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Wireless Networking Communications The Internet Technology

HotelChatter's Annual Hotel Wi-Fi Report 2010 157

Posted by timothy
from the $5-access-works-fine-at-motel-6 dept.
Ant writes with this excerpt from an annual review of wireless access for hotel guests: "This year marks HotelChatter's sixth annual hotel Wi-Fi report. Over the years we've documented the progression of hotel Wi-Fi, from blatant disregard, to price-gouging for Wi-Fi access, and reliable Wi-Fi for loyalty program members, through guests taking matters into their own hands with wireless laptop/notebook cards and 3G access. A year ago, we thought guest demand for free, reliable, hotel Wi-Fi might just go away, thanks to 3G, but today, a growing number of hotel guests not only demand the hotel they book have proper wireless access, but most will consider not staying at a hotel that can't meet their basic access needs. That's right, Wi-Fi is a make or break amenity for many hotel guests that can sway booking decisions — and that isn't going away."
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HotelChatter's Annual Hotel Wi-Fi Report 2010

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  • Price gouging (Score:3, Informative)

    by iamhassi (659463) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:38PM (#32037380) Journal
    Went to Disney this year. Not only did Buena Vista Suites charge $10 a day for wifi, the speeds were only 1 megabit down (~150 kBps) while my 3G iPhone offered a bit over 2 megabit.
    • Re:Price gouging (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:44PM (#32037466) Journal

      Went to Disney this year. Not only did Buena Vista Suites charge $10 a day for wifi, the speeds were only 1 megabit down (~150 kBps)

      The revelation that Disney gouges everyone who sets foot on their property is hardly new.

    • Holy crap. I thought the $3 per day my Motel 6 was charging was high ($90 a month). I wonder why disney's so greedy? I told my motel that I'd just use dialup (free) because you don't really need high speed unless you're streaming TV shows, and I could get them via the free cable hookup instead.

      When I was staying at "ValuePlace" hotel in Oklahoma, they used ethernet hookups for each room. $10 per week. Not bad at all. And the Best Western in Charlotte NC provided me with free ethernet. Best deal ev

      • by JWSmythe (446288)

        I'm my sampling of hotels around the US, I've found the normal price to be $9.99/day. Their "day" can vary too. Sometimes it's a 24 hour period from when you first log in, and sometimes their day is from midnight to midnight. It's not always spelled out very well either. It's very annoying to show up to a hotel at 8pm, and when you get up in the morning, find out that the "day" has ended and you have to pay again.

        I prefer good hotels that give free internet service, wired o

        • by fbjon (692006)
          $9.99? In my travels, I pay a few dollars more than that per night to stay at hostels usually, and that includes free wifi. The price gouging of hotels is jaw dropping.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by houstonbofh (602064)
        La Quinta is always free. Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, are almost always free. Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn/Suites, Quality Inn/Suites, Econo Lodge) are almost always free.

        Pick your brand carefully.
    • by nanoakron (234907)

      Why would you need more than 1 megabit down?

        You're right next door to Disney - surely that should be your source of entertainment, rather than demanding your daily dose of she-male interracial horse sex...

      • by iamhassi (659463)
        It's nice to watch YouTube videos or other flash heavy websites to decide what to do the next day and the 1 megabit at best required a lot of waiting just to watch one video. Also the upload was piss poor, forget the exact speed but we couldn't upload any videos because it took hours for normal SD video.

        I guess the real problem was there was nothing else. There was no ethernet, no high speed anything, the best connection available was ~125 kBps at best and then I had to pay $10 daily just for that. Fe
  • Hilton sucks. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PatHMV (701344) <post@patrickmartin.com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:40PM (#32037418) Homepage
    I stayed at a Hilton recently, and they wanted something like $16 PER DAY for WiFi access in the room. I could almost stay at Motel 6 for that, WITH free WiFi there. It's because they're aimed at business travelers, who don't care what the bill to their company is. I won't stay at a Hilton again, if I have a choice.
    • You forgot the $16/day they charge for parking too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bill Dimm (463823)

      Even worse than that, you pay $15/day for WiFi at the Hilton in NYC and then it doesn't work worth a damn. I was exhibiting at a trade show there and I tried to email a 300kB white paper to a few people I met, and it timed out many times before I got it to go through due to the poor network. I had problems both evenings, but not in the morning, so they probably just can't handle the peak traffic. I emailed them a complaint about it when I got home, and I didn't get any response whatsoever. Not even a "w

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I emailed them a complaint about it when I got home, and I didn't get any response whatsoever. Not even a "we're sorry."

