The hospitality industry is a very interesting one, and also quite demanding. There are tons of things to pay attention to — location of the property, quality of service, cleanliness of rooms, and the sustainability of operations, online marketing and promotional efforts. All of these things require a professional approach, and all of them are important for reaching success. We’d like to concentrate on the promotional aspect, and the website as its central tool.
Creating web design for hotels is an interesting task, but also quite special, as it involves many features that are not common for other industries. Actually, the number of possible additional features is quite large. There can be an integrated booking system, or weather/currency exchange plugins, or online food ordering services.
This makes working on a website design for hotels a very interesting task for just about any designer. On the hotels’ side, websites become not only essential tools for promotion, but also service providing stations. Guests judge the property based on the likability of the website, and make a decision about bookings right there without leaving the page.
It’s essential to give off a good impression to potential guests. Sometimes, even regular inn aims at luxury hotel web design to get more attention, which often works, making people actually believe it is a special place. And it might be, too, because, if the management team cares about the impression given through the website, they are likely to care about their level of service, as well. That is why many people make their choice based on website quality.
Web design for hotels: what’s important
To develop an elegant and beautiful website for a hospitality property, you need to know some tips and tricks helping to get it the right way within the industry. There are many templates that might be used as a foundation; however, it’s always better to start from the very beginning, which is planning and creating a design in accordance with the best practices.
Below you will find a great deal of advice that can help you choose a direction and take your designs to the right place. Of course, it’s nice to have unique ideas that are fresh from a creative mind, but following some of these trends is also sometimes quite useful, especially when it comes to the question of how to design a hotel website.
1. Keep it minimalistic
It often happens that complicated websites with tons of pages and hundreds of words are perceived as crowded from the start. When it comes to luxury properties, websites are expected to be simple and minimalistic. Like expensive jewelry, design should look organic and high-class; however, this is true not only for luxury properties, but also for those who want to stay trendy. In 2018, it is still important to save your users’ time by eliminating unnecessary details from the website.
2. Imagery is high-priority
Planning a vacation or a business trip, most people want to be able to actually explore what this or that hotel offers, including both the exterior and interior. Good pictures of rooms and common areas, lucrative views from the windows, small elements that add a feeling of home – all of it should be in the gallery. Otherwise, it might be quite hard for people to make a decision on the spot.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that the whole website should be turned into a gallery. The balance between good pictures and other design elements is crucial, and this is even more important for hotels. A creative approach is in order so, if you are not sure about visual elements and layouts, it’s safe to address these questions with professional designers. Making it right for potential customers is way too important to leave to chance.
3. Draw attention with broken grids
The grid is like an invisible marking of the page showing where all the elements are located. There are many classical grids for websites that people often expect to encounter. For example, the logo is usually located in either left or right top corner of the page while the CTA is either in the center or to the left. Sometimes, such predictability makes it boring.
This is why a broken grid might be a good idea. It breaks the expected pattern and draws attention better than anything else. Of course, there is no need to place a footer at the top of the page; otherwise, you risk breaking consistency and ruining the balance. But, with a slightly broken pattern, you can put accents on your page and make people see what you want them to see.
4. Use animation smartly
We are not in the 90s anymore, when every second website was blinking like a Christmas tree. At some point, it started to feel way over-the-top, and many people still have ‘allergies’ when it comes to brash animation. Going back to that trend is definitely not such a great idea.
jQuery and CSS3 made it possible to add subtleness to animation, which made it less annoying and more refined. There is even a special term now: non-distracting animation. This one might actually be good for the top hotel website design. For example, you can demonstrate to your potential clients some tricks that are used by the chef at your hotel restaurant.
5. Let your website tell the story
To make a decision on the hotel, people often need to feel it rather than have only logical reasons for booking. With all the competition on the market it can be next to impossible to stand out; however, telling the story of your hotel and the experience people can have there is definitely something game changing. You can do this through:
- Series of featured static pages
Not only can you tell stories about the hotel itself, but also about local points of interest and beautiful places, or even the people who make your property unique. Describe anything else that will make people feel something, as well.
6. Make it responsive
The trend of responsiveness will not fade out anytime soon. More and more people prefer to do whatever they need online with the help of a smartphone only. iPhone screens grow fast, but it doesn’t mean that websites can afford to not be responsive. This is especially true for those sites where people can actually perform some operations and order services like booking a room, paying for it or requesting dinner to a room.
Hotel mobile website design definitely deserves no less attention than design for desktops. Once the website is done, make sure everything actually works and looks good. Otherwise, it might be all for nothing.
7. Added value in hotel website design
Don’t forget that there is always something special you can add to make the story of your hotel even more attractive. Do you have a cow farm around the corner and provide your guests with fresh milk? Develop a page about it, show the cows and how awesome it is to drink a glass of real fresh milk every morning.
There is always something cool at or around your hotel that can be used for the benefit of promotion. Utilize this opportunity to grab attention and build trust. It doesn’t have to be the central theme of the website, but certainly won’t harm it.
5 best examples of best hotel website design
We also want to show you some examples of the best hotel web design for your inspiration. They are very different, but all feature modern trends that can be of help when you start planning your own design.
This website demonstrates the way a broken grid can change the perception of white space and attract attention to the text and actual details.
A good example of utilizing good imagery. The first thing every user sees is this amazing photograph of ocean waves. It definitely serves well for further exploring.
This website is simple and minimalist, which gives it an extra luxurious feeling. All the attention goes to the featured pictures and the CTA suggesting users book a room right now.
This example looks quite unusual with the dark colors and smaller fonts. It looks stylish and trendy, suggesting that the hotel is also all about style worth paying for.
Another minimalistic website that only sets accents on the most important details. Contrast colors, clear messaging and simple navigation bring a contemporary feeling slightly shadowed by the vintage atmosphere in the pictures.
Good design cannot be overestimated when it comes to hotel websites. Based on the design, people often make decisions on booking one property over another. This is reason enough to pay significant amount of attention to this question.
Hopefully, now you feel more confident when it comes to what a good hotel website should look like and how it should feel for your actual and potential guests. If you need some hotel web design inspiration, we would be happy to give you a hand at Fireart.studio. We enjoy working with hotels and seeing how our designs can help make positive changes to your business.