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HotelChatter's Annual Hotel Wi-Fi Report 2010

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the $5-access-works-fine-at-motel-6 dept.

Wireless Networking 157

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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157 comments

AirPort (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32037326)

A couple weeks ago, while taking my asian girlfriend shopping at the local mall, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Steve Jobs -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the security guards wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal thinker and had been an Apple customer since 1984. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting Jobs, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Steve Jobs, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman, and thrusting my pink iPod Shuffle into my ass. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Steve Jobs wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than reading an Apple press release!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Steve Jobs dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful Apple customer.

Knead my shorts slashdot !!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32037352)

knead my shorts slashdot!!!!!

Price gouging (2, Informative)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037380)

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 (4, Insightful)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037466)

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.

Re:Price gouging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32037700)

The revelation that slashdotter are quasi-illiterate is hardly new. He said he was visiting Disney and stayed at Buena Vista Suites. Disney != Buena Vista Suites.

Re:Price gouging (1, Offtopic)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037994)

Disney != Buena Vista Suites.

      "Buena Vista" is a registered trademark of the Walt Disney Company. A lot of their movies are released under the "Buena Vista" label. Try naming your hotel "McDonald's Suites" and see how long it takes to hear from the clown's lawyers. Buena Vista Suites are most likely held by a subsidiary of Disney. It's not surprising that the company has two (2) hotels, conveniently located near Disney World and Disney Land. However since you apparently are a paragon of literacy and understanding, you already knew this.

Re:Price gouging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32038400)

Buena Vista might be a trademark where movies are concerned but Disney doesn't have exclusive rights to the term Buena Vista. Look up the Buena Vista / Caribe hotels and do a little searching. They don't appear to be owned by Disney at all although it's pretty hard to find who exactly owns the hotel.

Re:Price gouging (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038914)

    Buena Vista Suites is owned by MMG Interactive of Kansas City, MO. Looking at their site, they have a lot more interests than just Disney related properties. Most likely they've licensed the name for the hotel close to Disney property. There's an awful lot of licensing that happens around there. If you've been to Disney in Florida (WDW), you'd see it all over the park.

Re:Price gouging (1)

humphrm (18130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039260)

Buena Vista Suites are most likely held by a subsidiary of Disney.

Nice guess, but wrong.

http://www.thecaribeorlando.com/caribe-royale/faq/#General [thecaribeorlando.com]

Q. What chain are you affiliated with?
A. We are proud to be independently owned and operated, with a local staff of hospitality professionals dedicated to making your visit as enjoyable as possible.

Re:Price gouging (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038186)

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 ever.

Re:Price gouging (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038994)

    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 or wireless. At least it's not the price gouging that some airports do, at $5 to $10 per hour for amazingly slow service. On long layovers, I've had to wander through the terminals to find a place with a good cell phone signal that was capable of anything resembling decent speeds, rather than paying the outrageous rates.

Re:Price gouging (1)

nanoakron (234907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039184)

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...

Hilton sucks. (5, Interesting)

PatHMV (701344) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037418)

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.

Re:Hilton sucks. (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038118)

You forgot the $16/day they charge for parking too.

Re:Hilton sucks. (2, Funny)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038192)

But the pillows are so nice!

Re:Hilton sucks. (2, Informative)

Bill Dimm (463823) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038230)

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 "we're sorry."

Re:Hilton sucks. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32038546)

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.

Re:Hilton sucks. (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039158)

Well played.

Re:Hilton sucks. (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039164)

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.

Re:Hilton sucks. (1)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038304)

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.

Re:Hilton sucks. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038430)

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.

Re:Hilton sucks. (1)

squidfood (149212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039342)

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 so.

Re:Hilton sucks. (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039430)

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. It's a tiny island with excellent infrastructure. So it's not like you can attribute this to the cost of delivering the connection. Of course, Singapore has free WiFi virtually everywhere at street level, but it wasn't usable up on the 20th floor unfortunately...

OTOH I've stayed in cheap little motels in Australia (which has notoriously expensive Internet costs due to their isolation, distance from the main hosts of English-language content, large area and small population) where the WiFi has been free and fast. I happily support such places with repeat business, and have let them know it.