        They tried to send you a response, but it timed out when they hit send.

      • Even worse than that, you pay $15/day for WiFi at the Hilton in NYC and then it doesn't work worth a damn.

        My general experience is that the more expensive the wifi, the shittier it is. Free wifi at a $30/night mom-and-pop motel usually beats the pants off of any high-end hotel's elaborate and costly setup.

    • by iYk6 (1425255)

      What Motel 6 can you almost stay at for $16 / day? It's usually closer to $60 / day, although I've seen it as low as $40 / day.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Motel6 rates in the flyover states are about $30 a night, add $6 for a second person. Just double-checked their website to be sure.

        So not $16 plus closer to that than $60.

    • by squidfood (149212)

      It's because they're aimed at business travelers, who don't care what the bill

      As a business traveler I avoid Hilton like the plague for its tacked on rates for everything. I just don't like feeling gypped even if I'm not paying (and sometimes I am, like for exercise room access). Even when the conference is at the Hilton I'll stay a mile away. There's usually plenty of business-class hotels that don't nickle-and-dime like this.

      Last time I was booked into a Hilton for and there truly wasn't a choice, from the 8th floor I could pick up several free WiFis, and took pleasure in doing

    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      That's nothing. I do a lot of business travel and it seems most of the 'nice' hotels charge absolutely massive amounts, especially outside North America. The US/Canada are good - most hotels have free WiFi and those that require payment are usually $10/day or less.

      But I've paid over $25/day at the Intercontinental in Wellington, New Zealand and over $30/day at a 4-star hotel in Singapore. I mean this is ~Singapore~ we are talking about where the entire city is covered by dirt-cheap, lightning fast broadband

    • by richlv (778496)

      hmm. they really must suck, but doesn't that depend on country they are located in ?
      for example, in latvia it is pretty much expected by everybody to have free wifi in the hotel, even lots of pubs/cafes provide free wifi.

      personally, free wifi is a major factor that impacts my hotel choice lately. last few times it has been a yes/no choice.

      only if i travel somewhere without a laptop i might consider a hotel w/o free wifi, but those cases happen less and less frequently...

    • by metlin (258108)

      Typically, most of those places offer free internet to their loyalty members (i.e. I'm a Diamond at Hilton, and usually internet is free -- if not, I call them and they waive the charge). Otherwise, I just expense it, of course.

      The other point is that most business travelers will have EVDO/Clear or some other means of having internet wherever they go. So, hotel wifi is rather meaningless, unless you're sending an 8 MB deck (in which case, you could always go up to the lounge or the business center which ha

  • roaming (Score:2, Troll)

    by geekoid (135745)

    You expected people in a hotel to use 3g? Wouldn't there be a serious roaming charge? assuming most people there are travelling from someplace else.

    • Re:roaming (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cgenman (325138) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:45PM (#32037486) Homepage

      Domestic roaming is included in most 3G plans.

      International roaming, of course, is a complete racket.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        huh. Apparently I'm getting screwed.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cimexus (1355033)

        You're right. And to go one step further, the concept of 'domestic roaming' doesn't exist in most countries anyway. A LOT of business travel is still domestic, especially in large countries like the US, Australia etc. Therefore I don't think the "hotel guests don't want to use 3G cause it's expensive" argument holds that much water.

        I think the idea of 'domestic roaming' (for data or voice) is mostly a US thing where you have quite a few smallish/local operators. Every other country I've been to, phone prov

        • Therefore I don't think the "hotel guests don't want to use 3G cause it's expensive" argument holds that much water.
          It doesn't apply to every guest but it will apply to a substantial subset of them. Especially in europe.

          Every other country I've been to, phone providers normally cover the whole country.
          However a lot of countries aren't all that big.

          EU countries are often comparable in size to american states and there are usually no border controls between them yet when you cross that barely marked border (a

    • I use tethering to my android phone while on travel where there isn't free wi-fi. Of course, if I go out of the country I wouldn't as roaming would kill me. However, staying in the US (free domestic roaming as another stated) makes it not so bad.
      • Of course, if I go out of the country I wouldn't as roaming would kill me.

