The Hilton Birmingham Metropole (NEC) doesn’t quite get ‘WiFi’ yet

The warm embrace of technology has yet to filter out to the wilds of Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole next door to the National Exhibition Centre (“NEC”) it seems.

I arrived into my room to find a relic of the cold war ready to supply my every connected need — via fixed line ethernet.

I shit ye not. Here’s the proof:

The iBAHN relic

There’s no WiFi in the room.

So once again I have supplied my own, thanks to the gorgeous Three MiFi E586 unit, currently knocking back the megabits thanks to the plentiful ‘H’ data signal in this area.

No thanks to Hilton.

The room is very nicely appointed, by the way. Lots of dark wood — but crucially, no flat-panel TV. That is, I think, a telling sing. A hotel room that doesn’t have a 42″ TV is.. well, that tells you something nowadays doesn’t it?

It tells you that the management haven’t quite bothered. Not when the rest of the room is very, very nice.

This viewpoint is confirmed when you look at the piece-of-shit iBAHN box on the desk.

Fair enough, keep the wired connectivity. But come on, what about blanket WiFi coverage?

Yet again, a hotel screws it all up.

I’d have paid the £15 they’re demanding for 24 hours of internet access. I would have. It’s — well it’s just natural, right? Especially when it’s a business expense. The silly thing is, the Three MiFi unit is probably faster than the wired connection anyway.

I know the internet costs £15 because there’s a Hilton branded yellow sticker peeling off the top of it containing that information. Quality.

The quality informational sticker

Forget the egyptian cotton sheets for a moment, what about your connected-hotel strategy, Mr Hilton?

It’s rather stimulating nowadays to consider the importance of WiFi.

Think about the tens of millions of folk with iPads expecting to get some kind of connectivity. Or iPhones. Or MacBook Air devices — like the one I’m typing on at the moment. The MacBook Air doesn’t do fixed line ethernet. Not without the little dongle that Apple charge you lots of money for. I have a few of them, obviously. 😉

But I negated to bring one today.

I’ll be using my Amazon app to order one from Amazon to arrive as soon as possible. Not to use at this hotel, though. That’d be rewarding incompetence.

Connectivity incompetence. The rest of the service has met my expectations, Hilton — but the lack of WiFi? What a surprise. I didn’t even bother to check. I just assumed it would be offered in-room.

(For clarity I should point out that rubbish BT Openzone is offered in the public areas and it’s free — if you’ve paid the £15 24-hour access fee.)


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  • ewan
    Marriott Courtyard (warsaw airport) must have copied the Hilton strategy: wired access in the room with the ibahn ethernet box and wireless in the public areas, but only if you pay for connectivity! I had an iPad and iPhone so couldn’t do any work in the room. Compare this to Groupe Accor (Mercure, Sofitel etc) who now offer free wi-fi in both their rooms and public areas!

  • Ah dear Kerry I am amazed at hotels that haven’t already gone wifi!

  • Fai Yip

    The Crowne Plaza in Nottingham was asking for £5 per hour for wifi access, and there was signal in the rooms.
    Whether you think it is worth the price however…

    (by comparison – a spare Nokia phone with Joikuspot. Effective cost – £5/month data plan)

  • Agreed!

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