Tag: Hotel WiFiView All Tags
Between exorbitant, unpredictable WiFi fees and the occasional circulating hotel internet virus, you'd think we have enough to worry about when it comes to signing onto the web from our hotel room. But you'd be wrong.
A friend of ours recently spent an evening at a Quaity Inn in California, and when he opened his laptop to join the network, found something that (understandably) made him a little nervous. There, listed above the Quality Inn's two available networks, was another one, which, in all caps, read: "FBI SURVEILLANCE VAN 28".
We've long bemoaned the practice of luxury properties like the Four Seasons Hotels charging not just top-dollar room rates but also a king's ransom for WiFi. Yet at the Four Seasons, in the heart of Fantasy Land aka Los Angeles, hotel guests get a little bit of a break.
Basic internet--like web browsing, checking your email and updating your social networking status--is totally free. And on multiple devices too. Of course, the downside of getting it for free is that it's not always fast. While our go-to websites all loaded properly, it wasn't a high-speed connection by any means. However, it did beat out some connections we've had at Starbucks. (Alas, you do have to be a hotel guest to access even the basic internet.)
Hotel WiFi / Hotel Lobbies / Manhattan Hotels / Indigo Hotels / Yotels / Tryp Hotes / Pod Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
Finding a good deal on a room can be stressful enough—but when all you need is to duck into the hotel lobby to fire off a string of emails, or upload photos onto Flickr, or write up a hotel story, (as is often the case with us), the last thing you want to feel is rushed. Here are a few trusty hotspots we like to keep on our radar when roaming the Big Apple, looking for a chilled-out place to turn into our office for a quick hour or two:
1. Indigo Chelsea: Our buddies at Indigo Chelsea like to keep things simple in their ground-floor lobby on 28th St. They even did away (for the most part) with those floppy white plastic tubes that had us all scratching our heads for a while.
But with a new dining concept (Blu) that replaced the previous Bice Italian restaurant last year, and free WiFi all over the hotel, this midtown gem is a clean, friendly, reliable place you can go and get a bit of work done for a while. Which we do often, with a side of sweet potato fries ($8) to keep our appetite at bay.
CNN has a story out today about the budget Hanting Inn brand in China that is expanding so fast, it's opening a new hotel every two days. Man, we knew there was room for growth in China but we had no idea it was this much.
Hanting Inns are pretty much no-frills budget spots that are just a step above hostels, capsule hotels and shared digs. Rooms are teeny tiny and they start as low as $15 a night. They also seem to be the knock-off Holiday Inn with similar logo colors except the rooms are way more modern and stylish.
However, billionaire founder Ji Qi made these three things a priority in his offerings to hotel guests: "a soft bed, free internet access and a good hot shower after a long, tiring day."
UPDATE, 9:03pm: HotelChatter received a response from Orbitz CEO Barney Harford, stating that while Orbitz is indeed trying to provide more "relevant" hotels to its customers, it would never charge Mac users more money for the same hotel room. This was stated in our original post, but we thought we should clarify that part.
More bad news for people who use computers and stay at hotels. Oh wait, that's pretty much all of us.
This time, the sword falls on Mac users specifically—who, according to a study by Orbitz, are statistically more likely to stay at pricier hotels than PC users, or at least a pricier room inside a hotel. Huh.
We always associated fancier, state-of-the-art tech amenities (iPads, Chromebooks, Mac Minis) with a fancier, more state-of-the-art hotels. But to make that decision for people based on what computer they're using to book a hotel room? Seems a little shady.
Yet while free WiFi is yet to become an SLS brand standard, the original SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills is now offering free WiFi in the lobby areas of the hotel. Up in the guestrooms, there's still a fee of $14.95 but that now includes up to three devices which should cover your laptop, phone and tablet easily.
While we would like free WiFi all over the property, especially up in the guestrooms, this is an improvement. And now it will allow people to have actual working lunches and other types of meetings in the restaurants at SLS, including the Bazaar by Jose Andres.
