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Access Control for Hotel Rooms


Why do hotels need access control?

These days, it’s crucial for hotels to use an access control system. The hotel staff has to assure their guests that their rooms and belongings will be secure at all times. Additionally, the business has to protect many sensitive and/or restricted areas within the building – including:

  • Guest rooms
  • Reception counters and cash registers
  • Offices with financial information
  • Guest amenity areas
  • Safes within the guest rooms 
  • Elevators
  • Control rooms
  • Storage rooms 
  • Private staff computer networks
  • And more

With so many entryways, computer networks, and items to keep secure across the entire hotel, using a traditional lock and key access system just wouldn’t do the job! Hotel staffs also use access control systems for keeping records and automating check-ins and check-outs. For example, having a hotel access control system lets staff easily and securely grant access to a room. All in all, most hotel businesses would not be able to function without an integrated access control system.

Which type of access control system is best for hotels?

Figuring out which type of access control system is the best for your particular hotel depends on your business’s security. Not every form of access control will make sense for every hotel.

For instance, some hotels are local or privately owned – including only 1 or 2 different sites. This hotel would likely operate independently and have a single group of stakeholders or admins. Therefore, they would probably want immediate access to their security preferences as well as change access permissions as needed. The best system for this kind of hotel would be a Discretionary Access Control (DAC) system, which allows admins to change settings on-site. 

However, many hotels are international businesses and have 100’s of locations and branches. Because of the larger nature of this hotel business, they would most likely need a Mandatory Access Control (MAC), or a system where settings are programmed, maintained, and monitored off-site. Many hotels with MAC systems get real time security updates about multiple hotel branches, so they can prevent security risks. That way, they can enable consistent access control policies across all of its hotels and have high-level oversight over security.

There are also rules and settings a hotel can set to make operations run more smoothly. For example, the hotel might implement Role-Based Access Control to allow certain hotel staff members to access certain areas while restricting others. They might use Rule-Based Access Control to prevent guests from entering certain areas or rooms during certain hours of the day.

Which forms of authentication are best for hotels?

When a hotel chooses forms of authentication (“keys”) for guests, they should consider convenience and ease of use. New technology is introducing convenient access control methods to hotels lately. Here are some of the top types to use:

Type DescriptionBest uses
Integrated A “smart handle” with a locking system and card reader. The guest enters their card that has a magnetic strip, which cues the lock to release. Then, the guest can use the handle to open the door. This system does not rely on electricity to operate.Hotels that want a simple, easy to use, and inexpensive security system that will work even without electricity
ClassicUses a “proximity” card reader (RFID) which does not require a “smart handle.” The guest holds the card close to the card reader, which cues the door to open. This system requires electricity to operate.Hotels that want a more “updated” but easy to use system.
WirelessWorks much the same as a classic system, but allows hotel staff to quickly change configuration and change access permissions remotely, with the touch of a button.Fast-paced or high volume hotels that need to quickly reconfigure access keys.
MobileGuests can download a mobile app to their smartphone, which digitally allows access to their room.Hotels that want to provide the latest form of technology for their guests.

Additionally, some hotels want a higher form of security for financial information, computer networks, and back rooms. They may choose to set up a more complex access control system for staff. Biometric readers – including finger and palm print scans – can be higher forms of security for these areas.

Getting Started

If you’re in need of an access control system for your hotel business, 360Connect can help. We have a vast network of access control suppliers that can accomodate different business needs and can answer any questions you have about securing your hotel property. To get free price quotes with zero obligation to buy, get started here.

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