hotels Stories May 7, 2015

Apple Pay continues its rollout across the US with a stop in Las Vegas. The Cosmopolitan resort has announced that Apple Pay will be accepted at the hotels’ front desk, restaurants and bars by early June. Room service can also be streamlined using Apple Pay, as the concierge service will also accept Apple Pay as a payment method. This means that you can pay with your iPhone or even your Apple Watch.

It’s unclear if you will be able to gamble directly with Apple Pay — most casinos limit chips purchasing to cash only transactions. Or if credit cards are accepted, the payments are marked as cash advances so there are no ways to turn quick money. It is not known if the establishment can or will support this kind of transaction through Apple Pay.

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hotels Stories November 3, 2014

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. expand full story

hotels Stories July 28, 2014

Hilton hotels to let you use your iPhone as your hotel key from next year

Queuing up at a hotel check-in desk is often the last thing you want to do after a long flight. Starting next year, you’ll be able to bypass the front desk altogether in Hilton hotels, your iPhone serving as as your hotel room key.

We’ve seen the same thing in smaller hotel groups, but Hilton’s adoption of the technology moves it very much into the mainstream. The group told the WSJ that it will begin introducing the new door locks next year, and expects to complete the global roll-out by the end of 2016.

The Hilton app already allows you to check-in electronically, but currently you still need to collect your room key from the front desk – which kind of defeats the object. With the new system, iPhone check-in will send a key code to your phone which can then be used to unlock your door.

Bluetooth-controlled door locks for home are also expected to be a big thing this year, with products on the way from Okidokeys and August.

hotels Stories June 27, 2013

Review: Hotwire travels to iPad with intuitive app

After arriving on the iPhone late last year, Hotwire, the popular travel discount site for flights and hotels, has arrived on the iPad via an intuitive App Store app. The iPad version launches today as a free, universal update to the existing iPhone app.

The iPad app is very simple to use. From the start screen of the app, a user can input either their current location or another location where they want to travel, check-in/check-out dates, a number of rooms and guests, and tap a single button to immediately search for matching hotels.

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