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From Brussel's stylish The Hotel to a Holiday Inn Express in Oklahoma, hotels are jumping on the hot "smartphone as room key" bandwagon. We don't blame them--we're sick of those flimsy little pieces of plastic.
Now, Seoul's Hotel Skypark Central is one-upping everyone.
Along with revolutionary accoutrements for the business traveler like, um, free airport shuttle service, the otherwise rather unremarkable downtown hotel has recently offered a new perk: bestowing free loaner smartphones to its guests upon check-in. The devices do just about everything, aside from calling home (actual phone services aren't available; unless you use Skype, of course), such as unlocking and locking your door, ordering room service, turning on the lights, channel surfing on your flatscreen, and browsing the web.
It's a technology that's been slow to take off but opening your hotel room via a mobile phone is one of our greatest dreams for hotelkind.
So far, we only know of a handful of hotels (about three or four) that actually employ this technology but OpenWays, a company that has created the software for phones to open hotel rooms, has just announced another hotel that will employ their technology.
The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Marion, Ill. is set to open in May and when it does, guests will be able to breeze past the front desk and head right up to their rooms, so long as their phone is in hand. Here's a little more on how it works: