SPG Keyless Is Improving & Expanding To More Hotels

In 2014, Starwood was the first hotel chain to introduce keyless entry, where you could use your smartphone as a room key at select hotels, allowing you to bypass the front desk altogether. SPG Keyless has been available at select Starwood hotels, including select W, Element, and Four Points properties.

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I shared my experience with SPG Keyless about a year ago, at the W Chicago Lakeshore. It’s a fantastic concept, though like most new technology, there’s room for improvement:

  • Not enough hotels have it, so it’s the exception rather than the norm, which sort of ruins the “groove” and predictability of being able to use it
  • You can only use SPG Keyless with one phone per room, which means it’s not good if multiple people are staying in the same room
  • It’s glitchy, so for many stays you still have to go to the front desk; something like this is most useful when it works consistently
  • This is a general issue, but as an elite member there’s often still value in going to the front desk for your breakfast voucher, to check on the possibility of an upgrade, etc.

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While it won’t solve all the issues, Starwood is now taking the next step with keyless room entry, and is introducing “the next generation of SPG Keyless.” What does this mean in practice?

  • SPG Keyless will be expanded to select Le Meridien, Westin, Sheraton, and Four Points properties, in addition to the current 160+ W, Element, and Aloft properties in 30+ countries; over the coming months we’ll see SPG Keyless at select Le Méridien, Westin, Sheraton, and Four Points properties, including Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt, Le Meridien Hamburg, Le Meridien Columbus, The Westin Westminster, Westin Palo Alto, Westin Camino Real Guatemala, Sheraton Bloomington, Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas, and Four Points Cupertino
  • Multiple people will be able to access a room through SPG Keyless, which has been an issue up until now; all that will be required is an SPG account and the SPG app
  • Stability, speed, and offline access will improve, which has been an issue up until now

Bottom line

It’s great to see Starwood improving SPG Keyless. This has the potential to be extremely useful, though given the limited rollout and glitches, I’ve only used it a couple of times so far. Here’s to hoping it continues to expand and improve over time.

Have you used SPG Keyless, and if so, what was your experience like?

Comments

  1. Just an FYI…

    I just stayed at the new Westin Denver Airport (it’s a fantastic property). The day before my arrival, I was surprised to receive a Keyless notice from SPG. I followed the prompts to register my phone and was instructed that I would receive confirmation they day of. That confirmation never came.

    When I checked in and explained that I had received the notice, but not the confirmation, the desk agent said something to the effect of, “oh, we don’t have that implemented here, yet”. So I asked why they’re sending out the notices when it doesn’t actually work? Naturally, she had no real answer and “apologized for the inconvenience”.

  2. I’ve tried SPG keyless two times over the past year. Once @ Element in Las Vegas, and another time @ Aloft Foshan Nanhai in China.

    @ the Element, I had (3) rooms booked. As there were multiple rooms booked on the same reservation, the rep said that I couldn’t use the Keyless feature (and could not participate in their Keyless promo, unless I separated the reservations).

    @ Aloft, I had to go to the front desk to get it to work properly — had to try for several minutes.

    The app and keyless feature had its issues.. hopefully those issues have been or will be resolved..

  3. I love the keyless – two issues I have though…

    1) The speed to start up the app can be improved (it looks like it is addressed in this new one, but we’ll see). There are quite a few times when I find myself in the elevator waiting for the app to let me use the key to get to the right floor but I miss the floor because the app was too slow.

    2) Properties that don’t check you in automatically. If I see the ‘Please stop by the front desk’ (and wait in line) then the point is lost. Being able to bypass the front desk and go straight to your room is really nice when arriving late and/or there is a long line at the front desk.

    I also love that it records the room number. If you stay in the same hotel over and over then sometimes you forget which room you were in.

  4. I love SPG keyless, and it’s exciting to see it being expanded.

    I got extremely lucky when I first used it at the W Chicago Lakeshore. I could go to the gym with just my Apple Watch and my Bluetooth headphones, and it was an incredibly freeing feeling.

  5. ^^ Meant to mention that I was lucky in that not every stay worked that well when it was first launched.

  6. I could see an example like Joey mentioned being useful for keyless entry, but generally it’s just faster to pull a key out of your pocket than open an ap, find the page with the key, etc.

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