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02.05.2006 23:25

WLAN for our guests...

First of all: I'm currently in Vienna attending a course for "Implementing and Managing VMware ESX Server and Virtual Center Software".
As Vienna is about five hours (by train) away from my hometown, I had to book a hotel in Vienna. My demands on a hotel room are not very fancy. I don't mind if it's a three/four/five/ten-star hotel, I don't mind if the breakfast also includes warm meals, like f.ex. ham and eggs, as I don't really need much more for breakfast than 2+ coffees and cigarettes. What is most important for me, is to have internet access and therefore I searched the web for matching hotels and found the Austria Trend Hotel Anatol in 1060 Vienna, which offers the following on their website:
All rooms are equipped with a bath or shower, hair dryer, cosmetic mirror,
direct-dial telephone, mini bar and cable TV, and their technology is
state-of-the-art: WLAN Internet and electronic safe (incl. power connection
for recharging laptops) in each room.
For me that sounds like "all inclusive" as the above listed features "shower, cable TV and electronic safe" do not require extra charge. The price for the room is beyond the magic 80€/night border and so I thought, that the WLAN is also all inclusive. Shortly, it's _NOT_.

The WLAN in the whole hotel complex is provided by A1.net and may only be used by paying for it. OK, I would pay for it, but I will definetly _NEVER_EVER_ again pay 6€/30mins internet access (I had to do so, because I needed to check some stuff on our servers at work). These expensive 30 minutes start when you first login to their WLAN and stop exactly 30 minutes after your first login time. Hah, very funny. I needed about 5 minutes to check everything and do some modifications and afterwards, I didn't need the internet connection anymore. You can't even divide these 30 minutes up to the three days you are situated in this hotel, you have to consume it at once. Shame on you, A1!

Frustrated by this experience, I went out and had a look for a nice bar with good beer and I found this really cool bar called Ronahi.
After looking around a little bit in this bar, I found a sign where it says "Free WLAN to our guests". Unfortunately, I didn't have my laptop with me, but today, I have and I'm sitting here now for about 2 hours (I'm wondering how long the battery in my thinkpad allows me to stay here) and the summary is:
  • The beer is good (Stiegl)
  • The food is great (I ordered the Tofu salad)
  • And the WLAN is fast and really for free (free also in case of freedom, you are not redirected over any kind of transparent proxy crap that blocks specific ports, etc. I can even establish a VPN connection to my company!)
I can recommend everyone to visit this bar. If I would have known it on the first day I was in Vienna, I would have saved money and nerves...