READY & WILLING
· Thompson Hotels
In the past, we have largely overlooked this cooler-than-thou boutique hotel brand from the Pomeranc brothers, at least when it came to WiFi. But Thompson has always had free WiFi in its flagship location 60 Thompson and when it opened the Hollywood Roosevelt (above), the WiFi policy remained the same.
Now the small hotel group is aggressively expanding their locations. Soon there will be five Thompson Hotels in NY. There's already two in LA, one in Sonoma, plus the just-opened Donovan House in D.C. and locations in Toronto and Las Vegas are on the horizon. And as far as we know, complimentary WiFi is in each new location.
Residence Inns have always made our Best WiFi Hotels list so we were stoked to hear that Marriott was going to get jiggy with free WiFi at their smaller, biz-traveler-oriented brands in the U.S. and Canada.
The one downer is that at some properties the WiFi is only for lobbies and other designated public areas. Up in the guestrooms, the internet is still free except it just might be broadband which means you'll be tied to your desk as opposed to surfing from the comfort of the bed.
And when we've seen free WiFi in the rooms, the connections have been spotty so we usually end up using ethernet cables anyways. Still, this is a huge step for Marriott which usually charges for internet at its flagship brand hotels and its Ritz-Carltons.
San Francisco is easily one of the best cities to get free WiFi in your hotel room. But believe it or not, there are plenty of hotel chains charging for internet access. Personality Hotels is not one of them.
This small San Francisco-only collection of hotels around Union Square was one of the first make internet free for all guests in-room and in-lobby. Fellow SF-based hospitality groups like JDV and Kimpton Hotels then followed. Personality also has themed lounges on each floor at Hotel Diva where there are desktop iMacs available with a wired connection.
Ironically, this is the only place in the hotel where the WiFisignal was the worst, i.e. kept dropping us from the network.
Right now the Gansevoort group is limited to just its NYC and South Beach properties but both of them have free working WiFi in every nook and cranny. We recently got word that the managing director of the hotel recently went around to all 22 nodes on the property testing the WiFi signal which really warmed our hearts.
And imagine this: you can party by the rooftop pool, take pictures of your friends and upload the snapshots to Facebook, all from your pool deck chair.
TAKE A CHANCE ON THESE
Here are some other random hotel chains that are offering free WiFi.
· Four Points by Sheraton: One of Starwood's only brands to be completely free throughout the lobbies and in-rooms.
· Hyatt Place: This spin-off from Hyatt Hotels is a select service/extended stay/boutique-imitation style hotel. But unlike some boutique hotels we know, Hyatt Place has put free WiFi in the guestrooms.
· Carlson Hotels: Radissons and Country Inns and Suites all offer free internet but WiFi access varies from property to property. However you get your internet at these hotels, it's still free.
· Choice Hotels: All of the Choice Hotel brands offer free internet. You are probably familiar with the Comfort Inn and Quality brands but the Cambria Suites brand is more tech-savvy and typically offers wireless access.
· Apple Core Hotels: Another group of Manhattan hotels that offer free WiFi. It's a hodgepodge collection of five hotels with different brand names but they stand united in free WiFi.
TRIED & TRUE: These hotels have always offered free WiFi for its guests. Some require guest codes or room numbers (Kimpton, AB Hotels) and some are just hop on and surf (JDV and Jeff Klein.) Take a look at our previous WiFi Reports (also listed below under Related Stories) to see just how these hotels do it.
· Kimpton Hotels
· Best Western
· Holiday Inn
· Omni Hotels
· JDV Hospitality
· AB Hotels
· Jeff Klein Hotels
Know of a hotel that has free working WiFi in the U.S.? Let your fellow hotel guests which hotel and where.