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A guest holds a hotel key card near a proximity reader on the door.

How to Choose a Hotel Door Lock: Guide for Hotel Owners

How to Pick A Hotel Door Lock

To ensure the protection of hotel property, staff, and guests, investing in high-security solutions is a smart decision. Access control is a valuable investment considering that the system must manage both high-traffic entrances and individual guest rooms, as well as staff and restricted- access areas.

For years, traditional keys have been replaced by magnetic key cards. This isn’t news to anyone in the hospitality industry. But there are some new door lock options for hotels these days, which are designed to make hotel management smoother and improve guest privacy.

Types of Hotel Door Locks

Find out more about the options available for hotel door locking systems. All of these types of locks automatically lock when the door closes, whether the customer is entering or leaving the room or other entryway. With each of these options, it’s recommended to provide auxiliary deadbolt locks or security latches on the interior of room doors that guests can deploy for additional security.


In recent years, many hoteliers have been making the switch to mobile key solutions. Going keyless means streamlining check-in and check-out operations for both hotel guests and staff. By providing quick and secure access to private rooms and select areas, like the spa, pool, gym, parking garage, and conference rooms, it enhances the guest experience.

These locks work with keyless access readers that verify access credentials through a specially programmed mobile app with a Bluetooth connection. A digital key is generated by the smartphone app allowing the guest to open the doors they have access to; then, when the guest checks out, their access permissions are canceled. It’s even possible to setup self-check-in/check-out and contact-free payment processes for clientele. This provides a wide range of advantages for small and large businesses looking to better handle late guest arrivals and early departures.

Watch this video to see how smart door locks can help hotel owners and managers run their business more efficiently.

Mobile lock apps can be integrated into existing lodging and resort structures and access systems and still allow guests to use keycards as an alternative. For owners considering the option of keyless hotel door lock technology, it’s important to find a product that is compatible with a wide range of mobile devices and the access devices already installed around the property. Staff should be trained to explain the system to hotel guests and use the mobile app technology in order to offer helpful assistance if guests encounter a technical problem.

Many big names in the hospitality business are adopting digital keys as part of their loyalty programs, including Hilton, MGM Resorts, and Disney hotels. Marriott International, for example, plans to expand the use of mobile keys to all of its 7,000 establishments by the end of this year.

Related article: Are Your Valuables Secure in a Hotel Safe?

Integrated Circuit (IC) Cards

This security lock for hotel door operates using plastic cards that have and integrated circuit chip. These are arguably the most common type of hotel door lock for small to mid-size lodging and resorts.

This type of card is about the size of a credit card and can be easily slipped away into a wallet, purse, or pocket. By inserting the card into a small slit in the door lock, guests can gain entry to the room and other guest areas. Then, when guests check out, cards are replaced and the access permissions reprogrammed for the next registered guest.

Magnetic Stripe Cards

This hotel lock option looks and works similarly to the IC cards, but the reader detects the digital key via a magnetic strip on the card.

RFID Cards

Another popular lock option is radio-frequency identification cards, also known as proximity access cards. These contain integrated antenna components, which communicate with the door lock via radio waves to allow access. Essentially, instead of inserting the card into the door, as you would with an IC Card, RFID Cards just need to be near a door to unlock it.


Related article: Powerful Ways to Upgrade Your Commercial Security.

Commercial Security Solutions for Hospitality

For more information on the best lock options for your hotel setting, and the supply, installation, and maintenance for locks and access systems, contact Great Valley Lockshop. Call our office at 610-644-5334.

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