STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It’s a mobile office. It’s a virtual wallet. It’s a lifeline. And now, it’s a hotel room key. This fall, the smartphone will get a whole lot smarter – especially while on the road. Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®), the award-winning loyalty program from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), introduces SPG Keyless, the hospitality industry’s first truly mobile and keyless entry system that allows guests to use their smartphone as a key. Starting today, the innovative technology will begin to roll out at Aloft, Element and W Hotels around the world.
SPG Keyless represents a groundbreaking turning point in the traditional hotel experience by fundamentally redefining the way guests arrive and check in to their rooms. SPG Keyless – powered by the SPG app – enables guests to bypass the front desk, avoid waiting in line and ultimately unlock their stay with a simple tap of their smartphone. This innovation frees up hotel associates time, allowing them to engage with guests and transform the first interaction from transactional to personal. It’s high-tech supporting high-touch unlike ever before.
“Innovation and personalization are at the forefront of everything we do at Starwood and SPG Keyless represents the perfect intersection of these two pillars,” said Frits van Paasschen, Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. “We are excited to be the first in our industry to debut this new technology allowing us to further deliver on the wants and needs of our early adopter, hyper-mobile guests who use their smartphones for just about every aspect of their lives.”
SPG Keyless will officially go live today, November 5, 2014, at three Starwood brands: Aloft, Element and W, which were a natural fit to pilot and begin rollout because of their commitment to tech-forward, design-savvy, and eco-friendly initiatives. Aloft Harlem, Aloft Cupertino, Aloft Beijing, Aloft Cancun, W New York – Downtown, W Hollywood, W Singapore, W Hong Kong, W Doha and Element Times Square will be the first ten hotels to implement the technology. Starwood will rapidly expand rollout in the first half of 2015 and, by the end of next year SPG Keyless will be in 30,000 doors in 150 hotels across the globe. SPG Keyless will be available to Starwood Preferred Guest members who book a hotel room through one of Starwood’s channels (hotel websites, SPG.com, the SPG app or call centers).
HOW IT WORKS
1. After booking a reservation at a keyless hotel, SPG members are invited to opt-in to SPG Keyless and register their phone through the SPG App.
2. Approximately 24 hours before arrival, the guest receives his/her room number and Bluetooth key via the app.
3. Upon arrival at the hotel, the guest can completely bypass the front desk (where available) and go directly to his/her room.
4. Then, after ensuring his/her Bluetooth is enabled, the guest simply opens the SPG App, taps the smartphone on the door lock, waits for the green light and enters the room.
SPG Keyless is an evolution of Starwood’s Smart Check-In, another industry-first that debuted at Aloft hotels in 2011, allowing guests to bypass traditional check-in and access their rooms with a RFID-equipped key card. Building upon those early learnings to develop SPG Keyless, Starwood tapped the world’s largest lock manufacturer, Assa Abloy, to create an all-new, Bluetooth-enabled lock as well as keyless software, which are designed to securely recognize and connect with a guest’s mobile device.
In addition to the aggressive keyless rollout schedule, Starwood is simultaneously piloting innovations for the next wave of upgrades to the SPG App, which will support and enhance SPG Keyless. These upgrades aim to not only empower guests to control aspects of their stay through their mobile devices, but equip associates with the tools they need to continue Starwood’s legacy of personalization and provide meaningful, custom services away from the front desk.
For more information on SPG Keyless, please visit TK.
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About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and 181,400 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
About Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) is an innovative, award-winning frequent traveler program that unites each of Starwood’s 9 distinctive hotel brands and includes more luxury hotels in more destinations around the world. SPG reinvented the hospitality loyalty landscape when it launched in 1999 with its breakthrough policy of no blackout dates, and over the years has continued its tradition of innovation with enhancements such as Cash + Points, SPG MomentsSM, and most recently Your24™ and SPG Lifetime™. In addition to Free Night Awards at nearly 1,200 hotels and resorts and Award Flights on over 350 major airlines without blackout dates, the Starpoints® that members earn through SPG can be redeemed for access like no other to experiences in music, sports and the arts through SPG Moments. SPG offers the opportunity for meeting and travel professionals to earn rich rewards including Starpoints and elite status through SPG Pro. SPG also has an ongoing commitment to digital innovation to meet the needs of today’s connected global traveler – from the SPG app for iPhone that utilizes state-aware technology to create a more personalized hotel stay to Starwood’s Best Rate Guarantee on SPG.com, to SPG’s integration within various social media platforms. Offerings such as these have helped SPG build a passionate member base among the world’s most frequent travelers. Learn more at spg.com , spg.com/pro and spg.com/moments and connect with us on facebook.com/spg, twitter.com/spg, foursquare.com/spg, pinterest.com/spglife, and youtube.com/spg.