Hilton has begun a roll-out of digital keys across its UK estate, allowing guests to open room doors using their phone.
So far nine Hilton hotels in the UK are employing the beacon technology, which is retrofitted to room locks and allows a guest to open their door when their phone is within range. Some 100 hotels are expected to feature the digital key by the end of the year, with the entire Hilton estate offering the service by mid-2018.
Those currently using digital keys include Hilton London Tower Bridge, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London ExCel and the recently opened Hampton by Hilton Exeter Airport.
Guests activate the service before arrival through the Hilton Honors app. When their phone comes into range they press the button in the app and the green light on the door appears and the lock clicks open.
Hilton chief marketing officer Geraldine Caplin explained that the technology had already been well received.
She added: “The advantages of using the phone is that it doesn’t de-magnetise, you don’t generally forget or lose your phone, and it’s super secure.
“We’re going so fast and investing so much money in this because these days a phone is a remote control to the world. People want to use it to control their lives and we’re just bringing that into hospitality.”
Through the Hilton Honors app members can now choose their room (Hilton has created floor plans of every floor in every hotel), check in remotely, open their bedroom door and check out.
In the future Hilton plans to introduce a preference setting where its 60 million members can set their preferred temperature, lighting and television – both in terms of preferred channels and apps – in advance.
Caplin said: “Loyalty programmes used to be about points, but we’ve set down this strategic direction of providing a better experience.
“Everyone wants to control their stay the way they control the rest of their lives. So it’s not taking away our hospitality or team members, but meeting physical experiences with a digital world.”
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