Hotel Website Design What Your Luxury Hotel & Resort Is Doing Wrong
When it comes to Hotel Website Design there is a sheer bright spectrum of creativity. There are sites that are really beautiful, there are sites that are really ugly. And there are sites that no one knows where the ship is heading.
All in all, I believe that the Hospitality Industry is still sleeping, when it comes to Hotel Website Design. There is no blame here! I just simply want to educate you on your options when it comes to designing your Hotel Website.
I totally understand that you as the GM or Owner do not have time to educate yourself on this topic. You have to deal with guest complains, staff issues and the corporate visit is as well way on its way.
So what you do? You pick up the phone, call the corporate Marketing Guru and ask him for help. Well, let me tell you this. Most of the corporate Marketing Gurus have no clue on this subject at all! He has corporate guidelines and is sitting in a box without any room to move.
When will the Hospitality Industry start putting their guest experience first and their corporate identification last when it comes to Digital experience?
How do I know this? Just read along and you will see it on the examples we have in place here.
DISCLAIMER: All the sites that we will show here, are not to blame someone. It is more for educational porpuses so that Hoteliers know what to do better.
Great Hotel Website Design is not that difficult, all you have to do is hire a company who know what they are doing. Ask your marketing Guru and he will choose for sure the most famous one. The key here is not to choose the most famous Marketing Agency out there. But to choose a company which specializes in your Luxury Resort niche.
I mean if you have a Ferrari you don’t go to a BMW shop to repair it?
Before we continue, this is what you are going to learn here. You are going to learn how you can improve your Hotel Website Design, and spot the current mistakes which you have on your Website. You as well are going to learn what your Luxury Resort Website Design should have and what is really unnecessary.
Hotel Website Design
Before I start telling you what you should have and what you should avoid on your Luxury Hotel & Resort Website. Let me remind you that Guest and user experience is firsts, should be first and stays first!
This is as well our first point.
Mobile Responsive Hotel Website Design
Mobile responsive Hotel Websites are now the key and the future of your Luxury Resort. Smart Phones phones do not exist since yesterday, now we already have them a couple of years. But there are still so many sites, which are not mobile ready.
When was the last time you checked the Stats from your Google Analytics account? If you check them regularly than you would see that 60% of your traffic is coming from Mobile Phones.
Responsive Hotel Website Design will adapt to any phone and tablet. You do not need to design 5 sites for 5 different Mobiles. You only need to design one responsive Hotel Website and that’s it.
Another big fact is that over 80% of people use their mobile phones to shop online. Out form this 80%, how many do you think book their holiday on their phone? I would bet a lot.
Responsive website design really puts the guest experience first. There is no more pinching and zooming to have a good read on your Hotel Website. Instead, Guests have a seamless user experience and get to know your Luxury Resort better.
Your SEO rankings will improve as well when you have a responsive Hotel Website Design. It is then even easier to optimize your site for SEO. At the same time, Google.com is rolling out Mobile Index first next year.
Example of a non-responsive Hotel Website Design:
As I told you at the beginning of this post, we will show you some examples of good and bad Luxury Hotel & Resort websites. This Luxury Resort has really great feedback, but their internet presence is really shocking.
Take a look at the picture and you will know what I mean when you look at this website on your mobile phone.
This is a prime example of not being mobile ready and friendly. How long do you think will a guest stay on this website? I bet their bounce rate is more than 75%!
What is the message this website want to tell the guests? If you want now to book directly with this Luxury Resort. Where do you press?
Mobile Responsive Hotel Website Design is really crucial for your present and for your future business.
As we see in this example, this website is really non-mobile responsive and has many issues which need to be fixed.
Please don’t hide them. There are Luxury Resorts who understand how to deliver their important information to the visitor.
And there are those Luxury Hotels & Resorts who just try to hide them as much as possible. You can do the test for yourself, open up now your Hotel Website and see if you can find within 5 second your direct booking line?
Did you find it? Well, you are not alone out there. Another test is, go again to your website and try to find the reservation Email within 5 seconds.
I would say that this did not work out as well. My question is, why do you hide these crucial pieces of information? What are you afraid of? Do you want to increase your directs booking?
Well, show off your direct booking line together with the reservation Email. Make it easy for the Guest to book directly from your website instead of going to Booking.com and other OTA’s.
Another crucial pieces of information are the daily rates, link it together with a direct booking and you got a winner. You have to put yourself in the shoes of a first-time visitor to your website.
Do this and then execute on it. Let us show you a Luxury Resort who is executing on the right things. Take a look at Conrad Bali Indonesia, they have a really beautiful Web Presence.
It is very easy to find the reservation tab and the contact tab. But once you press on (Make A Reservation and then click on Check Rates). You will end up on a very ugly and not user-friendly reservation platform.
The Conrad Bali Indonesia has a nice website where they fall short is at their Side Speed and they do not have an SSL Certificate which will harm them in the future if they do not change it.
A subject where Luxury Hotels & Resorts really tends to sleep away, as we can see in the example above. There are many Luxury Resort with amazing websites. But their booking engine just simply SUCKS!
