Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Stories April 24, 2015

Starwood Hotels has allowed guests to use their iPhone as their room key since last November, and today announced that guests can now use the group’s Apple Watch app to unlock room doors at more than 100 properties. You can also use the app to get directions to the hotel and to check-in.

“We’re committed to mobile and digital innovation and are excited to be the first hotel company to let guests check in and open their hotel room door with their Apple Watch,” said Mark Vondrasek, Senior Vice President, Distribution, Loyalty and Partnership Marketing for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Apple Watch allows us to engage with our guests and give them the information they need instantaneously in a simple yet extremely stylish way. ”

For regular guests, the app offers two additional functions …  expand full story

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Stories November 20, 2014

Starwood CEO says iPads make CEOs more productive than PCs

Tim Cook isn’t the only CEO to favor an iPad over a computer to run a company: Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paasschen told the WSJ that he dumped his PC and now does all his work on an iPhone and iPad – with the assistance of a Bluetooth keyboard.

I thought, you know what, I actually don’t use [my PC]. I do all of my work via mobile so essentially my office is wherever I go, and I can be much more productive.

Some of the limitations of a smaller device encouraged changes in behaviour that boosted productivity, he said.

Meetings at Starwood are paperless, emails are shorter, and Mr. van Paasschen won’t open bulky spreadsheets. “When I get the massive file, the first thing I’ll do is send it back and say tell me the key points that I actually need to understand.”

While van Paasschen admits that not all roles can be performed without a PC, one of his senior VPs, Chris Holdren, has followed his example, saying he no longer uses a PC even when working on presentations: “Now I just use my iPad.”

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Stories January 27, 2014

Guests at two boutique hotels in Manhattan and Cupertino will soon be able to skip the check-in desk and go directly to their room, using an iPhone app to unlock the door. The WSJ reports that the Aloft Hotel will launch the new service this quarter.

Guests at these properties will receive a message on a Starwood app containing a virtual key, which will unlock the door with a tap or twist of their phone through the use of Bluetooth technology. The company says the iPhone 4s or newer models and the Android phones running 4.3 or newer will be compatible …  expand full story

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