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Shangri-La LobbyWant to know what irks me about most luxury hotel chains? They price Internet access as if it’s a scarce commodity. I’m currently staying at the Qingdao Shangri-La (see the pretty lobby?), where I was expecting to shell out $15-25 per day to bring you these astoundingly erudite posts from China. So, imagine my surprise when I typed in and accessed the site without a payment-portal redirect. As of January, “in response to the current economic downturn and its impact on business travel budgets,” Shangri-La became the first international hotel group to offer free Internet (both Wi-Fi and wired) to every guest. Too bad they can’t scale the Great Firewall of China and offer uncensored access to all websites – I couldn’t even log on to The Huffington Post!

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