Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) is introducing a way for guests to check-in via a mobile phone and bypass the front desk, utilizing their mobile device as a room key when using the SPG App. The first two hotels to have the capability are the Aloft Harlem in New York City and and the Aloft Cupertino in the Silicon Valley.
Guests will be able to unlock their hotel doors with a tap of their phone through the use of Bluetooth technology. You can use either an iPhone 4s or newer model and Android phones running 4.3 or newer.
Bottom line: The front desk will still be available for guests and some will continue to prefer the personal touch of having an actual human being perform your check-in, but for those who simply wish to get to their room, and avoid any possible bottlenecks of other guests checking in at the same time, this might be the way to go. SPG expects the capability to be available in all W and Aloft hotels by the end of the year.
Marriott Rewards also has introduced a faster check-in option through their mobile check-in. With Marriott, members can check-in via a mobile device up to two hours before arrival and receive notifications when their room is ready. They then can go directly to a mobile check-in desk to pick up their room key.
IHG Rewards is offering Anywhere Check In at Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts. Guests will receive a check-in code via email or a mobile device and then can bypass the front desk and get their key from a hotel check-in device in the lobby.
Hyatt also offers check-in kiosks at some hotels and at Andaz hotels, and staff can use iPads to check in guests so that they don’t have to wait in line.