This is possibly the most common question asked of electronic hotel lock manufacturers at fairs, events, showroom visits or by phone.
For a start, there is no single answer. Many architects and hotel owners are guided by fashion, by the most technologically advanced appliance or by the coolest brand in the sector.
At Omnitec, we like to provide good, common sense advice, and guide the customer towards a model of electronic lock appropriate for their current and future needs and depending on their growth potential, whilst providing them with flexible and simple management. We must never forget that the rooms’ electronic locks should never lead to an undue burden in the daily running of the hotel.
In this post, we will show the different technical and technological features of an electronic lock, as well as their management model and the experience of use. With this mix of factors, each hotel will be able to establish what it needs and what it wants to offer its guests and make an informed choice with regard to which model of electronic lock.
Electronic hotel lock opening
The first electronic hotel locks used cards with a chip or magnetic strip for opening. However, the fragility and problems of these systems led them to be replaced by more reliable and secure wireless technology.
The Omnitec range of electronic hotel locks includes models opened by RFID proximity, Bluetooth via mobile and by a numerical code.
Let's see in detail what each opening system contributes to the electronic lock:
This is the most widespread technology used in the world. The lock wirelessly reads the guest or employee credentials pre-recorded on the card and opens, or not, depending on these credentials. The circuit is embedded in the opening device (for example, a card, key fob or wrist band) and is not exposed to wear or breakage, as was the case with magnetic strip or chip cards.
Opening and management of the electronic lock via Smartphone has come to stay, and grow, in a sector such as the hotel one, which is especially concerned with improving the customer experience. The main advantage is that the guest receives the key before leaving home and can check in online. This additional service provides the guest with direct access to the room and prevents inconvenient, tiresome waiting at the hotel reception desk.
The guest accesses the room by typing a PIN code provided by the hotel during the reservation process (e.g. at confirmation, after payment or upon arrival at the hotel). These electronic locks provide a simple, convenient user experience, without hotel guests having to depend on physical media, smartphones or other means of opening.
Management of electronic hotel locks
After the initial start-up by the hotel, daily electronic lock management and maintenance and the rest of the access controls are carried out by reception and maintenance personnel. For this reason, implementing a flexible, efficient and simple process management system is an essential aspect of the proper functioning of a hotel's access control operations.
At Omnitec, we offer two clearly differentiated management systems. The suitability of one or the other access management system depends mainly on the number of rooms and guests to be managed.
Access control software and management accessories
The Omnitec OS ACCESS software, installed on a server or PC, acts as a backbone in the management of the hotel access plan and is assisted by a series of auxiliary peripheral accessories.
A computer with a card recorder is needed in all the facilities opting for OS ACCESS to manage guest and employee cards. The reception PC is usually used.
For the start-up and management of the electronic locks, the hotel staff have a wireless management control or a smartphone app, depending on the electronic lock model selected.
OS ACCESS has 3 main aspects: its adaptability for any size of hotel; its scalability, which allows for future expansion depending on the growth of the hotel; and the wide range of electronic locks, cylinders and access controls that can be controlled and managed.
Access management and control APP
As an alternative to the traditional PC format software, Omnitec has developed a mobile app based system for the management of small hotels, hotels without a 24 h reception, offices and tourist apartments, either individually or for complete apartment blocks.
Bluetooth connectivity of the electronic hotel lock enables the guest to open via smartphone, while maintaining the opening function by proximity card in all electronic locks that incorporate it as standard.
The possibility of remote management via mobile app provides simplicity, convenience and security for both the owner and guest.
The models that make up Omnitec's range of electronic locks are differentiated by their design, technical features and by the opening modes they support. In this post, we are going to segment the electronic lock models according to the opening mode, as this is the factor that is important for maintenance processes and, above all, the guest experience.
Electronic hotel locks with Bluetooth and RFID proximity devices
Electronic lock opening via Bluetooth, as an innovative option and/or premium service added to proximity card opening is a trend under rapid expansion in hotels of all categories.
- EVO Electronic Hotel Lock: Design, technology and innovation come together in this hotel lock with a minimalist aesthetic. It can be used with any handle on the market and be modified completely according to the hotel decoration style. When connected to a Gateway, it can be managed and controlled remotely from the administrator's smartphone.
- GAUDI-BLE Electronic Hotel Lock: The consolidated Gaudi electronic lock model incorporates Bluetooth opening in its BLE version. Its robustness and ease of installation are highlights of some of the hotels that have already relied on the Gaudi lock.
- FIT-IN-BLE Electronic Hotel Lock: The lock designed for door renovations and modernisation incorporates Bluetooth opening in its BLE version. As with the RFID version, FIT-IN-BLE can be modified to the facility and allows the existing lock mechanics to be maintained.
