The actual cost of wifi to the hotel is estimated to be a few cents per room per day, yet the Hilton on Park Lane in London has the audacity to charge £15 pounds for guests to be connected. Is their wifi connection any better than the Ibis hotel’s internet service? Not by any means.
So there must be another reason for the wifi fee. One supposes that the hotel management believe that as they can charge $12 for a Diet Coke in a mini bar then we won’t notice the cost of wifi service. Most of the guests who stay at the Sofitel, Mariott and Hyatt chains aren’t just rich people who don’t notice these insane charges, they are regular people on business trips or on a holiday.
We do check the bill. Every time.
According to a Hotels.com survey this month, wireless internet connection is a necessity for most travellers these days, a commodity rather than a luxury. I have decided to shun all hotels who exploit their guests with exorbitant wifi bills. If you wish to join my campaign for either moral or financial reasons, please read my list of wifi offenders and those hotels which are willing to be reasonable about internet connections.
This list is not complete, I only can write about where I’ve been recently and I will do my best to update it when I can. All of these hotels listed I’ve either stayed at myself, my friends have stayed there, I’ve contacted them or personally checked them out.Most hotels still do charge for wifi, I just try to pick the ones which don’t. If you have any hotels to add to the list, or perhaps you’ve noticed developments on the part of “the exploiters” then do let me know.
Hotels with free internet in the rooms:
(either wifi or cable connection, as long as it’s in the actual rooms)
♦ Dubai – The options in the UAE for free wifi are quite good. A few of them include: Jumeirah Beach Hotel; Park Regis Kris Kin; Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach; Radisson Blu Deira Creek; Raffles Hotel
♦ Malaysia – Furama Hotel, Bukit Bintang
♦ Hong Kong – Nathan Hotel, Kowloon; Novotel Century (not all Novotels though!) Marco Polo Hotel, Shangri La Hotel, Kowloon, Bishop Lei Hotel, The Langham Hotel, Island Pacific Hotel
♦ Cuba – Cuban hotels don’t really have wifi, but I will let them get away with it – I believe Havana’s Hotel Saratoga Has cables in the rooms and wifi in the public areas
♦ Asia Pacific – all Accor Hotels and some Austrian, Italian and other hotels in their Sofitel, Mecure, Ibis and Novotel brands
♦ France – Hotel Massena, Nice; Le Littre Hotel Paris, Rive Gauche; Hotel Saint Paul Paris, Le Quartier Latin; Hotel Le Dauphin Paris, Le Defence (excellent value at this place, by the way)
♦ Thailand – Riva Surya, Bangkok; Mercure Bangkok Siam; Aloft, Sukhumvit 11, Bangkok
♦ Turkey – Elite World Hotel, Istanbul. Shangri La Bosphorus, Azze Hotel
♦ Worldwide – Best Western Hotels
♦ Hilton Hotels. In general. I’ve never found one with free wifi unless it’s a club suite. Disgusting
♦ The Fairmont Hotel, Monte Carlo has NO wifi in the room, you can’t even pay for it. The wifi in the lobby is not free either.
♦ Mariott Hotels plan to finally introduce free wifi… if you sign up for their rewards (aka self promotion) programme which is an absolute swizz. I boycott JW Mariott on principal now because they tried to put one over on me with their rewards programme
♦ The Hyatt Hotels in Japan and Hong Kong
♦ Lang Kwai Fong Hotels, Hong Kong
♦ Swissotel The Stamford, Singapore
♦ Le Meridien, Amman charges $21 per day for Wifi – in the lobby only!
♦ Novotels in general
♦ LONDON HOTELS. I can’t list them all and I haven’t stayed at them all but you know who you are. Most hotels in London charge a fortune for wifi.
♦ Rotana hotels that I have stayed at in the UAE have either no free internet or unreliable service
You may have noticed that it’s the more expensive hotels that charge for wifi. A bit cheeky, isn’t it? I don’t expect all hotels to give us free wifi, I am happy to pay what it’s worth, the problem is that we’re all paying at least 20 times the cost of the service, which can’t be ethical. I see a future where wifi is free for all and by charging for such a service means that hotels will essentially lose money.