Revealed: the heroes and villains of hotel wifi

Despite the internet now being a basic necessity for just about everything, getting hold of it while traveling can prove frustrating and expensive.

Many hotels around the world, safe in the knowledge that business travelers with expense accounts will shell out ludicrous sums for just an hour's worth of connection, continue to charge exorbitant rates - sometimes over €20 daily - despite the fact that surveys show that travelers are crying out for free connections.

HotelChatter, a hotel news site, which this week released its seventh annual Hotel WiFi Report revealing the best and the worst when it comes to US and international hotels and the worldwide web, believes free WiFi is on the rise as hotels listen to their customers.

"Compared to just a few years ago, hotels have really taken notice of the guest demand for free WiFi," HotelChatter's Juliana Shallcross told Relaxnews.

"We're seeing more and more brands offering it at their properties whether it's totally free, free in the lobbies or if you have to join their loyalty program to get it."

However, it seems many hotel companies still have a long way to go, especially in the luxury segment - the report suggested that luxury hotels are clinging onto exorbitant WiFi charges while their budget sister brands go free.

Mid-to-upscale brands Marriott, W Hotels and InterContinental were named as having the worst hotel WiFi, along with a host of other top-end names such as Sofitel, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and Ritz-Carlton.

At the other end of the scale, those which topped the HotelChatter "Best Hotel WiFi" list included Hotel Indigo, described as a "hotel version of a perfect date," Kimpton ("the long term relationship") and Aloft, "perfect for the tech connected road warrior."

But despite the big names which are setting an example, getting WiFi from a hotel remains something of a minefield - free WiFi still varies from brand to brand, city to city and even property to property, said Shallcross.

Read the full report at: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2011/4/18/214035/608/hotels/HotelChatter_s_2011_Hotel_WiFi_Report

Five top tips for dodging expensive hotel WiFi :

1. Join the hotel's loyalty program - many major chains now offer it as a perk for members
2. Check the upgrade program. On some booking sites, an executive room costs little more than a standard room and in some hotels, they include free wifi.
3. Check HotelChatter's guide, or use a booking site which can search for free WiFi - PriceLine added it to their "hotel freebies" search recently
4. Join a WiFi program. Companies such as Boingo offer monthly subscriptions which include access to some hotspots that would otherwise be chargeable, and the plans generally work out much cheaper than paying per stay.
5. If you're a regular visitor to one country, buy a 3G dongle and local SIM card. It may seem drastic, but if you're staying for a while it will work out cheaper (and you can use it anywhere).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor