Hotels offer any number of different room rates to guests. You could get lucky and be able to book a weekly rate for a five-night stay if the hotel chain isn’t that good at math. Hotels also offer special room rates for any number of reasons:
- Airport and cruise port adjacent hotels offer room rates that include parking for the duration of your trip
- Honeymoon/anniversary packages that provide a bottle of champagne and spa services
- Rates that provide bonus points in the loyalty program
- For hotels that charge for parking, some rates include this in the price
- Some hotels offer packages that include breakfast in the rate (which is common at hotels outside the U.S.)
- Some hotels offer a rate that includes a resort credit (essentially you’re prepaying for charges you’ll make at the hotel for a discounted price)
But I’d never before seen a hotel that advertised a rate that included a charge for you to escape the hotel.
No, it’s not the most heinous fee ever. This hotel is trying to cash in on one of the biggest entertainment trends, the escape room.
These entertainment spots have multiplied overnight, taking up residence in unused spaces in strip malls, main streets and shopping centers. They’re easy to get up and running because all you need is a room and all the puzzle stuff.
But until now, I’ve never seen one in a hotel. Or more accurately, I’ve never seen an entire hotel turned into an escape room.
The Hilton Orlando offers a special room rate that includes the “Escape at the Hilton Orlando” as part of your stay.
Escape the ordinary this summer, as Hilton Orlando invites you to experience the world’s Largest (and Tallest) Escape Room Experience. The entire resort will be transformed into an escape room of complex clues, challenges, and augmented reality to unveil a climactic moment of triumph. This won’t be your traditional escape room. Instead of trying to break out of something, you are trying to unlock a huge secret within the resort. You may arrive as our guest, but you will leave as part of a furtive society.
Dubbed as the world’s Largest (and tallest) Escape Room experience, guests who book an Escape rate will be a part of unlocking a massive secret at the resort.
Instead of escaping a room, you’ll have to explore the resort, solve 5 different quests, and eventually unlock the secret. There’s no time limit and you’re able to stop and start your quest throughout your stay. The Hilton Orlando estimates that it will take between 3 to 4 hours to complete all tasks.
The experience was developed by Wildgoose, a company that specializes in team-building exercises. During COVID, they’ve branched out to offer virtual experiences for companies looking to keep teams connected while working apart. Guests who have booked the experience will have to download Wildgoose’s app to their smartphones to participate in the puzzles and solve the mystery.
Your mission begins the moment you check in to Hilton Orlando. Upon arrival, you will be given a case file with a QR code to access The Spy communication with your smart device and embark on the mission from the palm of your hands. Key highlights include:
- Exclusive Case File with instructions & mission assistance notes
- (5) missions that can be completed in any order and on your own time during your stay
- Clues from each completed mission to help unlock the head spy’s secret base
- Indoor-outdoor missions to have you traversing the entire property
- Augmented reality designed to blend in without causing too much attention
- And some surprises along the way …
The Hilton Orlando mentions that the hotel employees don’t hold any clues to the mystery. That’s a nice way to say, “don’t bother our employees because they can’t help you play a game we’re offering at the hotel.”
The Escape rate ran about $30 more than an equivalent AAA rate when I looked at room rates. If you stayed for more nights, the price difference narrowed to only $13 more per night for a 3-night stay. So figure that if you want to play the escape game at the Hilton Orlando, you’ll pay about $30 more than a discounted rate for the privilege. That’s around what you’d pay for 1 hour in an escape room down the street so it’s not that bad of a deal if you’re into this type of thing.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary