1 -min. read

When the Apple Watch debuted last spring, one of the features that I geeked out over was the ability to open hotel room doors with the flash of a wrist. It took me a little bit of time but I was finally able to test out this cool tech during a recent stay at the W Hotel Downtown New York.

Starwood Hotels’ keyless entry program, SPG Keyless, is currently one of the only major hotel brands that allows guests to use their smartphones or watches as room keys. Several brands are working on implementing a smartphone key at their hotels–namely Marriott and Hilton–but Starwood has clearly led the way.

However as cool as this technology is, there are a few steps involved. For starters, you can only use this keyless entry if you’re an SPG member and you’ve booked your hotel room directly through Starwood. Second, you need to download the SPG app to your phone, and then register your phone for the keyless program. It doesn’t take long, but it’s a step that you need to do before you arrive at the hotel.

Once you check-in, the front desk will activate your “key.” But when I arrived at check-in, I was handed a regular room key and was told my virtual key would be activated shortly. I used the regular key to drop off my stuff in the room but later on I checked my SPG app and voilà, my phone and my watch were ready to open the door.

Opening the door with Apple Watch is pretty awesome, but not having to dig for your room key, or worse, realising you lost it and having to go back down to front desk to get a new one, is even better.


Juliana Shallcross
A self-confessed hotel addict, Juliana Shallcross has been reporting on hotels around the world for more than a decade. She was previously the managing editor A good portion of her job involves sleeping in new hotels, obsessing over technology and keeping tabs on the ever-changing hospitality landscape. She's based in Los Angeles.

We use cookies to improve your experience, by browsing this site you are agreeing to this. For more information, including how to disable these cookies, please see our privacy policy