Last weekend my housemate went to Atlanta for an event she wanted to attend. She stayed at what is generally considered a moderately priced hotel chain which caters mainly to business travelers. After a nearly nine hour drive she wanted to unwind on Friday night and, being very much the geek, chose to go online. The hotel, like most major chains, offers free WiFi service. Perhaps more relevant to my point, they advertise free WiFi service.
Well, she could connect to their wireless network but couldn't get to the internet or connect to any websites. The hotel staff was neither helpful nor knowledgable when she reported the problem. She could ping their router so she suspected a DNS issue. She called me and I gave her the IP addresses for the OpenDNS nameservers. That solved the problem. It turns out the hotel did have free WiFi provided you are technically competent enough to troubleshoot a DNS problem and have alternate nameserver IP addresses on hand for DNS resolution. I somehow think that for most of their guests WiFi was effectively down.
A few years ago I traveled extensively for business. I found that hotels which had wired internet service were generally reliable. Hotels which offered WiFi services had problems far too often. I can't expect a hotel clerk or even a hotel manager to know how to solve wireless networking issues. I can expect them to care if the service is down as much as they would care if telephone service or TV was down throughout the hotel. In my experience they just don't.
In one place without working WiFi I was told they hoped to have the service provider in to check the system the following week. I had reservations for four nights. I checked out after one night and went to a different hotel. My work depends on my remaining connected. That is one hotel, a fairly expensive one at that, where I would never stay again. I would think, in this day and age, hotels would begin to realize just how important connectivity is to their guests. Sadly it often isn't the case.