In paradise there would be no data roaming charges. Here on earth, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts offers travellers the next best thing: free Wi-Fi access in the group's 78 hotels. In addition, nearly all hotels, including those under the spirited Kerry Hotels and Traders Hotels brands, now offer complimentary Wi-Fi service in limousines so that guests can access the Internet using their mobile devices from the hotels' chauffeured cars.
In 2009, Shangri-La was the first international luxury hotel group to provide free Internet access at all its properties, and it continues to be at the forefront of customising technology to keep guests connected, even while they are on the move.
"Extending free Wi-Fi service to the limousines was a natural step to take after offering it at all our hotels. Connectivity is a vital part of the Shangri-La experience, and complimentary Internet access has become one of our signature standards," said Greg Dogan, president and chief executive officer of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.
Since Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong introduced complimentary Wi-Fi in hotel cars in February 2010, the initiative has been rolled out at 72 hotels – most recently in the new Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto's R and S class Mercedes-Benz. By the end of 2013, free Internet access will be available in the limousines of 82 of the group's hotels. Properties opening in London, Istanbul and Doha, as well as in Shanghai, Qufu and Sanya in China are among the new hotels that will offer Wi-Fi in their fleet of hotel cars.
At several individual Shangri-La hotels, mobile connectivity has been taken a step further. In Taipei, arriving guests who are chauffeured to Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel are welcomed via FaceTime, while commuters using Shangri-La Hotel, Guangzhou's shuttle can enjoy free Internet en route. At Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, guests can flip through an iPad that provides information about the hotel's surrounds and the Lion City.
The limousine Wi-Fi service is not available where resorts provide boat transfers – i.e. Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa and Traders Hotel Malé in the Maldives and Shangri-La's Boracay Resort and Spa in the Philippines – or in cars serving Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa, Fiji Island and Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina Cairns. The service is slated to be available at Traders Hotel in Yangon in the future.