How to Choose a Hotel Door Lock System

How to Choose a Hotel Door Lock System

hotel door lock system

How to Choose a Hotel Door Lock System

Hotel door locks provide security and access control for guest rooms, stairwells, service and maintenance areas. They must also unlock automatically during fires or other emergencies to ensure guests have safe escape routes.

New technologies can help you meet modern guest expectations for digital check-in and a seamless experience without the upfront costs of replacing existing hardware. The Mews Commander PMS integrates with a wide range of commercial-grade BLE locks from dormakaba and other leading manufacturers.

Magstripe Locks

Magstripe locks use magnetic strips to read hotel guest hotel door lock system cards and unlock doors. Guests simply swipe or insert the card to gain access to rooms and areas of the hotel, allowing your staff to verify their identities. This technology has been in hotels for years but is prone to malfunction, requiring your team to clean and repair them often.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) locks offer a more durable alternative to magstripe systems. They have an integrated reader that uses proximity and radio frequencies to communicate with your hotel’s door lock system. Your guests don’t have to insert or swipe, they simply wave their RFID keycard in front of the reader to open the door. These locks can also be a more cost-efficient solution for your hotel than magstripes, as they require minimal maintenance and replacement costs.

Smart locks, which integrate with your property management system to automatically verify guests’ identity, can reduce costs by reducing the number of traditional keys that are disposed of at check-out. They also provide greater control over which guests can enter your hotel, allowing you to make changes as needed.

These smart locks are a good choice for your guests, offering high security and convenience, but they don’t fully address many of the other issues your hotel faces, especially in addressing guest expectations. Sending your guests a link to a generic app to access their room doesn’t engage them with your brand, doesn’t improve their experience upon arrival and doesn’t reduce the strain on your staff.


Keycards work by storing a physical or digital pattern that a lock mechanism can accept and unlock the door. They are normally flat, rectangular cards similar in size to a credit card or an American and European driver’s license. These cards typically come with a magnetic stripe, Wiegand wire embedded card, or contactless RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip with read/write capabilities.

When the guest swipes or taps the hotel keycard against a reader located in the door, the code encoded on the card is deciphered by the machine, granting access to a room, hallway, elevator, stairwell, or specialized area. These hotel room locks are managed by internal software and are commonly accompanied by door alarms and sensors.

One advantage of using Keycards instead of traditional metal keys is that they are much harder to copy and forge, if they are lost. With the right technology, a new card can be programmed and reordered much easier than a replacement metal key.

A more recent development with smart keycard systems is hotel door lock system the use of NFC (near field communication) enabled mobile phones to open a hotel room door. When the guest brings their smartphone into close proximity to the reader, the app enables them to open the door. This is a great way to reduce power usage and give the guests a secondary, easy, and safe way to get into their rooms.


RFID, or radio frequency identification, is a modern door lock system that uses an electronic reader to unlock doors without needing a magnetic stripe or pin code. This type of hotel lock is less error-prone than swiping magstripe cards, making it an ideal option for hotels seeking to modernize their technology without breaking the bank.

RFID hotel locks allow guests to bypass the front desk check-in process and gain access to their rooms on their own, speeding up guest arrivals. This type of hotel door lock also offers greater security than traditional magstripe locks, ensuring that guests have an easy and convenient way to access their room while maintaining safety and security.

In addition to RFID, hotels can also utilize PIN code and Bluetooth locks in their rooms for a more secure and updated guest experience. This multi-technology hotel lock system enables guests to choose how they want to check in and enter their rooms, helping to streamline the process and improve guest satisfaction.

Commercial-grade BLE locks are another great way for hotels to meet modern guest expectations and increase operational efficiency. They can be a bit pricey, though, so they’re out of reach for many small independent hotels. This is where Boost comes in, an intelligent hotel lock solution that works with your existing hardware to add the benefits of an upgraded digital lock system.

Mobile Lock Apps

Some smart locks have their own native cloud-based management platform that you can use to control and track the lock. Salto KS, for example, comes with an app that can communicate with various hardware including door handles, electronic deadbolts and wall sensors. It also has the option to generate PIN codes for guests that will unlock the doors using a smartphone screen. This eliminates the need to have access cards for guests and can be a better solution for reducing the risk of lost or stolen key cards.

Many hotels are already upgrading their current magstripe locks to digital ones that work with a guest’s mobile phone. This is good news for both hotel operations and the guest experience because it can help reduce front desk congestion and give guests the option to skip the traditional check-in process altogether.

However, not all mobile key solutions are created equal. Some are easier to install than others, and some require more upfront investment than others. It’s important to consider your hotel’s budget when choosing a mobile key solution. You also want to consider how it will integrate with your existing infrastructure. For instance, some hotels may need to upgrade their locks with new Bluetooth capability, while other hotels may be able to simply add the new hardware and use their current system.