        When out of the country shop around at the airport for pre-paid SIMs with good data bundles. If you're lucky, you can do it while waiting for your bags.

        In many countries, even rich ones, I've been able to get online for a few bucks a day that way.

        Carry a second phone and suddenly you don't have to worry about crap hotel wifi nearly so much anymore.

        • Any recommendations in UK, France, or Switzerland? Heck, is there one in the US or Canada? It'd be nice to tell people what to look for.
          • Any recommendations in UK, France, or Switzerland? Heck, is there one in the US or Canada? It'd be nice to tell people what to look for.

            Not sure about France or Switzerland, but the last time I stopped over in Heathrow, they had vending machines you could buy them from. See: http://www.vendpoint.co.uk/ [vendpoint.co.uk]

            I noticed a few that would give you both a UK and a US phone number on the one SIM. I actually regret not picking one up just for the hell of it. Anyway, if you have a 3G stick and the SIM you buy has a data plan, just throw the SIM card into the 3G stick and you're good to go.

        • by Cimexus (1355033)

          Can you recommend a good US one? In most countries it seems you can easily just walk up to a shopfront, buy a pre-paid SIM, pop it in your phone and off you go.

          But I travel to the US quite a bit and have yet to find anything like that in the US. They all want to sell you actual phone+plan bundles. What's more the phones are all network-locked! They won't just sell you a SIM that you whack in your phone like you can do in 3 minutes in most other countries.

          Someone once told me T-Mobile had a prepaid SIM-only

          • by Arker (91948)

            Last time I checked T-Mobile was indeed the only option. And yes, their coverage sucked, and so did everything else about the "service." :(

          • In the US there's T-Mobile and ATT.

            I haven't been to the US for quite a while, but a couple years ago, I went to an ATT store and the guy wanted $50 for a SIM card. When I balked, he sold it to me for $25. The rates were the same as I see on ATT's site now for "Go phone", though on the site there's no mention of using your own phone. Presumably if you go into a shop you can still buy a bare SIM. Otherwise, the cheapest phone listed on the site is a $10 refurb Nokia, so you could take that and pull out the

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      You pay roaming on a cell phone?
      Perhaps you should get a real carrier.
      Assuming you are staying in your home nation.

  • I find it ironic and more than a little insulting when certain hotels (ones that typically charge high room rates) try to gouge an insane amount of money for wifi from travellers when free wifi is all but the nearest coffee shop away. Why do these places, many of which cultivate an air of "our service separates us from the other rabble", treat their customers with such contempt when it comes to wifi? One would think they would do anything to keep what business they have and actively work to get more custome

    • by nblender (741424) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:56PM (#32037640)

      The expensive hotels are going to get the corporate traveller whose expenses are paid by the employer and who, more than likely, is expecting to work in the room so the WIFI charge is simply another line item on the expense report... They're going to get that business regardless whether they have free wifi or not...

      The cheaper hotels are getting the cost conscious tourist, salesperson or tradesperson customer. They need to work hard to attract that customer from the other discount hotels and so charging for Wifi would be suicidal...

      At least that's my theory...

      • by sam0737 (648914)

        Agree.

        And is it so hard to realize? Motel usually provides you microwave oven, cheap & good breakfast and whatever kind of home appliances that make you feel like home. 5-star hotels - they charge you for every shit.

        It has always been the case. Internet access and Wifi is no exception.

      • That's how I was able to justify to my employer to issue me a Verizon MiFi. It pays for itself in lieu of charging hotel wifi plus has so many more uses.

      • by Corbets (169101)

        Could be. Out here though (Switzerland) employers tend to give notebooks that have 3G cards in them, so I've got wireless no matter where I am in the country, and never wind up paying the hotels for wireless when on a business trip.

        For the Americans in the crowd: yes, Switzerland is big enough that I still need to stay in a hotel when traveling in-country. :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dubbreak (623656)

      ps. Hyatt Regency Vancouver, I'm looking at you! (benefit of the doubt: that was a couple of years ago)

      I think last time I stayed there they were trying to charge $30/night for access. I was more disturbed by the low quality mattresses and pillows in a "premium" room. They were definitely not comparable to the nearby Hilton (which also charges too much for wireless..). Of course you are paying for the convenience of being directly at the airport. If you have a super early flight it's hard to beat being able to get up, get dressed then only have to take an elevator to get to the flight check in counter. No o

      • Of course you are paying for the convenience of being directly at the airport.

