A US hotel is to trial a program that allows guests to skip hotel check-in and go straight to their rooms.
Queuing at check-in is common to hotels worldwide, but the Aloft hotel in Lexington, Massachusetts is piloting a program that allows guests to skip the front desk and go straight to their room.
Members of the chain's Starwood Preferred Guest program can request an enhanced membership card equipped with an RFID tag that is recognized by the hotel's door locks. On the day of a planned stay, a text message is sent to the guest's mobile device with their room number. At the hotel, guests can then go straight to the room where their keycard will unlock the door.
The hotel believes that its new smart keycard could eventually function as a all-access pass throughout the stay, allowing guests to purchase cocktails and bites at the hotel's bar, items from the retail kiosk or snacks at the restaurant.
Aloft is not the first hotel to attempt to streamline the checkin procedure. Andaz, the Hyatt brand that has recently expanded into New York and San Diego, uses "hosts" in the lobby that combine the roles of roles of front office, concierge and bell attendant and check guests in on a handheld device, without a front desk. The CitizenM hotel in Amsterdam, recently voted the world's trendiest, uses self-check in computer kiosks in the lobby, whilst InterContinental Hotels offer "virtual concierge" websites that welcome guests to their location five days before arrival.