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A safe and secure guest experience with hotel access control systems

pic_Saffire LX with Mobile Access

When working with hoteliers to provide a secure access control solution, it is crucial to reassure the client that robust security measures can be implemented whilst taking the guests safety and experience into account. Here John Hardman, Product Marketing Manager for Electronic Access and Lodging Systems, at dormakaba explains the process. 

Safety and security are an ever-prominent consideration within the hotel industry. Hoteliers want to instil reassurance for staff and guests with effective security measures whilst maintaining a safe environment - and all without detracting from the guest experience. Hotel owners will be looking for security specialists who can demonstrate that these factors have been well considered, to manage these concerns. 

Risk assessment
Undertaking a risk assessment will identify the levels of security required and any specific vulnerabilities. A hotel adds layers of complexity. It’s a bustling site, different people use the facility on a daily basis at irregular hours and a hierarchy of employees will require different levels of access at a variety of times. Third party contractors will also regularly need to be on site. As such, given the flexibility it can offer - an electronic system that can be centrally managed is an ideal starting point to build the system.

Ease of access and appearance
A robust security solution is of the utmost importance, so that guests and staff feel safe but for the hotel environment, it is essential to maintain a welcoming and impactful atmosphere and the layout of the system should ensure that authorised users can navigate the venue without effort or delays. 

Online RFID (Radio-frequency identification) electronic locks enable operators to remotely monitor and audit their entire hotel from a centralised location, typically the front desk. Hotel employees can cancel lost cards or fobs, extend a guest stay, or change a guest’s room quickly and remotely. The solution can also provide staff with locking-system notifications for low batteries, doors left ajar, and clean room alerts.

Importantly, RFID locks from dormakaba can be supplied future-ready for mobile access or enabled for immediate use. For hotels that have not yet installed RFID locks, specifiers should recommend hoteliers to consider these options when upgrading their system. Mobile access provides choice and flexibility for hotel guests, with the option to check-in, using their own device via an app and bypass the reception desk on arrival. This touchless means of access ensures guests means guests can then go straight to their room using their device as a ‘virtual key’ to gain access. 

Electronic systems help manage access and offer aesthetically pleasing fittings that complement décor without detracting from the guest experience. These include contemporary designs with a small footprint, such as the dormakaba Saffire LX. Alternatively, products such as dormakaba’s Quantum Pixel are available with the electronics concealed within the door itself so that the design integrates seamlessly.

After sales care 
Upon installation, hotel staff need to be trained on the system. This is an opportunity to deliver added value to the client by working with a manufacturer that can provide system training as part of your service offering.

In addition, offering system maintenance packages is another layer for added value and client care, by helping to reassure the operator that should a system fail; security should not be comprised. Leading manufacturers should supply all relevant system documentation and offer service plan schedules to support your installation. 

Integration  
Access control is only one element of the overall security system and it should support other security measures. To demonstrate that you have considered an integrated system, work with a manufacturer and supplier that can assist with appraising the site, that can manage compatibly with other systems or ideally, to specify a total solution – from the front entrance to guest rooms and all staff areas. For example, dormakaba’s mobile access key delivery system can be extended to other applications such as accessing parking areas or elevators. This end-to-end approach not only helps to ensure a system has been designed and tested to work together but it also offers an improved after sales experience for the hotelier – with only one service plan and maintenance manufacturer to deal with in the future. 

Compliance
Finally, you will want to ensure that your work is compliant, and your reputation upheld. It is strongly advisable to only work with a supplier that offers certified products.