Instead of creating a great booking experience for the guests with easy navigation and great design. We see some abandon web page from the early 90’s, and this is where the visitor has to book their expensive vacation.
Are you a Luxury Resort? Then please make sure that your booking engine is up to your standard period.
Cheval Blanc Maldives is doing a great job in continue presenting their Luxury Status on their booking engine.
When we look at some booking engines which are out there, in the World Wide West. Then, of course, people are going to an OTA to book their vacation even you offer the exact same rate. You as a Luxury Hotel & Resort have to pay then 15% to 30% to the OTA instead of having it all to your self.
There are many companies out there, who specializes in creating custom-made booking engines. All you have to do is, acknowledge that your current booking engine is bad and then reach out to the right company. Here is a good suggestion and we are not affiliated together. (Booking Engine)
Taj Exotica Maldives is really a great Luxury Resort, but it is doing a horrible job with their Internet presence. The first picture is just wrong, what do you want to communicate with it? It continues when you scroll down to the room booking, it looks really cheap with the green colours and the brown colours.
Another ugly booking engine which we have found on Banyan Tree Phuket, it feels like you are going to play Golf and not book an amazing vacation.
Images play a very big role in the creation of a Luxury Resort Website, well actually they play a big role on any website. Pictures can create emotions, desire and give the guests something to share.
It is very important to use high resolutions images, for this you would need a professional photographer. Do not let your marketing staff take pictures with their iPhones. Even then PhotoShop will not help you, with creating a great image which you can place on your Hotel Website.
Once you have the high-resolution images, you should reduce the file size of the image. Ideally, it should be between 40 to 350 KB. You don’t want to place Images on your website which are 1 MB or even more, your website would be loading way too slow in that case.
Even we as the end user will not notice it, but Google will. The result of it would be that you lose rankings, and need way more backlinks then with a faster website.
Crisp and clear pictures create direct a Luxury and trust effect for the user.
Shangri-La Boracay: Very bad picture, I think it is very old. I want you to look at the bottom of the right corner. Can you see the Social media share buttons? Is this not embarrassing how they are getting presented?!
Another great feature which Luxury Hotels & Resorts like to do is autoplay a video once you enter their site. This is something which is really annoying and mostly poorly done.
First of auto-play video really hurts your Hotel Website Design. Because it is slowing down your whole website. If someone has an unstable internet connection, then your video will load forever. Or it might load but it will stutter all the way so that the guest get annoyed and will exit your website.
Did you know that the majority of bookings is happening Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. People are at work…and nothing is more disastrous than suddenly having your office laptop broadcast the sounds of singing whales or romantic piano music while you are trying to book your vacation.
Why don’t you just embed the video nicely on your website, and if the guest really feels like watching the video he can still do.
While we are already at embedding the video.
Cheval Blanc Maldives is doing another great job. Their video is very well embedded and it is not hosted on Youtube!
PLEASE if you embed the video from youtube, click first on preferences and remove the autosuggestion feature.
This is really important! Right after the video stops playing there will be some suggestion of other videos popping up. You don’t want it to happen.
A guest who clicks on one of the suggested videos, will be gone from your website and lose her or his time on YouTube checking other resorts out.
Horrible F&B & Spa Presentations
Let us be honest together! The majority of Luxury Hotels & Resorts present their F&B and Spa menus in a PDF format. Why are you doing it?
If I’m on my phone and want to check out if you have a steak on the menu, I do not want to download the PDF on my phone. Which by the way stays as a file on my mobile phone.
Second, I do not want to download a special APP with which I can open the PDF. This processes can be all streamlined. Why don’t you present your Spa and your restaurants in the right light?
You should have a page for each Restaurant with great pictures, videos from the kitchen and a menu which is in HTML. Sure you can still offer me to download the SPA menu. But who is downloading and printing menus at home?
You could as well go a step further and create a completely new web presence for your F&B and your Spa. Which will, by the way, help you with Google rankings.
The Right Platform
What I mean with it is, what is the backbone of your Website. Did you create it with WordPress or pure with HTML etc? Having the right platform is as crucial as having great images and all the points above.
Most experts recommend using WordPress, it is super easy to use, it has so many features that you can get very easily overwhelmed with all the options.
WordPress has as well some of the best plugins available which make the design and integration process very smooth. And another great advantage of WordPress is, that there are so many developers and designers who just simply love to work with the WP platform.
You have a special request for your Luxury Resort webpage, the chances are very big that there is already a Plugin out there. Who can perform as you wish and bring you the right solution?
Hotel Website Design How We Can Help
It is important to us, that we don’t want to make fun of any of the Luxury Resorts above. Instead, we just want to show examples of what could be done better. There are so many other Luxury Resorts who have really ugly and non-responsive websites, which we could not show up here yet.
We at ResortHuub.com are specialized in serving the Luxury Resort niche. We provide you with the right solutions when it comes to creating an amazing web presence. As industry leaders in the Luxury Hotel & Resort niche, we are always on the verge of the latest trends and technology.
If you are looking for a new web presence for your Luxury Hotel & Resort or just simply want to know where you could improve on. Please send us an Email to [email protected] and we will send you an FREE report on your Luxury Hotel & Resort website.