Barely few tourists prefer to travel completely impromptu unless they seek highly intense experiences. The majority tends to follow the good old ‘forewarned is forearmed’ approach that eliminates any significant collapses and time and money expenditures on the way.
In other words, long before arriving in a destination country, it’s natural to look for all the related data, including the prices, transfer schedule, and especially the bed and breakfast availability. And since the world goes digital, all that research happens primarily on the web. That’s the reason why the hotel business is increasingly shifting its focus to online platforms.
However, building an excellent hotel website might be painful. To design a bed and breakfast website, you need to know its essential attributes and align them properly. If you wonder how to master that delicate process, this article will assist you.
20 best practices of excellent hotel website design
Travelers would stick to websites that are visually and functionally enhanced, load fast, and offer quick and easy booking procedures. And if your site lacks at least one of these fundamental features – you lose. Users will skip you without giving you a chance to impress them with an impeccable B&B service you might have for them. And you don’t want to miss on a number of potential guests that can become your loyal customers.
That’s the reason why you need to know some essentials to include in your hotel web design strategy. The following practices will help you to leverage your business and effortlessly boost your revenue.
#01 Display your brand identity
A luxurious resort in a magnificent place sounds tempting – but a distinct brand identity can go far beyond the mere delight. Established brand hotels are considered to be more secure and validated, while faceless property listings can be confusing and alienating. By personalizing your business, you can connect with your prospective visitors on a more prolific level and craft highly authentic experiences.
Tourists also need to know about the place they’re going to stay, including the story behind it. As a result, the more you share, the more trust you nurture. The more you expose your brand, the more recognizable and appealing your service would become.
#02 Polish the layout
Your hotel website should be easy to navigate to provide a friction-free booking procedure. Remember that a cluttered structure can keep visitors from getting to the reservation page, pushing them to bounce to other more transparent platforms. That’s why it’s critical to choose simple layouts that are comprehensive and digestible and find a balance between the design and function.
Right from the homepage, users should be able to scan the information in a few seconds without getting lost in details of elaborated layout formats. Here, it’s critical to present links to the most desirable pages, for instance, rooms, photos, service and a “contact us” page. For better clarity, you can employ a visual hierarchy or incorporate a grid. Such an approach helps you to gradually highlight major navigational touchpoints that will lead the user toward the desired action effortlessly.
#03 Facilitate the booking procedure
The ultimate goal of your hotel business website is to boost direct booking conversions. Thus, you need to design the platform so that it will be easy to finalize reservations.
The first step toward this objective is to provide visitors with a clear path to booking procedure. Place prominent CTA buttons all-around your website and make the pages transition smooth and painless. Here, it’s paramount to stay moderate and avoid too persuasive and excessive proposals. The success of your incentive depends primarily on the quality but not quantity.
Once you manage to draw the users’ attention and direct them toward the booking engine, you need to make sure that it is optimized. Avoid tortuous email inquiries that take ages to proceed. Choose direct and automated ways of completing reservations that encompass all available search filters. It simplifies the overall booking process guaranteeing high accessibility of your services and a customer-centered approach, which both impact the user experience positively.
#04 Make the contact information easy to find
Make sure the users can easily find ways of contacting you directly. As a rule, the contact details are placed at the footer, and users need to scroll down numerous pages to find the data. Instead of burying the contact information, highlight it and make it easily accessible from any page of your website.
#05 Show authentic photos of rooms and amenities
Guests want to know what to expect from your B&B service. And when they arrive at your website, they will search for images of your apartments and all possible amenities. Here, it’s paramount that you place only authentic and high-quality visuals. The more you show and tell to the audience, the more credibility your service will evoke. So don’t hesitate to display multiple photos with informative descriptions. The most crucial thing to remember here is image optimization so that your visual content wouldn’t damage the website speed.
