May282015

Hotel Wifi Test ranks hotel brands WiFi quality

Hotelwifitest.com published a report yesterday, Hotel WiFi Test ranks hotel chains. The set of graphs compare WiFi quality by hotel brand for USA, Europe and Asia. The report title says hotel chains, but the more useful part of this report is a look at individual hotel brands like Four Points, Hampton Inn, Radisson Blu, Marriott, Mercure and more. The four graphs show the top ten and bottom ten hotel chains for worldwide, USA, Europe and Asia.

Hotel brands WiFi quality are ranked as the percentage of hotels in the brand with adequate WiFi. ‘Adequate’ is a subjective term, but the overall ranking of hotel brands and WiFi quality using the same criteria has some significant trends among different hotel chains. The Top Ten all have rankings in the range I estimate as 55 to 80% looking at the graph. The bottom ten hotel brands worldwide for WiFi quality look like they range from about 10% to 25% of hotels in the brand with adequate WiFi.

This piece looks at the worldwide results with my commentary. I’ll focus on the USA data in the next piece.

Top 10 and Bottom 10 hotel brands for hotel WiFi Worldwide

1. Nordic Choice – Choice Privileges and Nordic Choice Club

2. Radisson Blu – Club Carlson

3. Renaissance – Marriott Rewards

4. Mercure – Le Club Accorhotels

5. Ibis and Ibis Styles – Le Club Accorhotels

6. Scandic Hotels – Scandic Friends

7. InterContinental – IHG Rewards Club

8. Econo Lodge – Choice Privileges (I noticed just now that Choice Hotels uses two words, although brand logo spells EconoLodge.)

Econo Lodge

Econo Lodge as a worldwide leader for quality WiFi is main report revelation to me.

9. Four Points – Starwood Preferred Guest

10. Marriott Hotels & Resorts – Marriott Rewards

Hotel Wifi Report

Graph is from hotelwifitest.com, used here under Creative Commons license posted on their site.

The red lines on graph are percentage of hotels with free WiFi. Nearly all chain brands worldwide will have free WiFi for hotel loyalty program members by the end of 2015, except perhaps Motel 6.

Nordic Choice (#1) are mostly in Norway and Sweden with about 180 hotels.  Scandic Hotels (#6) are also concentrated in Scandinavia with 230 hotels in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland. Each chain has a few hotels in neighboring northern European countries. Last September I was amazed at WiFi speed at Nordic Choice hotels when working two weeks in Norway.

Radisson Blu ranking second worldwide (#2) gives this brand an edge over the other upscale brands like Renaissance (#3) and Marriott (#10) with two of the top ten worldwide rankings for hotel WiFi. Marriott scored top in the USA too as you will see below. Westin and Sheraton are not here or Hyatt or Hilton, DoubleTree. or Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza.

Accor Hotels Mercure brand (#4) is an upscale hotel brand in the hotel market segment, based on room rates, comparable to Four Points, DoubleTree and Hyatt Place and Aloft. Good WiFi is to be expected. Ibis and Ibis Styles (#5) is Accor’s midscale brand with hundreds of hotels. They are ubiquitous, like the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express of France and much of Europe with 1,500 hotels and another 400 hotels in South America, Asia and Australia. But, with better WiFi apparently.

InterContinental Hotels (#7) at the luxury end of the hotel market and Starwood Hotels Four Points (#9) at the upscale market round out the top ten worldwide. Hotel market segment is defined by brand’s overall average daily rate from STR Global Chain Scales. This points to the issue of whether there is any correlation between WiFi quality and hotel market segment. These results indicate there is a weak correlation between hotel market segment and WiFi quality when InterContinental barely beats out Econo Lodge for quality Wi-Fi.

Some of my hotel stay experiences validate the results in my mind, or perhaps I simply have the perspective of having stayed at hotel brands on the bottom of the list in these graphs and recall my frustrations. Also, I have stayed at brands like Nordic Choice in Norway and I was simply blown away that far higher speeds of web surfing are possible. I certainly don’t get that kind of speed at home in California. Imagine a  world or hotel where web pages load the second you press the button. You will find that in Scandinavia.

