By Yahoo Travel
September 12, 2014 | 6:19pm
The new Apple Watch can open doors for guests at Starwood Hotels.Photo: Starwood Hotels/Apple
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Buried amid all the hype and hoopla over the upcoming new Apple Watch is a possible game changer for travelers everywhere: the era of losing your hotel cardkey may soon be extinct.
Starwood Hotels — the hotel group that owns Sheraton,W Hotels, Westin and several others — is developing an app for the Apple Watch that will allow hotel guests to use it to unlock their rooms. Just wave it in front of the door and there you go!
Imagine that. No more poking through your wallet to find your missing cardkey (which all too often turns out to be hiding on the dresser in the locked room you’re trying to get into). No more embarrassing journeys to the front desk to get a replacement. If you have the watch (and a compatible iPhone), you can get into your hotel room.
Apple WatchesPhoto: AP
Starwood had already started testing an iPhone app that allows guests to use their phones to unlock their rooms.
But now that the Apple Watch is here, Starwood clearly has big plans for it. Yahoo Travel received the following statement from Chris Holdren, Senior Vice President of Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) & Digital for Starwood Hotels & Resorts:
“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. When you arrive at a destination airport, a notification will take you to a list of transportation options to your hotel. When you arrive at the hotel, a notification shows you your room number with instructions for using Apple Watch to unlock your room and 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 also view your SPG account in Glances. The marriage of high tech and high touch is poised to transform the hotel experience in so many exciting ways and at Starwood we’re committed to being on the cutting edge of what’s next.”
The Apple Watch app should be available at W Hotels next Spring. But it’s easy to imagine Starwood, and other hotel chains, eventually expanding the feature to all of their properties. Maybe hotel cardkeys may soon go the way of old-fashioned hotel keys.
Another look at the new Apple WatchPhoto: Reuters