So from what I can tell, the "good" hotels worldwide (the 4 and 5 star ones) charge through the nose because they can get away with it. Most of their guests are either wealthy (so don't really care about paying $30 a day for Internet access), or are business travellers (so a company is picking up the bill anyway).

roaming (1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037420)

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 (3, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037486)

Domestic roaming is included in most 3G plans.

International roaming, of course, is a complete racket.

Re:roaming (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037814)

huh. Apparently I'm getting screwed.

Re:roaming (2, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039502)

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 providers normally cover the whole country. (Similarly the idea of 'long distance home phone service' as a service you purchase in addition to/separately from a local call service is also, AFAIK, an American thing ... elsewhere a phone company just connects you and that phone can call any number on the planet, although you may obviously still be charged differently depending on the distance of the call.).

International data roaming OTOH is as you say a racket. And a danger to unwary travellers, especially if your device likes to do a lot of random 'background' tasks that just use a few bytes here and there, but the roaming provider has something like "100 kB minimum session charge". That can rack up to thousands of bucks very easily. Turn off your 3G data completely when travelling people!

Re:roaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32037504)

roaming? is this the 90s again? I thought everyone had a nationwide network now?

Re:roaming (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037556)

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.

Re:roaming (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039190)

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.

Re:roaming (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039330)

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.

Re:roaming (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039520)

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 deal with some included data but I seriously haven't been able to find it ... plus T-Mobile has terrible coverage in the area I travel to most often (upper midwest).

Re:roaming (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 4 years ago | (#32040006)

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

Re:roaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32038310)

Sprint offers a $69.99 unlimited international roaming option with their Blackberry devices.

The blackberry service domestically (for the most part) is 30dollars. When going internationally I can just tell them to switch me to the 30dollar extra international plan for x weeks and only be charged for that time period.

This plan also allows you to add on a 15dollar phone as a modem option (there are ways to get this added on for free) which allows unlimited roaming from your laptop.

Being able to surf from my laptop in some of the poor parts of SE Asia which may have a single internet cafe on the island but will have decent edge+ (sometimes the faster wcdma since the cells were built recently and didn't go through the gsm upgrade cycle) coverage is a real joy that allows me to stay in touch almost anywhere I go.

THE BEST PART: Is that with my total unlimited international plan being under 100dollars it is still cheaper than some of the LOCAL unlimited data card plans (Which in some countries require contract/residence to get) that are gprs/edge only. CDMA Blackberries have issues when doing phone as a modem over bluetooth with linux devices so I use a quad band gsm slider with 3g wcdma as my phone for bluetooth modem usage.

Also in case anyone is wondering sprint provides a gsm card that will allow data services in ANY gsm device including 3g connection cards.

Re:roaming (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038442)

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

Close the barn door, Martha! (2, Insightful)

notjustchalk (1743368) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037442)

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 customers (especially when just about every small mom and pop B&B has free wifi!).

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

Re:Close the barn door, Martha! (5, Informative)

nblender (741424) | more than 4 years ago | (#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...

Re:Close the barn door, Martha! (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039856)

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.

Re:Close the barn door, Martha! Igor and Vito? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32037714)

Anyone can give away free wifi, but how do you know it's not capturing everything you do? Or someone else has replaced the "free" wifi spot with his own, made to look like the free one? No one may know if it's free since no one is managing it. If you want at least some assurance that you aren't really going through Vito's wifi honeypot scam box, then pay a little more and rest peacefully.

Who do you think IS managing free wifi HOTSPOTS? I can tell you it's not who you think it is. It's Vito, and his PAL, Igor. They will do it because they can scam you. Motel 6 won't care, not about the roaches and bedbugs and mice and xtal meth labs to the left and right, and not about who is doing what on "their" wifi.

Re:Close the barn door, Martha! Igor and Vito? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038472)

Then just use VPN.

This is a solved problem.

Re:Close the barn door, Martha! (2, Informative)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038306)

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 one else offers that convenience, so they are obviously taking advantage of it.

