How to Deal with Managed Hotel Internet Access

In order to understand this, you’ll need to watch the video first.

I decided to stay at the Orchard Garden hotel for a few reasons: it was near Union Square, was available at a good price, and claimed to be green. It was worth trying, I thought.

The hotel farms out Internet service, which isn’t out of the ordinary. I encountered my first issue within minutes of trying to get online (wireless). The account registration page, seemingly tied into my MAC address, passed me to a 404 after stepping through the form. I couldn’t get online that way, so I tried a wired connection – which landed me at the same dead end.

I got on the phone, gave the CSR a few bits of info, and within minutes I was online (after they toggled a filter on their end). Immediately, I fired up my email client and started to upload the first of what would likely be several videos to YouTube. I got about halfway through the transfer when I lost my IP address. Curious.

Luckily, I didn’t wait on hold for long before I was speaking to another customer service rep. He suggested I change my cable – which had never failed me before. No matter, I took his suggestion and had a serviceman bring one to my room. As expected, I could still not get a connection.

My third call to the managed hotel ISP yielded no answers. I was left to my own devices, and decided that I’d try my luck with a spotty 3G connection. I’m glad I had that, because…

I’m certain that many of you expected me to stream from the hotel… this might explain why I didn’t. Did anyone forget to tell them there’s a geek convention in town?

To the hotel’s credit, I didn’t directly complain to anybody (figured it would have been a fruitless effort). Turns out, the director of sales caught wind of that video – and had a bottle of white wine delivered to my room that afternoon. He was friendly, but suggested I might have warned them ahead of time of my potentially excessive usage. I’ve stayed at so many hotels over the years, and I’ve never been cut off from the Internet in any of them – ever.

Despite this snag, I’m still going to recommend the Orchard Garden. The food is great, the staff is friendly, and they have a great ethos. Be forewarned: you may have issues with your Internet access. Also note that there’s a similarly named hotel right down the block, so be sure you map things accordingly.