Hilton and Starwood hotel guests can soon unlock rooms with smartphones

Two of the word's largest hotel chains will offer an app that allows guests to unlock their hotel rooms with their smartphones.

Hilton and Starwood will soon allow guests to unlock their rooms via a smartphone app.

Starwood, owner of the Sheraton, Westin and "W" hotel chains, has upgraded 30,000 room locks in nearly 150 hotels so they can be unlocked with the new app.

Hilton is planning to enable guests to do the same thing in its 600,000 rooms next year. That hotel chain will begin by piloting a smartphone app at 10 U.S. properties in early 2015. Also, in early 2015, Hilton's HHonors mobile room key app will be enabled at all U.S. properties of Conrad Hotels and Resorts.

In 2016, Hilton plans to deploy the technology across 11 brands globally, including DoubleTree, Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites and Waldorf Astoria.

For Hilton, the technology extends beyond simply guest room access. The mobile app, initially available in iOS and Android versions of the Hilton HHonors mobile app, will allow guests access to various areas of each property that require a room key, such as the fitness center, executive floors, elevators and parking facilities, among others.

"Our mobile room key technology gives our guests greater choice and control over their entire experience," Geraldine Calpin, global head of digital at Hilton Worldwide, said in a statement. "We're truly revolutionizing travel by making the stay experience more convenient."

Starwood announced a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone app, called SPG Keyless, that allows Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members to use a keyless entry that corresponds to the room number.

SPG Keyless will officially go live Nov. 5 at three Starwood brands: Aloft, Element and W,

SPG members go through a one-time registration process, and on the day of check-in get a push notification that their phones can now unlock their assigned room. Guests then simply open the app and swipe the phone across a keyless pad on the door.

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