Re:Close the barn door, Martha! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038410)

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 backup Gmail account for that nonsense.

I absolutely will not stay at any place that does not have wifi. And I'm becoming less willing to pay for it. Like the TV in the room, its an expected standard amenity. I even carry my own router with me, as I often have more than one device to connect.

Yes the bandwidth is usually saturated in the evening porn hours but most of my work gets done in the morning.

Most Expensive Hotels Price Gouge on the Wi-Fi (2, Insightful)

Game_Ender (815505) | more than 4 years ago | (#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?

Re:Most Expensive Hotels Price Gouge on the Wi-Fi (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037692)

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.

Re:Most Expensive Hotels Price Gouge on the Wi-Fi (1)

Platinumrat (1166135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037716)

Depends on Country. I travel through asia a lot and find that the Mecure, Grand Mecure, Sofitel, etc.. offer Wifi with the room. It's not the greatest speeds, but even fixed copper is generally slow in parts of asia. For our company, it's a part of the decision making process.

Re:Most Expensive Hotels Price Gouge on the Wi-Fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32038068)

Does anyone know a good pre-pade type 3G data provider?

Did you say "pre-pade?" Our public schools are failing us :(

Re:Most Expensive Hotels Price Gouge on the Wi-Fi (1)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038148)

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.

Free Access in the Lobby (1)

Message (303377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037500)

A lot will still offer free wifi in the lobby.

The Chart (4, Informative)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:The Chart (1)

FormOfActionBanana (966779) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038484)

Is that a joke? i can't tell what the diagram is supposed to mean.

Re:The Chart (1)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038984)

Have you tried looking at it?

It clearly shows that overall, Marriott is the one that offers most free wifi over the range of their different hotel types (60% of the range offers free access). The horizontal bars on the bottom show the repartition of each hotel type per mother company, and how the wifi costs maps across them.

In case you didn't know, hotel companies offer different types of hotels. I'm sure you've heard of the Holiday Inn, which has horrible standards, and maybe you've even come across the Crowne Plaza (the one in Manchester, UK has excellent service. You can break down half the room and they won't charge you for it). Well, even though they have very different standards, they are from the same mother company.

Re:The Chart (1)

MrIOTA (93925) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039032)

The chart really wouldn't be any different if it were "parking" rather than "wifi" (or even "internet"). The higher-end hotels will charge $10-15 per day for net access, $10-$25 per day for parking. They will nickel and dime you because they assume that some business is picking up that dime.

Higher end hotels also don't have jacked up prices on vending machines, they have even-more-jacked-up prices in a hotel "store". The one that really annoyed me was the one that had no ice, but you could call for "complementary ice service". The ice may be free, but it's just another tipping opportunity for someone.

Re:The Chart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32039398)

That chart is a piece of shit -- speaking as someone who knows goo

Expensive hotel := bad WIFI, cheap motel := good (5, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037508)

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.

Re:Expensive hotel := bad WIFI, cheap motel := goo (-1, Offtopic)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037682)

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.

Would it be offtopic to mention the nationalized healthcare debate at this point? I think it's very related.

Re:Expensive hotel := bad WIFI, cheap motel := goo (0, Offtopic)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037808)

Would it be offtopic to mention the nationalized healthcare debate at this point?

No, because a) individuals don't bear the full brunt whether the payer is the govt. or a private insurer, it makes little difference to them ; b) consumers don't know enough to make informed cost/benefit tradeoffs with health care (frankly, even doctors often don't know because we don't collect that information); c) nationalized health care is off the table in the US now anyways; d) all the nations with nationalized health care pay much less for it than the US does.

Oh man, I'm still a sucker for health care debate...

Re:Expensive hotel := bad WIFI, cheap motel := goo (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037892)

Oh man, I'm still a sucker for health care debate...

But pretty switched on on the subject :)

Re:Expensive hotel := bad WIFI, cheap motel := goo (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037822)

Would it be offtopic to mention the nationalized healthcare debate at this point?

Yes.

I think it's very related.

No it's not.

The venetian has free WIFI and good up and down sp (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037896)

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:Expensive hotel := bad WIFI, cheap motel := goo (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32037998)

The reason many of the big boys don't have free WiFi is that in the early 2000's they signed long term contracts with a provider usually the same one the provides the in-room movies.

