Many times for my work I'm out of town and left with whatever meager internet the hotel can provide me. Can I utilize a personal range extender with hotel wireless?
Once a hotel provided me with a range extender which I was able to plug my ethernet cable into; it worked amazingly. But, I'm not sure if their extender simply picked up wireless signals coming to it or it was setup specifically by the hotel to pick up theirs.
If I can what are some recommended hardware options?
Usually a wireless extender is for the internal system that is in place , like a Hotel and it has to be paired with the Hotels router. You can only bring your own if the Hotel allows you to pair it with thier router.
Generally your best bet is probably to hope for an Ethernet port in the room you can connect to. Some hotels have Wi-Fi only in their lobby area and the signal in the rooms might be weak. In that case a personal range extender might help. Or you could get an external wireless adapter with better range than your laptop's built-in probably has (the Alfa AWUS036H is pretty popular).