The first hotel company to get involved with the Apple Watch? Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which is the parent of chains such as Westin, Sheraton, W and Aloft chains.
Here’s what Apple Watch owners will be able to do, according to Starwood:
- When you arrive at an airport, a notification on your watch will take you to a list of transportation options to your hotel.
- Once at the hotel, a notification will show you your room number with instructions for using Apple Watch to unlock your room door.
- When you arrive at the bar, you’ll be asked via notification if you’d like your usual drink brought to your table.
- You can check your SPG account, too
Here’s Starwood’s official statement: “When Apple Watch is available next year, we envision endless ways Apple Watch could help us enhance our guests’ experiences at our hotels from instantly recognizing guests with a warm, personal welcome to empowering our SPG members to bypass the front desk.”
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Hotel insiders predict it will be a hit with Apple fans, who will like the idea of waving their watch in front of a hotel door lock to open their room.
“It’s long past due,” Paul West, whose company Maximum Hospitality manages hotels including the newly opened Le Meridien in Tampa, told me. “You can rent a car standing in a parking lot (with a hand-held device). Why do we need to stand in line to get a key for a hotel room?”
“The younger demographic will use it, and eventually everybody else will.”
Technology like this, he said, will further force the evolution of the front desk. “The front desk won’t go away, but it will become a service center – not some place to stand in a line,” he said.
Readers: Are you looking forward to bypassing the front desk, as more companies including Starwood, Hilton and Marriott roll out technology to let you unlock your hotel room doors using an app or a code?