#06 Craft a profound visual experience
Room pictures and an extensive list of amenities will help your guests to know more about your service. But it’s an appealing visual of your website that will stimulate and inspire them. Here, choose images that transmit the mood and tone of your business. Also, you can easily appeal to your prospective guests’ emotional side. Dilute the content with beautiful photos featuring other people’s emotions and guests who enjoy your hotel. Being a proof that your B&B service is worth experiencing, it is able to convince online visitors to come to a stay and plunge into that wonderful atmosphere they already have seen in photos.
#07 Include video content
Don’t underestimate the power of video content and short films. The video material can affect the amount of time spent on your platform, finding a strong emotional appeal and gluing users to the screens.
For instance, you can shoot the material exposing the nearby picturesque areas, including the tourist attractions and sights. Also, you can craft an engaging video story or merely showcase your rooms and services. And enhanced with breathtaking audio, visuals can evoke true emotional resonance within the viewers.
Remember that an excellent hotel web design should strike a balance between functionality and beauty. High-resolution impressive visuals are powerful unless they’re optimized and don’t damage the site’s usability.
#08 Build creative landing pages with prominent CTAs
For better online visibility, you can include multiple landing pages and fill them with diverse content. Make sure each landing page is unique. It’s better not to place “book now” CTA at every angle of your website. Play around with the language and design of a button. For instance, instead of a traditional “book a room,” you can use “stay with us,” which is a more appealing variant. When being creative, you have more chances to produce a favorable first impression on your potential guests.
#09 Adhere to a responsive web design approach
Since half of the internet traffic comes from mobile phones, it’s necessary to make your hotel website function well on both desktop and mobile and accept mobile bookings. Responsive design allows your website to stay flexible and highly accessible regardless of the device used by the potential customers. Not only will it benefit your prospective guests, but it will also improve your search engine ranking results.
First of all, make sure the content is the same on both desktop and mobile versions, including the structured data and metadata. Don’t forget to use descriptive alt texts for images as you do on your desktop version and check if your URLs are correct and updated to mobile. Here, it’s critical to exclude any fragmented URLs as they can damage your website performance.
When it comes to visual content, it’s critical to ensure the quality is the same high as on the desktop. Don’t let ads harm your mobile users’ experience. Be sure to check their position, as desktop ads are not the same efficient if not damaging when on mobile.
All in all, the responsive web design is not only about mobiles but providing a holistic and smooth user experience without any significant discrepancy between the site’s versions.
#10 Optimize your SEO
SEO has a significant impact on your online presence. An experienced SEO strategy makes it easier for tourists to find you across an enormous number of similar hotel websites. Even if the service you provide is identical to that of thousands, it’s still possible to bring your B&B to the top, using the right and elaborated policy. Apart from the responsive design approach, there are several additional points to consider for better SEO performance:
- keywords. The content of your website is a significant part of your SEO performance. To make it optimized, you need to include keywords. That way, the content of your website becomes more visible and targeted. Does your B&B have wedding packages or a business center? Do you cater to adults primarily, or is your business eco-friendly? When including phrases like “eco-friendly hotel resort” or “wedding hotel service” in the content, you leverage your SEO greatly.
- geo-targeted keywords. By applying the right keywords, you can easily attract guests looking to stay in your area. It means that you need to include geo-targeted keywords, like “Denver B&B,” or “hotel in Washington.” Use them in your website copy, image and page descriptions, and web page titles.
- high readability. Make sure your content is readable and comprehensive, as it’s also impacting your ranking. For that reason employ contrastive colors for typography and background.
- simple navigation. Clean up your navigation, simplify URLs, and eliminate duplications, if any. It will help search engine crawlers to get to the point without any barriers and troubles. Besides, easy-to-use navigation makes users linger on the site, increasing the dwell time, which is one of the SEO ranking factors.
One more additional tip is to employ sitemaps so that searching engines easily organize your content and indicate what web pages are most important. Thus, they can evaluate your site even more efficiently, ensuring nothing significant escapes their attention.
#11 Provide social proof and analyze it regularly
Since people are likely to rely on other people’s experiences, they will search for reviews and recommendations before making a reservation. Based on the social proof, tourists will decide whether to choose you or search for another hotel. Thus, it’s paramount to boost consumer confidence.
