The Marriott Hotels get that the main point of your stay is to escape your every day. They also get that sometimes being in a hotel might not be enough of a getaway, and now are equipped to send you somewhere else- in a virtual sense.
The New York Marriott Marquis and the London Marriott Park Lane have just completed a ‘virtual reality’ trial program for guests. The Marriott ‘Vroom Service’ will deliver a virtual reality loaner kit, worth an estimated $900 to your room whenever you feel like you need to transport your mind elsewhere. Not to mention this also comes stocked with Samsung Gear VR headsets.
So where can you go? Good question. The Marriott hotels have curated short virtual visits to the Andes Mountains in Chile, the streets of Beijing and an ice cream shop in Rwanda. All of which can be experienced in 360 three-dimensions. Each visit will take you away for one-to-two-minutes and will have you meeting real-life travelers who will share stories with you about how much they’ve learned and value traveling the world.
Michael Dail, Marriott Hotels’ VP of global marketing comments on the program, noting that it “uniquely combines storytelling and technology,” said The headsets are “the newest way we’re enhancing the in-room guest experience.”
“We are disrupting our own industry, as we want to be the first to define the next-generation hotel experience,” said Dail.
VR experiences are becoming a common amenity provided by travel industry businesses. Qantas also joined the VR movement, and now offers its first-class passengers the same Samsung headsets, which will virtually transport them to the Great Barrier Reef. Marriott’s Vroom Service is a sign of major tech integrations to come at the hotels. It will already add on to their fully servicing app, and in-room streaming for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Crackle and YouTube subscribers.
These short virtual reality visits are being dubbed ‘VR postcards’ meant to attract you to the destination exhibited. However Dail notes that the Marriott is aiming to use this technology in a way that shows “how others use travel to open their minds and what they take away from their trips, both professionally and personally.”
These efforts are also focused on grabbing the attention of young millennial travelers. “So many of our millennial guests are content creators themselves,” Dail said. “We are interested to see how they use this technology and if they’re inspired by the immersive aspects of virtual storytelling, as the technology is advancing so quickly.”
We can’t wait to see what Marriott will do next!