaded iTunes playlist, and the views from our room were stunning.
However, you charge extra for wireless internet access. Really? The Hard Rock had such nice luxurious touches, but totally failed on the one service that seems to have become a standard in most hotels. I've been in Best Westerns and Travelodges that have free wifi access (bedspreads and decor that probably date back to the 1980s, but free wifi wasn't a problem). I've even seen Super 8 motels advertising free wifi. A low-budget Super 8 can offer it in every room, but you can't? How hard can it be?
Oh, I know what you might say--I could've enjoyed free wifi in the lobby area, but no one would've enjoyed me hanging out in the lobby in my grungy pajamas trying to get some work done. You know creatives--we like working in our PJs. I know you could also say that I could've bucked up and paid the internet fee. I can't remember what it was and it probably wasn't terribly expensive, but that's beside the point. I don't understand why a luxury property needs to nickel and dime me on what's become an increasingly necessary service, especially to the business customer you're trying to court.
Once you flip the switch on wifi access, I'll consider staying at (and recommending) your hotel again. In the meantime, the Hampton Inn has been more than sufficient in offering a comfy bed, decent toiletries, a surprisingly good breakfast, and free wifi--all for a lower price. Maybe not the best views in the world, but sometimes I need to do other things besides look out the window.
Wirelessly your pal,