Hilton Worldwide has added digital key to its Hilton HHonors app, which will help guests to bypass the hotel check-in counter and access their rooms directly.

It will also help guests gain access to other areas where keys are required.

Hilton said that with new age technology, loyalty programme members will get to use their smartphones as their room key to 170,000 rooms across 250 US properties by 2016.

"Through our app, we’re giving HHonors members the ability to better control and personalise their stay with us."

The properties will include the company’s major brands such as Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy.

The digital key will provide guests with a convenient and secure way to get into their rooms. HHonors members will be given an option to choose a desired room on their mobile device using digital check-in.

The digital key will be made ready on the day of the guest’s arrival.

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A mobile app also provides several benefits, including a customised stay by requesting amenities such as extra pillows, snacks or drinks, and allows guests to select the room they want.

Digital key beta testing has begun at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria and is expected to continue throughout 2015.

Hilton Worldwide digital global head Geraldine Calpin said: "Through our app, we’re giving HHonors members the ability to better control and personalise their stay with us.

"Imagine if an HHonors member is arriving at our hotel after a long trip or running late to a meeting. Digital key can provide our frequent guests the added benefit of going straight to their room without stopping at the front desk."

Image: Hilton introduced Digital Key. Photo: courtesy of Hilton Worldwide 2015.