Come in please: a virtual reality study on entrance design factors influencing the experience of hospitality

Ruth Pijls-Hoekstra*, Mirjam Galetzka, Brenda Groen, Ad Th.H. Pruyn Pruijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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This study aims to explore how entrance design aspects impact the experience of hospitality. In Virtual Reality, the embodied effects of entrance design (visual transparency and door opening) on the experience of hospitality in a utilitarian dental practice and in a hedonistic hotel setting were examined. Mental ease of access and visual aesthetics served as mediators. The experience of hospitality was measured using the EH-scale, measuring the factors inviting, care and comfort. Multivariate analysis showed that the door opening speed did not affect the experience of hospitality. However, transparency increased the experience of all hospitality factors. Structural Equation Modelling showed (partial) mediation of mental ease of access, which suggests embodiment as one of the underlying mechanisms. However, also other disembodied mechanisms seem to play a role, since amongst others, the visual aesthetics of the building also mediated the effects. The study revealed that a building can express hospitality just by having a transparent, visually appealing entrance. Furthermore, the study shows that Virtual Reality offers opportunities to study research in which interactive immersive embodied experiences can be realized in a controlled realistic setting, in which design features can be modified that cannot be manipulated in real-life situations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102106
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of environmental psychology
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Hospitality
  • Customer experience
  • Embodied cognition
  • Design
  • Services
  • Virtual reality


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