Hotel Wi-Fi has become a hot-button issue among travelers, as Internet access has risen to the top of travelers' must-have lists and hotels have adjusted (or not) to those expectations.
But the expectation goes beyond simple access; hotel guests want access that is fast and reliable. Downloading email is necessary, but hardly sufficient. We want to seamlessly stream the latest episode of "House of Cards" on Netflix. We want our Pandora music channels to be the soundtrack of our lives, whether at home or on the road. Dial-up download speeds won't cut it.
There may come a day when hotels will compete on the basis of their Wi-Fi offerings, boasting free, blazing-fast Internet access as a way of differentiating themselves from other hotels in their categories. Until then, there's Hotel Wi-Fi Test, "a leading company for collecting, analyzing and distributing data about WiFi quality in hotels around the world."
According to the company's latest test, the top-10 hotel brands, in terms of their Wi-Fi speed, are as follows:
2. Le Meridien
3. Radisson Blu
4. Four Points
7. Crowne Plaza
10. Residence Inn
The company's methodology is somewhat less than confidence-inspiring: "We took the number of known hotels with decent Wi-Fi compared to the total number of hotels in the chain, including hotels where Wi-Fi has not been tested." There's no mention of the actual sample size, suggesting that it's too small to meet prevailing standards of scientific rigor.
Still, it's at least a small step toward quantifying what hotels are delivering, and allowing consumers to make more informed decisions when booking their stays.
Reader Reality Check
How do the above results compare to your own experience with hotel Wi-Fi?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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