BACK­GROUND

Business Traveler (USA) - - TRIED AND TESTED -

Star­wood Pre­ferred Guest, the loy­alty pro­gram for Star­wood Ho­tels (Sher­a­ton, Westin, St Regis, et. al.) is testing new tech­nol­ogy which will even­tu­ally al­low you to use your mo­bile phone as a key for your ho­tel room.

From the ho­tel’s point of view, this tech­nol­ogy is con­ve­nient, cheap (be­cause you bought the phone but they have to buy a key­card), but best of all it en­cour­ages you to join the loy­alty pro­gram of the ho­tel and share your credit card in­for­ma­tion.

SPG Key­less is now be­ing tried out at 10 prop­er­ties: Aloft Bei­jing, Aloft Can­cun, Aloft Cu­per­tino, Aloft Har­lem, W Doha, W Hol­ly­wood, W Hong Kong, W NewYorkDown­town, W Sin­ga­pore and El­e­ment Times Square.

As luck would have it, among th­ese prop­er­ties is one where I was plan­ning a stay – the W Ho­tel Hong Kong. I am also a gold mem­ber of the SPG loy­alty pro­gram (cour­tesy of hav­ing a Plat­inum Amer­i­can Ex­press Card), which is a pre­con­di­tion for tak­ing part in the trial, and pre­sum­ably it will also be when it is rolled out across Star­wood prop­er­ties.

So be­fore set­ting off for Hong Kong I down­loaded the SPG App from the App Store onto my An­droid phone, logged in, and saw that my up­com­ing trip was reg­is­tered and they had the right dates for my ar­rival. go­ing to be in­tro­duced with­out a few teething prob­lems, so I was ready for that. I took the Air­port Ex­press into Hong Kong and got off at Kowloon Sta­tion’s Air­port Ex­press stop, which is where the W Ho­tel is sit­u­ated.

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