Best and worst hotel Wi-Fi
If you think hotels, especially the five-star, US$250-a-night ones, should offer free Wi-Fi, you're not alone.
As a new report by travel website HotelChatter.com points out, some of the world’s biggest brands are still charging big bucks for Wi-Fi, with a typical 250-room in New York city profiting to the tune of US$200,000 a year.
“But we've got the numbers on how much it costs a hotel to install and maintain a decent network and there's no reason why hotels should be charging us for this service, which is just as important as air-conditioning and working toilets, other than it's an easy revenue source,” says the HotelChatter.com report, which is based on its own research and reader feedback.
We couldn’t agree more.
The website holds nothing back when naming the biggest Wi-Fi offenders of 2011, while applauding the brands that offer a free –- and most importantly, reliable -- connection.
Because it’s more fun to name and shame, let’s start with the worst of the bunch. Keep in mind that some of these brands' value propeties do offer free Wi-Fi, which the report also lays out.
More on CNN: Why are we still paying for hotel Wi-Fi?
Worst Hotel Wi-Fi
2. W Hotels
3. Marriott flagship hotels
4. Hard Rock
5. Hilton Hotels (including Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, Embassy Suites and DoubleTree)
Other big offenders on the "worst" list are: Hyatt Hotels; InterContinental; Starwood Hotels and Resorts (including St. Regis, Le Méridian, Sheraton and Luxury Collection properties); Wyndham; Mandarin Oriental; Four Seasons Hotels; Dorchester Collection Hotels; Marriott’s Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott and Renaissance hotels; Trump Hotels; Langham Hotels; Tune Hotels; and Sofitel Hotels (except in France).
Best Hotel Wi-Fi
1. Kimpton Hotels
2. Peninsula Hotels
3. Fairmont Hotels
4. Ace Hotels
5. Swire Hotels
The list of hotels with the best Wi-Fi also includes the top boutiques, hotels that offer free Wi-Fi for members of its loyalty clubs and the sub-brands that offer free Wi-Fi -- even if their parent companies don't (i.e. Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood and Marriott).
Another section of the HotelChatter.com report looks at the state of Wi-Fi worldwide, highlighting some the best and worst properties in various countries.
“If you're looking for the future of free hotel Wi-Fi, it can be found in Asia," says HotelChatter.com.
“Wanna know where we can always count on to free Wi-Fi? Singapore, where so many hotels offer it free for guests you'd be an idiot to pay.”
While giving credit to France as the most improved nation, the website says the rest of the continent is far behind.
“Alas, the rest of Europe seems to be hopeless as many of the bigger, well-known brands (Marriott, Hyatt, Starwood, Hilton and InterContinental) are still charging between 15 and 20 Euros a day -- per device -- for Internet.”
For more on the 2012 Hotel Wi-Fi report, check out this cool infographic. It highlights loyalty rewards programs that include free Wi-Fi and plenty of interesting facts and figures on the best and worst properties and cities.
What do you think? Should Wi-Fi be up there with water and air-conditioning when it comes to free amenities, or do hotels have a right to charge extra? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.