Electronic hotel locks with RFID proximity opening
Currently, opening electronic locks with a proximity card is the hotel market standard. Its simplicity of management and maintenance for the hotel, together with a pleasant and simple guest experience, have led to its universal implementation in hotels around the world.
- GAUDI Electronic Hotel Lock: The model with the best value for money on the market; designed especially for hotels, offices and residences.
- FIT-IN Electronic Hotel Lock: Due to its technical design, the FIT-IN lock can be renovated mechanically, and for strip and chip locks easily and quickly, while maintaining the previously installed mechanics.
- OS SLIM Electronic Hotel Lock: A model of rounded lines and narrow profile in high demand by interior designers and architects. Minimalist design, with reader, handle and independent mechanical cylinder, which creates a floating effect in the components and provides extra modernity and lightness to the door and the whole hotel.
- X-Clusive Electronic Cylinder: Modernising doors with a mechanical key and European profile is easy and fast. Installing an electronic cylinder provides total security and provides room opening records.
For electronic locks with Gaudi and FIT-IN models already installed, Omnitec offers the possibility of adding a Bluetooth system and integrating the circuit into the existing lock. The Bluetooth update is simple and fast and allows the advantages of the Bluetooth electronic lock to be enjoyed without having to renew all the locks in the hotel.
Electronic hotel locks with Bluetooth and a numerical code
Opening the electronic lock with a numerical code is a function much in demand in hotels without 24 h reception and in tourist apartments. At Omnitec, we are committed to integrating this technology with Bluetooth opening and to providing these facilities with total flexibility in access control, without the need for face-to-face contact between the guest and the owner.
- FLAT Electronic Lock: Its modern design and easy operation have won over hoteliers and tourist apartment managers. When connected to a Gateway, it can be managed and controlled remotely from the administrator's smartphone. The electronic flat lock allows the mechanical cylinder to be maintained as an additional safety device or for emergency opening.
- CODE BLE Electronic Lock: Retaining the total adaptability of the FIT-IN lock, this electronic lock combines opening with a numerical code and Bluetooth via mobile. Like the FLAT model, if the CODE BLE electronic lock is connected to a Gateway, the administrator has remote access to the lock for its management and maintenance.
Opening devices for electronic hotel locks
We usually speak of proximity cards as being the most used device, but silicone wristbands, a key fob, all-inclusive wristbands and many other formats with the integrated RFID circuit can also be used as a means of opening.
Using Bluetooth, the guest can open the electronic lock of the hotel or tourist apartment with his own smartphone. For hotel employees, a smartphone with the Omnitec app must be provided, to replace the traditional programmer control.
As an example, below is a selection of the most common devices for opening electronic hotel locks by proximity, both in the standard version and with customisation of the different systems.
Electronic hotel lock and tourist apartment security
An essential aspect for every lock is its security. As a basic concept, an electronic lock must ensure the control of passage through a door and guarantee the inviolability of the room or passage point it closes.
All electronic locks in the Omnitec range must comply with sufficient safety standards to encompass the security requirements of hotels, offices, residences, tourist accommodation and group settings in general.
Let's see what the main security systems of an electronic lock consist of:
- Anti-copy credentials: The credentials are recorded encrypted in the RFID devices with codes that only the Omnitec electronic lock can interpret.
In Bluetooth models, data transmission between the smartphone and the lock is done with the data encrypted. Additionally, the connection is executed over a “short” range that provides protection from malicious remote tracing.
- Anti-card: the Omnitec mortise mechanics have an anti-card system. Once the door is closed, a small latch activates and locks the main latch, preventing the door from being opened by inserting a credit card, for example, between the frame and the door.
- Privacy: The guest can activate a privacy setting for the electronic lock from inside the room to prevent hotel service staff from accessing it. Omnitec offers electronic, electro-mechanical and mechanical privacy systems, depending on the lock model.
- Opening audit trail: After any incident occurring in the room, the electronic lock maintains a list of openings made with the date, time and user gaining access.
- Mechanical cylinder opening information: An added bonus to the audit trail for Omnitec electronic locks is a record of openings made with the emergency mechanical key. Thus, all entries into the room are recorded and available for inspection by the hotel manager.
- Absence of connectors: To open an electronic lock using its connectors, very high knowledge of software hacking is necessary. To rule out that probability of vandalism, at Omnitec we have removed the access ports to the circuit, and all interactions with the electronic lock are executed wirelessly.
In this post, we have provided all the details we believe necessary for you, as persons responsible for choosing the electronic lock for your hotel, to acquire sufficient knowledge to make a clear decision. Also, we are aware that each hotel has its own peculiarities that standard information cannot resolve, and this is where we put our team at your disposal to answer any questions or to expand on the information you consider necessary
If you want more information on the different models shown here, we invite you to check all our electronic hotel lock models and download the catalogues in our library.