- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

If you’ve ever wanted to bypass the hotel check-in desk and head straight for your room after a long day on the road, you’ll soon by able to do so — if you have a smartphone.

The Aloft Hotel brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., which serves guests in Silicon Valley and Manhattan, will soon be able to utilize smartphone technology to gain access to their rooms without the hassle of the check-in desk, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Everybody has to check in, but we are all doing it pretty much the same way we were 100 years ago,” says Christopher Nassetta, chief executive officer for Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. “It’s something we are seriously addressing.”

Guests at the two hotels will still have the option of speaking to a person behind the counter if they choose, but those who don’t want to take a chance on check-in bottlenecks will be able to use Bluetooth technology and a smartphone app to access a “virtual key” for their room, according to the Journal.

We believe this will become the new standard for how people will want to enter a hotel,” Starwood’s CEO Frits van Paasschen told the Journal. “It may be a novelty at first, but we think it will become table stakes for managing a hotel.”

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