You can make a review page on your website or go beyond the platform and create your social media account and enable guests to share their experiences. Within the digital environment, social media is a valuable asset for the travel niche. It helps to connect better with your target customers and gives you a chance to make your hotel service more profound.
For instance, you can get to know your guests’ preferences in the comment sections or directly ask them for feedback on your Instagram. Also, you can set up a Facebook poll about a top-notch service feature you’re planning to incorporate. After analyzing the feedback, you can set up the right direction to move and understand what should be fixed to make your service more productive. Ultimately, social media is able to encourage cordial relationships with your potential lodgers even before they enter your resort.
#12 Include reviews from third parties
While being an intangible part of your performance, reputation heavily influences your business success. And you should keep a close eye on it to be positive. Here, it’s crucial to focus on the following:
- being objective and realistic about your hotel business
- know what sets you apart from the competitors
- know your strong and weak sides
Another way of boosting your reputation is getting feedback from powerful third parties from the same travel niche. An authoritative opinion from experienced providers like Booking, Tripadvisor, or Trustpilot can arouse immense credibility and trust. By placing your listings here, you can get thousands of new reviews, boost your conversions and increase recognition. However, to make that happen, you need to employ an appealing and well-structured badge or widget to display on the external sources.
#13 Set up live chatbots
To enhance online communication with your potential guests and showcase your online hospitality, you can apply live chat widgets or chatbots. This function can significantly minimize your expenditures on full-time offline support, handling primitive tasks. Also, the chatbots can answer users’ questions, provide recommendations, or direct guests toward the desired actions. Such assistance can accelerate the decision-making process and eliminate any bewilderment that may occur before, during, or after the booking procedure.
#14 Enable multilingual option
Your potential customers will probably come from various countries and even continents. And if there is a significant language barrier, your impeccable service or perfect design won’t make any difference. That’s why you need to ensure your website is multilingual so that it can cover a global audience regardless of the nationality and language spoken. It is imperative when you want to expand and enter foreign markets.
#15 Implement VR
When booking a stay, guests want to get a solid reassurance that your room proposals correspond to real-life. And virtual reality is a powerful tool for boosting credibility and convincing cautious users. Previously considered as not much more than entertainment, VR now became a valuable asset in the travel industry.
360-degree VR room tours increase website engagement and help you to expose your service in as much detail as possible. With that function in place, users can see the place they want to book with their own eyes even before entering the doors of actual apartments.
#16 Be user-friendly
If your website can’t assist users when performing elementary tasks, be sure that even top-notch design elements or stunning visuals won’t help you to draw them. First and foremost, your website needs to be user-friendly. It concerns the speed performance as well as high functionality.
#17 Transform your website into a local resource
Your bed and breakfast website doesn’t need to be exclusively about booking stays. Instead of being a narrow service platform, you can be a valuable local travel guide as well. You can start a blog to educate your audience and present insights on the travel subject. Also, you may include some relevant information about the local environment, shopping attractions, and events in the area to make the platform more versatile and handy. Thus, travelers can find all the information they need in one place without having to go through other third-party sources. It will result in higher user engagement and extend your B&B service into a profound travel website.
#18 Practice lazy load
When crafting a hotel website, it’s important to design it to be fast and easy to view. Usually, such websites include much visual content and room descriptions. And if managed incorrectly, it can heavily slow down the overall speed performance. It alienates prospective guests and urges them to skip your website before they can evaluate your proposals. Besides, it heavily damages your ranking by Google so that your platform becomes irrelevant in search results.
The main reason for lazy load is to minimize the load times. It is similar to that of an Instagram or Facebook feed principle, which presupposes the content loads when it’s visible in the viewport. In other words, the website keeps loading by portions and doesn’t get stuck because of a heavy amount of the content to proceed at once.
