Starwood introduces keyless room entry, Hilton makes plans


Starwood Hotels & Resorts on Monday launched keyless entry, allowing smartphone-toting guests to skip the front-desk check-in and use their phones as room keys. 

Meanwhile, Hilton Worldwide next year will start offering keyless room entry for guests with Apple and Android smartphones.

Starwood, which started testing keyless entry at Aloft hotels in New York's Harlem neighborhood and Cupertino, Calif., earlier this year, officially went live with the feature at those two properties as well as a handful of other hotels.

Those properties include Aloft hotels in Beijing and Cancun; W hotels in Hollywood, New York (downtown), Hong Kong, Singapore and Qatar; and at New York’s Element Times Square.

The feature is available to Starwood Preferred Guest members who register their iPhone or Android phones through the SPG App. Once registered, guests are notified when their room is ready, and that they’re checked in.

At that point, the guest can go to their room, open the SPG App and hold the phone about two or three inches away from the faceplate on the room’s door lock.

The phone, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to transmit information to the lock, will buzz, the lock light will turn green and the door will open.

Sweden-based lockmaker Assa Abloy is retrofitting locks at participating hotels.

The plan is to expand keyless entry to about 150 Aloft, Element and W hotels by early next year.

Hilton plans to start offering the feature to Hilton HHonors loyalty program members staying at Conrad hotels in the U.S. early next year, and plans to do the same at its Hilton, Waldorf Astoria and Canopy hotels by next summer.

The feature will be expanded to 11 brands worldwide in 2016, Hilton Worldwide said.

Guests also will be able to use smartphones to enter hotel gyms, executive floors and parking facilities.


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