It’s a bit strange to imagine your guests “arriving” on your official hotel website design rather than first being warmly introduced to your brand by reception at check-in.
Yet this is often the first direct interaction a guest has with your brand. It’s the first opportunity to immerse users into the kind of experience your hotel offers, whether it’s a boutique hotel, an aparthotel or a luxury resort. With that in mind, we outline best practices and creative ideas to help you make the most out of your hotel website design.
Best practices for hotel websites
While implementing new updates to your website, it’s important to think about user experience all in the context of now. Comfort and convenience make booking that much easier for future guests, whilst a strong, unusual aesthetic that connects to your user will enable your brand to stand out amongst other hotel website designs.
Your hotel’s story, including the culture and experience around it, needs to be clearly communicated to your guests. As a baseline: pricing, availability, location, amenities, policies and reviews are of course necessary for anyone to know before reserving. Keep your website copy up-to-date, always engaging and always SEO-friendly. Now, let’s go beyond that.
Your accommodation has its own story. What kind of hotel are you? Who is your clientele? What makes your hotel different from the rest? There’s gotta be an element in your story that attracts guests, perhaps where they discover something unique or learn about an element of history that relates to your hotel. Whatever that may be, find an angle. Utilize local offerings, services and experiences to leverage the community.
Hotel website design ideas in action
Widgets are simple buttons performing a specific kind of action. They always appear on the front of all other visuals on a website and have the ability to float everywhere on the entire screen. Implementing floating widgets, especially to focus on booking options, will speed up the process for guests to book directly through you.
Parallax scrolling is an immersive, 3D effect where the background of the website moves slower than whatever features or design elements are in the foreground.
Adding subtle aesthetic touches to your website design through hover effects could elevate your design as a whole and stand out amongst other hotel websites. These effects greatly improve user experience through increasing engagement and interactivity.
Quick load speed
Quick load speed’s a big one for pretty obvious reasons, but ultimately is the deciding factor if a guest books a reservation with you, on another platform or somewhere else. Choosing the right hosting option and keeping extras (such as widgets and plugins) to an effective minimum will help with this.
Responsive layouts perform well across platforms on a variety of devices. This will add to the comfort, convenience and future proof factor of your website design. Responsive design improves SEO, load speed, and allows you to update how design elements appear on different devices at once.
Keeping the design and user experience consistent and aligned with your visitor’s expectations will create a memorable and convincing impression. That also means considering what the visitor is looking for and addressing it with your website content. Instead of featuring a busy bar, restaurant or lobby, update photos to include luxurious private balconies or secluded sun loungers.
Using aerial footage
As soon as you land on the main page for Burj Al Arab, aerial footage swoops you around the hotel and through more intimate offerings of the area. Services like Thumbtack quote an average of $ 250 – $ 350 per hour for drone photography and videography. If your marketing budget allows for this type of shoot, it’s easy to see how successful immersive visuals could pay off.
Reservation forms as a top priority
Although sultry and full of mystery, the Refinery Hotel distinctly lays out a reservation form to immediately direct visitors to their main CTA. Their booking form is front and center and stays within eyesight while users navigate the website.
Seasonal web design
Badrutts Palace stands out because of its differentiating UI design set for winter and summer seasons. Creating different experiences based on season communicates a level of detail. That alone is convincing enough that this accommodation hosts their guests well no matter what time of year.
Allow for multi-lingual guests
You can navigate the website for Casa Angelina in four different language settings, accommodating a larger global audience. This does wonders to create a much more comfortable and inclusive experience for future guests.
Cap Rocat Mallorca offers an example of how storytelling should be done. Their tab, “Another World”, dives into details of the hotel experience and provides visceral descriptions of the resort. They share, “On one of the walls of the ancient fortress, we discover the spectacular saltwater swimming pool. From this terrific viewpoint overlooking the Bay of Palma, the view is endless and the water blends into the sea and the sky.” It’s pure poetry.
Immerse the audience in moving image
Just by looking at their chosen font family and previewing their vibe through captivating video, Corinthia exudes a decadent and palatial feeling. Each scene shown on their welcome page proves a way guests are pampered by their services offered.
The Maritime Hotel features a web accessibility plugin by enable℠, making the website much easier to navigate for folks with disabilities through a recognizable tool at the bottom main page. Including accessibility options speaks volumes for your hotel in regards to the level of hospitality.
Nail your niche
Paradiso is a concept hotel that marries art with disco. It relies heavily on the 1980s Memphis design movement for artistic inspiration and targets a niche, art-driven crowd. With collage art, surrealism and a firm base of retro curves, Paradiso showcases a unique appeal. It has a strong presence on Instagram, which is complimented by the hotel’s interior design—I don’t think there’s an angle in there that wouldn’t work sublimely as a backdrop for your next post.
Emphasize irl escapism
Bart’s Vacation Cabin Design by Tong Chen is simple and arguably minimalist, but super effective for keeping its focus on reservations, gallery photos and information about the cabin. Clean, white text is inoffensive and stands out amongst the nature-driven backdrop. The vibe’s complementary to the accommodation’s reason for existence.
