W Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 28 unveiled its fresh, new look with a fresh, new approach. The oceanfront hotel this week showed off its $55 million renovation with the debut of W Hotels Drone Dash. In a brand first, the tech-centric event featured drone relay race that brought W Hotels guests and worldwide viewers a first look at the newly re-imagined property inside and out.
W Hotels, part of Marriott International, broadcast the race live to millions of followers on Facebook in partnership with M Live, Marriott’s Global Marketing Command Center.
The drones are part of Marriott International’s way of elevating (pardon the pun), the social media platforms at specific hotels, particularly new hotels and renovated properties such as W Fort Lauderdale.
“We’re looking at all sorts of technological advances when it comes to how people are booking hotel rooms these days,’’ said Bradley Wulff, associate director of marketing for W Hotels. “A lot if it is visual, so drones give you that really unique perspective in being able to see a hotel in a different way than a picture on a web site.’’
Drones are being tested across the W Hotels brand. For example, the W Punta Mita offers drone delivery of churros and cocktails, and the Escape Package at W Bali offers drone coverage of guests surfing the blue waters of the South Pacific.
The W Fort Lauderdale Drone Dash was the first big test the brand conducted at a renovated property.
“This hotel is a perfect example of what we can do with the drones because it has so much space,’’ Wulff said. “And looking at it from the outside, it was the perfect place to do it.
“I don’t know that we can do a Drone Dash at each property, but I do think the ability to have drone photography and 360-degree aerial views of the hotels is something we can create.’’