Tag: WiFi HellView All Tags
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.)
HotelChatter Reviews / West Village Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / GEM Hotels / Hotel WiFi / WiFi Hell / → All Tags
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Oh noes. Say what you will about Holiday Inns, but HI's Internet is usually, these days, fairly fast and totally free. Well, 'round these parts, anyway. We're sad to hear from Canadian blogger Andrew Currie that, over in Hong Kong, that's notsomuch the case. He documents his Internet troubles at the Holiday Inn Hong Kong Golden Mile:
Unlimited access set me back $160 HKD per day, or about $25 CAD. At this price you might think I'd be tempted to leave my laptop packed and use my phone exclusively, but even with Opera Mini paring down the average full web page to a paltry 50K or so I would still pay 5¢/kB in data roaming charges — or in other words, for the same cost per day I'd only be able to pull down a mere 10 web pages on my phone!
For an extra $40 HKD/day ($6.25 CAD) I could supposedly access the hotel-wide WiFi via my phone — a great idea for reading the morning news over breakfast in the restaurant, except that interTouch uses some kind of stupid web redirect to log in to their network, likely designed with laptops only in mind.
Boo. Oh, and to translate that to US dollars: that daily Internet charge of 160 HKD works out to just over $20, while the 40 HKD WiFi charge comes out to around $5. And the worldwide free WiFi crusade continues.
[Photo: Andrew Currie]