One of the most crucial aspects of any online business is the landing page of the website. Nowhere is this more crucial than for any hospitality company, and in particular hoteliers. We have typed ourselves to bloody fingers, talked ourselves blue in the face, but still even wonderfully lavish hotels offer up hamburger to their prime rib consuming visitors.
Below are three European hotels we would be so thrilled to stay with. Five that, unfortunately, may lose ten times what it would cost to build a decent site, take some high res pictures, doing some new age marketing. Let’s look at these wonderful “unseen” gems, then we’ll offer some suggestions.
Home Sweet Berlin
Owner Ulf Acksel’s Ackselhaus & Bluehome is a splendid, timeless, crisp and luxurious affair just down the street from Volkspark Friedrichshain, just North and East of Tiergarten and the city center. The property is actually two hotels, offering suites, apartments, and a stylish kind of luxury that tends to transform Berlin city visiting, into home. Just about any review you’ll find of these accommodations, speak of hospitality at its best. The images above, and below, attest to this too. But, visiting a website not optimized, with broken links and slanted to one side a la minimalist web 1.0 stuff…
The Google actually has a much better G+ profile with decent images, if that makes some sense. You can even leave your review on the Google pages for the hotel. Readers will also find this charming hotel duet via Facebook. Or, maybe not, I had to do a Facebook search to do so. The astute hotel owner will be asking; “Just how does this nice stay get booked?” Anything beyond word of mouth and walk by traffic costs Ulf Acksel. Well, they have made 100 magazine covers. Can you book from a magazine?
Suggestions for making a web presence include the Greek website design company MyInternet we discovered searching out these find hotels. This company made the one pictured below for Aegean Suites, which would be perfect if it loaded faster.
Greek Wonders: Aenaon Villas
Joomla and Intros Greece make for nice websites, just not luxurious hotel ones. Aenaon Villas on wonderful Santorini is one of those places you’ve always dreamed of staying, and one your not likely to book via the villa’s website. Conde Nast Traveler accolades, even a White Line Hotels review cannot take the place in the long run of a cutting edge web design combined with marketing know how. 131 followers on Twitter, and heralding a TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Award for 2012 to 133 fans on Facebook, simply indicates the owners are content to pay TripAdvisor and others the commissions. And you know who really pays those, right?
Situated on the famous caldera of the Thera volcano, this fabulous accommodation is open to all four points of the horizon. True Cycladic architecture, unquestionable comfort and luxury, combined with your own private veranda and access to the infinity pool, this stay sings rejuvenation and relaxation. Room service, your own fireplace, blah, blah, beautiful, but unfortunately you’ll never see the hotelier’s website in all likelihood. And, if you do, you won’t be overly awe inspired.
The Albatroz Collection
If the saying “An albatross around one’s neck” ever rang more true to a hotel’s brand, we never heard. This collection of hotel and their guest villa in fantastic Cascais is deserving of the best WIHP Convert or even Simon Foster, maybe even Push Here interactive could come up with. Just being located in this coastal Portugal city is a privileged for the hotelier. Once the resort playground for for Portugal’s royal family, the former fishing village is among the country’s richest cosmopolitan places now. As for the hotel and guest villa? As the current Facebook photo album professes; “location, location, location.”
The Albatroz Seafront Hotel and the Albatroz Bayside Villa are both sumptuously appointed accommodations. However, their web design being complete and loaded with information, says nothing at all about these lovely places to stay. Not really. With about 5 seconds to convince web travelers to LOOK inside, today’s website has to come straight from Hollywood, London, or Paris where effect goes. Usability, quickness, imagery, then tight completeness define new age web designs.
There are so many fantastic images of the hotel, of the surrounding city center, the people involved even, it is a crying shame the owners have not optimized for showing off their rooms and features. Just owning a Twitter and Facebook feed, possessing an old web website, getting some guests from TripAdvisor, ranked number 9 in town. I always ask hoteliers how they could use an extra €100,000 per year? One decent vacationing guest staying each day. Following 80 something people via Twitter? What is the late night desk clerk up to there at Albatroz – shooting seagulls?
Gourmet chefs, seaside tranquility, chic shopping round the corner, pampered existence within the confines of some of the world’s finest small hotels, and the yearning visitor may not even ever sit on the sofa at Aenaon Villas, Albatroz, or Ackselhaus. Now that is what I call a shame and a lost opportunity.
I said we would make some suggestions to help out situations like this. We already mentioned our friends at WIHP Hotel marketing, their Convert websites being, the fastest and most edgy I have seen. We also made mention of Simon Foster, one of the world’s most gifted designers, as well as Push Here, design and interactive gurus, the longing hotelier might be surprised how inexpensively solutions can be had. That is, compared to losing €100,000 a year. There are other marketing and design companies out there, waiting to spring your business forward. O’Rourke Hospitality is one we know of, as is HeBS Digital. You might also want to check out AWWWARDS for links and suggestions to some of the world’s finest.
We hope this post has been of help.