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How to Choose the Right Hotel Door Lock System

hotel door lock system

How to Choose the Right Hotel Door Lock System

Digital electronic hotel door locks are a convenient way to manage guest security. Unlike older flip latches, they won’t damage the door and comply with current building codes.

DormaKaba’s Saflok lineup is ADA compliant and offers a choice of handle designs and colors for compatibility with existing lodging and resort structures. They’re also ANSI certified and UL listed.

IC Card

IC Cards work in a similar way to magnetic stripe or barcode cards and are used to access hotel rooms and common areas. These are about the size of a credit card and can be inserted into a small slit on the hotel lock to open it. Guests are hotel door lock system given these cards at check-in and have a designated time frame of use until they check out, after which their access permissions are revoked by the front desk staff.

A more advanced hotel door lock system is one that uses mobile keys. These connect with an online or offline access control system to verify a user’s credentials before allowing them to enter the building or room. This eliminates the need for guests to carry physical key cards with them, and also allows hotel owners to track the activity of users within the property and identify potential security issues.

These locks connect to a smartphone app that verifies the user’s credentials and then sends a digital key to the lock. Guests can then use their mobile phone to unlock the door using the app’s Bluetooth connection, and can receive various types of updates about the lock’s status from the hotel’s mobile APP, such as an access record or low battery warning. These types of lock options provide added convenience and security for guests while providing a more robust and streamlined experience for the hotel’s staff.


As the name suggests, RFID (radio frequency) hotel locks use radio frequencies rather than magnetic strips to enable access. They are the preferred solution for modern hotel management. Leading lock makers Salto, Kaba, Assa Abloy and Onity use them in their products. These smarter locks can also store information on their chip to reduce costs and speed up the process of checking out.

The system works by transmitting a wireless signal to the lock via a reader. When a guest arrives at their room and swipes their hotel key card at the door, it signals the device to activate the lock. Alternatively, the lock can be activated by pressing a button on the user’s smartphone.

While the hotel key card system is a convenient way to manage the entry of guests and staff, it has some shortcomings. One of these is that it can be vulnerable to hacking. It can be possible for someone to clone the card with minimal effort and gain access to a property without permission. However, most hotels have security parameters in place to prevent this from happening.

Another issue is that guests may forget their passcodes or lose their cards. Luckily, this can be resolved by simply calling technical support and having them change the codes or passwords. Also, electrical systems can experience power outages sometimes, preventing the lock from functioning properly.

Swing Bar Door Guard

You may have seen these in hotel rooms, and they offer a great way to allow guests to crack their door open slightly for viewing or ventilation. The swing bar locks on each side of the door, allowing the door hotel door lock system to be opened up to a few inches, but not completely. A ball on the keeper interlocks with the bar lock to prevent intruders from pushing their way through.

They work well with any kind of hotel door lock system, and are an inexpensive option for hotels. They are also easy to install and don’t require any modification of the door frame or door itself. They are also compliant with NFPA 80 fire and life safety codes, which states that doors to individual hotel room or motel suites must be operable from the egress side without requiring a key, force, tight grip, special knowledge, effort or skill, and without a release mechanism or device not readily accessible.

There are a few different swing bar door guards to choose from, but the Addalock is probably the most popular. It’s portable, works on almost all standard doors (it doesn’t work on reversible hinges), and costs about $30. Just be sure to measure your door, and make sure there’s enough space between the strike plate on the door frame and the edge of the door to fit it.


Hotels rely on their door locking system to keep guests safe and provide a smoother experience. Guests often consider it an overlooked amenity but it can make or break their stay. Locking technologies available on the market help to ease guest frustrations over misplacing keys or cards, reducing front desk costs for replacements and freeing up housekeeping staff time for more important tasks.

Depending on the underlying technology, hotel electronic doors can work with key cards, biometrics or a keypad. All of these systems offer multiple layers of security to ensure only authorised users can access the room and hotel facilities.

Magnetic stripe hotel key cards contain basic information that identifies the user such as their unique access number. They can be programmed at the hotel desk to allow a specific period of access, for example until checkout. Although some hoteliers believe sensitive data is stored on these cards, this is not the case – only their room number and dates of stay are recorded.

This type of hotel locking system can be easily connected to a guest management software platform. The lock can then be monitored from a central location, which is useful for property managers and guests alike. By ensuring that only the correct sequence of digits is entered on the keypad, these locks are extremely difficult to hack.