The Marriott Berlin Charges $530 For WiFi Access
In an ideal, globally-connected world, all hotels would have free and fast WiFi. This is however not a perfect world, and so traveling across borders with the intention of checking your email or uploading pictures to your Flickr is often a bigger headache that it should be.
Our most recent instance of entering Hotel WiFi Hell occurred during our 3-night stay at the centrally-located and business traveler-happy Marriott Berlin. After enjoying free and freeflowing access at a much cheaper hotel elsewhere in the city for our first few days in Berlin, we were admittedly spoiled. Nonetheless, we found the internet plan at the Marriott too exorbitant for any visitor:
· One hour of access (common areas): € 6.95 ($9.72)
· One hour of access (in room): € 5.95 ($8.32)
· 24 hours: € 19.95 ($27.91)
· One week: € 99.75 ($139.56)
· One month: € 379.05 ($530.33)
Of course there is also the option to enjoy free wifi (and drinks and snacks) by upgrading our stay with access to the executive lounge for an additional € 80 per day. But with our Priceline deal on the place, that would actually mean paying more for executive access than we actually paid for our great room.
For a moment, it looked as if we were doomed to crappy, expensive WiFi, but then we discovered the free signal emanating from the Häagen-Dazs cafe next door. A € 2 cup of Illy coffee later, we were back in business. Another international WiFi lesson learned: Germany hotel WiFi cannot be trusted, but international coffee and ice cream chains often surprise.