I used to work for Hilton and that is what happened at our property when we signed a 10 year contract. The provider came in set-up the equipment and took care of the maintenance and the hotel is charged a fee plus a percentage of WiFi revenue. Even though for the cost of 1 months "service" we could have bought and installed the equipment ourselves

While the little guys just went out bought wireless access points, got a DSL or cable modem and just plugged them in.

Re:Expensive hotel := bad WIFI, cheap motel := goo (2, Interesting)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038170)

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 bag for free, etc.

I guess the difference is that you're not getting two disparately priced rooms within one building in the case of hotels?
But it's still pretty damn ironic that those you pay more to, try to screw you over more in the hotel industry. Somewhere along the way apparently it seems image and prestige way overtook actual customer satisfaction and service.

Re:Expensive hotel := bad WIFI, cheap motel := goo (1)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038580)

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.

Re:Expensive hotel := bad WIFI, cheap motel := goo (1)

$pace6host (865145) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038662)

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. I'd set up an SCP transfer and push hundreds of photos back home overnight. And on the expensive hotel side, I stayed at a ski resort in Durango almost 2 yrs ago, expensive room, crap WiFi. But it was free, at least.

free internet connectivity is a hotel filter (3, Interesting)

nblender (741424) | more than 4 years ago | (#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 ...

Re:free internet connectivity is a hotel filter (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037634)

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....

Re:free internet connectivity is a hotel filter (2)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039138)

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.

Awful graphic for Tufte's What Not To Do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32037558)

FTA:
http://www.hotelchatter.com/special/2010-WiFi-Chart [hotelchatter.com]

Edward Tufte would call this a classic Duck - lots of color & graphical shapes, but redundant and confusing display of data.

See also Tufte's reference to the Big Duck:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Duck [wikipedia.org]

No kidding (1)

proxima (165692) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037560)

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 cheaper than most places of its class, but internet access was a daily charge. That charge simply meant we paid for access for one day instead of the three days we were there, and all was fine (we saved a few hundred bucks relative to its closest competition). Hotel prices can vary so much that ponying up for a $15/day internet access charge can still make sense (or just finding a local coffee shop). $2-4 is a small price to pay for internet access and a coffee for a while.

If I spent more time in airports, though, I might be inclined to get 3G access. So many airports I've been in have no free access anywhere near my gate. It hardly seems worth paying for a few hours though. I just make sure I have enough to keep myself occupied offline (and try to find a plug for my laptop, which is not at all easy in some airports).

So yeah, I'll stick with my prepaid phone service (averaging about $20/mo in calls and texts) and seek out wifi when I travel. Now, if my income doubled...

Marriott charges for Internet (2, Insightful)

dustman81 (1134599) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037622)

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.

A lot of people still live without 3g (1)

LarrySDonald (1172757) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037626)

..but still expect to be able to log in. I can almost sort of live without internet access, but not really. But a 3g subscription is out of my my league by a long shot, especially seeing as I'm the new lower-middle class. I code like a small farmer, enough to get by but not stacking chips. I rarely go anywhere much and every place I'd stay for any length of time would has wifi anyway. Hard to justify a 3g modem. More and more people stay in one place (or a half dozen places) that have wifi anyway now that their friends have wifi and can hand you a password right off the bat if you need it, yet somehow would like net on the road without parking outside McD.

It's free ... if you can connect (1)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037664)

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 Windows XP laptop, Macbook. So it seems like there's a whole lot of hotel wifi APs that are setup in a totally screwed up manor. Or maybe I've just had bad luck

Re:It's free ... if you can connect (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038020)

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? ;)

Australasia (1)

fremsley471 (792813) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037676)

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?

Re:Australasia (1)

dingram17 (839714) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037844)

I've stayed in a few motels in rural Queensland (Dalby and Chinchilla). They had free WiFi or Ethernet, which varied in speed depending on the number people hammering their 512k DSL connection at once. One place had a paid service, but it was a rat hole.

