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Hilton's digital reboot: Mobile check-in, check-out, room selection

Select your hotel room, check in and out people-free with new Hilton digital options

Feel free to snub the hotel lobby staff. Hilton Worldwide hotels announced a plan that by year's end will allow guests to use mobile devices to check in, choose the room they want and check out — all without any human contact.

This won't all happen at once, but the Virginia-based company that operates more than 4,000 properties in 80 countries aims to roll out the technology to make the process seamless.

"We analyzed data and feedback from more than 40 million HHonors [loyalty club] members, as well as guest surveys, social media posts and review sites, and it's clear that guests want greater choice and control," Geraldine Calpin, senior vice president and global head of digital said in a statement this week.

Here's how it works: From 6 a.m. on the day before your reservation, you'll be able to browse floor plans or a list of available rooms to choose the one you want. Photos will accompany listings too. Once you make a selection, you can check in, make special requests or upgrades and check out all on your mobile device.

Next year, the company plans to phase in technology that will allow guests to use their mobile devices as room keys. Checking out digitally is available at all U.S. hotels the company operates; it will roll it out worldwide by the end of 2016.

When can you expect to do all this? Hilton says loyalty club members will be able to find floor plans on their HHonors app by the end of summer for Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and Home2Suites. It plans to add DoubleTree by Hilton and Embassy Suites by fall.

Hilton isn't the only one embracing new mobile options. Accor Hotels, which includes Sofitel, Novotel and Ibis brands, also offers digital check-in and check-out to loyalty club members. Other hotel companies such as Marriott and Starwood provide similar digital choices.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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