Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has become one of the first hotel and hospitality chains in the UK to make widespread use of the technology that allows guests to explore its hotels prior to booking.
Already seven hotels, including Macdonald Manchester Hotel, can now be explored through 360 degree online tours and by the end of 2018 that figure will have risen to around 20 hotels and resorts in the group’s portfolio.
It can be difficult to fully appreciate the opulence and comfort levels of the bedrooms, bars and restaurants without actually visiting them, but the new tours bring the hotels and resorts vividly to life.
Using high resolution photography and infrared technologies developed initially for the residential real estate industry, guests can now click on the hotel website then walk through the front door, explore the lobby, bars and restaurants, see the full range of bedrooms and even take a stroll in the grounds. It is a real taster of what is on offer and one that delivers not just the layout, but also the ambience.
At Macdonald Manchester Hotel visitors can explore the largest four star hotel in the city, clicking on the on-screen hotspots to discover the Spa with its treatment rooms, relaxation room and gym; see the spacious lounge bar, book a table at the Scottish Steakhouse and drop by reception to the view all styles of rooms, from the recently-refurbished Classic Rooms, the Executive Rooms, the large suites and the popular Double Doubles, which are ideal for families. There is also a video that provides a tour of some of the city’s most iconic locations.
In all the tours the information hotspots that appear on screen allow for direct booking of rooms and restaurant tables, while the inclusion of floorplans gives conference organisers a unique tool for planning seminars, arranging accommodation for guests, locating break-out sessions and hospitality.
Lyn MacDonald, Group Marketing Director for Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, said: “At Macdonald Hotels & Resorts we are embracing this fantastic technology to provide our customers with a more interactive and immersive experience online. By using state of the art photography and filming techniques, we’ve managed to bring Macdonald Manchester Hotel to life, with our 360 degree tours, to provide an excellent taste of what guests will experience when they arrive.”
Keith McMahon of Venue View Virtual Tours, who is working with Macdonald Hotels & Resorts to create the online tours, said: “The benefits, from significantly increased meetings and events business to more direct room bookings, is significant.
“Meeting and event organisers can now instantly see multiple setups and layouts in 3D, as well as being able to explore all rooms in detail without having to visit in person. Independent travellers are also able to view facilities and now have a clear idea about the hotel and bedrooms before arrival.
“The high quality 360 photography and 3D walkthrough gives hotels complete control over their own imagery, meaning customers visit their website to view and book directly rather than going through Online Travel Agents.
“Macdonald Hotels & Resorts is leading the way in using this technology to enhance the guest experience and to facilitate bookings and it is setting a new industry standard.”