Hotels that have understood what they are doing

I am currently staying at the New Orleans Marriott. Like most American business hotels, each room is so standardized that for an experienced business traveller, turning on the light is not really necessary – everything is where it always was, the only variable being whether the bathroom is to the left or to the right.
However, this hotel has a big plus: The Marriott chain – and most other US business hotels – have understood something that most European hotels have not gotten into their heads: That business travellers want connectivity without paying through their noses. European hotels have shoddy and expensive Internet connections and fleece you on the telephone bill even if you are calling free-phone numbers.
This hotel has no hotel charges for 800 numbers, meaning you can have long telephone conversations with your loved ones using cheap calling cards. But even better, they have a 10Mb Ethernet connection (as well as a USB option for those who don’t have Ethernet on their laptop) available for the entirely reasonable fee of $10 per 24 hours. It works beautifully, can be activated straight onto your room bill without fiddling with credit cards, and as an extra bonus the work table isn’t bad either. Meaning I have been able to edit course pages, down- and upload course material, and in general spend the jet lagged early hours of the morning, when you can’t sleep anyway, very productively.
I am just longing for the day when European hotels, business or not, will understand that connectivity should not be a revenue generator in itself, and instead a service that works to make you choose their hotel next time. Hotels should be hassle-free. This hotel is. Bravo.
Highly recommended.

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