Focuses on Poor WiFi: If Holiday Inn Express Was a City, It Would Be Las Vegas

August 13, 2014 - Hotel WiFi Test has released a new report that ranks hotel chains and cities by the percentage of hotels with poor WiFi performance. This type of ranking makes perfect sense from a practical standpoint. For most travelers, having super-fast and consistently stable WiFi is a great bonus, but the first priority is ensuring that the basic quality expectations for Internet access are met.

In this report, a hotel judged as having adequate WiFi must provide an expected download speed of at least 2Mbps, an upload speed of 1Mbps, latency not exceeding 500ms, and an average stability rating of at least 3 out of 5. Upload testing, latency testing, and stability feedback are relatively new additions to the testing process; therefore, for some hotels, download speed was the only factor being measured. Furthermore, this report does not differentiate between paid and free WiFi.

The chain of a hotel is one of the best predictors of WiFi performance. Also, travelers can usually choose their preferred hotel chain in a given area or city. The first table of this report presents the 20 most tested hotel chains and ranks them by their percentage of hotels with poor WiFi.

Table 1. 20 most tested hotel chains ranked by their percentage of hotels with poor WiFi

Rank Chain Hotels with poor WiFi (%)
1 Radisson Blu 17
2 Hyatt Hotels & Resorts 34
3 Quality Inn 35
4 Best Western 35
5 Sheraton Hotels & Resorts 36
6 Marriott Hotels & Resorts 40
7 Mercure Hotels 42
8 Crowne Plaza 45
9 Westin Hotels & Resorts 45
10 Hilton Hotels & Resorts 46
11 Courtyard by Marriott 50
12 Comfort Inn 51
13 Doubletree 54
14 Residence Inn 55
15 Holiday Inn Express 56
16 Holiday Inn 62
17 Novotel 67
18 Hampton Inn 83
19 Hilton Garden Inn 83
20 Homewood Suites 90

Travelers who want to minimize their chances of having poor hotel WiFi ruin their online experience should choose hotel chains closer to the top of the table.

The second table ranks the most tested cities worldwide by the same criteria.

Rank Chain Country Hotels with poor WiFi (%)
1 Stockholm Sweden 4
2 Hong Kong Hong Kong 8
3 Amsterdam Netherlands 17
4 Tokyo Japan 19
5 Rome Italy 28
6 Dubai United Arab Emirates 29
7 London United Kingdom 30
8 Berlin Germany 31
9 San Diego United States 33
10 Barcelona Spain 35
11 Prague Czech Republic 36
12 Washington United States 37
13 Singapore Singapore 38
14 Chicago United States 38
15 Bangkok Thailand 41
16 New York United States 41
17 Orlando United States 44
18 San Francisco United States 48
19 Paris France 53
20 Las Vegas United States 57

For most travelers, changing their destination city is not an option, but this information can still act as a friendly warning, a suggestion to spend more time reading hotel reviews, and a strong recommendation to book an accommodation property with tested WiFi, if possible.

This report provides valuable advice for choosing a hotel based on chains and global destinations. However, it is always better to check WiFi quality before booking a hotel. In some cities, this is very easy to do: there are 180 tested hotels in New York alone; 42 of them have an expected speed of more than 10Mbps.

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