Hilton Waikiki Beach Uses VR to Stand out from the Competition

Our clients inspire us every day.

Some make us yearn to go back to college. And some clients force us to spend the rest of a rainy Manhattan morning resisting the urge to schedule a three-week vacation.

Put the new experience for Hilton Waikiki Beach firmly in the latter category. The virtual tour we created for the resort is nothing short of breathtaking. From the incredible oceanfront views visible from the Tropics Bar & Grill, to the beauty and utility of the Coral Ballroom, this virtual hotel tour showcases the unique Waikiki property and inspires potential guests to book a stay. It’s even available in four languages: English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.

We recently spoke with Sandy Narvaez, director of sales and marketing for Hilton Waikiki Beach, to learn more about their experience.

The interview covers:

  • The business challenges VR solves
  • How long it takes to launch a VR experience (spoiler: not long)
  • What Hilton’s customers thinks about the new experience

YouVisit: Aloha, Sandy. Tell me a little bit about your typical guest and what the biggest influencers are for them when it comes to booking hotels in your area. Has this evolved or changed over the years?

Sandy Narvaez: Our typical guest is a corporate or government traveler or couples on their honeymoon. Hotel value, location and customer service are the reasons our guests choose to stay with us. The importance of communicating the customer experience before our guests select our hotel is growing. There are so many options that our guests are trying to figure out what really makes us different from the other hotels down the street.

What specific business challenges were you trying to solve with VR?
We wanted to sell our ocean views and differentiate ourselves from new competition.

Hilton Waikiki Virtual Reality Hotel Experience


Why did your organization choose to create a VR experience?
Waikiki Beach is going through a growth cycle. Several new hotels have been built or renovated in the past year. As a team, we brainstormed about what could set us apart from the competition.

One of the main features of our property that differentiates us is our combination of ocean views and location. We’re a block from the beach, which provides our customers with a relaxing atmosphere, while avoiding the congestion of the middle of Waikiki. We’re also unique in that we have fantastic ocean views that provide a full ocean view, complete from the first time a guest walks through their hotel room doors. The VR experience is the best way for us to show our guests the views they can expect before they actually arrive here to the hotel.

The VR experience is the best way for us to show our guests the views they can expect before they actually arrive here to the hotel.” –Sandy Narvaez, director of sales and marketing for Hilton Waikiki Beach.

How has the reaction been to the experience, now that it’s live?
Our customers love it. The first reaction I get is, “cool.”

How did your property come to partner with YouVisit?
I first encountered YouVisit during a conference here in Hawaii. I spoke with a few different companies before determining that YouVisit has the breadth of services that would best suit our property.

How long did it take to get this up-and-running? What was required of the hotel?
The entire process was fairly quick from creative to implementation. YouVisit organized a photoshoot on our property. The shoot was done so quickly that it gave us enough time to make multiple adjustments and work with YouVisit on creating a VR that worked for our needs.

Virtual Tour
What’s something surprising you learned from the process of creating and launching your first VR experience?
I couldn’t believe how quick the photoshoot was! Photoshoots are typically a long, strenuous process. This shoot was done so quickly that it gave us enough time to make multiple adjustments.

What other marketing strategies did you consider?
We’ve used pictures, presentations to customers, and videos. The VR experience allows our guests the freedom to take their own tour.

Thanks to Sandy for taking the time to chat with us about their new virtual hotel tour. When you’re ready to take your hotel website experience beyond static photos and videos, reach out to us. The YouVisit platform makes it fast and easy to setup a virtual experience for your hotel or resort.

Learn more about how YouVisit drives results for hoteliers here.

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