March 10, 2020

Augmented Reality Experiences For Hotels: Innovative AR Ideas For The Lodging Industry

Learn how augmented reality experiences for hotels can help boost your digital strategy, improve ratings, and increase bookings.

Successful hotel mission statements usually revolve around excellence in hospitality services with the ultimate goal of delighting guests and satisfying their expectations. But what if you, as a hotelier, could go beyond? 

Including augmented reality experiences in your hotel offerings has the potential to provide hotel guests with a memorable experience that they would be likely to share and recommend to others.


Interested in standing out from the competition, increasing brand awareness, and improving business? Continue reading to explore some augmented reality ideas for hotels and learn a bit about the technology behind these projects.

Marketing your hotel with augmented reality

Boost your hotel booking rates with the help of augmented reality

Transform print media into interactive multimedia AR platforms

By using Image Tracking AR technology, you can attract new and repeating customers to your website and establishment through augmented advertisement posters, banners, brochures, catalogs, magazines, or any other printed material.

When scanned by potential guests, these images could then be superimposed by digital content in the form of audio, video, text, image galleries, 3D models, or whatever suits the use case best. The AR image scan could also prompt exclusive discount codes or allow users to access a virtual tour of the hotel rooms and amenities. One could even have a digital representation of the hotel owner greeting potential guests and inviting them for a stay.

With this interactive AR function, you can better engage with your customers by offering innovative entertainment while educating them about your establishment.

Image Tracking AR experience by German travel magazine Abenteuer und Reisen

As an illustrative example, the AR experience seen above shows Image Tracking scans that prompt travel guides, videos and digital animations, virtual tours, and 360° videos.

AR social media campaign for hotels

The cool AR experiences you create for your customers can and should be incorporated into your social media marketing campaign. Allowing users to capture and share the Hotel AR experiences with others, has the potential to make your campaign go viral.

The idea here is to create a sharable AR use case that fits your hotel theme/business goals to help boost your social media strategy.

For example, let’s say your Hotel is in Hawaii. A part of the AR experience could allow guests to capture and share a picture of them wearing a digital Lei garland, the necklace of flowers given in Hawaii as a token of welcome or farewell.

When clients book exciting trips, they tend to want to spread the good news. Giving them creative ways to do so, brings extra traction to the hotel’s social media presence.

Enhancing your hotel with augmented reality

Boost the overall hotel user experience with the help of augmented reality

AR hotel entertainment

A pioneering hotel AR example created as a temporary Holiday Inn campaign during the 2012 Olympics allowed hotel guests to use their smartphones or tablets to see athletes in virtual action in the reception, lobby, hallways, and bedrooms.

augmented reality for hotels: BMX World Champion Shanaze Reade can be seen performing tricks on her bike in the hotel's lobby
Virtual spin: BMX World Champion Shanaze Reade can be ‘seen’ performing tricks in the hotel’s lobby. Source: Daily Mail

Additionally, guests could also have their picture taken standing next to the digitalized athletes. The example above – made possible thanks to Instant Tracking AR technology – is a great source of inspiration for the many possibilities that AR can enable. 

Using this use case – digital characters appearing seamlessly in the hotel premises, one could convert it to any theme of their liking: astronomy, ancient Egypt personalities, local legends that make the city famous, important cultural and historical figures, pop and rockstars, you name it! Your imagination is your limit here.

AR hotel gamification 

The most successful AR game to date is Pokémon Go. By using Geo AR Tracking technology, the game developers were able to lock digital Pokémons to certain geographical points of interest throughout the world. Players would then visit such locations to capture them. The game has been a big hit since its launch and still attracts crowds of all ages and backgrounds.

Your hotel could offer a similar dynamic in and around its premises. As an example, one could create a treasure hunt AR game, locking collectible digital augmentations to various points of interest. These digital AR treasures could lead guests to hotel areas with the possibility of cross-selling (gift shop, bar), or less-visited areas of the hotel itself which need a little more traction, or even take them to affiliated partners (restaurants, museums, shops) around the city. 

