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W London goes keyless just in time for Apple Watches.

by Laura on April 28, 2015

w london apple watch

As Starwood Capital makes changes in other areas, there’s a big change in one hotel in their former group: the W London is now a keyless hotel, using digital keys on smartphones and wearable devices.

While in other regions guests may check in without a staff member, in London they still need to show ID and a credit card. However, the technology does alert staff to their arrival. Guests can use their digital key to access different areas, including bedrooms, lifts and public areas that require a key to enter.

The change has come just in time for the launch of the new Apple Watch.

Apart from opening doors with Bluetooth technology, the SPG Keyless app also has other features. Guests receive the address of the hotel and directions and can see transport options during their stay, including estimated costs. They can also view details of their next four stays at Starwood hotels and track their status in Starwood’s rewards programme.

Check rates at the W London Leicester Square

W Hotel

The hotel claims that SPG Keyless is “the hospitality industry’s first mobile, keyless entry system allowing guests to use their smartphone as a key”. However, that may not be strictly true: at Bloc Gatwick, you can use your phone or tablet to unlock and control many elements of the room, though the airport hotel doesn’t have public areas which restrict access.

Could this technology start to make hotels more like private clubs?

Starwood have been testing their app since late last year, but Bloc Gatwick opened in spring 2014. And, while it’s unclear if they’re specifically referring to the UK hospitality industry, HotelChatter pointed out that The Next Hotel in Brisbane began using smartphone keys in October last year too.

The W London does appear, however, to be the first hotel in the UK to take advantage of the Apple Watch. Many people are enamoured with wearable tech, and Starwood predict that the Apple Watch will be a big hit with their guests. If everything runs smoothly, the technology could save time and allow staff to focus on providing their guests with other services.

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Photo credits: W London.

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