After a smashingly successful pilot, Aloft Hotels will roll out its pioneering automatic check-in at five more hotels worldwide, it was announced today.
Aloft's Smart Check-In, the hotel industry's first such program, will let guests zoom to their rooms at Aloft Harlem, Aloft Brooklyn, Aloft Dallas Downtown, Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park, and Aloft London by the end of 2011.
Smart Check-In made its debut at Aloft Lexington (MA) last year.
Tech-savvy Aloft is the sizzling style-at-a-steal brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) that's rocked the hotel industry since launching in 2008.
With nearly 50 properties now open worldwide, the brand has enjoyed the fastest ramp-up in hospitality-industry history.
Designed to appeal to the digital generation, Aloft brings urban-influenced, modern, open, and vibrant design at an affordable price point.
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. Technology has been a vital component of the Aloft brand's DNA from day one, when the "first" Aloft hotel made its debut in virtual reality on Second Life.
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," said 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 the re: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, a cutting-edge security technology leader for the hospitality industry. Smart signature features have made Aloft one of the most successful launches in hospitality industry history.
Savvy guests can surf their tablets, work on laptops via fast and free hotel-wide wireless Internet access, shoot a game of pool, or grab a drink with friends in the always-happening re:mix lobby and lounge. The re:chargeSM fitness center and splash, the indoor pool, give travelers options to de-stress and re-energize, while re:fuel offers sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and beverages 24 hours a day. Aloft features intuitive, high-tech features throughout its public spaces and guest rooms, ensuring guests are always plugged in and connected.
All Aloft hotels feature CAT-6 high thru-put wires which means that all hotels are wired to accommodate tomorrow's technologies. Guest rooms provide a calm oasis that is combination high-tech office and entertainment center, thanks to the plug & play, a one-stop connectivity solution that links multiple electronic gadgets at once such as PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops, to a 42" flat-panel HDTV-ready television for optimal sound and viewing.