JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort unveils the official launch of its Secret Butterfly Garden and interactive augmented reality experience where guests navigate a digital forest and sculpture garden igniting the imaginations and transporting visitors to a magical place. Using a mobile smart phone device to interact with the garden’s features, hotel guests can now visit the second story rooftop of the JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort to discover this one-of-a-kind installation, according to the hotel’s General Manager Nusrat Mirza.
“The installation of this project is ground-breaking for Southern California and has never been seen before,” continued Mirza. “We are thrilled to be the first to launch a unique digital forest experience for hotel guests to explore and enjoy, and we’re excited to watch the guests engage with the gardens while growing more connected with the property than ever before.”
The beautifully crafted installation is covered by over 600 titanium butterflies that illuminate in different shades of blues depending on how the light shines through. To interact with the Secret Butterfly Garden features, guests use their smart phone device to download the Shimé application uniquely designed for the hotel. Once connected, the guests are walked through a three-piece narrative using the camera on their device to interact with the sculptures. In doing so, guests are guided through a performative meditation to plant a fantastical tree that takes its color and shape from decisions made during the experience. When it’s complete, the tree recedes into the digital forest where it lives at the hotel forever.
Designed by studio HEAVY out of Los Angeles, Head of Studio Chris Nunes explains how the Shimé installation reinforces their studio practice of envisioning a future where digital tools responsibly serve humanity, not the other way around.
“With Shimé, we use augmented reality in a performative meditation that visually and figuratively ‘binds’ guests to this space on the JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort’s West Deck. As a groundbreaking and world-first augmented sculpture narrative, Shimé reflects the forward-thinking guest experience that JW Marriott is famous for, and is a mindful interactive art journey that unlocks the artist within for all guests. It’s a truly unique experience that we hope encourages connection with this beautiful outdoor space – one that has now been nurtured with physical and digital art and the artistic input of participating guests.”
Thoughtfully designed, the experience will continue to change over time, as the garden’s perimeter is comprised of young bamboo and clementine trees that pay tribute to city’s agricultural history. As the plants mature and grow tall, the lush garden will eventually become hidden to those on the outside looking in, hence its name. Hotel guests who visit the second floor of the property will be emerged in a flourishing garden of green, delightfully surprised by the serene concept in the urban environment.
Notably, the installation received recent accolades from Anaheim Beautiful for its 2020 Art in Public Places award. With a mission to promote and preserve the beauty of Anaheim, the Anaheim Beautiful Arts in Public Places committee awarded the JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort with highest honors–the Julie Mayer Award. The luxury Southern California property is the first and only single hotel to receive this award since 2013.
Guests visiting the gardens are invited to stay and enjoy one of several family-friendly dining options helmed by Executive Chef Amol Agarwal including Citriculture, the full-service indoor-outdoor lobby bar featuring American counter-friendly fare, and Parkestry, the hotel’s rooftop bar and lounge serving creative menu items that spin off the hotel’s soon to open Italian Chophouse, Tocca Ferro. The JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort’s JW Garden plays a significant role in the development of the hotel’s food and beverage programs by providing fruits, herbs, and vegetables such as kale, basil, strawberries, and jalapenos.
For additional information, or to book a stay, please visit the website here. Catch an inside look on social media at @JWMarriottAnaheim.