The W goes keyless: Starwood Hotels brings streamlined check-in to D.C.

The hotel room key of the future has arrived in Washington, and it’s already in your pocket. The W Washington D.C., a Starwood Hotels & Resorts hotel, quietly rolled out its keyless check-in program within the past two weeks, making it the first Starwood property in D.C. to do so.

The program is available to all Starwood Preferred Guests, but they let me test it out even though I’m not a member — and I wasn’t actually staying in the hotel’s “Extreme Wow” suite, sadly.

It all felt a little "Jetsons"-esque — walking into the hotel, passing the registration desk and heading right into the elevator and up to the 10th floor. The Starwood app on my device had informed me of my room number.

The app also notified me that my key was active, which meant all I had to do was hold the phone up to the card reader on the door and, voila, I was in.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Starwood has been working on the digital-entry technology the past four years, testing it at one of its select-service brands, the Aloft Hotels chain.

Meade Atkeson, general manager of W Washington D.C., said the option helps prevent lines at the check-in desk and allows the front desk staff members to spend more time with those guests that are still doing traditional check-in.


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