Tag: WiFi Hell

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Tell Us: Should Front Desk Staff Be Trained to Deal with Computer Issues?

May 15, 2015 at 9:31 AM | by | ()

Last week, I spent a night in a five star hotel in Singapore – one of its top ones, no less. The room was, obviously, beautiful. The pools (plural) were to die for. I arrived late and went straight to sleep. I woke up, swam, had breakfast, and turned on my computer. And found my computer wouldn’t connect to the WiFi.

I have a Mac, and this sometimes happens. So I did what normally works – left it a few minutes, restarted it, adjusted the settings. Several times. And it still didn’t work.

I knew it wasn’t a problem with the WiFi, because my phone was connected. So after a few more restarts and a bit more fiddling, I called the front desk. This has happened about four times in the past, and each time connecting me to the IT dept has solved it by manually assigning the IP address. In fact, the first time this happened – at the Allegro Chicago – the IT guy said that they often have this issue with foreign-‘born’ Macs. It was not a big deal.

A woman answered and I explained the problem, asking to be connected to someone in IT. “Maybe it’s a problem with our WiFi,” she said. “I don’t think so,” I said, “Because my phone is connected. This has happened before, and it was a Mac issue. I just need to assign a manual IP. Is it possible for someone from the IT dept to walk me through this?”

“Have you tried turning it off and on again?” she replied.

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Hotels, If You Advertise Free WiFi, Please Make Sure The WiFi's Free

July 23, 2014 at 9:40 AM | by | ()

The business center at the Atlas. At least this internet is free

One of the most important questions to take into account when picking a hotel? Whether or not there is free WiFi. You know how we feel about this at HotelChatter. It is imperative to our stay. We would not stay in a hotel with paid for WiFi.

But what’s almost worse than charging for WiFi? Advertising it as free, but actually imposing limits. We already told you about one reader’s encounter with a Fairfield Inn that had a limit of one device per guest, but we can go one better with our stay at the Atlas Hotel in Brussels last week.

The Atlas is a really nice, fashion-themed three star hotel in a great area of the city. It has OCD-friendly disposable coffee cups. It’s lovely. And it trumpets its “FREE Wireless High Speed Internet Access in ALL ROOMS, the Lounge, the Breakfast room and the Conference room” (sic) on its homepage.

The Atlas doles out the WiFi via individual codes at the front desk. We were given one, which we immediately tapped into our phone. We asked for another for our computer. And were told that there was a one code per room policy.

One device per room in one of the business centers of Europe? One device per room when you’re selling doubles, twins and duplexes? One device per room in 2014? Non non non, c'est pas possible!

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Beware of the WiFi Charge for Extra Devices (Even at a Hotel With Free WiFi)

May 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM | by | ()

In our Annual WiFi Report the other week we called out 10 hotel brands that still have the nerve to charge for WiFi in 2014. We also gave big-ups to the hotel brands and individual hotels who've made free and working WiFi a priority for their guests.

One such brand was Fairfield Inn and Suites, which are a part of Marriott International's select service brands.

Yet what a hotel brand aims to give their guests doesn't always get executed in real life, especially amongst such a heavily franchised brand like Fairfield. About a week after we praised Marriott, we received an email from a guest while staying at a Fairfield Inn. According to her, the hotel had free WiFi but they also had a limit of one device per guest. To hook up an extra device to the WiFi would cost another $3.95 a day.

We've heard of device limits at hotels before, but usually for more than two. So you can usually hook up your laptop and your phone, but then your tablet would be an extra charge. However, this guest claims that all Fairfield Inns are going to start implementing the extra device charge after one device. She writes:

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Donald Sterling, The Clippers' Controversial Owner, Also Owns This Hotel

Where: 10300 Wilshire Blvd [map], Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90024
April 28, 2014 at 11:36 AM | by | ()

Over the weekend, TMZ and Deadspin published recordings of Los Angeles Clippers' owner, Donald Sterling, making racist remarks to his younger girlfriend, including telling her not to pose on Instagram with black men or bring them to his games. #theworstever

While the NBA as a corporation figures out how they are going to penalize Sterling, NBA players and fans have been vocal about kicking Sterling out of the NBA for good. There was talk of boycotting the Clippers' games, but as the team is in the midst of a playoff series with the Golden State Warriors, boycotting the games would be like abandoning the players when they need the support the most. (The Clippers staged their own sort of protest yesterday by inside-outing their warm-up shirts so that the Clippers logo wouldn't show.)

But now what's coming out about Sterling is that his racism isn't a new thing. And the previous racist remarks he's made are heinous.

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What To Do When The Hotel WiFi Doesn't Work: 5 Fixes to Try

November 5, 2013 at 10:41 AM | by | ()

It's one of the most frustrating aspects of a hotel stay these days--busted hotel WiFi. Short of traveling with your own WiFi network, there's not much you can do when the hotel's network is down. But before you start raising hell to the front desk about how you can't get on the internet, make sure you really can't get on in the internet first. Here are a few fixes to try. Good luck!

