When the upscale Hotel Hugo opened in a trendy part of New York City in April, the operators of the small boutique hotel wanted to stand out from their competitors.
The hotel chose RFID-enabled door locks as one way of doing so. Every room in the 120-room hotel has guest locks that open with a simple swipe of a room key, eliminating frustrating misreads that often result with magstripe alternatives.
Although the contactless solution carries a two-year payoff period, hotel execs deemed it a necessity to compete in Manhattan’s emerging Hudson Square district.
“As a new addition to Manhattan, we feel it is essential to stand out as a modern and stylish establishment that can also provide guests with the highest level of safety and convenience,” says David McManus, general manager of the Hotel Hugo.
Dixon Souchet, director of engineering for Hotel Hugo, says that while there is a definite cost savings to the hotel, guest convenience and security were the primary reasons for deploying the technology.
Aside from the locking system, a proprietary wireless networking platform connects standalone electronic locks and other guestroom devices and systems via a central property server.
Eventually, the solution can be adapted to allow hotel guests to use NFC-enabled cell phones to gain access to their room.
Souchet says that the process to replace lost keys is simplified with the Signature RFID solution from VingCard, and that all changes can be made from a PC at the front desk, instead of dispatching a hotel employee to the guest room to alter the lock.
In addition, Hotel Hugo eliminates the need to manually encode keycards, cancel master cards or check battery life. The solution provides remote audit trail and live-card tracking capabilities provide the hotel with considerably more control over property security, as well as a valuable cache of data in the event of a potential guest dispute.
“The justification for implementing a system [like this] really becomes apparent when staff and guests alike are able to benefit from its many advantages,” says McManus.
“In addition to a heightened sense of security provided by features such as its keycard tracking ability, [staff can remotely] extend keycards to other guestrooms if needed. The expediency and convenience gained by such a service has undeniably enhanced Hotel Hugo’s ability to maintain operational efficiency while continuing to ensure the satisfaction of each guest.”
VingCard recently installed the world’s most technologically versatile and design-centric door lock at the 100-guestroom Alion Beach Hotel in Cyprus. With more features than previously integrated into a single lock design, the Allure solution completely eliminates the need for external door hardware, instead replacing it with a sleek and modern signage panel that controls the locking mechanism and provides a host of additional features.