#19 Ensure high accessibility for everyone
According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, each website should be accessible for all users who want to experience it. It means that the platform should be perceivable, operable, and readable for people with any disabilities and impairments. In other words, it should be ADA-compliant. Since the Americans with Disabilities Act requires to include assistive technologies into the website performance, you need to consider the following:
- create alt tags for all images, videos, and audio files
- include text transcripts for video and audio content
- classify the site’s language in the header code
- make use of text-to-speech screen readers and keyboard navigation
- offer multiple alternatives for experiencing the content
It ensures that your website is able to meet the standards of growing global consciousness and welcome all customer groups regardless of their limited opportunities. Otherwise, you can be even suited and lose not only a vast number of potential customers but a significant sum of money because of penalization.
#20 Make your website easily updatable
Since your rates can change, rooms get renovation, or new features added, it’s critical to make your website flexible in terms of updates. Any input shouldn’t damage the overall structure of your platform or impact users’ experience. It should let you easily and quickly make changes to the content of your pages. To manage that, you need to choose an appropriate Content Management System. It enables content changes without having to dive into the code. Thus, you have better chances to make updates without ruining the performance you already have.
Since the process might seem overwhelming and you don’t want to focus on so many things simultaneously, you can address Ester Digital. We will help you to create a hotel website of your dreams, ensuring it meets all the requirements and standards.
Best hotel web design examples
The best way to create an excellent hotel website is to search for inspiration. Brilliant examples will encourage your creativity, helping you to manage the issue. Here are the best hotel website designs to admire:
Even the hotel website can be a masterpiece, and Phos Villas B&B platform proves it. The design goes far beyond the simple functionality of the booking service, also creating an exceptional user experience, impressing viewers with beautiful audiovisual features.
Its stunning homepage design catches attention right from the moment you see it. It is decorated with spheres that remind us of planets circling our universe in their constant journey. The design perfectly fits the brand identity, going hand-in-hand with the tone and mood of the Phos brand. If you look at the logo, you can notice the same elements in it. A circle and a small wave fully transmit the sea hotel business essence, making it transparent for the guests.
Although being packed with so many visual elements, the website still loads fast and provides impeccable functionality. It uses a lazy load so that users can scroll through all the interactive and complex design elements without having to wait too long for the content loading.
The exquisite design of Bellevue Syrene’s website offers users engaging storytelling enhanced with lovely typography and captivating photos. Although the platform employs numerous overlapping design elements and sophisticated layouts, the soft color palette perfectly fits the essence of the business and makes the overall design look light. Besides, the website invites guests to click on buttons between images to change them. The transition is smooth due to the motion effects so that it is easy to scroll through the content.
Another great feature of the website is the fixed side menu that enables excellent navigation. It allows visitors to effortlessly move across the pages and find what they need in just one click. Such a user-friendly interface lets users explore the website at their own pace and leisure.
Hotel Schweizerhof Zermatt
Another inspirational hotel website is Schweizerhof Zermatt. The design is simple yet impressive. The homepage features a beautiful image with a loud incentivizing “explore Zermatt” statement. As you scroll down, you can enjoy delicate hand-drawn background sketches of flowers and wildlife paired with a color palette of pastel shades. Thus, the design perfectly suits the essence of a brand, turning the platform into a representative number one of the Zermatt hotel business.
One thing we liked about the website is a consistent storytelling that inspires new guests and showcases the best of its services.
Besides, there is an interactive cursor in the form of a dot that follows you as you browse the web pages. Here you can notice a prominent CTA button fixed at the side of the screen. It opens out when you hover it, allowing you to view rooms or explore the restaurant and spa services without going through multiple pages or to the footer.
Sol Beach Club
As soon as you land on the Sol Beach Club website homepage, you can utterly experience all the beauty of this place. The power of this website design is in an audiovisual effect that follows the users throughout their web journey. The jungle sounds with leaves rustling and birds singing excite and evoke only positive emotions.
The website is rich in visuals that capture the guests chatting and launching with sincere joy and powerful energy. You immediately get the impression of a lively and amusing vacation to spend here. The effect is enhanced with a perfectly chosen color palette that fully transmits the tone and mood of its nature-focused hotel service.
