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How to Stream Your Phone to a Hotel TV: The Ultimate Guide

TLDR: To stream your phone to a hotel TV, use AirPlay (for iPhones) or bring a Chromecast or Fire TV Stick (for Android). Carefully remove the hotel’s control box, plug in your device, and connect to Wi-Fi or use a mobile hotspot. Some hotels have built-in casting options, so check with the front desk for instructions.

Imagine a time when hotels didn’t have smart TVs. Not long ago, some even made their TVs a selling point, plastering “free HBO” on their roadside signs. These days, guests are more likely to stick to their phones, sacrificing their room’s beautiful 48-inch flatscreen on the altar of TikTok and YouTube. But with a little extra work, you can get the best of both worlds by casting whatever is on your phone to your hotel room’s smart TV.

Casting Your iPhone to a Hotel TV

There are official and unofficial options to send what’s on your iPhone to a TV. Let’s start with the most legitimate method.

Using AirPlay (Provided Your Hotel Supports It)

Starting today, iPhones can use AirPlay to stream content directly to a TV at select hotels. The feature is launching at “more than 60” IHG Hotels & Resorts locations across the US, Canada, and Mexico, so give it a try the next time you’re staying at a Holiday Inn or Candlewood Suites.

The process is pretty painless:

1. Turn on your TV.

2. Scan the QR code on the welcome screen with a compatible Apple device.

3. Connect to Wi-Fi and authorize AirPlay to that screen.

That’s it! The QR code is unique to your hotel room, so you shouldn’t accidentally stream to other guests’ sets, or vice-versa. Apple says more locations will be added “in the coming months,” which makes sense – the limited rollout probably has something to do with the special LG TVs required for the setup.

One sentence paragraph for impact.

Other Ways to Cast an iPhone to a Hotel TV

There are plenty of dongles, like Roku and Fire TV sticks, that work with AirPlay right out of the box. The problem is getting a hotel TV to accept them. Hotel TVs tend to be strict about which devices they’ll let you plug in, thanks to special control boxes that lock them down. Luckily, if you can physically get to your TV’s hookups, you can (carefully) remove these boxes. Lifehacker has covered it before, but the gist is to:

– Look for an ethernet cable (or possibly an HDMI cable).

– Gently remove it.

– Restart the TV before hooking up your accessories.

– Depending on your hotel, you might also want to disconnect the control box from power if you’re able.

Once your device is plugged in, try swapping the TV input to your dongle and seeing if it works. If it does, simply connect it to Wi-Fi (you might need to open a browser page to do it, depending on your hotel) and you’re good to go. If using the hotel’s Wi-Fi isn’t an option, don’t worry – AirPlay can work without it, and you can always fall back on a mobile hotspot.

Casting an Android Phone to a Hotel TV

Streaming an Android phone, like a Pixel 8 Pro or Galaxy S24 Ultra, to a hotel TV is much like streaming an iPhone, but with a few extra quirks, some of which can work in your favor. For instance, hotel chains like Wyndham and Hyatt already have Chromecasts built into their TVs, letting you cast from your phone, or at least log into your streaming services, depending on how locked down they are. If you’re lucky enough to have a Chromecast officially set up from the start, just follow your hotel’s instructions and you should be good to go.

For everyone else, you’re probably going to want to bring your own dongle, like a Fire TV Stick or Chromecast. While it’s possible to stream content from an Android phone to a TV without a dongle, it’s probably not going to be easy in a hotel environment, since these workarounds usually require accessing specific smart TV apps or functions that you can’t depend on your hotel to have or allow you to access.

For the most seamless experience, I recommend a Chromecast, as certain other dongles can only mirror your screen, rather than cast content across devices. With casting, you’ll ensure you get the best resolution and generally have a more intuitive experience. (Note, though, that Chromecasts do require Wi-Fi when they boot.)

Once you’re in your hotel room with your dongle, you’ll want to connect it to your TV following the same steps outlined in the iPhone section above:

1. Gently remove the hotel control box’s connection to the TV.

2. Restart the TV.

3. Plug your Chromecast in.

4. Swap to the proper input to test that everything worked.

If it did, try to connect your dongle to Wi-Fi (again, you may need to open a browser page). If the hotel’s Wi-Fi isn’t working, you can either use a mobile hotspot to try casting, or you can screen mirror without using Wi-Fi at all, depending on your dongle (the Fire TV Stick is a good choice if this is a concern).

With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite content on the big screen in no time, making your hotel stay even more enjoyable.


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