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The Alfonso XIII May Be Seville’s Grandest Hotel, But Its Wifi is Less Than Grand

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: San Fernando 2, Seville, Spain, 41004
November 17, 2009 at 10:06 AM | by | ()

Relaxing weekends never pan out the way you planned them do they? And our trip to Seville this weekend was no exception. Leaving aside the whiplash from the crashy landing on Sunday night (thanks Ryanair) and the fact that we didn’t partake in enough cerveza sessions, we spent much of the two days seething about the dire internet situation at the Hotel Alfonso XII, where we were shacked up.

Switching on the laptop as is our wont on arrival at a hotel, we were sad to see no WiFi networks showing. Yes there was an ethernet cable, but our 'pooter lacks the requisite hole.

We called reception, who told us not to worry, that there was a computer downstairs for us to check our email. So we worried. Is there no wireless, we asked. The answer came back: "Yes, but it’s better to use our computer. " Ugh, we worried even more.

Once we’d made ourselves decent and hauled ourselves and our laptop down to the lobby, we picked up a WiFi signal, and got an access code from the reception. “Make sure you sit around the terrace, the signal is pretty bad,” we were told.

Understatement of the month. We sat round the terrace to find the signal fairly weak, and the speed muy slow. It cut out a few times. It was irritating.

The next day, we took the receptionist’s advice and used the PC in the lobby to check our mail. Bad decision – it was slower than when we used to connect to the web via a dial-up in 1999.

Of course this is an old, historic hotel that wasn’t built for WiFi. We don’t expect perfection. But when it’s run by Starwood, and the cheapest room costs €273 (£244/$406), we’d expect them to have sorted something out.

There’s clearly a demand – the lobby PC was barely out of action all weekend, and we were accosted for our WiFi access code by another guest. And this is meant to be the grandest hotel in Seville. Surely grand hotels should be providing decent WiFi in the 21st century?

Disclosure: juliab stayed at the Alfonso XIII as a guest of Starwood as part of an article for another magazine.

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