Wi-Fi

HotelChatter's 2008 Wi-Fi review: Rating the hotels

HotelChatter.com is a good starting point for road warriors who are looking for virtually any kind of information about hotels. Since 2004, the website has been formally tracking the quality of Wi-Fi service at hotels and here are the results for 2008.

HotelChatter.com is a good starting point for road warriors who are looking for virtually any kind of information about hotels. I try to glean helpful information from the the Web site whenever I travel. On more than a few occasions the site has helped in deciding the best place to stay.

Being a wireless nerd, I especially pay attention to the Web site's comments about the hotel's Wi-Fi service. Since 2004, the the site has been formally tracking the quality of Wi-Fi service at hotels. I'll admit the reports are subjective and not the results of rigorous scientific testing, but when the occasion allowed, my opinion was comparable to that of the reviewers.

Best Wi-Fi hotels

Well, Wi-Fi Week 2008 is finally here, and the results are in. So without any further hesitation, let's start with the "Best Wi-Fi Hotels of 2008." The report uses three categories, which are "Ready and Willing," "Tried and True," and "Take a Chance," all self-evident categories.

Worst Wi-Fi hotels

Now we move on to the "Worst Wi-Fi Hotels of 2008." One common trait of the hotels making the worst list is charging for Wi-Fi access, which ups the ante according to the reviewers, who feel charging for Wi-Fi access automatically holds the hotel to a higher standard. It became very apparent the reviewers were not pleased with the hotels making this list.

International hotels

New this year is the addition of "Best and Worst International Wi-Fi Hotels." I can only dream of having the chance to verify the accuracy of these two lists. I'd appreciate hearing from the members if they agreed with the reviewers.

Final thoughts

The Web site is a bit confusing, but still provides usable information. I also agree with the reviewers, who are adamant that Wi-Fi should be free and pervasive throughout the hotel.

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Information is my field...Writing is my passion...Coupling the two is my mission.

5 comments
gavelect
gavelect

I use Hotel Chatter often. It is a very handi site and unbiased. I was looking for hotel York accommodation with WiFi and I got all the info I needed.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

While perusing TechCrunch's news letter I came across this hotel review site. It has more details than any other site I've heard of. Thought it might be of interest to the serious road warriors. http://www.tripkick.com/

mdhealy
mdhealy

I've noticed for the most part hotels that charge for WiFi tend to be the same ones that have always charged high rates for phone calls. I suspect the main reason they charge for WiFi is because they're trying to claw back some of the phone charges they lost when most of us got cellphones. I'm looking forward to the day when wireless Internet from cellphone carriers gets fast and cheap enough that I can stop caring whether hotels charge for Internet access just as I have stopped caring whether they charge for phone calls.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

There are two differing opinions with regards to charging for Wi-Fi access at hotels. Those that agree with your assessment and the other side that claim charging allows the hotel to have increased control. By only giving out access information to identified guests the hotel claims to have enhanced security. That maybe so if the hotel is using the proper encryption and not one password for all approach. Obviously, the service could be available in a free model, but the hotel then argues added security incurs added costs. To avoid all of that, I personally would prefer a wide open free service and take care of the security myself. I also feel for you with regards to the amazing freedom that a mobile wireless broadband device affords. I pay for my own and if push comes to shove I'd get rid of all of my other options and keep that one as my sole Internet access. It's that important and useful to me.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I'm not a hard core traveler, so I would value any input and opinions as to how the members judge a hotel's accommodations, especially Wi-Fi access.