Starwood’s Aloft Hotels is expanding its expanding its 'Smart Check In' program to include the Aloft Harlem, Aloft Brooklyn, Aloft Dallas Downtown, Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park, and Aloft London by the end of 2011. Running on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, Smart Check-In caters to a new generation of guests on the go who are more interested in high-tech than high-touch service.
Here's how Smart Check-In works: Select Starwood Preferred Guest(R) (SPG) members who opt to participate receive a new enhanced SPG / Aloft-branded RFID keycard. On the day of a planned stay, a text message is sent to the guest's mobile device with their room number. Once at the hotel, guests can skip the check-in line and go straight to their room, where their keycard will unlock the door - giving guests control of their check-in experience in the palms of their hands.
"Aloft guests never settle for a traditional hotel experience, and they've embraced the Smart Check-In revolution with tremendous enthusiasm," says Brian McGuinness, senior vice president, specialty select brands for Starwood. "For our associates, freedom from traditional check-in procedures means they can spend more time engaging with guests and enhancing the social atmosphere that's made Aloft such a huge hit."
The SPG / Aloft-branded RFID keycard may eventually act as an all-access pass throughout the Aloft stay, allowing guests to purchase cocktails and bites at the hotel's buzzing w xyz(R) bar, sundries at there:stock retail kiosk and snacks at re:fuel by aloftSM, the Aloft brand's deli-style, grab-and-go pantry. The pilot program partner is VingCard Elsafe. Smart Check-In made its debut at Aloft Lexington (MA) last year.