The hotels in the capital cities want to charge like wounded bulls - Adelaide and Melbourne hotels were bad like that. I use a 3G prepaid for times like that, and given that $30 gives me 2GB of traffic for three months, it isn't a hardship.

NZ hotels and motels were better, with the Copthorne in Oriental Bay (Wellington) having free Ethernet based internet and a motel on the waterfront in Napier doing the same with generous allowances.

I've found that a few places that do have WiFi have WEP enabled to stop drive-by downloads, and others stick to cabled Ethernet.Coffee shops and bookshops don't generally offer free WiFi here, so most people on the move have 3G of some sort.

Re:Australasia (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039246)

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 it. So the Indonesian hotels don't care what you do.

Also, Aus+NZ and other developed countries are infested with Revenue Maximisation Consultants who will pitch the hotels pay-internet systems as ways to increase their bottom line. They never mention how many guests it keeps from ever coming back.

Re:Australasia (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039614)

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!).

Re:Australasia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32039872)

Nope, that's just how it is here. Most hotels don't offer free internet in any form.

Try the local coffee shop.

Hotels are For Suckers (2, Informative)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037764)

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.

Re:Hotels are For Suckers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32038318)

But will the couch-surfing host complain if I watch porn and masturbate? Because that's what I like to do in hotels.

Re:Hotels are For Suckers (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038572)

Or, if you have your car with you, sleep in it. I did that for 3 months and had a great trip.

Re:Hotels are For Suckers (1)

massysett (910130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038708)

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:Hotels are For Suckers (2, Interesting)

sirflyalot (1671634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038854)

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:Hotels are For Suckers (2, Insightful)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039136)

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 average of 2-3 weeks per month. It may sound stupid, but one of the few ways to keep your sanity is by being allowed to stay in hotels that have the same standards everywhere. There's nothing more disgusting and utterly demotivating than having to sleep in a bed where you wonder if the sheets have been changed.

In other words, if you have to travel a lot, and the company won't pay for proper accomodation, it's time to take your ass (literally) elsewhere.

The same rule applies to personal travel; if you have to lower your standards in order to get away, maybe you shouldn't be getting away, you should just get creative. I've done a bit of couch-surfing, especially when I was a student, and it just doesn't work as a couple. You're often in the middle of the living room of a 60 sq ft flat, and you wake up everytime the host goes for a piss, or because he's a street cleaner and goes to work at 3AM. Granted, I never did it when I was single, and the website wasn't as popular and overflowing with offers as it is now, but heck, I'm not a student anymore. I can pay for a decent hotel and not eat Ramen Noodles for the rest of the month.

Re:Hotels are For Suckers (4, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039474)

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.

Cape Town (1)

RocketRocketship (1416283) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037796)

I stayed at the Breakwater Lodge in Cape Town, SA. They were charging ~$10/hour.

Re:Cape Town (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32038968)

In SA, internet is in general a) expensive b) capped c) not flat rate.

All of these things would make it reasonable for a hotel to charge for internet access somehow. However, that is not to say that there are not places offering free internet, but they are far fewer than in, for example, most of Europe. For example, many backpackers' (hostels, in essence) and quite a few guest houses seem to offer it.

Also, Breakwater Lodge is, again, one of those fancy places which seem to charge for internet regardless of local conditions.

Same for coffee shops... no wifi, I won't buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32037816)

Not only does Starbucks have horrible, overpriced coffee, they charge for wifi in my town. So I go to non-franchise shops that offer free wifi, and get better coffee too :)

Motel 6 (3, Interesting)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32037850)

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.

Re:Motel 6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32039268)

I was in a Motel 6 in November 2009. I asked about Wifi, and I was told that it was only available in certain rooms (not mine!) and that it required a $2.99 a night air-card rental.

Anyone else have a bone to pick with Hyatts? (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038044)

I was expecting something scathing for all Hyatt sub-brands across the board, and was ridiculously surprised that Hyatt's name popped up at all under the "Best" category.

