As a card carrying Gold level Marriott customer, the wifi situation has always been a source of confusion for me. When I travel for work or personal reasons, I generally stay in the lower end Marriott properties, the Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn and Suites, etc. Those rooms usually come with free wifi.
The more expensive properties, however, charge for wifi. That makes no sense to me, especially when the typical business traveler would have a mobile hot spot anyway. (I have one for my work travel).
On the other hand, if you block mobile hot spots, you can force customers into paying for your wifi, couldn’t you?
They can claim to be trying to protect their network and customers from rogue devices but at the end of the day isn’t that the point of the hot spot? When I just want to surf the web easily, I can connect to the hotel wifi, when I need to do some work, or access some more secured sites, I can connect to my mobile hot spot, use a VPN connection, and not be a target for the other people on the hotel’s wifi network. Best of both worlds, right?
I really don’t enjoy paying more for a room, and for wifi on top of that. Not very nice, Marriott.