New hotel app provides faster check-in and keyless entry

Global Business

Checking into your hotel room is about to get a lot easier. Technology is enabling guests at some hotels to bypass checking in altogether, making the process quicker and easier. CCTV America’s Karina Huber has more on an app created by Starwood Hotels that might be a game changer in the hospitality industry.

New hotel app provides faster check-in and keyless entry

Checking into your hotel room is about to get a lot easier. Technology is enabling guests at some hotels to bypass checking in altogether, making the process quicker and easier. CCTV America’s Karina Huber has more on an app created by Starwood Hotels that might be a game changer in the hospitality industry.

Starwood Hotels, which owns nine hotel brands including the W, Aloft and the St. Regis has created the first app that lets you check into your hotel room with your smartphone.

“Our guests can already order cars, they can order food. They can do so many things that’s personal to them so we said why can’t they use their smartphone and check in directly with a room key directly into their hotels and that’s what SPG Keyless does,” Mark Vondrasek, Senior VP, Starwood Hotels said.

To use the keyless app, you have to sign up for Starwood’s Preferred Guest program. You book your room on the app and then hours before you check in you’ll be sent a notification with your room number. Starwood says people spend an average two-years of their lives waiting in line and it’s new keyless app is meant to help its guests avoid one line at least, the check-in line.

Bypassing the check-in line, you go straight to your room, place your smartphone in front of the key reader, wait for the click sound and you’re in. Arlie Sisson who developed the app says the keyless app uses a duel encryption system to make it extra secure.

“So we wouldn’t do this if we didn’t think it was incredibly safe and secure for our guests. That’s always our first and foremost priority. Second many guests do have passcodes on their phone,” she said.

Having a passcode on your phone makes it virtually impossible for someone to get access to your room number. Vondrasek adds you’re more likely to notice you’ve lost your phone than your room key.

“People look at their smartphones every five to six minutes so the likelihood you’re going to recognize my phone’s gone and alert people is far greater,” he said.

Vondrasek says even before launching more than 15,000 Starwood preferred guests registered for the service that is available at three of their hotel brands: the W, Element and Aloft. That exceeds their expectations.

“We think it clearly resonates. We think it’s going to be a game changer in this industry and we’re very excited about it,” he said.

The keyless app can currently be used in 10 hotels around the world including the W in Hong Kong and in Singapore and the Aloft in Beijing. By the end of 2015, it says it will be available in 150 hotels around the globe.