One second you’re in the lobby of a hotel, the next you’re on the serene beaches of Hawaii. Marriott Hotels is trying to make that possible with its new Virtual Travel Experience.
By Bryan Cronan
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — In the middle of the Boston Marriott Cambridge’s lobby is a tall white and black cylinder. Cassandra Grey-Sautelet stepped inside and strapped on a headset and earphones. And she is off, out of the hotel lobby and onto Hawaii’s Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach in Maui. As she watched the waves and listened to the sound of birds, she was sprayed with a light mist. Just as she settled into the serene scene, she is shuttled off to the top of Tower 42 in downtown London. She laughed as she was tipped forward and looked over the urban precipice.
As Ms. Grey-Sautelet, a resident of Cambridge, Mass., stepped out of the machine, she raved about the experience.
“I was expecting a video game, but it wasn’t. It was awesome!” she says. “It felt like being there. I kept feeling like I could reach out and touch things, which was really neat.”
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