Starwood Hotels has officially launched its SPG Keyless service, allowing guests to use their iPhone (and, in the Spring, Apple Watch) to unlock their hotel doors, bypassing the front desk. The boutique hotel group first announced the project back in January.
1. After booking a reservation at a keyless hotel, SPG members are invited to opt-in to SPG Keyless and register their phone through the SPG App.
2. Approximately 24 hours before arrival, the guest receives his/her room number and Bluetooth key via the app.
3. Upon arrival at the hotel, the guest can completely bypass the front desk (where available) and go directly to his/her room.
4. Then, after ensuring his/her Bluetooth is enabled, the guest simply opens the SPG App, taps the smartphone on the door lock, waits for the green light and enters the room.
The service goes live today at three Starwood brands: Aloft, Element and The W.
The hotel group says the three brands were the obvious place to start. Aloft hotels are already equipped with Apple TV boxes connected to 42-inch LCD televisions.
Aloft, Element and W, which were a natural fit to pilot and begin rollout because of their commitment to tech-forward, design-savvy, and eco-friendly initiatives. Aloft Harlem, Aloft Cupertino, Aloft Beijing, Aloft Cancun, W New York – Downtown, W Hollywood, W Singapore, W Hong Kong, W Doha and Element Times Square will be the first ten hotels to implement the technology. Starwood will rapidly expand rollout in the first half of 2015 and, by the end of next year SPG Keyless will be in 30,000 doors in 150 hotels across the globe.
Based on Bluetooth LE (not NFC), it will work with all iPhones from the 4s onward – and you’ll of course still have the option of a physical key in case your iPhone battery doesn’t make it through a full day and long night out. The company has posted a (rather loud) promo video for the service:
Hilton Worldwide has announced that it will be introducing its own smartphone key system in the Spring at four brands: U.S. Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton properties. It will initially be U.S.-only.
Hilton’s global head of digital at Hilton Worldwide, Geraldine Calpin, says the service will extend beyond just unlocking your hotel door.
Never before has a hotel guest been able to check-in, select their room from a digital floor plan, request items to be ready upon arrival, and then access their room via their smartphone and find it exactly the way they requested it. We’re truly revolutionizing travel by making the stay experience more convenient.
Hilton will be piloting the system at 10 U.S. properties in early 2015, with Conrad Hotels & Resorts following soon behind and Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton properties beginning next summer.
Both Starwood and Hilton will also be supporting Android handsets.