Bottom 10 Hotel Brands Worldwide #41-50

41. Hyatt Place – Hyatt Gold Passport

42. Fairfield Inn – Marriott Rewards

43. Hilton Garden Inn – Hilton HHonors

44. Candlewood Suites – IHG Rewards Club

45. Motel 6 – no loyalty program

46. NH Hotels – NH Rewards

47. Embassy Suites – Hilton HHonors

48. Extended Stay America – Extended Perks

49. Homewood Suites – Hilton HHonors

50. Hampton Inn – Hilton HHonors

Hilton Worldwide hotel brands rank near bottom Worldwide for WiFi quality

Hilton brands rank in four spots on the bottom ten of 50 hotel brands ranked in the worldwide rankings with Hilton Garden Inn #43, Embassy Suites #47, Homewood Suites #49 and Hampton Inn #50. Those four brands comprise more than 50% of all Hilton Worldwide hotels.

Assuming the data in the graphs is valid, then we may finally know the reason why Marriott International wins so many more rewards compared to Hilton among voting travelers.

To see Hilton’s extended stay hotel brand Homewood Suites (#49) at second to the bottom is shocking. This hotel brand’s primary function is to serve as a residential hotel for home-away-from-home business travelers.

Compounding Hilton’s woes is Hampton Inn (#50) at the bottom. Hampton Inn should be comparable to a Four Points in guest expectations like working WiFi. Hampton Inn is close to being the largest single hotel brand worldwide behind Holiday Inn Express. Hampton Inn is a 2,000 hotels chain worldwide and #50 for WiFi quality.

I have only been in one Hampton Inn in the past couple of years when I stayed last November in downtown Denver. I did not work much there, if at all. I honestly do not remember anything about the WiFi that hotel stay. I never mentioned WiFi in my hotel review of Hampton Inn Downtown Denver.

Have you stayed at a Hampton Inn recently? What is your opinion of the WiFi?

Hilton Garden Inn (#43) and Embassy Suites (#47) also fall into the bottom ten of 50 hotel brands worldwide.

That only leaves Hilton and DoubleTree as your main brands remaining in Hilton Worldwide. That is about one thousand hotels. I have not seen the full 50 hotel brands ranked, so I do not know if Hilton is closer to 11 or 39. If other Hilton brands are any indicator, then we can assume a lower ranking.

The rest of the worst for hotel WiFI

Fairfield Inn (#42) is a large brand with Marriott. My experience has actually been good with Fairfield Inn this past year. Hyatt Place (#41).

Motel 6 (#45) and Extended Stay America (#48) are brands that do not surprise me to see in the lowest quintile of 50 hotel brands worldwide for WiFi quality.

Candlewood Suites (#44) is IHG’s extended stay brand and another hotel that caters to residential extended stay business travelers.

NH hotels, based in Madrid, has about 400 hotels in Europe, South America and Africa. They are the only hotel brand not primarily located in the USA on the bottom 50.

The pattern I see for the lowest WiFi quality hotels is a high concentration of these brands have nearly all their hotels in the USA. Homewood Suites with 350 hotels has only about ten hotels outside the USA in Canada and Mexico. Nearly all Hyatt Place hotels are in the USA.

Hyatt Place locations

The hotelwifitest.com report is fascinating data to consider when you travel and wonder why the internet is blazing faster than anything you have seen or crawling at a pace that is costing you money for wasted time trying to load a webpage.

Wi-Fi in USA chain brand hotels

Hotel Wifi USA

Since USA hotels appear to be among the world’s worst for hotel WiFi, I’ll look at these data points in the next article.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. General WiFi at the Hilton chain has been atrocious ever since the introduced the paid premium WiFi option. It is so bad I can barely even use my company’s VPN. It’s bad enough that is making me consider switching to IHG rather than Hilton as my primary hotel chain (wide geographic spread is important for my travel patterns).

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