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Last month, Starwood Hotels officially began letting guests use their smartphones to open up hotel room doors at 10 select hotels via the SPG app. Shortly after we learned that, Hilton Hotels came out with their own announcement that mobile room keys could be used in four of their hotel brands as soon as this spring.
But in Australia, one hotel has been using smartphone keys for like, two months already.
The Next Hotel in Brisbane opened on October 14, with guests using their smartphones not only as room keys but also to control the room lights, change the TV and order room service. The keyless entry and other functions all operate through the NEXT Hotels Smart App.
Here's how using your phone as a room key works at the NEXT Hotel:
Australia's third-largest city was at one time considered a "big-country town", but that nickname might be ancient history with Brisbane welcoming three new hotels over the next few months. And the transformation couldn't come at a more perfect time with the G20 Summit taking place in the city this November.
Previously, Brisbane was rather barren when it came to edgy hotels. But soon the city will have a lot to show when it comes to cool destination hotels.
Already welcoming guests, Gambaro Hotel will attract those who want a slice of design within Brisbane's liveliest entertainment districts. Located on Caxton Street, Gambaro offers up sleek decor and luxury amenities like APPELLES Apothecary amenities and Sealy signature beds. Best of all, it has a rooftop with extraordinary views.
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What was once a big-country town, Brisbane has really started to come of age as far as its hotel scene goes. From trendy boutique The Emporium Hotel, that regularly takes home top awards, to the first Tryp and a newly re-branded Pullman, Australia's third largest city is making a name for itself as one of the country's epicenter for cool hotels. So picking Brisbane to launch a new hotel brand, called NEXT Hotels, makes total sense.
The brand NEXT is new, but the folks calling all of the shots are not new to running hotels; the Singaporean hotelier, SilverNeedle has acquired the Constellation Group, who've been welcoming guests for decades not only in Australia, but in New Zealand, Thailand and Laos. SilverNeedle will now overhaul Constellation's Brisbane property, Chifley at Lennons, to the tune of $35 million.
Not only will NEXT Hotel double the amount of rooms from 150 to 300 at the property, but it will offer out-of-town guests and locals a hip hot spot overlooking the Queen Street outdoor-shopping mall. By adding a luxury retail section on the ground floor and a hot new pool deck a la The Standard Highline or Gansevoort for sipping cocktails, NEXT will once again be the city's hottest address.