The process is wonderfully simple. After downloading the SPG app (it's for reward program members only, but that's free to join), guests can check-in up to 24 hours before their stay, and they're given a Bluetooth key to enable the keyless entry feature. Then, when they arrive, the guests bypass the check-in desk at participating hotels, go straight to their room, and use their smartphone to unlock the door.
That workflow sounds too good to be true, but it's not. I was recently at an Aloft Hotel in New York City, where Starwoods reps let me try out the keyless entry in person. Indeed, it is as simple as a few taps on your smartphone screen and touching your phone to the custom made smartlocks on the room door. A light turns green, the bolt disengages, and you're in!
Right now, the feature is available starting on November 5 at these 10 Starwood Hotels around the world:
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
The availability of keyless entry will expand to 150 hotels by early 2015. And if you're a loyal customer at these establishments, you might never need a keycard again.
Images via SPG