Apparently the caveat being:
"Hyatt offers free WiFi for guests of certain loyalty program status (Diamond and Platinum)"

I'm not sure if this website realizes that a lot of people aren't going into a hotel reservation with "5 eligible stays or 15 nights in a calendar year" (for Diamond, 25/50 for Platinum jeeze) under their belt to meet that diamond threshold...

Are other hotels really this much worse? I've been to places MUCH crappier than Holiday Inns and they've all managed to squeeze out a couple free megabits for the guest's convenience.

It feels like these guys were going into the survey already with full blown premium memberships or something if needing to spend $1500 in room reservations in a year first to get "free" WiFi doesn't warrant anything more than a footnote.

Wi-fi is still a luxury item (1)

twoDigitIq (1352643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038074)

If you're staying in a hotel once or twice a year, and you absolutely have to stay connected to your twitter and porn then $10-15 is what you pay. You can do without it, seriously.

If you're constantly staying in hotels and need internet access then you should have a card or a phone tethering option (you're paying for wireless internet access already, right?)

Eventually the prices will drop, assuming some other technology doesn't come along and make hotel wi-fi as obsolete as hotel land lines.

I stayed at the Bellagio in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and my employer paid $15 per 24 hrs so I could stay connected. I have no complaints and neither does my employer. I was able to download a 2.5 GB work-related file in about 35 minutes on their wire. In addition, my twitter and porn experienced no unnecessary delays en route to my drunk eyeballs.

in 2010 WIFI is just like any other service (2, Funny)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038102)

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. :)

Re:in 2010 WIFI is just like any other service (1)

Martz (861209) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038506)

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, with incentives such as winning a free or meal during their stay. Or they can choose to skip the submittion form, either way they will be authenticated after hitting our splash page first.

In my experience people don't mind getting "spam" from us if they willingly opt in and are getting something for it.

Money for wifi? (1)

Drumpig (13514) | more than 4 years ago | (#32038198)

Aircrack

i work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32038232)

i work in a high end hotel accounting dept. there are two reasons high end hotels will charge for wi-fi. 1) all other luxury, and ultra luxury charge for wi-fi $15 a night 2) long distance revenue continues to fall. while wi-fi continues to rise, even more than making up the difference. but wi-fi fills the hole of once long distance revenue. the business center is getting used less and less. people who stay at a property with room rates of $750 plus, if they have their own laptop, have a 3g card. in our comments from our guests, I think in the past year, 1 person complained about the price, but many many complained about the speed not being university grade. We still charge $2 for local calls, but now people have cell phones. so that revenue is down. I think people who need wi-fi to do business while at a hotel room, and pay $750 +, have a 3g card. If they are from out of the US, they could care less about the price.

My two requriements ... (1)

Jumperalex (185007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039018)

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.

Wifi in Vietnam (1)

hexadecimate (761789) | more than 4 years ago | (#32039286)

I've noticed reliable wifi in North American hotels almost always comes at a price.

What surprised me on a recent road trip from Hanoi to Saigon was the *standard* free wifi at every hotel we stayed at. Wifi cafés were also plentiful everywhere. It seemed strange that a developing country was so far in advance of North America in terms of internet access. Oddly enough the Facebook web site was unreachable (although smartphone apps could read and post to Facebook without any problem).

Re:Wifi in Vietnam (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32040012)

In North America at least it all depends on the class of hotel you're staying at. When I travel with my own family, every hotel has free Wi-fi. But we're staying at the Holiday Inn or Super 8. When I travel with my girlfriend's family, not a single place we ever stay has free Wi-fi - but then, they stay at the Ritz or Marriotts

Cheaper the hotel, free'er the internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32039920)

Doubletree, $180/night + $10/night internet

LaQuinta just down the street $60/night + free internet and breakfast.

The internet was provided (part or all) by Google.

Wifi make or break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32040080)

"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."

High-speed internet has been my criteria when on work trips since ~2000. In the early days, CAT5-based internet was fine, as I'd travel with a wifi router anyway. Of course, back then it was still always $10/day, but it was more than worth it for me to be in the email loop while on the road at training events or on customer installs. Plus I'd bring a Cisco 7960 with me and the router would vpn back to the office, avoiding stupid LD charges that the hotels charge, so I was actually saving money for work.

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