        Even stranger considering that YVR has free wifi.

    • by icebike (68054)

      The tendency to charge for wifi at certain hotel chains is usually offset by their rewards program, where if you become a member (free), you get wifi for free. Not always.

      Some chains provide free wifi in all hotels as a matter of course.

      Some hotels used to block many ports. I stayed somewhere a couple years ago that blocked all mail ports so you couldn't send even when you were connecting thru a secure connection to your own mail server back at the office. Unbelievable. I found it necessary to have a back

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      I find it ironic and more than a little insulting when certain hotels (ones that typically charge high room rates) try to gouge an insane amount of money for wifi from travellers when free wifi is all but the nearest coffee shop away.
      Its not just Wifi.
      If you would pay more attention, you would find that the same Hotels which charge more for rooms also have fewer complementary amenities. The cheaper brand hotels will often have free Wifi, free local phone calls, free continental breakfast, free cookies at
  • by Game_Ender (815505) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:43PM (#32037448)
    The most expensive hotels, are the ones most likely to have for-pay wifi. At rates of like $10-$15 an order of magnitude more expensive then a wireless or landline connection for your house. Does anyone know a good pre-pade type 3G data provider?
    • by base3 (539820)
      I've got a three night stay in such a hotel coming up and am thinking about Cricket--a month of access with the "free" modem, even with the activation fee, is close to the $50 w/tax three nights of WiFi would cost me.
    • Does anyone know a good pre-pade type 3G data provider?

      http://www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband [virginmobileusa.com]

      Uses the Sprint network.. you buy the $100 modem, top-up when you want. The plans were more desirable when I purchased it, but they're still the best I've found in terms of prepaid.

      Worth mentioning this is a great option for mostly-anonymous access, too. You can buy the modem + reload cards at Best Buy (and other stores probably) with cash. No info required.

      • by conureman (748753)

        I am not hep to the correlation, but my POTS Virgin phone has piss-poor coverage. The Network has some major holes, which I work around 'cause I don't mind paying $7 a month.

    • The most expensive hotels, are the ones most likely to have for-pay wifi.

      I've noticed that as well during my travels.

      That $60/night Best Western outside of D.C. that I stayed in? Free wifi. The $350/night InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel in San Francisco that I stayed in? Wifi cost $20/day.

  • The Chart (Score:5, Informative)

    by ojintoad (1310811) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:46PM (#32037502)

    This pretty graphic [hotelchatter.com] is a nice summation of the article and can be used as a cheat sheet.

    I have no documentation of this, but there's always been speculation in my company that the classier hotels don't give internet for free because either a) their clients will pay or b) the business that is paying for the room will pay. This is evidence of the observations but not the causation.

  • by wowbagger (69688) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:46PM (#32037508) Homepage Journal

    The funny thing I've noticed is, the cheap motels (Motel 6, Super 8, Econolodge) pretty much all offer decent WiFi for no additional charge - even the little mom-and-pop motels are offering free WiFi.

    On the other hand, the big boys - the Sheraton's, the Hiltons, etc. - that I've stayed in all either a) have no WiFi at all, just wired Ethernet into a DSL-like system running on POTS cat-3 wiring (and often only for pay) or b) have WiFi but charge you for it.

    It seems to me the places where you are staying on Other People's Money (places that cater to business travelers who expense the trip) are gouging on WiFi, the places where you are staying on your own dime all recognize WiFi as a competitive point.

    I know that when I am traveling on my own money - you don't have free WiFi, I don't stay with you if I have a choice, and I almost ALWAYS have a choice.

    • The venetian has free WIFI and good up and down speed I think it was something like at least 5meg and up to 20Meg or more each way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by XiaoMing (1574363)

      What makes me wonder then is why such a disparity between hotels rooms and business/first class vs economy flights.

