How smart is your smart phone?
I heard someone claim that there are still people out there that lead a happy life without a smartphone! Now I come to think of it; my own mother (84 years old) does not have one. And she does just fine, thanks for asking;-).
But in all seriousness, don’t we all have a smartphone nowadays? And rely on it for so much more then just for calling someone? Our phone is our mobile office, our virtual wallet, our GPS, our lifeline, and a lot more.
Now your smart phone is also your hotel key
Since Starwood’s Global Launch of SPG Keyless last week, your smartphone now also is your hotel key.
Talking about cool; the media event, held at Singapore’s W Hotel at Sentosa Cove, was the most fun media event ever! Allow me to show you why, and at the same time tell you more about this new concept.
What’s behind door number 1?
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), the loyalty program from Starwood Hotels & Resorts worldwide, debuted it’s new service at the W Singapore with a playful and surprising media event.
We were received at the lovely Woo Bar where we could watch a short introduction video about SPG Keyless, talk to some W staff members and enjoy a cappuccino, or two. Ok, I had three, but hey, I’m Dutch, you know. We drink coffee. A lot! Enough about coffee, Curly. Back to the reception at the Woo Bar. Right.
I specifically recall the pleasant chats I had there with Supriya Ghosh, director of Sales and Marketing and a curly girl like myself;-), and with Aurore Veyrier, Digital Marketing Manager.
Despite the overwhelming response from the press, the hotel succeeded to keep the whole event relaxed and intimate, by not pressuring for time and by taking us along in small groups .
At one point we were brought up to a floor with rooms to try out SPG Keyless ourselves. We were each given a smartphone that had already been set up with the SPG Keyless App and a completed online check-in.
(No, we could not keep the phones. Duh!)
We were brought to four rooms. We let ourselves in the rooms by using ‘our’ smartphone and the app.
Behind door number one a surprise awaited us: a young woman was doing complicated yoga poses, there was a fitness ball and other fitness stuff lying around. Ofcourse now we were curious to see what was behind door number two. That room turned out to be dimly lit, curtains closed, a love couple sitting on the bed (no worries, they were dressed), hearts and romantic items spread out through the room. We responded with amusement and got a bit giggly, especially when we saw that the champagne flutes the couple was holding were empty. In room number three a small birthday party was going on. Three girls, a photographer, a lot of balloons and Happy Birthday singing. In the last room it was dark and we picked up a delicious spa-smell. That’s when we discovered that there was a massage table and a woman was getting a massage. Again: no worries, here too was no nudity;-).
All this to show that the online check-in process allows you to specify special requests. You could e.g. indicate that you are celebrating something (wedding anniversary, birthday) or that you would like to do fitness in your room. This way you can bypass the front desk, enter with your phone and still find your room customized to your needs.
(When we stayed in the W Retreat and Spa Bali, we were celebrating our wedding anniversary and we loved the special things that were arranged for us! See for yourself and be wowed!)
The Extreme Wow Suite… once again!
As you may recall, I had the privilege to be offered a private tour in the W Singapore hotel at Sentosa Cove a year ago.
The official part of the Global Launch of SPG Keyless was held in that same suite, only the experience was totally different this time.
First of all the curtains were closed, and the suite had a night club vibe. The bar with the amazing ceiling light above it was lit, a DJ was spinning music, a chef was preparing the yummiest ice coffees and snacks in the kitchen (yes, you heard me, this suite has a complete kitchen!) and the bar was filled with delicious stuff.
A funny video explained the app and concept to us.
Then the curtains were opened, sunlight flooded the room and gone was the disco vibe;-).
After which there were small presentations by
- Arnaud Champenois (gotta love his name;-)), Asia-Pacific Senior Brand Director,
- Chuck Abbott, Regional Vice-President, South East Asia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (phew….a mouthful, isn’t it?), and
- Stephane Fabregoul, General Manager W Singapore Sentosa Cove
The media event ended with a pleasant lunch in the hotel’s restaurant the Kitchen Table. Don’t you just love the interior decoration?
The other times that I visited the W Sentosa Cove Hotel, the weather was not sunny, but last week it was. The garden and pool area look beautiful, don’t you think?
But I’m drifting of topic. Let’s go back to SPG Keyless, shall we?
How does SPG Keyless work?
Basically it comes down to this:
- you have to be a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program,
- you have to have an email address and a valid credit card
- download the SPG Keyless App
- register your mobile device
- make your booking via one of the Starwood channels
- indicate if you have any special requests or occasions (birthday, marriage, fitness)
- be sure that your Bluetooth and ‘push notifications’ are both turned on
At the end of the procedure, your room number will appear on your screen.
Arriving at the hotel, you can walk straight to your room and enter it by holding your phone in front of the door lock and in you are!
Please note that
- this option is not yet available in ALL Starwood hotels. (In 10 properties now, more to follow in 2015)
- you need a smartphone with bluetooth
- you have to download the app
- it only works on one smartphone per room. If you are with more than one person, the second person will still have to make use of a ‘traditional’ hotel key
- you can only book one room with one phone
- in some countries the law requires that you register your passport at the frontdesk. In those cases that step can not be skipped, so then you still need to first report at the front desk.
Find out more at http://spg.com/keyless
What do you think?
- Are you into innovations like SPG Keyless?
- Do you use your smartphone for many things?
- Is your smartphone smarter than you? Mine is!
- Don’t you love a creative media event like the Global Launch of SPG Keyless? It totally fits the signature and characteristics of the W hotels: customized, playful, quirky, a lot of personal attention and eye for detail.
- In which W Hotels did you stay? Did you like it?