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The magic that is keyless entry is nothing new, but we can’t help but feel a little chill at check-in when we learn that it’s an option.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach is the latest property to get the pieces in place before flipping the switch, as they’ve partnered up with StayNTouch to enable mobile check-in among a few other tech treats.
Hotel Technology / Hotel News / Apple Watch / Starwood Preferred Guest / SPG / Keyless Entry / Apple Watch Apps / → All Tags
As promised when the Apple Watch was first announced last September, Starwood Preferred Guest has announced their app will allow guests to check-in and open their room door using the watch. No paper, no phone, no kiosks needed.
With today's new presentation on the Apple Watch revealing just how much it can do (SO much), how long it can go without charging (18 hours) and how much it will cost (starting from $349 up to $17,000), SPG has also detailed how their keyless room entry for watches will work.
Just like using your phone as a room key, the watch will only work at hotels that are equipped with the technology. Right now, that is for select Aloft Hotels, Element Hotels and W Hotels, but not all of them. If you're a member of SPG, you're staying at one of the participating hotels mentioned above, and you have an Apple Watch, then you
must be loaded can use your watch to open the room key.
We're assuming it works much like the phone app, where you can check-in and learn your room number all from the app, and then all you'll have to do is wave your watch in front of the door. But we'll find out soon on April 24 when the Apple Watch becomes available to us all.
[Photo via SPG]
Keyless Entry / Hotel Technology / Hotel News / Caesars Entertainment / Viva Vegas / Las Vegas Hotels / eKey / → All Tags
There are many things that you can lose in Vegas--money, inhibition, dignity, and most certainly your room keys. Raise your hand if this happened to you not once but twice this weekend in Vegas. Oh? We're the only ones?
But if you're staying at The Cromwell Las Vegas, a part of Caesars Entertainment, there's no way to lose those pesky key cards at 2am as the hotel has just announced mobile keys, aka keyless entry, or as Caesars is calling it, eKey. The boutique casino hotel (formerly Bill's Gambling Hall) is now part of exclusive club of hotels that offer keyless entry.
Here's how it works:
Hotel guests using the eKey will receive a link to download The Cromwell app and an access code tied to their iOS device and reservation. When the app is downloaded, guests enter their ID number and will be able to enter their room by placing their iOS device next to the lock. The eKey will also activate the hotel elevator as a traditional key would.
And here is a helpful illustration:
Thanks to smartphones, everything you want is literally in the palm of your hand. Need new boots? Order them from the Amazon.com app. Want to make a dinner reservation? Book one on OpenTable. Need a bad ass mix to work out to? Create one on Spotify. Miss your parents? FaceTime with them. (After you tell them how to get on the WiFi network and accept the incoming call, of course.) Can't find your hotel room key? Just wave your phone in front of the room door.
Yup, the future is practically here.
Starwood Hotels announced last week that 10 of their hotels would start allowing smartphones as room keys through the Starwood Preferred Guest app, with more Starwood hotels are expected to join the SPG Keyless tech initiative by the end of this year.
Right after that announcement, Hilton Worldwide said they will let members of their HHonors loyalty program start using mobile room keys in the spring at four Hilton brands-- Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton.
And Marriott International has been talking about their smartphone-as-a-key program for a while. Since you can already check-in and check-out via the Marriott app, using your phone as a room key is the next logical step. No doubt that program will come out soon.
We'll be keeping a running list of where you can use a smartphone to open the room, starting with the 10 Starwood hotels announced last week. Got another hotel we should add to the list? Let us know!
SPG Keyless / Aloft Hotels / W Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hotel News / Keyless Entry / Mobile Check-Ins / → All Tags
UPDATE: Hilton Hotels also announced a "mobile room key deployment" today for four of its brands – Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton. HHonors members can open their hotel room doors via smartphones starting in spring 2015.
Back then, you had to be an SPG member (duh) and an Aloft reservation, but also, you had to apply to be a tester of the keyless entry. Now, starting on Wednesday, November 5, all you'll need is the SPG app on your smartphone and a reservation at one of the participating W, Element or Aloft Hotels, made directly through Starwood.
Here's how it works (you can watch the video above or read the step-by-step instructions below):
At the start of the year, we were raving about how Starwood Hotels was piloting a program for Starwood Preferred Guests members to use their smartphones to open hotel room doors. Recently, we heard that Marriott International, which already allows its guests to check-in and check-out via smartphone, was working on smartphone room entry as well.