      In hotels, it seems like the basic conveniences, as long as they charge you fractionally little enough for it, you won't mind paying in addition to whatever the room cost already was (~10% a day?). However on flights, the more you spend on your ticket, the more they will go out of their way to plant their lips on your butt as far as letting you board first, get cozy, have a free drink, check a

    • by jgreco (1542031)

      Found that Holiday Inn and some of the other Intercontinental properties typically offer free Internet. Some of them, like Staybridge, will actually give you a ridiculously cheap rate on the weekends ($70 for a suite that has two separate bedrooms and a central living room/kitchen). The Internet isn't always wifi but is generally better than my impression of industry average.

    • I spent a few weeks traveling in TX last year, visiting the in-laws, and stayed at a number of small motels around the Dallas-San Antonio-Houston region - mom & pop, value chains, etc. All of them had free WiFi, except one: Red Roof. This report says Red Roof DOES have free WiFi, but it wasn't the case for me last year. Maybe it was just this one particular motel, it was the worst motel we stayed in the whole trip. The rest of the time, your observation held true. The WiFi was free and pretty reliable.
  • by nblender (741424) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:48PM (#32037538)
    I don't much care about wifi. I bring an airport express with me... But I refuse to pay for internet connectivity in any hotel. period. I once stayed at the BirgerJarl in Stockholm and was checking my IP address and lo-behold, I was handed an IPv6 address! Next time I went through the lobby, I mentioned how impressed I was to a lady at the counter and she replied that if I liked, she could give me an IPv4 address instead and to just let her know ...
    • A hard filter is correct. Now that enough decent hotels have free wifi, I simply don't consider anything else. That has not inconvenienced me at all, but has cost plenty of business to hotels. If a hotel has wireless broadband internet, I almost never see them charge for it. The problem is the hold outs that offer no internet or "dial up" internet. Oh, gee thanks. I get to use your phone lines to connect with a modem. Wooooo....
    • I don't much care about wifi. I bring an airport express with me... But I refuse to pay for internet connectivity in any hotel. period. I once stayed at the BirgerJarl in Stockholm and was checking my IP address and lo-behold, I was handed an IPv6 address! Next time I went through the lobby, I mentioned how impressed I was to a lady at the counter and she replied that if I liked, she could give me an IPv4 address instead and to just let her know ...

      It's a small world: I stayed at the same hotel a week and a half ago (and was stuck there due to the volcanic ash cloud). When I checked in, I asked about charges for wifi and the concierge stifled a laugh.

    • I once stayed at the BirgerJarl in Stockholm and was checking my IP address and lo-behold, I was handed an IPv6 address! Next time I went through the lobby, I mentioned how impressed I was to a lady at the counter and she replied that if I liked, she could give me an IPv4 address instead and to just let her know ...

      "And that, kids, is how I met your mom."

  • I can't be the only one who doesn't want to pay for an expensive 3G data plan with the ability to tether (or worse, a data-only card). The vast majority of the time I want to use the internet I'm around wifi connections (home, work, coffee shops, etc).

    I like to travel, but it hardly seems worth getting 3G internet access for the fraction of a year I'm on the road. So I certainly look for internet access in hotels. Though you have to be smart about it - we found an awesome hotel in London for a lot cheape

  • I recently stayed in a Marriott that charged $12.95 a day (noon-to-noon) for Internet and long distance calling. I took my Pre, fired up Mobile Hotspot and went 'FU' to the hotel. In these days of free ubiquitous Internet, it is offensive that any place charges for Internet access, whether it be wired or wireless.
  • I don't know if this has been anybody else's experiance but I've stayed at a couple of hotels ... many had free wifi, but two stand out in my mind as having claimed to have "free wifi" but then when you associated to their access point you couldn't get an IP address. At first I thought "maybe it's because I'm using linux" ... because two friends who were staying with me were able to connect with their iPhones ... but on another trip both my dad and brother were unable to connect with their respectively Wind
    • that are setup in a totally screwed up manor.

      Like, was the flooring warped or something or some of the parlors were painted weird colors? ;)

    • Did you try the web browser? A lot of times I've found open access points at business and right away try to use ssh or a VPN without any success. Then eventually I figure out that I need to open the web browser first and click through some agreement before actually having internet access.

  • Travelled through some poky parts of Indonesia and where there was wi-fi it was free

    But after 3 months in Australia and 3 months in NZ only had free hotel wifi a total of three times.

    Any clues antipodeans?

    • Travelled through some poky parts of Indonesia and where there was wi-fi it was free
      But after 3 months in Australia and 3 months in NZ only had free hotel wifi a total of three times.

