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Smartphones now room keys for Starwood hotels

Hilton Worldwide is set to roll out similar technology from next year

Smartphones now room keys for Starwood hotels
SPG Keyless is available only to SPG members who book a hotel room through one of Starwood's channels.

Starting from Wednesday, guests staying at the W Doha hotel will be able to access their rooms using their mobile phones, bypassing the need for a key card from reception.

The hotel will be among the first properties to offer the service, as operator Starwood Hotels & Resorts gets ready to introduce the technology around the world.

SPG Keyless is part of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty programme and is being rolled out Aloft, Element and W Hotels. W Doha will be among the first ten hotels in the world to offer the service. Starwood expects SPG Keyless to be available at 150 hotels by early 2015.

"Not only does SPG Keyless alleviate a perennial pain point for travellers, but it also transforms the first interaction with our guests from one that is transactional to something more personal," said Starwood President & Chief Executive Officer Frits van Paasschen.

"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."

SPG Keyless is available only to SPG members who book a hotel room through one of Starwood's channels: hotel websites, SPG.com, the SPG app or customer contact centres.

To take advantage of the service, SPG members must register their phone once through the SPG App and allow push notifications. After booking a reservation at a keyless hotel and approximately 24 hours before arrival, SPG members are invited to opt-in to SPG Keyless.

They will then receive a push notification noting that they are checked in and the SPG App will update with the room number and Bluetooth key when the room is ready.

Upon arrival at the hotel, the guest can go directly to their room and, as with Bluetooth enabled, can open the app and hold the smartphone to the door lock. Once a solid green light appears, they can enter the room.

Starwood worked with lock manufacturer Assa Abloy to create the new, Bluetooth-enabled lock as well as keyless software, which are designed to securely recognize and connect with a guest's mobile device.

Hilton Worldwide is set to roll out similar technology from next year and has committed to allowing guests to unlock doors at all of its hotels by the end of 2016.

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