Skip check-in; latest hotel room key is your phone

Skip check-in; latest hotel room key is your phone

NEW YORK (AP) - The phrase 'there's an app for that' is starting to spread through the hotel industry which is looking for ways to smooth the experience for guests.

New programs are helping speed up the check-in process for busy travelers, or in at least one case, letting them go straight to their rooms by using their smartphone to unlock doors.

Hotels envision an eventual relationship where guests will even be able to order poolside drinks using a smartphone app.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts today became the first chain to let guests unlock doors with their phones.

Hilton Worldwide is the only other hotel chain to publicly acknowledge plans for mobile room keys.

Marriott International has the ability to check in through its app at 330 North American hotels. By the end of this year, the program will be live at all 4,000 hotels worldwide.

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