Clean, with an enormous bathroom, an XL bed and yet … no wifi! It seems incredible that some accommodations in this category don’t take this into account, but they include cable TV or other outdated whims, with less demand.
It is more common than we would like to go to a hotel and discover the Internet connection is bad or nonexistent. How can we solve this problem with our smartphone or tablet?
Tethering, a WiFi hotspot anywhere
Since Internet connections through mobile devices are quick and (relatively) cheap, such as 3G or 4G, it shouldn’t be surprising that we can use the mobile as a gateway for other devices such as, for example, a laptop computer. In short, you can connect any device to the network with our mobile data.
This is exactly what tethering consists of. We can link both devices directly with a USB cable, Bluetooth or by creating a WiFi access point, which is known as a “hotspot”. Creating your own is simple: most telephones (and tablets with a SIM card) have this possibility to activate in the settings/network settings. From there, the interface guides us throughout the process easily.
If I travel abroad and can’t use tethering, what alternatives do I have?
While we are abroad, it could happen that roaming is very expensive, there is bad signal in the room or even the absurd occassion where a hotel does not allow us to create a wifi hotspot, blocking the signal. What do we do in this case?
The first option is to check in advance the quality of the Internet connection for where we´re going on sites like HotelWifiTest, which does a ranking for connection speed. It´s not enough that the hotel description says they have wifi, we want to know its quality.
The second is as easy as doing an online search to find comments regarding the network quality. Reading the comments on Booking or Hotels.com before making a reservation could be key to know if the hotel will meet your expectations.
If nevertheless we find it impossible to connect, another option is to use SMS text messages. No joke, it is what Be-Bound proposes, they offer a web service in an Android application without needing the Internet. They charge through SMS and a virtual money called Be-Miles.
Hostelco, hotels that also innovate
In October AppCircus@Hostelco went on in Barcelona, the International Exhibition of Equipment for the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry. A special showcase, in which an expert panel assessed the functionality, innovation capabilities and projection for apps, on a stage specially fitted for the occasion. The sector, although may be traditional, is no stranger to changing technology and mobile applications to leverage the latest market trends to improve the operation of hospitality business and, of course, service to their customers.
The most interesting participating apps were Toptasting, to find, rate and share the best dishes of restaurants in each area; Chef Control & Cost, to manage hospitality costs; Barcelo Urban Beach Hotels,
to improve the experience for hotel guests and tourists in Mallorca; Celicity, to find gluten free food; or Tricktrack, which provides management services for a hotels.
The winner of the contest was Shopping Leeks, an app that helps restaurants place their orders. Sommelier Gourmet, a wine guide in English and Spanish with 800 wines and more than 250 wineries in Spain, was awarded also with a special mention by the jury.
Rounding out the list of mobile applications includes MyRoom, a virtual concierge for hotel guests; Hotelinpalm, so customers have all of the information about the hotel and its environment; and qlikbar, which improves the customer experience and. We will stay tuned for latest updates of these initiatives!