Ideally, guests who complete the treasure hunt could be rewarded with a prize (free cocktail, discount for the next booking, free guided tour around town, etc).

AR in hotel dining 

An interesting augmented reality use cases, created by a Michelin-starred restaurant and bar in London, could inspire many hotel dining facilities across the world.

When visiting the City Social restaurant, guests can point their phone’s viewfinder to enjoy a series of artistic styles digitally layered around cocktails, brought to life through Image Tracking augmented reality technology. 

The idea behind this specific AR-enhanced cocktail menu is to depict “art through the ages”. Ranging from Michelangelo to Banksy, each drink represents a different artist or period of time. The interactive art animations can be captured in photo or video and be shared on social media. 

Augmented hotel ARt

  • Augment existing 2D Art

Known for hosting framed art from famous or interesting local painters? 

Allow guests to learn more about the artwork, and artists with a simple phone scan that could trigger audio guides, videos, text or a digital version of the artist himself explaining his piece and personal story.

  • Augment existing 3D Art

Cool monument, fountain, or architectural feature inside the Hotel?

Use Object e Scene AR Tracking technology to have digital augmentations attached to objects, sculptures, or the building structure itself.

  • Host digital AR art 

Invite digital artists to feature their art throughout the hotel premises. Users could scan murals to view, capture, and share the digitally hidden art on social media.

In-room hotel AR experiences

It is not uncommon to find informative paper folders and brochures inside hotel rooms which include hotel information, room service details, menu listing, frequently asked questions and more. Modernize your communication with augmented reality.

Strategically position scannable spots around the room which could trigger a series of different informative or entertaining augmentations. Think AR operating manuals that show how the coffee machine works (users can scan the machine itself to see the digital instructions appear directly on the machine), digital representations of the food menu, or entertaining stories about the hotel and the area.

AR-enhanced hotel tourism services

Boost your Hotel Services with the help of augmented reality

AR pop-up booklet

If you already have printed materials with information on local sights and attractions, consider adding digital augmentations representing the most important sightseeing destinations of the region.

Inspired by augmented reality pop-up art books, your hotel could enhance physical informative booklets by having scannable pages that bring more information regarding important sightseeing destinations of the region. Including 3D models of the sights themselves.

AR maps

Hotels often offer touristic maps of the surrounding areas to help guide and inform guests during their visits. Similarly to the idea above, hotels could use the actual map to reveal landmarks, famous constructions, and monuments digitally popping out of the map in a realistic or artistic manner as seen in the one earth augmented map below.

augmented reality for hotels in the form of AR maps

AR Tours 

Many hotels offer guided tours as an extra service offering. To create a long-lasting memory, consider innovating with the use of augmented reality smartglasses.

As seen below in the experimental AR tour created by TUI Destination Experiences with Epson Moverio smart glasses, tourists can have a hands-free experience while blending digital and physical worlds. When wearing AR glasses users can look at specific outdoor landmarks or constructions to view information about the construction process and architectural history. For indoor experiences, the same would apply to sculptures, paintings, and other showcased pieces.

AR guide and navigation

A hotel AR guide app would allow users to scan historical landmarks, monuments, and geographical points of interest to view instant interactive digital information. Furthermore, Extended Tracking AR technology could allow digital directions to point the way to other destinations, as seen in the example below.

AR smartglasses

Since the majority of the hotel consumer base is in possession of a smartphone, AR is easy to be made available as it typically doesn’t require investment in hardware.

However, keep in mind that most of the experiences described above can be made with AR smartglasses. When done well, AR glasses could produce an even longer-lasting positive experience.

Wikitude Augmented Reality SDK

Want to create an augmented reality experience that will delight your hotel guests? Contact our team to learn how to get started today.


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If you have questions, suggestions or feedback on this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via Facebook, Twitter or send us an email at hello@wikitude.com!

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