Hilton Digital Key

Hilton Worldwide has introduced Digital Key, an all-new feature of the Hilton HHonors app, providing the loyalty program’s members more choice and control over their entire travel experience.

Digital Key now gives frequent guests the option to bypass the hotel check-in counter and access their rooms, as well as any other area of the hotel that requires a key, directly via the Hilton HHonors app on their smartphones.

By early 2016, HHonors members will be able to use their smartphones as their room key to enter more than 170,000 rooms at 250 U.S. properties within the Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, Conrad Hotels and Resorts and Canopy by Hilton brands.

A timeline is yet to be released for the roll-out in the Asia-Pacific region.

Since Hilton’s introduction of digital check-in with room selection last July – an industry first – HHonors members have digitally checked-in more than 5 million times to date.

In that same time period, the HHonors app has been downloaded more than 2 million times, and customer feedback on digital check-in has been overwhelmingly positive, with 93 percent of guests saying they’ve felt satisfied or extremely satisfied with the experience.

“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,” said Geraldine Calpin, senior vice president and global head of Digital, Hilton Worldwide.

“With Digital Key, we are making the guest experience even more seamless through our improved mobile app.”

The Hilton HHonors mobile app provides a number of benefits to members of the program who book directly though the app, Hilton.com, the Hilton reservations call center or via Hilton’s corporate travel partners.

In addition to checking in digitally, selecting their own room from a floor plan or list and using their smartphone as their key, members can further customize their stay via the app by requesting amenities – like extra pillows, snacks or drinks – before arrival, or at any other point during their stay.

“Through our app, we’re giving HHonors members the ability to better control and personalize their stay with us,” said Calpin.

“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?”

Digital Key provides guests with an additional convenient and secure way to access their room. Beginning the day before arrival, HHonors members who booked directly with Hilton may select their desired room on their mobile device using digital check-in and will be asked if they’d like a Digital Key during their stay. If the guest elects to use a Digital Key, it is issued as soon as the guest’s room is ready the day of their arrival.

When Diamond, Gold and Silver HHonors members arrive at the hotel, they can head straight to their room – without stopping at the front desk* – since they already digitally checked-in through the HHonors app. When the guest approaches their hotel room, they can simply press the virtual “unlock” button on the app to unlock the door.

Digital Key beta testing commenced earlier this month at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia, and will continue through 2015 at select U.S. properties across four brands including Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, Conrad Hotels and Resorts and Canopy by Hilton.

Digital Key will first be available on the iOS platform and, later this year, it will be offered to Android users.

In addition to receiving other benefits like free standard Wi-Fi when booking directly through Hilton, HHonors members who use the Digital Key this year at beta hotels will receive 2,500 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management