On the heels of similar - but yet unrealized - plans from Hilton, Starwood is introducing a new app-powered, keyless entry program. In other words, your smartphone is now your key.
The process is wonderfully simple. After downloading the SPG app (it's for reward program members only, but that's free to join), guests can check-in up to 24 hours before their stay, and they're given a Bluetooth key to enable the keyless entry feature. Then, when they arrive, the guests bypass the check-in desk at participating hotels, go straight to their room, and use their smartphone to unlock the door.
That workflow sounds too good to be true, but it's not. I was recently at an Aloft Hotel in New York City, where Starwoods reps let me try out the keyless entry in person. Indeed, it is as simple as a few taps on your smartphone screen and touching your phone to the custom made smartlocks on the room door. A light turns green, the bolt disengages, and you're in!
Right now, the feature is available starting on November 5 at these 10 Starwood Hotels around the world:
Aloft Beijing, Aloft Cancun, Aloft Cupertino, Aloft Harlem, W Doha, W Hollywood, W Hong Kong, W New York-Downtown, W Singapore and Element Times Square
The availability of keyless entry will expand to 150 hotels by early 2015. And if you're a loyal customer at these establishments, you might never need a keycard again.
Images via SPG