Digital

The Best and Worst European Cities for Hotel Wi-Fi

Apr 30, 2014 9:30 am

Skift Take

The tide is certainly changing as travelers are making choices based upon accessibility.

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Marriott  / Flickr

Marriott / Flickr


Britain’s hotels are among the worst in Europe when it comes to providing free Wi-Fi for guests, new research has shown.

Although free Wi-Fi is available in most bars and cafes – and even branches of McDonalds – hotels have historically been more reticent to offer the service. But a survey of thousands of hotels across the Continent found that around 90 per cent now offer free access.

However, UK hotels still appear to be lagging behind their European counterparts. Of the 10 worst cities for free Wi-Fi, three – Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester – are British. On average, just 64 per cent of hotels in Manchester were found to offer it.

Telegraph Travel was quickly able to uncover 10 UK hotels or hotel chains that still charge guests, with fees as high as £6 for a single hour’s access, or £20 for 24 hours (see table below).

German cities also fares badly in the study, carried out by Kayak, the travel search engine, with Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin all among the bottom ten. Milan in Italy and Lugano in Switzerland completed the roll of shame.

The two best performing cities were both Swedish – Malmö and Gothenburg, where 98 per cent and 96 per cent of hotels were found to offer free Wi-Fi. Toulouse, Istanbul, Stockholm, Saragossa, Adana, St Petersburg, Lyon and Seville completed the top 10.

“In an age of mobile phones, laptops and constant connectivity, any savvy traveller should check out whether their hotel offers free Wi-Fi before they check-in,” said Annie Wilson, Kayak’s managing director. “This new data may make people think twice about their perceptions of the hospitality offerings in different European destinations.”

When Telegraph Travel looked at the issue of Wi-Fi charges back in 2012, TalkTalk, the internet service provider, estimated that the cost to a business, such as a hotel, of providing broadband, would range from just £10 a month for a small property to around £300 a month for a 100-room property, or £700 a month for a larger, 300-room property.

Last year, however, Alex Polizzi explained why some hotels charge for Wi-Fi, citing high set-up costs and inflexible contracts.

Meanwhile, Jurys Inn announced this week that it will no longer charge guests for internet access. The hotel group has 25 properties across the UK.

10 UK Hotels That Still Charge for Wi-Fi

Hilton Park Lane – £20 for 24 hours

InterContinental London Park Lane – £15 for 24 hours – members or premium guests (those booked into suites, for example) get free Wi-Fi

W London Leicester Square – one-hour complimentary, then £15.95 for 24 hours

Travelodge (UK-wide) – 30 minutes free, then £3 for 24 hours

Holiday Inn (UK-wide) – free at some branches and to members, but charges apply at others, including its London Mayfair hotel – £16 for 24 hours.

The Dorchester – £19.50 for high-speed option, free otherwise

Liverpool Marriott Hotel City Centre – In-room Wi-Fi is £6 per hour, £15 for 24 hours

Premier Inn (UK-wide) – 30 minutes free, £3 for 24 hours

Ibis (UK-wide) – £3 per day for high-speed, free otherwise

The Lowry, Manchester – £15 per day for high-speed, free otherwise

Ten Best Cities for Free Wi-Fi

Malmö, Sweden – 98 per cent of hotels offer free Wi-Fi

Gothenburg, Sweden – 96 per cent

Toulouse, France – 96 per cent

Istanbul, Turkey – 95 per cent

Stockholm, Sweden – 94 per cent

Saragossa, Spain – 94 per cent

Adana, Turkey – 93 per cent

St Petersburg, Russia – 92 per cent

Lyon, France – 92 per cent

Seville, Spain – 91 per cent

Ten Worst Cities for Free Wi-Fi

Cologne, Germany – 63 per cent

Manchester, United Kingdom – 64 per cent

Lugano, Switzerland – 65 per cent

Munich, Germany – 65 per cent

Frankfurt, Germany – 65 per cent

Milan, Italy – 65 per cent

Hamburg, Germany – 71 per cent

Berlin, Germany – 72 per cent

Liverpool, United Kingdom – 72 per cent

Birmingham, United Kingdom – 72 per cent

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