Starwood Testing Smartphones as Hotel Room Key

Tired of losing the key to your hotel room? Starwood’s new Bluetooth-enabled smart locks could be the answer to your problem.

Starting today in 10 locations, the new smart locks establish a wireless connection with your phone, turning the smartphone into a key to your hotel room.

All you do is download the free Starwood app, register for an account, and wait for a notification to download your key information. Then, you simply go to your room and hold your phone to the smartpad to unlock your room. You never even have to visit the front desk.

The app recognizes your specific room, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally unlocking someone else’s room. Simultaneously, you don’t have to worry about someone unlocking your room.

Starwood has launched this service in 10 of their properties in Beijing, Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong and Doha, following a successful pilot program they ran earlier this year. The locations are: Aloft Cancun, W Hollywood, Aloft Beijing, W New York-Downtown, Aloft Harlem, Aloft Cupertino, W Hong Kong, W Doha, W Singapore and Element Times Square.

If this first round of smart locks pans out well, Starwood plans to launch the service in more than 140 other locations in early 2015. Most of these will be Aloft, Element and W hotels. Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis hotels are also part of Starwood.

Hilton is also working on technology that turns your smartphone into your hotel room key.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.