Starwood Begins First Phase of Mobile Phone Hotel Room Key Rollout With 10 Properties

Following an initial pilot program at a pair of its properties, hotel chain Starwood today announced the official launch of its SPG Keyless program that will allow hotel guests to use their iPhones or Android phones to check in for their stays and unlock their doors via Bluetooth. The system will go live this Wednesday in ten hotels around the world under Starwood's Aloft, Element, and W brands and expand to 150 hotel comprising 30,000 hotel room doors by the end of next year.

starwood_key_app
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. Guests will receive a push notification noting that they are checked in and the SPG App will update with his/her room number and Bluetooth key when the room is ready. Upon arrival at the hotel, the guest can completely bypass the front desk (where available) and go directly to his/her room. After ensuring his/her Bluetooth is enabled, the guest simply opens the SPG App, holds the smartphone to the door lock, waits for the solid green light and enters the room.

Starwood's SPG: Starwood Hotels & Resorts app [Direct Link] has been updated today to support the iPhone check-in program, which is going live at hotels in Beijing, Cancun, Cupertino, Harlem, Doha, Hollywood, Hong Kong, New York City, and Singapore.

Starwood is not the only hotel chain working on phone-based room keys, with Hilton previously announcing its intentions for a similar program including check-in and room selection via app available in 4,000 hotels by the end of this year and and mobile phone room keys rolling out in 2015. And just today Hilton has reiterated those plans, announcing pilot testing of room keys early next year with an initial rollout to its Conrad brand soon after and expansion to additional brands coming in the summer.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

68 months ago

My phone has NFC and instead it uses BlueTooth? Might as well use QR Codes!


Fishing for +1s. Nice try, buddy.

I love this implementation.
Rating: 11 Votes
68 months ago

My phone has NFC and instead it uses BlueTooth?

Maybe because my iPhone doesn't have NFC, but it has bluetooth.
Rating: 7 Votes
68 months ago

Who carries an iPhone without a case? Ok, well I don't because it's too expensive and/or a hassle to replace even with AppleCare. Based on this ad you must place your phone directly against the door's receiver. This means I'm required to pry out my phone each time I enter the room and that's in itself kills the convenience.


Bluetooth will transmit thru your case. No need to take it out of the case. :rolleyes:
Rating: 6 Votes
68 months ago

I'm curious too that they didn't go with NFC. Is there any security concerns with Bluetooth?


NFC isn't usable from an iPhone for this purpose.

Only a fraction of iPhone's even have NFC. However; MANY dating way back to the iPhone 4S have BTLE.

Additionally, BTLE is very low power, coincell battery can power a transceiver for over a year, it's the ideal low power technology to embed in door locks and small devices like this.
Rating: 6 Votes
68 months ago
*cue first news report of rooms being swept clean of valuables by thieves with gadgets*

If Range Rovers are being stolen this way, hotel room keys won't be a problem. Am I the only person feeling skeptical about digital security measures lately?
Rating: 6 Votes
68 months ago

My phone has NFC and instead it uses BlueTooth? Might as well use QR Codes!


1. Apple hasn't opened up NFC in the iPhone to be used for anything other than Apple Pay.

2. FAR more iPhones and Android phones have Bluetooth than have NFC.
Rating: 5 Votes
68 months ago
Those flight attendants!
Rating: 5 Votes
68 months ago
My phone has NFC and instead it uses BlueTooth? Might as well use QR Codes!
Rating: 4 Votes
68 months ago
Passbook integration would be nice!
Rating: 3 Votes
68 months ago

*cue first news report of rooms being swept clean of valuables by thieves with gadgets*

If Range Rovers are being stolen this way, hotel room keys won't be a problem. Am I the only person feeling skeptical about digital security measures lately?


Really? You already have swipe keycards...people can just use a little social engineering to get into your room. The last hotel I stayed at rekeyed my card without even checking ID or asking for a name, just the room number.

That or just follow around the cleaning crew for a few minutes.

Your phone won't be transmitting the key code until you open the app, so unless someone is standing within 10 feet of you while you unlock your door they won't even be able to see the signal, which will be encrypted anyways.
Rating: 2 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]