Hotel room keys. One of travel’s more infuriating aspects. Either they’re scan cards that have a tendency to stop working the day before you’re due to leave – clearly because you placed it too close to your mobile phone. Or, you stay somewhere older and are presented with a key attached to an oversized tassel so lavish it looks like it could be hanging off a curtain and, unsurprisingly, does not fit in your pocket or handbag.
It is for this reason Crowne Plaza had my complete attention when it announced its keyless entry system. A first in Australia, and quite possibly the world, its Hunter Valley hotel has delivered a ground-breaking guest access platform in the form on a mobile app.
But this isn’t just an ordinary hotel app that informs the guest about the resort and surrounding region – it’s a communication channel between the resort and guests. The icing on the cake is the ability for hotel staff to digitally generate virtual keys for guests. This allows them to open the app and wave their smartphone in front of their room door for keyless entry.
Not only is the app, and keyless entry, a huge bonus for guests, it also aims to improve concierge efficiency, including relieving check-in queues at peak times and reducing plastic and paper usage.
Recent studies show that more than 64 per cent of travellers want engagement from their hotels via mobile devices, including the ability to use their device as a room key.
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley general manager Lachlan Walker said the hotel “is thrilled to be embracing this cutting-edge technology”.
Dr Jerry Schwartz, Director of the Schwartz Family Company, which owns the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, added: ‘’Technology is now an increasingly important component in travel and I’m aiming to establish my NSW hotels as technology leaders, ensuring that travellers make the most of their precious holiday time”.
Aside from the space required to download the app and, depending on how you look at a possible decrease in face-to-face interaction during your stay, the concept seems like a win for both hotels and guests, and another great way to help the environment.
Would you agree? Or do you think physical entry is key to the success of hotels?
Read more at Crowne Plaza.