From March 17, Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui will have smartphones placed in all its rooms for guests to use during their stay. The service will be provided by Hong Kong-based Tink Labs through its line of portable communications products called Handy.

After check-in, the guest needs only to agree to the terms and conditions shown on the screen before using the Android handset to make free local calls and international calls to the US, UK, Australia, Singapore and China. The phone will also provide unlimited 3G mobile internet access throughout the city without charge. There will be interactive maps, a Hong Kong city guide and a list of offers from establishments around town pre-downloaded. The phone is equipped with a key that enables guests to erase all of the data they have downloaded to protect their privacy. In case they have not done so, housekeeping will make sure that the handset is reset before it is used by another guest.

In the case that the handset is lost, the guest will be charged HK$2,000 (US$258).

Last year, another Hong Kong hotel, The Mira, also began offering in-room smartphones to all its staying guests. See story.