Plus, if you're a guest you can always avoid the $14.95 fee by working from the guest-only Tres restaurant which has comfy seating if you need to settle in for a while.
Gay Hotels / Pride Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Hotel Rivlary / Hotel News / Hotel Deals / Hotel Wifi / → All Tags
On Friday, we took a look at new gay-targeted travel flash site Out Escapes, which attempts to push gay travelers outside their comfort zones by recommending new and exotic destinations like the Atacama Desert and New Mexico's Sandia Park.
However, for those who like sticking to their tried and true vacation spots, both Marriott and Hilton are enticing LGBT travelers with simultaneous campaigns that are offering discounted rates as well as a wide variety of extras thrown in like cocktails, free breakfast and magazine subscriptions. So we're wondering: which of the two brands has the better Pride deal?
To be fair, the hotel does offer free WiFi in the lobby. That’s better than what a great many hotels offer on this island where internet access is a pricey purchase, and hotspots are rare. Plus, Brickell’s room rates are pretty stellar as well at $135 a night (and from $115 when you book 60 days in advance), including Continental breakfast. And as long as you book a room AWAY from the pool that also faces the loud Palm Village Mall area, you’ll actually get some sleep. But we digress.
Hotel Renovations / Hotel News / Manhattan Hotels / UN Hotels / Hotel Club Lounges / Killer Views / Hotel WiFi / → All Tags
Manhattan's east side isn't exactly teeming with trendy, modern hotels, so it's good to hear that one of the area's more prominent places, the Millennium UN Plaza, is embarking on an elaborate three-phase renovation project, with the first phase set to be completed this fall.
Built in 1976, the hotel is comprised of two glass towers, which up until now have basically been separate but equal parts of the same building. Now, in addition to the property-wide renovation, Millennium is setting out to re-define one of those towers as a more luxury-oriented section of the hotel, with slightly higher rates, better views, better amenities, and a 30th floor Skyline Club.
You're not the only one fed up with paying out for Hotel WiFi. Comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen feels your pain, and actually adapted the ridiculousness of hotel WiFi charges into a bit for his newest mockumentary: "The Dictator."
You won't find the scene online...yet. Bet here's what happens: Cohen, as Dictator General Aladeen, walks into the Manhattan hotel where he'll be staying while in town to address the United Nations. The General Manager is John C. Reilly, and he has seen to it that the General will be totally at home, outfitting the General's suite in gold glitz, his official portraits and all many of other luxuries. Aladeen spots a card in the room, reads it and exclaims: "Twenty dollars a day for WiFi? And they call me an international criminal!" He then warns his entourage not to touch the minibar.
It's a tiny joke that packs a big punch. And, as we've heard from other friends who went to see the movie this opening weekend, it's also one of the few solid laughs not already shown in the movie's TV commercials.
If you're reading this from a hotel right now, we sincerely hope you aren't one of the many travelers who have been recently assaulted by a new wave of hotel tech catastrophe: a computer virus disguised as a hotel WiFi login window.
The problem is exactly like it sounds. As per an FBI intelligence note released Wednesday: a newly-arrived guest logs onto the hotel's WiFi network when a pop-up window appears, asking to update a widely-used software product. When the guest clicks 'accept,' the computer then gets installed with malware.
Doggone it, as if we didn't already have enough troubles with these pesky WiFi connections!
The Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Virginia--Marriott's second and longest-operating hotel--let us know that the hotel is "finally moving into the 21st century" by joining with AT&T to put fast WiFi in all the guest rooms, suites, meeting spaces and the lobby.
Due to the switch, guests can get online faster and have up to 12 times more bandwidth and reliable connectivity. To celebrate the new wireless provider, the hotel is offering free WiFi for all guests in the guestrooms on May 16 and May 17. The only catch is the WiFi will only have a 2-megabytes per second (mbps) capacity.