The patrons of hotel bars usually know a thing or two about escapism. But the Lobby Bar at the One Aldwych luxury hotel in London earlier this month started offering their customers a chance to take their lust for elsewhere a step further through the latest item on its menu: a virtual-reality headset.
The video shows the making of one its new whisky cocktails, called the Origin, made with a 12-year-old Dalmore whisky. Viewers who put on the headset are treated to aerial, 3D footage of the northern reaches of the Scottish Highlands, where the Dalmore’s distillery is located, which ends on a bartender handing over a drink.
When the customer lifts their headset, the drink is served, IRL. It’s a little bit of theater that fits nicely into the hotel’s proximity to London’s West End.
The Lobby Bar is hardly the first in the travel business to embrace VR. Paris recently installed a VR telescope, made by upstart Timescope, on a pedestrian walkway along the Seine, which allows viewers to take in a scene of what the exact spot may have looked like in 1628. Online booking site Expedia is also testing ways to let would-be hotel guests check our their room’s features and views using VR. Also, tourism boards often trot out VR headsets at trade shows to get the public interested in their destinations. And airlines are starting to offer the headsets to keep passengers occupied on board.
The Lobby Bar’s high-tech gimmick, at the very least, may at least help guests swallow the tab: The Origin costs £18 ($23).