      Australian and NZ ISPs normally set low monthly usage caps and charge by the gigabyte after that. So hotels with free wifi may well be spending a lot of money on it if their guests are downloading torrents all night.

      In most of southeast Asia it's rare to pay for traffic - you just pay your monthly fee and that's the end of i

    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      Just pick up a pre-paid 3G modem from Vodafone or Virgin or someone. Much easier than trying to wrestle with your hotel options. And quite inexpensive too, plans can start from less than $20 a month (although you will have a download limit so no torrenting!).

  • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:07PM (#32037764) Homepage Journal
    Hotels, in general, are for suckers in my opinion. If you're planning a trip, go to www.couchsurfing.org, make yourself a profile, meet some cool people while you travel, stay in the area for relatively cheap and/or free, and chances are, your host will be able to provide internet that you don't have to pay for. Of course, for business trips and the like, that kind of thing may not work out. However, I've often found that corporate overlords dictate hotel choices when flying for business anyways so its not like you get to make the choice based on internet or any other thing that you value.

    Also, hostels are awesome. We should open some more of those in the States.
    • by Bragador (1036480)
      Or, if you have your car with you, sleep in it. I did that for 3 months and had a great trip.
    • by massysett (910130)

      Yeah, I'm sure they won't object when I have sex on their couch, and hopefully the cat hasn't taken a piss on the couch either.

      Yep, hotels are for suckers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sirflyalot (1671634)
      I am a business traveler that stays in hotels 315+ nights a year. No, I don't want to be some homeless person that sleeps on someones couch. I do try to stay in "Boutique" hotels or bed and breakfasts whenever I can, though. I am not reimbursed for wifi charges, so charging me for wifi is a total deal breaker and has been for many years.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CrashandDie (1114135)

      Of course, for business trips and the like, that kind of thing may not work out. However, I've often found that corporate overlords dictate hotel choices when flying for business anyways so its not like you get to make the choice based on internet or any other thing that you value.

      Depends what your job is. Hotels are part of job perks, and you shouldn't understimate the value of a good hotel/expense allowance when considering a new job.

      Reviewing and negotiating the travel policy before you sign up for the job can mean the difference between sleeping in a Best Western and wanking to MTV, and having the St. Regis bar fix you a quick sandwich if you get there at 1AM because of delayed flight or late night with the customer.

      For the past two years, I've been traveling abroad an aver

    • by demonlapin (527802) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:13PM (#32039474) Homepage Journal
      Your opinions change when you have money. Seriously.

      Lots of things that sound stupid when you're young and poor turn into no-brainer decisions when you move into six figures.
      • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Friday April 30, 2010 @01:27AM (#32040944)
        I will never have enough +1; Informative mod points to properly mod your comment up. $100K+ vs $30K definitely changes how you view expenses.
      • Interesting, I'm young and make quite a bit of money actually. I am employed with a steady, salaried job. I am not a student. However, if I make the decision to not spend my money on sleeping in a hotel every night that I go on a vacation, then I can save that money and invest it in something that, to me, has more value, like, say, one of my close friends education, or a college fund for my nieces.

        I realize having a bigger paycheck makes it easier to spend money. That doesn't mean you have to spend more
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Have a couple of rugrats. You'll end up staying in a hotel just so that you can let your two year old walk around without his great-grandmother having a heart attack about what little porcelain piece of shit he's going to break.
  • Motel 6 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Itninja (937614) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:18PM (#32037850) Homepage
    We did a West Coast road trip this year and stayed in hotels ranging from 5-star Best Westerns to 2-star Motel 6's (um, Motels 6?). Consistently the Motel 6's had much better Wifi (e.g. faster, more secure, and better signal). Where most of the higher end hotels must have had a single WAP for the entire building. Not to mention most of their WPA passcodes were , whereas the Motel 6's gave me a one-use card with a unique passcode on it.
  • by Teun (17872) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:39PM (#32038102) Homepage
    Or maybe I should say WIFI *should be* like any other service.

    I travel quite a bit and especially in the United Kingdom the hotels are trying to gouge you for internet access but I must say bitterly complaining to the manager and asking if he similarly charges separately for power, water and sanitation often results in a lower priced plan.

