Can't travel without checking your emails or catching up with Facebook? If you're in the US, logging on at a hotel will cost an average of $13.95, according to a comprehensive new report issued this week by hotel review site HotelChatter.com.
The publication's annual free wifi report has benchmarked hotel wifi access for some of the world's best-known hotel brands for eight years now, this year calculating the figure using the average price charged by US chains for 24 hours of access for one device.
It included the charges from plenty of well-known brands such as InterContinental, Marriott and Sheraton hotels, although overall, the news on wifi costs for travelers does seem to be getting better -- a full 60 percent of the names surveyed by the site offered free wifi.
Overwhelmingly, these brands include budget properties, HotelChatter concluded, although it recognized top-notch chains Fairmont and Kimpton for bucking a trend that sees many luxury names forcing users to pay through the nose for a wifi connection.
Westin, W Hotels, Marriott and Hilton were criticized for their connection fees and named to the report's 'Worst' list.
For travelers increasingly armed with smartphones, iPads, e-readers and other wi-fi-enabled technology, the cost of logging on at hotels can come as a nasty shock.
HotelChatter's report mainly focuses on US properties, although it pays tribute to a small selection of international hotels for their free wireless connections, with the site's managing editor Juliana Shallcross telling Relaxnews that things are slowly getting better.
"For the most part, the WiFi landscape looks rather rosy in that there are more and more hotels offering free WiFi, especially in Asia," she explained.
"Hong Kong and Singapore actually have quite a few luxury hotels offering free WiFi, something you don't see much of in the US. In France, all Accor Hotels (like Sofitel, Novotel, Ibis, etc.) offer free WiFi and the company is getting aggressive about its free WiFi expansion plans in other countries too."
The full report can be found at http://www.hotelchatter.com
Best hotel wifi
1. Kimpton Hotels
2. Peninsula Hotels
3. Fairmont Hotels
4. Ace Hotels
5. Swire Hotels
Data from HotelChatter's Annual WiFi Report 2012.