The Range uses a slideshow on it’s landing page to entice visitors. It adds depth and dynamism to the web design, as users click through images horizontally before scrolling downward to enjoy the rest of the site. Here users can catch up with The Range’s social media channels.
By highlighting their activity through intentional social media communities, guests can safely assume the atmosphere is deeply connected to the community involved with it.
Animated page transitions
The Beekman is equally enjoyable to navigate over desktop and mobile devices. Their landing page is animated with a handwritten-style font that reveals more copy as you scroll down. It’s intentional, intimate and together with it’s captivating photography, it entices the user to enjoy a luxurious stay at their authentic, unusual hotel.
Wild about widgets
The Wigwam’s website has a warm and valiant persona. Sienna tones complement the relaxed feel to their photos, but still usher in a sense of urgency to visitors interested in booking through floating widgets.
It’s luxurious, welcomes extra-special moments such as weddings and uses multiple transitions on pages to reflect the hotel’s attention to detail.
Hotel Del Coronado makes you feel like you’re already submerged through their oceanic visuals and west-coast palettes. Their initial wording speaks to a specific audience searching for a “California dream”. Important news stays directly at the top of their page, ensuring guests that they update regulations often.
Mizpah Hotel introduces themselves as the #1 haunted hotel in America, making their brand statement immediately known. By prioritizing this with their “about” section focusing on their rich history, the hotel boldly promises a luxurious experience as well as a haunting.
Even though staying at Whitepod is technically camping, their website provides high tech options. They’ve reworded their reservation form to read as “live booking”, which puts emphasis on putting words to action now.
Finca Rosa Blanca Inn features a documentary-like, panoramic film at the top of their website, informing potential guests about their sustainable, forested coffee farm. Their most important navigation links stay on their page as users scroll through, making it super easy to immediately navigate through.
Appropriate colour scheme
Camp Glenorchy digitally provides a friendly and warm atmosphere, introducing themselves by way of a synopsis of their outdoorsy, retreat culture. Their chosen color palette is aligned with that of its eco-conscious, health-focused brand: calm, smooth and focused on earthly nutrients.
Standard Hotels have gone with a contemporary web design to represent their boutique hotels, which intend to attract an artsy crowd who are into luxury. Not just a hotel, they have a “culture” section inviting readers to find out about all the latest, relevant news and star studded events.
The brand has simplified their copy on the landing page and opted for big photos to scroll through, advertising the specific style of their line of international, boutique hotels, alongside an unusual lips motif.
The Michelberger Hotel website provides a comfortable, convenient user experience while proving that innovative, minimal design doesn’t need to include a white in sight.
Nestled in bustling Berlin, this artsy hotel offers interiors in the style of its city. It’s practical and offers sharing recommendations for each room, i.e. a loft room works for “solo travellers, couples, colleagues or friends”.
Imagery is scarce and atmospheric, while its impactful aesthetic uses color to make a visual statement. It’s definitely different from other hotel website designs and it works.
Cinematic moving image
Ace Hotel showcases their focus on creative culture through carefully selected scenes on their homepage: a record player in motion, movement throughout iconic space and Wes Anderson-esque views. No scrolling is necessary, as their website is formatted to include video and links with it.
The design of the Seehotel Ambach hotel—courtesy of Italian architect, Othmar Barth, over thirty years ago—marries nature, minimalism and retro charisma.
It needs a digital presence that can ooze and lift this feeling to users, which is why it uses a simplistic, symmetrical design on a white backdrop. A use of carousel on the landing page allows users to soak in each image and absorb he iconic aesthetic.
Present a holistic brand identity
Zoku is an aparthotel for “global nomads”. The conceptual brand offers home/office hybrids to guests on a business trip, travelling or relocating to one of its three European locations.
Their digital presence is image-heavy, with the landing page setting high quality moving image as the backing for their booking widget. It’s seamless, minimalist and convenient—much like their interiors.
Create and sell low-cost, on-brand products
Right away, Masseria Moroseta’s audience is welcomed with a strong brand statement, identifying what kind of accommodation and experience they offer.
It’s delicate, bright and charming while the “shop” section of their site champions local brand’s produce as well as their own. Whether it sells well or not, this section promotes and strengthen their brand identity.
Immerse users with increasing interactivity
Hotel Frida’s website animation and interactivity, allowing visitors to spray colors and play around with the site, encourages folks to spend more time looking around and thinking about staying in this wondrous place. Nature sounds automatically play in the background, providing a full audio-visual experience.
Go back to basics
On the other hand, Jennings Hotel’s carousel slider elevates their minimal website design. If anything, the simplicity of their site proves that sometimes a stripped down design approach works—especially if you have imagery like this hotel. Just like with Tong Chen’s holiday cabin website design, focus on crucial links, text and visuals allow guests to navigate with ease.
Hotel du Phare features strong branding through tranquil photos and delicately placed details. Its digital design crams a lot of content into a small space and doesn’t overload users.
The journey to great hotel website design starts now
Whether you’re updating your existing hotel website or creating an entirely new design, now is the perfect time to focus on and prioritize your website while the world slowly eases back into travel. Allow the digital sphere to communicate for you.