But all that effort just got a little more complicated now that Apple has unveiled the Apple Watch, which will do the exact same thing.
During Apple's keynote today, it was revealed that the watch is partnering with Starwood's app to open room doors. Surely, the technology won't be limited to just Starwood, so we fully expect this to branch out to other hotel brands.
As with the smartphone room entry, two things need to happen in order for the doors to actually open. First, the doors themselves need to equipped with
RFID technology the technology that Apple Watch will be using which is NFC/Bluetooth (which was actually in place in a hotel in Sweden in 2010.) Most new hotels are built with RFID technology so that you simply hold your key card up to the door and it unlocks. (Here's what it looks like.)
But a lot of older hotels, even ones from a few years ago, will need to updated. And that costs money.
Second, the hotels need to create their app which is also a big investment. And because not everyone will fork out $350 for the Apple Watch when it hits stores later this spring, hotels will still need to keep up with their smartphone apps. Oh and don't forget the masses of people who still love the old room keys. (For another reason why the technology won't be universal, read the second comment below.)
We're not saying watch and smartphone entry are impossible. We truly believe it's going to happen and will happen quickly but it won't be universal.
Will you open your hotel room door with the AppleWatch? Sound off in comments below!
[Photos: Gizmodo and HotelChatter]
Let he among us who hasn't found an old key in their wallet and smiled cast the first stone.
Now that we're living in a world with electronic wristbands, mobile check-in, and smartphones that act as room keys, an honest question comes to mind: Are we getting closer to the death of the room key as we know it?
Sounds dramatic, but it's not that unrealistic to assume that we'll see our first "keyless" hotel within the next couple years. Environmentally and practically, it might not be the worst of ideas. But let us be the first to say that we would be terribly saddened to check into a hotel and not receive a key.
Sure, some are more elusive than others and tend to disappear easily. And yes, others are blatant advertisements for Domino's. But more often than not, hotel keys are unique mementos of the experiences we have at hotels, many artfully designed and immediately recognizable. A casual hotel goer may not notice one here and there, yet over time, as you see more and more of them, you begin to appreciate the ones that stand out from the crowd.
Hotel News / Hilton Hotels / Hilton HHonors / Loyalty Program News / Hotel Apps / Mobile Check-Ins / Keyless Entry / → All Tags
Here's just another reason why it pays to become a member of a hotel's loyalty program--access to cool technology that will make checking in a smooth transition after a long day of travel. Or so we hope.
Hilton Hotels has announced a new update to its HHonors app that will allow guess to select their own rooms, right down to the floor and room number. By the end of the year, this app function, along with digital check-in, will be in place at all 4,000 Hilton Hotels worldwide. Here's how it works:
HotelTonight / Hotel News / Mobile Check-Ins / Mobile Booking Apps / Keyless Entry / Keyless Hotel Rooms / Smartphone Check-In / → All Tags
HotelTonight, the mobile booking app last-minute travelers can't live without, announced some major news yesterday at Google's I/O conference. Like, major.
HotelTonight will soon let you check-in to your room from within the HotelTonight app as well as open your room door. Wow. Earlier this year, when we mentioned bonus points for hotels who adopted keyless entries, we had no idea it would come from a booking app like HotelTonight.
The two new features are simply called, "Express Check-In" and "Keyless Entry." They were demonstrated yesterday at the conference on an Android phone but the Express Check-In is being piloted on the iPhone app while Keyless Entry is working off Android.
Hotel Technology / Starwood Hotels / Keyless Entry / Mobile Check-Ins / Aloft Hotels / W Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
In case you've already forgotten, our #6 resolution for hotels to adopt was more mobile check-ins with "bonus points if they offer keyless entry too." Well, it looks like Starwood Hotels will be getting an envelope of bonus points from us.
The hotel brand announced yesterday that members of its Starwood Preferred Guest program will be able to test a Keyless Mobile Check-In via the SPG smartphone app. Take a look at how it will work:
It's not that much different from the Smart Check-In that Starwood first started doing with its Aloft brand, except the app replaces the special SPG member keycard.
Starwood will be testing this new keyless technology at Aloft hotels in early 2014 with plans to roll it out in Aloft and W Hotels after that. You can apply to be a tester here but you have to be an SPG member first.