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Brief Published: 1 Jun 2011

Aloft Expands Automatic Check-In


Starwood’s Aloft hotel chain is set to expand its automatic check-in system internationally.

Smart Check-In, which Aloft claimed to be the first hotel chain to debut, allows guests to check-in using wireless technology embedded in loyalty cards. Instead of checking in at reception, guests are sent a text message prior to arrival, informing them of their room. They can then use their Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty card to open their hotel room door.

The scheme was first introduced at the Aloft Lexington, Massachusetts, but will now be rolled out to branches in Harlem and Brooklyn in New York, Dallas Downtown, Jacksonville Tapestry Park, and London by the end of 2011.

While the extension of this service is to just six hotels in the brand’s portfolio of 50, it does suggest that Starwood is committed to its success.

Meanwhile, the pioneers of online check-in, Omni Hotels & Resorts – which launched an online check-in service in 2007 – has recently launched a brand-wide Facebook reservations tool. Users can now book and confirm a reservation without ever leaving the Omni Facebook wall. This is the first fully integrated Facebook booking tool among all major hospitality brands.

To find out about the latest and most innovative hotel concierge practices, read The New Concierge.