Hotel WiFi in NZ very bad

August 28th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Blayne Slabbert at Stuff writes:

When staying at a hotel would you rather have Sky TV or free wi-fi? What about a bath big enough for three or free wi-fi?

I would definitely opt for the free wi-fi and I expect I’m not alone. Not only do I want it for free, I want it to be a decent speed.

I think 95% of customers would prefer wi-fi to television. And while nothing is free, the question is whether it should be included in the room charge.

I think it should be. Making you pay extra for Internet is like having a charge for water.  And even worse some of the charges are so high you pay more per day in a hotel than your normal monthly cost.

But many top hotels in New Zealand and around the world still charge for wi-fi and a lot have internet speeds that would be classified as dial-up.

During a recent stay at an international hotel chain, the staff at the front desk told me that it charged $8 an hour to access the internet.

Like being back in 1996!

A website,, helps people find good wi-fi at hotels around the world.

It ranks hotels, including those in New Zealand, getting users to submit speed tests and then ranks them according a star rating.


But according to a survey by management consultants Accenture, free in-room Internet access was ranked the second most important factor after room cost in choosing a hotel.

In NZ I tether my laptop to my phone so not such an issue. But when picking where to stay overseas, wifi cost is a major factor.

Still, I’m hopeful wi-fi will be free and fast in all hotels within a few years and we’ll look back and laugh at the concept of paying extra to access the internet.

I wonder if once upon a time hotels charged you for the electricity you consumed?

It is getting better though. I note that Sky City no longer charges for Internet but has free wireless through the complex. It’s great to be able to just use it without even needing a login. And it is fast – faster than the old paid wifi you used to have.

But what do they charge?

February 11th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

New Zealand is ranked second worldwide for percentage of hotels offering internet access, according to a survey.

The United States came first in the survey of more than 700,000 hotels listed on hotel comparison website trivago, with 89 per cent of its hotels offering internet via wi-fi or ethernet cable.

New Zealand followed with 82 per cent and Romania came third with 78 per cent.

Australia was ranked surprisingly low at 16th with 66 per cent of hotels offering internet, trivago said.

Almost every hotel or motel I’ve encountered now has Internet access. That’s not the important stat to me.

The important stat is do they charge for it, and how much.

Sadly New Zealand is woeful there. Many hotels have a daily charge of around $40 for Internet access. That’s equal to $1,200 a month. When I travel overseas, generally the Internet access is free. I now just use tether to my mobile phone when travelling domestically, but I feel sorry for tourists who don’t have this option and may face such outrageous charges.

Hotel wifi

October 24th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Matthew Backhouse at NZ Herald reports:

Hotels are charging exorbitant rates for Wi-Fi and guests are much better off paying for mobile internet, a consumer advocate says.

A survey of New Zealand’s top central-city hotels, as rated by Five Star Alliance, has found only two offer free wireless internet in rooms – despite some exclusive suites costing more than $2000 a night.

It’s like charging for water. I can understand 10 years ago charging extra for wifi, but the vast majority of hotel guests today will want wifi – either because they are travelling from overseas or to reduce their mobile data usage.

What I want to do one day is set up a website (or get an accom website to do it) which lists the wifi charges for every hotel and motel in NZ, so people can pick ones with cheap or free wifi. I think that would provide an incentive for more accom providers to stop charging for it. Whne you have have paid over $200 for a room, it is aggravating to be told 24 hours of wifi will cost more than a month’s data for a residence.

The other top hotels either make guests buy packets of data or charge up to $45 a day.

The rates compare poorly with mobile data plans, which give 1GB of data for an average of $20 a month.

I used to have a vodem, just to avoid hotel wifi charges. Now I tether my iPhone.

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden disagreed that free Wi-Fi was the norm overseas, saying he had been charged as much as $30 a day during a recent trip to Europe and America.

Now sure where Martin stayed, but in the US it is free most places I have stayed at.

A bad place to stay

February 26th, 2008 at 10:09 am by David Farrar

Most of my “reviews” are positive.  The last bad hotel review I think was in Rome in 2004.

But as a service to readers I should mention Saturday Night in the Quest on Cintra Lane. I was crashing with a friend who was staying there briefly until her new apartment was ready.

A minor gripe is that there was no table for working on – just a coffee table.  So many people travel with laptops nowadays a bit of table space is necessary,

But the bed was simply horrendous.  It wasn’t so much that it was a small single bed (reminded me of the university hostel ones we used to label as contraceptives), but it was so cheap and tacky.  No real base, the wheels were such it moved about all night, and it was just awful. You get better I reckon in a youth hostel.

The final injury was when we checked out late (due to confusion over who was checking out).  Now I have no problems with a penalty for checking out late, but they refused to compromise on charging us anything less than than an entire extra night’s fee, even though the room was still available before check in.

The receptionist was very nice and I don’t blame her as she can not alter policy.  But there was no manager even available whom I could talk to.

The late checkout isn’t the biggie though.  The beds are just nasty.