HotelChatter Annual WiFi Report 2012: Worst
Worst Hotel WiFi 2011
1. WESTIN HOTELS: Ahhh...step into a Westin Hotel and the hotel’s signature white green tea scent wafting through the lobby is meant to put you at ease. And for a little while it might work. Until you decide to get on the internet in your room and you’re faced with a $9.95 a day average charge, per device. For a brand that’s supposed to be about relaxation, charging for WiFi seems counterintuitive and also, stupid. If a hotel can install workout gear like yoga mats and treadmills into the guestrooms then why not free WiFi? (Yes, we know some Westins offer WiFi access for free in the lobbies but time and time again, we’ve rarely been able to make it work.)
2. W HOTELS: We debated putting W Hotels on our Worst list yet again but we feel so strongly that a brand that’s as cosmopolitan and savvy as W should be offering free WiFi to its “cultured” guests, not charging them $14.95 a day, per device. And even though guests who earn platinum status of Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program can get free WiFi during the stay (same with Westin), that still requires at least 50 nights of paying for internet.* Perhaps W should forget about their Global Fashion Director and hire a Free WiFi Ambassador instead.
*As part of an SPG program overhaul in February 2012, complimentary internet is now one of three options offered at the Gold level which takes 10 stays to achieve.
3. MARRIOTT FLAGSHIP HOTELS: Speaking of old faces on our Worst WiFi list, Marriott's flagship brand is still charging an average $12.95 a day for a so-so WiFi signal. Guests who hit the gold and platinum levels of Marriott Rewards loyalty program can get complimentary internet during their stay but is it worth to slog through 50 nights of paying for iffy internet? You're better off hitting up one of Marriott's value brands like Courtyard, Residence Inn and Towneplace Inn for their free WiFi instead, unless of course, they end up injecting advertising into your wifi, ugh. If you want to chance it, we hear there's even a Courtyard by Marriott in Bali.
4. HARD ROCK HOTELS: Let's face it. Hard Rock hotels are in the business of offering guests a rockin' experience. In Las Vegas, it's all about getting drunk at Rehab, the raunchy Sunday pool party. In Orlando, it's all about continuing the action from the nearby theme parks. So it shouldn't surprise us that free WiFi is not on the list of amenities. Yet there's just something totally uncool about charging guests $14.99 a day per device. We think Hard Rocks can be a little more badass by offering free WiFi.
5. HILTON HOTELS: The other year, Hilton's HHonors loyalty program finally started offering free internet to member who achieved gold and platinum status (it take 36 nights to achieve the gold level.) So there's been some improvement there but it's still a bummer to check into a Hilton, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria, Embassy Suites or a DoubleTree (all under the Hilton umbrella) and get charged an average of $12.95 a day. Especially when Hilton's other brands (Home2Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites) all offer it for free. We guess the only way to get free WiFi at Hilton is to find a same sex partner before the year is out.
Never Free (Most of the time)*
· Wyndham Grand Hotels
*There are some exceptions as hotel owners will go off-brand and offer it free. Like the Le Westin Montreal or the Trump Chicago. If you spot any anomalies on your next trip, let us know where!
Have you logged on in a hotel recently? Let us know your Best and Worst Hotel WiFi Experiences Here.