Starting January 15, 2015, all Marriott Rewards members will get FREE Wifi. That’s exciting news! There is one requirement, which is that members will need to book directly through Marriott’s website, mobile app, one of their hotels or by phone. That means third party booking sites will be excluded.

Marriott Rewards Platinum and Gold Elite members who already get free wifi access will get free enhanced WiFi which will allow quicker video streaming and faster downloads.

The new free wifi benefit will be offered at The Ritz-Carlton, AC Hotels, Autograph Collection, Gaylord Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Renaissance, and Marriott Executive Apartments properties. Marriott’s Protea brand will not be participating.

TownePlace Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, Marriott Vacation Club, EDITION, Moxy, Courtyard and Fairfield Inn & Suites brands already give free wifi to guests.

Here’s a link to Marriott’s webpage with the announcement.

Here are the properties that are not participating in the free wifi benefit –

The Ritz-Carlton, Millennia Singapore
Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
The Ritz-Carlton Destination Clubs, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, and The Abaco Club JW Marriott Miami
Beaux Arts
Residence Inn at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL
Marriott’s StreamSide Evergreen, Vail, CO
Marriott’s StreamSide Douglas, Vail, CO
Marriott’s StreamSide Birch, Vail, CO
47 Park Street – Marriott Grand Residence Club, UK
Marriott Vacation Club at The Empire Place, Bangkok, Thailand
Marriott Vacation Club at The Buckingham, Macau, ChinaAspen Wye River Conference Center, Queenstown, MD
NCED Marriott Conference Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Jesse H. Jones Rotary House Conference Center, Houston, TX

Here is the list of partner hotels that are not participating –

Hotel Ritz-London – London, UK
Hotel Ritz Madrid – Madrid, Spain
Bulgari Hotel, Milano – Milan, Italy
Bulgari Resort, Bali – Bali, Indonesia
ExecuStay

A new addition to the Autograph Collection, Atlantis Paradise Island, has a special note that it is not participating at this time because it is still in a transition period but may in the future.

I think this is a smart thing for Marriott to do, especially after the recent news that Marriott was caught blocking guest Wifi. Everyone wants free wifi when they travel, and it is disappointing that there are still so many hotels that don’t offer it. Marriott is a huge chain, and this may increase the number of Marriott Rewards member sign-ups, the number of those staying at their properties, and the number of people who book directly through their channels. Does this news make you more likely to stay at a Marriott property if you didn’t typically do so before?