starwood-hotel-key

Following an extensive pilot program of a new SPG Keyless service at select Manhattan and Silicon Valley locations since January 2014, Starwood Hotels & Resorts has now begun rolling out virtual room keys that do away with key cards altogether to let guests enter their rooms using smartphones.

Beginning this Wednesday, ten Starwood properties around the world under the Starwood’s Aloft, Element and W brands will allow guests to walk past the check-in desk and enter their rooms by using an iPhone as a room key.

This includes hotels in Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles and Doha, the company said in a media release Monday. The service is set to become available on 30,000 doors in 150 hotels around the globe by early 2015.

The new service is available to SPG members who have booked a hotel room through one of Starwood’s channels like hotel websites, SPG.com, the SPG app or customer contact centers.

You’ll first need to add the official SPG app to your device, a free download from the App Store. The software was refreshed earlier today with the ability to use your iPhone to check in, get your room number and unlock your door.

After booking a reservation at a keyless hotel and opting-in to SPG Keyless, register your device through the app and allow push notifications.

About 24 hours before arrival at the hotel, you’ll receive your room number and Bluetooth key through the app. Upon arrival at the hotel, you can simply walk past the check-in desk and go directly to your room.

The Assa Abloy-developed system uses Bluetooth LE so don’t forget to enable Bluetooth on your device before opening the SPG app. To unlock the door, you just tap your iPhone on the door lock and wait for the green light. The locks are battery operated, so they won’t fail in a power or network outage, and hotel staff is automatically notified of low batteries.

The video below shows mobile check-in in action.

SPG Keyless goes live Wednesday, November 5 at the following hotels: 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. Aloft locations also have Apple TVs hooked up to 42-inch LCD screens.

The iPhone 4s or newer models and the Android phones running 4.3 or newer are compatible with the SPG Keyless service, said the Stamford, Connecticut-based company.

For more information, check out spg.com/keyless.

[Starwood Hotels]