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HotelChatter's Annual Hotel WiFi Report 2009
Using the complimentary Kimpton Hotel WiFi in the lobby and poolside at the Hotel Palomar Westwood
A HotelChatter Exclusive
When we did our first HotelChatter WiFi Report back in 2004, we focused on the few hotels and hotel chains that were offering free, reliable hotel wireless and those who weren't. Over the next couple of years, more and more hotels began addressing the issue of adding dependable wireless for their guests, both in-room and in-lobby. However, what we are seeing in 2009 is a trend towards the corrosion of the upkeep, reliability and "freeness" of hotel wireless services.
To our dismay, some hotels that boast free WiFi in their guestrooms offer the worst kind of WiFi you can get: the slow kind. Worse yet, just because you've forked over a daily fee for the internet service in your room, doesn't mean you're guaranteed a fail-safe, four-bar connection.
This year, we'll be looking at the hotels and chains that are putting a new spin on free and reliable service as well as those hotels that have fallen off the reliable WiFi wagon. We'll also touch on International hotel WiFi gems and rip-offs. Remember, just because your favorite brand gives it to you for free here at home doesn't mean you'll get it on your next trip abroad.
In short, our message to hoteliers in 2009 is this: don't make us rely on our iPhones, Blackberries, and 3G cards; we still rely on hotel WiFi. Offer us the dependable wireless connections we need for getting on our laptops, checking out online videos, stalking old friends on Facebook, tweeting, buying music and movies for the trip home (or even for the hotel room) and maybe even getting some work done.
These reports were compiled by HotelChatter editors and information gathered came from in-person trips to these hotels and member and reader emails and comments between May 2008 and May 2009.