Some chains are adopting permanent keys that repeat guests can carry in their wallets and use for multiple trips at a variety of properties. Other establishments are doing away with physical keys altogether; instead, guests can open their room doors by holding their cellphone next to the lock. The new systems cut down on one of the big annoyances of typical key cards that use magnetic strips: the cards sometimes demagnetize and stop working. Carrying your key next to your cellphone is often all it takes to make one of these keys conk out. "We want guests to be able to get into their room on the very first try," says Josh Weiss, vice president of brand and guest technology at Hilton Worldwide Inc. The company just completed a test at its Doubletree hotel in downtown Nashville of technology that lets travelers use their cellphone as a key. Hotels don't see much cost savings from the changes but expect the moves will help them stand out in customer service. So far, tests of new types of keys have been limited and it is unclear how widespread the new technologies will become. Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal (free content)