Although countless hotels and resorts have begun warmly embracing many aspects of mobile marketing and digital communications with patrons, the hospitality industry is finally thinking beyond messaging and exploring multiple cutting edge ways in which mobile can bring new convenience to the millions of travelers that pass in and out of hotel rooms annually.
This week, Starwood Hotels & Resorts introduced “SPG Keyless,” which is promoted as the hospitality industry’s first mobile, keyless entry system. Guests can use their smartphone, and eventually, their smartwatch as a room key. Even Apple’s forthcoming inaugural wearable – Apple Watch — will be compatible with the keyless entry platform.
Launching in Aloft, Element and W Hotels globally, SPG Keyless has already checked in at 10 hotels in markets including Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles and Doha.
Last winter, Starwood made headlines for rolling out an iPhone-based program for keyless entry that went so well, the company made the obvious choice to expand the platform before the end of 2014.
“Not only does SPG Keyless alleviate a perennial pain point for travelers, but it also transforms the first interaction with our guests from one that is transactional to something more personal,” says Frits van Paasschen, Starwood’s CEO. “This is just the beginning, because through mobile we have the opportunity to marry high tech and high touch to transform the hotel experience in many exciting ways.”
With mobile technology and services now inextricably linked to all aspects of the hospitality industry, expect more mobile-centric amenities coming soon to hotels large and small near you.