    UK hotels that typically try to charge 15 pounds/day but can be brought down to charge 15 pounds per stay.

    Only one bastard thanked me for the idea to put a counter on the toilet flush. :)

    • by Martz (861209)

      My full time job is working for a small hotel group (5 hotels) and I run their IT, and I was going to reply with the exact same argument as you - why not also charge for the utility services such as electricity, water and heating if you're going to charge for WiFi.

      Our WiFi is free to use, with no encryption or password protection. What we are thinking of doing is implementing some sort of version of Chillispot which will ask the guest if they mind submitting their email address for our marketing purposes, w

      • by Teun (17872)
        Yes in 2010 net access is just another utility.

        I don't mind paying a small fee to get a sign-in code for their WIFI but it's the daily charges that could buy you a month of domestic broadband that are the problem.

        About the counter on the toilet flush, Ryanair wants to start charging for the use of the toilet on board their flights.

  • I have two non-negotiable requirements for just about every hotel I stay in: must allow dogs without fee and must have free wifi. In the rare case I go somewhere without my dog then of course free wifi. I haven't stayed in a hotel without free wifi in almost five years.

  • I booked a hotel with hotwire that listed wireless internet access but it turned out that it only had internet access in the lobby.
    I called hotwire and told them and they let met change my hotel at no charge even though they dont normally allow changes.

  • I was staying at the Renaissance in Las Vegas, booked for a week for a HP training class. Checked out after the first night when I realized that Wi-fi was $10/night. Where did I go? The Choice Hotel 2 blocks down the street.. room was quite nice.
    How much did that cost the Renaissance? about $500 for the week....
    I haven't stayed at a Mariott in years for the same reason.
    Wi-fi is a basic assumption in my hotel choices today. I won't even spend the company's money on this.
  • I have two things I use to weed out hotels when I have a surfeit of choice, and most of the booking/travel sites make it easy to filter by many criteria. I prefer an "exercise room" or some way of exercising onsite, but free wifi (or free Internet in general) is a must; I can always go for a run or a swim (these days, free wifi is becoming like pools at hotels: expected).

  • I've have yet to find a hotel in Britain that has free wifi. Either there's no wifi at all, or it comes at a steep price (usually supplied by a 3rd party like BT). I've been in more British airports with free wifi than hotels.

    Same thing incidentally in Spain - either no wifi, or pay through the nose wifi. Next time I go to Spain I'm going to get a PAYG 3G sim card because it'll be much cheaper and I can use it to get maps/info when I'm away from wifi too.

    • by RockDoctor (15477)

      I've have yet to find a hotel in Britain that has free wifi.

      Never bothered looking, though I do see it mentioned. Means all the trouble of trying to figure out how to get wifi working on the laptop, which fails the 3-second test (if it takes longer than 3 seconds, I'll just plug the cable in, or not bother ; it's not like it's important most of the time).

      Either there's no wifi at all, or it comes at a steep price (usually supplied by a 3rd party like BT). I've been in more British airports with free wifi th

  • I'm just back from three weeks in Japan, travelling around and staying in salaryman hotel rooms (well, apart from the suite upgrade at a resort hotel in Atami when they didn't have any single rooms left). Nearly all these small business hotels have free cabled internet which is pretty fast and reliable, a few have rather ropy low-signal wifi with frequent dropouts and reconnections required. In one case I found myself on an 11MBps connection, probably ancient 802.11b hardware.

    I much prefer cabled connection

  • The cost of delivering that "free wi-fi" at a hotel just gets baked into the room charge. So now you pay for wi-fi whether you use it or not. Quit kidding yourself that there's some sort of magical value there. That's not to say that economy hotels won't use it as a loss-leader to get your reservation. But I guarantee that free service is on a cost of doing business line on their balance sheet, which is at least offset by your room charge.

    Besides that, wi-fi at hotels just sucks to begin with regardless of

  • There's nothing worse than a hotel that provides "free access", but it's been installed by a bunch of ameteurs. I've seen one or more of the followng:
    • AP placement is all wrong (no survey, just hap-hazardly placed) which leads to poor coverage in some rooms
    • There's no roaming configured, each AP has it's own SSID). This makes choosing the best AP for the room less than ideal for users who don't have decent wireless suites that display stronger and weaker SSIDs
    • APs are set to non-standard channels (i.e. 3,

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