There is incredible buzz about how smartphones are going to change the hotel-guest experience, and we can see why – people are always looking for another app to get addicted to – and apparently so is the hotel industry. Luxury hotels lead the way, upgrading their rooms and reservation systems so that guests can take more control over their stay. Earlier this month Hilton Hotels announced that they are expanding keyless entry to over 2000 of their properties this year alone! So what will a smartphone-enabled hotel experience be like in the near future?


Skip the Front Desk Scene

Once you make your reservation, you’re set. No need to stand in line to let hotel staff know you’re there – they already know. GPS will alert them, or you can announce your arrival on their app. This removes what is arguably the biggest pet-peeve of the frequent traveler. From now on, it’s through the lobby and straight to your room. You can wave at the clerks on the way there.

Gone is the Hotel Key Fumble

One of the greatest advantages of being in a smartphone-enabled hotel is that you’re always carrying your key. When was the last time you went out without your phone firmly attached to your hand or pushed into a pocket? Never, at least not on purpose. The hotel app will open and lock your room using a bluetooth connection. Once you’re in your room, the hotel may send you a notice about happy hour at the bar or ask if you’d like some room service. It’s all part of anticipating what will make your stay awesome.

Control Freaks Welcome

Once in your room, you can shape your environment. Begin by setting your temperature preference. Like your room cold while you sleep? Just let the app know and feel the temperature drop as you change into your favorite pajamas. But that’s not all. You’ll be able to turn on/off lights, open/close curtains and requests extra blankets. Once you make your special needs known, the app remembers and let’s the staff know what you like for your next stay. The app also has the added benefit of improving energy efficiency by turning off lights and air conditioning when you leave the hotel perimeter.  It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.


Let’s welcome the next revolution of hotel service, the Smartphone Era. As you sit in your perfectly lit room, scanning channels on television using your smartphone (yes, you can do that too), and deciding your next adventure –  remember that the hotel experience is smartphone-personal.


Photo by Rodion Kutsaev

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