We love getting online reviews. Many of our guests find us for the first time because of our reviews online, which have been super positive. Despite ongoing renovation work and some rough edges, our guests keep ranking us as one of the best lodging properties in Deadwood. (Special note to past guests: thanks for the kudos even though we had that missing trim, cracked plaster and squeaky stairs!)
It's also a way to get some good feedback. This month we started looking in some more depth at reviews from Booking.com, which has a rating system in different categories. We're rated particularly high for cleanliness, location, and staff, which is great to hear. The category where we rank lowest? Free wifi. At first glance, this was confusing. We've had free wireless internet in the inn since we first started welcoming guests, and while it has occasional hiccups, it's pretty solid. Browsing is a breeze. We stream music every morning during breakfast service. Every guest television in the house has Netflix, and everyone can stream programs simultaneously without any noticeable issues.
Turns out it's not a technology problem - it's an us problem. We sometimes do a lousy job of telling guests that yes, we have a network, it's free, and it only requires a super simple password to connect. So we're going to up our game. We're going to make an extra effort to tell guests at check-in. We're updating our in-room guides with connection details, and in the meantime, we've printed some wifi information cards that we're leaving in each room. We've also signed up with Hotel Wifi Test, an online service that records guest wifi connection speeds and stability.
We know free wifi can make all the difference in the world for some travelers - it's certainly a huge factor for us when we travel - and we want to make sure guests know they won't have to worry about stable internet access while they're at the 1899 Inn.