Hotel Wi-Fi has become a near necessity for travelers, but the service tends to have a catch, one way or another. It might seem like throwing money at the problem is the answer: pay more for an expensive hotel and everything will be taken care of, right? Think again! Some of the worst Wi-Fi rates are in luxury hotels, especially overseas, so watch out for these high-priced offenders.
Sofitel, right on Auckland’s harbor waterfront, starts at about $234 a night and has a more complex (but possibly cheaper) plan. The first 300 megabytes are free, and after that it’s 500 megabytes for $4, 1 gigabyte for $12, and 2 gigabytes for $16.
The Langham starts at about $190 a night and sometimes will give you free Wi-Fi depending on the room; so, if you haggle, you may be able to swing in the free Internet no matter what you’ve booked. Otherwise, it’s $25 for 24 hours, $12 for a lower speed for 24 hours, and free in the lobby.
The InterContinental in Wellington starts at $236 and charges in tiers for their Wi-Fi. Five hours will cost $4, ten hours will cost $12, and 24 hours will cost $19 — but it’s free with an IHG Reward Card.
The Hilton at Surfer’s Paradise, just south of Brisbane, starts at $211 a night and chargers $25 a day for Wi-Fi and $117 for the week.
Novotel in St. Kilda, Melbourne, starts at about $177 a night and charges $22 per 24 hours.
The Westin in Sydney starts at $230 a night and charges $17 for 24 hours.
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort (right next to the beach in the Bahamas) changes prices often and offers frequent deals and price packages, but usually starts at an average of $300 a night, and charges $21.95 per 24 hours.
The Berlin Marriott Hotel’s lowest prices are about $203 a night and it charges $27 per 24 hours, though it is free in the lobby.
The Bottom Line:
That all-important Internet connection may come with a hefty price tag, especially in pricier hotels. In fact, it’s often the budget and mid-priced brands, like Motel 6, Holiday Inn, and Hampton Inn, that provide Wi-Fi at no charge to their guests. Look into loyalty programs that offer free Wi-Fi as a perk, as is the case with Kimpton’s In Touch and Fairmont’s President’s Club.
It always pays to call ahead and confirm–and even negotiate–before you check in. Don’t miss HotelChatter’s comprehensive Wi-Fi report, updated annually.
- The unexpected perks of budget hotels
- How to protect yourself when using hotel Wi-Fi
- Video travel tip: How to find free Wi-Fi on the road
By Cody Brooks for PeterGreenberg.com