Jetsetter’s Virtual Reality Hotel April Fool’s Joke
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I was perusing the weekly Jetsetter hotel offerings today, when one in particular caught my eye. It was for a stay at Perception, the world’s first virtual reality hotel. The “property” on sale for half-off intrigued me, and while the “sale” launched yesterday (April Fool’s Day), it lasts for several more days so it is still on their website.
The sale price per night was listed at a whopping $495 per night instead of $995. Oh, and there was a 2 night minimum. Expensive, but many properties via Jetsetter are.
I eagerly read about how it worked. “The Future is Now!” screamed a tagline. Reading the site’s description, “using groundbreaking new technology, Jetsetter has curated the best features of the properties on our site and combined them to create the world’s first virtual reality hotel “, it sounded exciting to me!
Supposedly there were two types of suites that could be reserved. There was a Sea Suite with underwater ocean views, and a Sky Suite with aerial views. Occupancy was 1, which made sense to me.
According to the description, Jetsetter’s virtual reality pre-programmed headset/goggles would be shipped within 7 days of purchase. Once received, I could simply slip them on to begin the experience. The virtual staff would check users in and get them all set up. Then I could freely move about the space to explore.
Here are some bullet points included on the website –
The guide said that local chefs in US hubs could deliver food matched to the menus seen through the headsets during the experience. There was a sunset sail available to the hotel’s private beach, an underground speakeasy, adventure activities and classes. The menu said users could experience aromatherapy, reiki and ayurvedic spa treatments too.
I tried to figure out how much was imagination and how much was real, and decided that the spa treatments were most likely just via sound and sight. The classes made sense, and I was really excited about the prospect of having a food delivery service with island fare attached to the whole experience!
The user guide mentioned the goggles could cause slight dizziness. It also said they were not to be used while driving, walking in public or “working in a strict office environment”.
The website’s picture of a guy in a construction area using the goggles cracked me up (see top picture).
I actually tried to make a reservation, and got the message that it wasn’t available. I tried again with different dates, with the same result.
I had been wracking my brain to figure out how some items would be accomplished. How was it possible to have a chef’s table? How would you feel the breezes promised or smell the scents if the apparatus was only a set of goggles? Was there an add-on piece?
There was a curious footnote that children 11 and under were permitted at no additional cost using existing bedding, which I reasoned meant that you could set your kids up as extra users via the Virtual check-in staff for free. Supposedly you could sip cocktails with other users though. Would that be delivered by the food service as well, or were you supposed to pretend? The site said the headsets could be calibrated to ensure a restful night’s sleep, but I was thoroughly puzzled.
Finally, after reading about the virtual deep-soaking bathtubs it dawned on me that it was all part of the fun (joke!). I’d totally fallen for this April Fool’s joke.
Want to play a joke on one of your friends/family? The page is still live.
The joke was on me, but I wonder how far away in the future a virtual hotel experience is. Marriott already has their 4-D teleporter in use. Was I overly gullible, or would you have fallen for this one too?
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