Hilton Worldwide has launched a “Digital Key” feature for its HHonors smartphone app.

The facility allows members of the loyalty programme to bypass the hotel check-in desk and access their room and any other part of the property that requires a key using an unlock button on their HHonors app.

Members can also select their room the day before arrival when digitally checking-in. The Digital Key is then made available as soon as the room is ready on the day of arrival.

HHonors Digital Key

Digital Key beta testing commenced earlier this month at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia, and will continue for the rest of the year at select US properties across four brands – Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and Canopy.

Hilton said that by early 2016, the technology will be able to access more than 170,000 rooms at 250 of the four brands’ US properties.

HHonors members who use the Digital Key this year at beta hotels will receive 2,500 bonus points.

Digital Key is currently only available on Apple iOS devices, but will make the transition to Android phones later this year, Hilton said.

Geraldine Calpin, Hilton Worldwide’s senior vice president and global head of digital, said: “HHonors members can use digital check-in and room selection at more than 4,100 properties globally – and those who have used it have shared exceptional feedback…

“Through our app, we’re giving HHonors members the ability to better control and personalise their stay with us. Imagine if an HHonors member is arriving at our hotel after a long trip or running late to a meeting, Digital Key can provide our frequent guests the added benefit of going straight to their room without stopping at the front desk.”

Starting this month, Hilton is offering free standard wifi to all its HHonors members (see news, March 7).


Graham Smith