What TripAdvisor is to user reviews of overall hotel services, hotelwifitest is to user reviews of hotel Wi-Fi. That’s the idea, anyway.
By inviting travelers to check and record the Wi-Fi speed achieved during their hotel stays, the online service is building a database of users’ real-world hotel Wi-Fi experiences. And based on that trove of user input, hotels may be ranked either by individual property or by chain affiliation.
Bypassing as it does the hotels’ own unreliable and unhelpful Wi-Fi claims—what, exactly, is meant by their promises of “broadband,” “high speed,” or “premium”?—the service promises travelers an objective assessment of hotels’ Wi-Fi speeds, and a meaningful comparison among different hotel chains.
In its latest report, hotelwifitest ranks hotel chains according to their proven ability to deliver “adequate Wi-Fi,” defined here as download speeds of at least 3 Mbps. And for some value context, the report also reflects separately the percentage of a chain’s hotels that offer free Wi-Fi. (Their definition of “free” is perhaps overly strict: Free Wi-Fi for loyalty-program members doesn’t qualify.)
The top-10 U.S. hotels, according to the percentage of hotels with adequate Wi-Fi, are as follows:
- Marriott – 47%
- Westin – 46%
- Hyatt Hotels – 46%
- Sheraton – 46%
- Best Western – 44%
- Super 8 – 44%
- Comfort Suites – 43%
- Quality – 43%
- Holiday Inn Express – 38%
- Comfort Inn – 38%
And, at the bottom of the list:
- SpringHill Suites – 28%
- Hilton – 25%
- Hyatt Place – 24%
- Doubletree 22%
- Fairfield Inn – 20%
- Hilton Garden Inn – 13%
- Embassy Suites – 11%
- Homewood Suites – 9%
- Extended Stay America – 9%
- Hampton Inn – 7%
Inadequate Wi-Fi Still the Norm
The results overall are discouraging, with fewer than half of the hotels in even the best-performing brands delivering adequate Wi-Fi. And Hampton Inn at just 7 percent? Ouch! The hotels as a group have a long way to go in meeting the needs of today’s connected travelers.
In terms of a combination of performance and value, Hyatt would be travelers’ best bet, delivering solid Wi-Fi speeds for free to all guests at all of its hotels.
At the other end of the spectrum, Hilton fares especially badly in the rankings, with six of the Hilton family brands scoring in the bottom half of the results.
Reader Reality Check
How important is fast, reliable Wi-Fi to you when choosing a hotel?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.