I am a platinum member with Marriott and love the brand 95% of the time. But, right now, I am writing this post from a Holiday Inn. I hit platinum status for the year a while back, and now I am testing other brands to see if the consistency of internet quality is better than Marriott. As a business traveler, internet quality is important. When I check into a hotel at 10pm, I don't want to spend 30 minutes waiting for my computer to download 50 emails. This should take 10 seconds. At Marriott (all brands, and the consistently the majority of locations) the internet speed is not up to standard for 1992, let alone 2013.
The reality is, Marriott handles internet access as an optional, or luxury amenity in their hotels. As a business traveler, I can tell you that this is no longer the case for internet access, it is a required amenity and should have a standard as with any other hotel feature. When I check in to a Marriott I know the bathroom will be clean, I should also know the TV is going to work and I can get online . My phone should not offer 3x or 4x the speed (in some cases 10x) of the hotel Wifi. Roughly out of the last 30 hotels I have stayed at the WiFi was slower than my 1mbps in about 60%.
I am not saying it needs to be free, I am saying it needs to exist.
(Also, I have written Marriott directly on two occasions about this. The first time, I got a canned response. The second time, they didn't even respond.)
After years, with Marriott this topic, and how it has been handled is almost enough to make me leave. I know hotel wide improvements are expensive and slow and complex. I am not asking for an overnight solution. I am asking Marriott to simply address the fact that something needs to be improved and share their plans so I can justify keeping them as my go to brand. If spending $15-$20-$30K a year on hotels does not entitle me to inquire into what I can expect, then I will find a hotel chain that respects that significant expense.
Yes, consistency could be greatly improved. I almost always run the Speakeasy internet speed test and have seen download speeds from .6mbs to 10 mbs. One conclusion that I have drawn is that new hotels have faster internet. I have stayed in a couple of nearly new SHS and Courtyards and internet speed was very fast. Also, when there has been the option of paying for a faster connection - but no charge for Gold or Plat - the speed has been excellent. Just my experiences
agree bpelican - maybe we should take our 4G LTE card and start selling connections
So it isn't just me then. For those properties that limit the number of connections, I have found a wonderful solution. The ZyXEL portable wireless router allows me to connect once to the hotel network and then as many of my gadgets to my router as needed. It's about the size of a package of Wrigley's "5 Chewing Gum".
I find it interesting you post about Billerica. I am in the area and have stayed at the Burlington Marriott, Woburn RI, Woburn CY, and Chelsea RI. I didn't have much problem with routine tasks. Now I also play some online games that would take far more bandwith than any reasonable hotel could provide, but as far as emails, downloading apps, or checking out videos on youtube, I haven't noticed any difference than my home network for speeds. I will have to run a few speed tests like lakersfan above mentioned.
I'm not sure what you mean. Just because those hotels are near Billerica, doesn't mean they have any relationship to internet speeds at the actual Billerica hotel I stayed at. Also, I don't think it is unreasonable to expect over 1mbps speeds in a hotel room. Honestly I think you should be able to stream Netflix in a hotel room. I have stayed in Holiday Inn's in Raleigh, Newark, Winston-Salem, and Cleveland the last two weeks. I haven't had a single issue with internet in any of their hotels and I am streaming Netflix movie on their WiFi. On top of that I am not even gold with Holiday Inn and every hotel has given me at a minimum, a bottle of water just for being in their rewards program. I am platinum with Marriott and I can't get that internet or a bottle of water on a consistent basis. Honestly, I think Marriott has lost a once very loyal customer over something very small.
Not so much that I am compairing internet connection based on location, but more the fact that I could have stayed at this exact location, but haven't opted to out of luck. I would agree on the netflix issue. I take most of my recommendations of where to stay from my coworkers and the first thing they mention is the last time the building was renovated/built etc. I've had pretty good success so far, but sometimes availability will push me into one of the older buildings and I find everything is worse, across the board. I also think it's dumb that the economy hotels give internet free, but the upper scale hotels charge for the same service. It's one of those "because we can" kind of charges and it doesn't impact me being gold, but to a casual traveler, this would be a deal-breaker for me if I had to pay for a service that isn't up to standard.
I agree with you on the internet fees. The fact that the more you spend on the room the less you get, has always confused me as well. Stay at the Ritz and everything costs more, worst thing is the internet at the few Ritz properties I have stayed at has been worst than most Springhill Suites.
That tends to be our solution as well, provided we are staying in an area with decent 4G coverage. The downside is the data limit on my plan with Verizon. The hotspot works great for email, internet surfing, basic gaming, etc. However, Netflix or Amazon for video would just kill it.
And there is your problem! Since I got her to transfer to Verizon there has been nothing but excellent 4G coverage similar to what I have had for a long time with my Droid. I can't speak to her data plan but I'm going say her entire bill per month is around $160, so her data plan might be pretty substantial as she does quite a bit of photo's/video with email.
She doesn't use it for Netflix or videos other than to load videos from email for her business......we just go out and enjoy the surroundings. Netflix, what is that anyway?
And that is why I avoid media streaming with my 4G Motorola Droid. We just left T-Mobile after 12+ years for Verizon this past August. The list of reasons was growing by the day it seems and our family was literally counting the days until our contract expired. They went from great to dud in a heartbeat. Excepting a few switch over 'glitches', I have been satisfied with Verizon so far though they seem to be the lesser of a very limited number of evils. We are paying about 20% more with them but are getting markedly better service so I'll take it.
Netflix? Why, that would be the once successful business that killed the arrogance that was Block Buster but has now fallen from grace due to their own arrogance it would seem. Why is this such a sad recurring theme in business of late? Netflix does seem to have a few brilliant gems, which my college aged son has shared with me of late - BBC's Sherlock tops that list.
Well, I had a RI staff member blame me for the reason their internet didn't work...I had a Cradlepoint router - even though I clarified with him that it was off, he still apparently documented that "customer device was the reason internet not working". It is very annoying and offensive to have that happen. Especially when I know how to put these things together.
Not even so much as an apology. .
I have plenty of positive experiences with Marriott hotels, including a few days ago. However, this RI as far as I am concerned was quite obnoxious about it.
I think everyone should be taking a hard line with all hotels regarding internet access. If your internet doesn't work, you are not an acceptable property. Period.