A well-designed and memorable website acts as the shopfront for your hotel brand. It is intended to attract visitors and provide information with ease for any user browsing your website.
When it comes to the travel industry, competition is fierce. A website is your chance to wow potential guests with beautiful photography and captivating content, and really demonstrate what your brand is about. In short, the importance of a hotel website is paramount.
If you’re wondering how to create a travel website for your inspiring escape, here’s what you should include…
This is the first place guests land, meaning your homepage needs to sell your brand through concise yet inspirational copy and striking images.
You’ll want to ensure that you choose the most relevant photos, perhaps even with a carousel that shows off all of your hotel’s best features. Make sure you get those glamorous photos of the pool, spa, golf course, or the fun and adventure of the kids' club.
For as smooth a user experience as possible, the homepage navigation should be clear, with menus clearly accessible. You can include hints and previews of content from other pages, such as the location or experiences, to entice the user to continue reading and exploring, but avoid making the homepage too cluttered.
Ikos provides a fabulous example of best practice. The destinations, offers and resorts are clearly signposted. There is a memorable logo, an impactful tagline and a clear call to action along with contact information.
Depending on whether your website is for a single hotel or a larger brand, your About page will differ. What remains consistent for any About page is the elements that help a customer form an emotional connection with your brand.
This is your chance to share your values and brand story, your mission statement, and establish why your guests should choose your hotel. If you’re writing about a specific hotel, this is an opportunity to showcase its intriguing history and heritage.
You can present your team on this page too, to communicate the expertise and experience behind your brand and foster trust among your audience. It’s important to remember that while this page focuses on the story behind the hotel, it’s really about communicating with the guests and helping them connect with you.
Talking about the exciting benefits that your hotel offers is a great way to entice potential guests. Think about the in-house amenities you can promote, such as restaurants, bars and perhaps swimming pools, spas or gym facilities. Sell these features as an experience to be savoured, pairing evocative imagery with inspirational copy to complete the effect.
In the case of restaurants, show photos of beautifully decorated tables, previews of the menus and specific information such as opening hours and dress codes. A spa page should invoke the serenity of a soothing treatment.
Think beyond your hotel, too. You can talk about location-specific adventures and excursions your guests can enjoy, along with relevant information and some engaging text about the local area to inspire your audience.
Easy booking page
If your hotel has a difficult booking process, your prospective guests are unlikely to persevere for too long. It’s far easier for them to simply turn their attention elsewhere.
That’s why a streamlined booking page, with transparency over prices, deposits and possibly even payment plans, is so important. It will encourage guests to book with you, rather than via a specialised booking website like Booking.com, where they might get distracted by a competing hotel.
You could request that users make an account to book, but many will also appreciate the flexibility of being able to ‘continue as a guest’, hoping to avoid spam emails and the burden of another password to remember.
There is a world of possibilities open to your hotel brand when it comes to special offers. You can tempt guests with straightforward discounts when booking for a week at a time, excursions included with their booking, or free all-inclusive meals for the kids. These offers can be a great way to convince an indecisive customer to book with your hotel.
You can reward guests for loyalty too, by giving discounts if they return to the same resort the next year, or book with plenty of time ahead. There are many ways to get creative with this, so it’s worth experimenting to see what works for your audience.
It’s a useful idea to create one page to display these offers, allowing your guests to see all the potential ways they can save money while making the most of their trip. This is another clever strategy used by Ikos Resorts, as seen here.
Prospective guests are often curious about the rooms they’re booking and all the elements that make it a good choice. If the double room with a balcony has a great view, then show it. If the ensuite bathrooms are equipped with luxurious spa amenities, showcase these benefits while evoking a spa-like sense of comfort and bliss.
Make sure that the copy on these pages is particularly informative, as it will serve to reassure guests and reduce further questions. The accessibility of the rooms is an important topic, whether or not your hotel has wheelchair-access lifts and accessible showers. If you have interconnected rooms in your hotel, then families will see this as a bonus for multi-generational trips.
Ikos Resorts again provides a great example here, combining fantastic photos with inspirational copy, ensuring the selection is easily navigable and the different rooms are easy to compare.
Blog and local guides
Maintaining a blog is crucial for SEO purposes. The ability to continually create new pages laden with fresh keywords will help keep your hotel website visible in search engine rankings and provide opportunities to find new niches to explore.
A blog will also help you build your brand personality and voice, as a valuable tool to connect with guests. There are plenty of potential topics to cover, and creating inspiring blog posts allows for great opportunities to recycle existing content in different formats in the future.
Think about local culture and cuisine, tips about your destination, any great local restaurants, day trip ideas and suggested itineraries. You could even host interviews with members of your team or experts on the local history or nature.
The shopfront for your hotel
As a hotel brand, your website communicates everything you are. It’s your best opportunity to form that crucial emotional connection with prospective guests, demonstrating the array of facilities and amenities you offer and showcasing what makes a stay at your hotel an unmissable experience.
By including the right elements in a sleek and navigable design, you can convert clicks into loyal, returning guests. Some of the features above are already essential hotel website development trends, while others will help you stand out from the crowd.
If you need more guidance and expertise on how to create a travel website for your hotel, the team at Contese agency have worked with some of the world’s leading hotel and travel brands. Get in touch today and discover how we can provide the transformative copy and sleek website you need to inspire your audience.