Getting Online at Hotel Business Centers
Online On-The-Road
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This is a really innovative way to spend long periods on the internet at no cost. I actually stumbled onto this one accidentally. I was staying at a campground associated with a Marriott hotel. Due to some bad turbulence in the stock market, I decided I really needed to watch CNBC to find out what was driving the market down. I drove over to the hotel next-door to watch their lobby TV. While sitting there, I noticed an office in the corner of the lobby labeled "Business Center". I wandered in and found that they provide copier, fax, and print capabilities, but also noticed phone plugs where a laptop could certainly be plugged in. I brought in mine and had the place more or less to myself for the 3 days I camped there. The manager actually wandered through once and we chatted for a time, but he never really asked if I was a guest at the hotel. The fact is that most guests are in a particular city working at an office, so don't often use the hotel service. I decided as long as you either look like a business executive or a computer nerd, they'll assume you belong there. Since I look like both, I should have no problem.

I was going to include links to the home pages of some of the hotel chains that have these types of business centers, but after checking a few I've decided to leave that as "an exercise for the student". As it turns out, the chains seem to be fairly easy to find. I checked,, and I found that all 3 list their hotels by city and state. When you get to the specific hotel description, do a search for "business center" on either the Marriott or Hilton pages and you'll learn if they have one. For the Radisson, it's a bit more complicated -- they use words like full secretarial service, fax and copier, etc., but don't really let you know whether they specifically have a place to hook up your laptop. I guess your best bet if you want to try this is to first check the webpage for a hotel and, if it sounds like they have one, go take a look. If it's closeby, it may be your best bet for spending some quality time on the internet in that particular city.
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