1. Make sure you're connected to the right hotel network. A lot of fake or poseur networks will pop up as a way to entice naive guests into signing onto that network and unknowingly, give all their private information away. Sadly, these internet pirates are a way of digital life now. So be sure to find out the correct network to sign onto from the hotel. Most hotels will offer this information on a card placed near the desk or on the key card envelope giving at check-in.

2. Make sure you've entered the right password, name or room number. This sounds like advice from Captain Obvious but often times, hotel networks will ask for a combination of your last name, your room number and a special passcode. Make sure you've entered all three correctly and in the right boxes. We've been known to enter in the room number in the name box and vice versa. (But only after we've been raiding the minibar booze.)

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One Night at The Jade Hotel in the West Village

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 52 W 13th St. [map], New York, NY, United States, 10011
June 20, 2013 at 12:09 PM | by | ()

Is The Jade Worth Your Green? A HotelChatter Review

The other week, after a budget hotel gone wrong in Hell's Kitchen, we fled downtown to the Jade Hotel on W. 13th and Sixth Avenue. And thanks to HotelTonight, we paid just $260 for the night. But if we had to, we would pay more and here's why.

For starters, the Jade has an incredible location. It's close to all things in the West Village and it's just a few blocks away from the happenings of Union Square. But it's also one block away from a subway stop that will quickly take you out to the LES or Brooklyn. You can even go to Jersey on the PATH train. Second, the rooms are petite but heavenly with thoughtful touches like an intricate cabinet that hides the TV, a mirrored armoire instead of a closet and a working rotary phone. Most importantly, they are quiet, which was our number one request.

If only the internet had worked in the morning, we may never have left the spot.

Read on for the full review!

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There's No Need to Stay at the Haymarket Hotel in London

Where: 1 Suffolk Place, London, United Kingdom, SW1Y 4BP
May 26, 2011 at 2:29 PM | by | ()

London hotels have made some great improvements on the WiFi scene in recent years with more and more hotels offering it for free (see that list here.) Which is why there's really no need to stay at The Haymarket Hotel.

London Hotel News pointed out to us that the hotel charges at least £350 a night and doesn't even disclose on their website that they will charge for WiFi which TripAdvisor reviewers say starts at 30p a minute!

As much as we hate W Hotels for charging for WiFi, at least all of their hotels tell you exactly how much you will be paying for internet on their websites.

Sorry, Haymarket--you're pretty to look at but looks aren't everything. Free WiFi is. Maybe you should take a hint from your good-looking cousin in the states, The Crosby Street Hotel?

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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.

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The Palazzo Lets You Spy on The Wynn's Pool Scene

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 3339 Las Vegas Blvd S [map], Las Vegas, NV, United States, 89109
September 3, 2009 at 12:16 PM | by | ()

We are suckers for a room with a killer view.  We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.

It's not that often that we get rooms with a killer view in Las Vegas. Like everything else in Sin City--if you want it, you gotta pay for it. And room views do cost extra. But last month we found ourselves with a pleasant view of The Wynn's (thankfully) tame pool scene and its golf course. And yeah, we zoomed in. A wider shot is after the jump.

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Westin's Beds May Be Heavenly But Their Wireless Internet is Not

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 425 Summer Street [map], Boston, MA, United States, 02210
August 26, 2009 at 6:46 PM | by | ()

Heavenly beds at the Westin Bonaventure in LA.

Most of us agree that the Westin Hotels Heavenly Bed feels quite nice and those of us who have tried the hotel brand's new Heavenly Bath toiletries would agree that the shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, et.al, go above and beyond what we would expect from hotel toiletries. But when it comes down to Westin WiFi, the experience is more hellacious than heavenly.

Westin is part of Starwood Hotels and while the WiFi is free in the lobbies, in-room guests have to pay. Usually the fee starts at $9.95 and goes up from there, depending on the hotel.

Paying for WiFi is akin to those ridiculous checked baggage fees that airlines charges, but if we pay for it we want that internet connection to be faster than Usain Bolt. Unfortunately, many hotels just take your money and leave you surfing the web at a snail's pace. But the worst is when you call down for help and they tell you to contact their service provider.

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Gild Hall Now Charging $10 for Practically Dial-Up Internet Speeds

July 1, 2009 at 2:02 PM | by | ()

Yikes. We stumbled upon this shot on Flickr and were not pleased to lay our eyes upon it — though we were grateful that our own WiFi connections were, um, at least fast enough to load Flickr in a timely fashion.

This is a screenshot from guest evoque, who apparently stayed at Gild Hall and had to fork over a 10-er in order to connect to the WiFi network. At a speed of 512k. Slow. Lame. Boo. The caption on the shot reads:

$10/day for a blazing 512k/512k WiFi connection — it's more Internet side road than Internet superhighway.

And we all know that people who are down with clever wordplay deserve faster WiFi, right? Regardless, this could have been forgivable — except that we haven't forgotten that Thompson Hotels' WiFi used to be totally free, and they just started charging for it this year. Ugh. If you're going to make us pay for this stuff, at least give us a decent connection to work with.

[Photo: Evoque]

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The Marriott Berlin Charges $530 For WiFi Access

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Inge-Beisheim Platz, Berlin, Germany
May 26, 2009 at 3:43 PM | by | ()

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)

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