Another refreshing take is the presentation of the hotel crew you find when you scroll down the pages. It includes images of the people involved in the service with the bio introducing them. It increases credibility and urges users to sympathize with them, and fosters a good first impression.
The Plaza Hotel
Since its debut in 1907, Plaza Hotel remains an icon well-known all over the world, and its website fully reflects the gracefulness and magic of the place. As you arrive on the website, it welcomes you with a beautiful photo of the property, transporting you right in the city downtown. Another exceptional feature of Plaza Hotel’s web design is the typography. The fonts with their shapes and styles perfectly combine traditional elegance with a modern sensibility. The website is highly digestible and transparent. As you scroll down, you can find all the necessary information, including contact details, special offers column, and social media links.
The Bella Vista website transports you to the south of Italy with its breathtaking sea views and authentic atmosphere. Moving down the homepage, users can fully experience the beauty of the place with a set of bright, sunny pictures, gradually exposing themselves with a smooth parallax scrolling.
Besides the perfect visual, the website design is highly functional. Right from its homepage, the platform features a polished comprehensive booking form and a prominent ‘book now’ button. At the bottom, there is a live chat widget that allows you to get some specific piece of information easily and quickly.
The Ritz Carlton Hotels
An American multinational Ritz-Carlton Hotels company operates more than 100 luxury hotels and resorts, and its website aims to represent them all. The platform employs primarily minimalist web design, but it is still elegant and highly functional. It offers multiple sections where users can explore the service according to the location it is situated. Due to its international popularity, the website enables a robust multilingual option with a wide choice of languages.
Although the Hotel Casangelina website design is primarily minimalist, it captivates and stirs imagination from the very first moments.
The platform welcomes users with a stunning video with inspiring background storytelling. The video exhibits a vibrant hotel panorama, the beauty of the local area, and people who enjoy their vacations here. It can’t but evoke warm emotions and excitement, allowing users to plunge into the atmosphere and feel the hotel’s elegance right from the screen.
Another exceptional point of this hotel website design is a coherent fusion of the images, fonts, and colors. All of them blend perfectly, merging into a delightful and smooth website browsing experience.
The simple black and white yet impressive design of the Refinery Hotel website draws attention immediately. The homepage welcoming video catches the eyes of website visitors. At the same time, it doesn’t distract users because of the minimal movement and action to view. Tranquil background visual helps to draw the focus on a simple reservation form placed at the center.
Also, the muted tones of the video go well with the overall look of the site. Such a perfect alliance makes the website look elegant and sophisticated.
The Babington House website entices users right from the homepage with a magnificent image. The bright, high-quality shot of the property makes you feel like you’re already there. The image then turns into a video that invites and discloses the beauty of the hotel.
Apart from the excellent visual side, the website is well-structured and easy to navigate. The fixed menu doesn’t let users get lost and enables them to switch between the pages easily. As scrolling downward, the site gives travelers a closer look at what the property includes. There is a short yet informative description below each amenity photo so that it becomes clear what the hotel can suggest to its guests and what to expect from it.
Elivi Hotels website does a great job of employing a soft yet bright color scheme that brings all design elements together. It creates a holistic user experience when exploring the website. The refreshing take here is the nature-inspired design that employs numerous images of the surrounding environment as well as the hand-drawn illustrations of geese around the pages. It features an eye-catching CTA on the top of the left corner that fits the design yet stands out with the help of the contrastive blue color.
When you arrive at the Hotel Marina website, you see an elegant and polished landing page with bold contrasting typography that draws your attention instantly. Other pages contain typography, which is made up of different styles and sizes to ensure visual hierarchy. It makes the content highly digestible and readable. Another powerful touch is the multilingual option that allows travelers from all over the globe to make reservations without constraints. It exhibits the user-friendly approach the Hotel Marina website adheres to.
The hotel website design is cohesive throughout all the web pages, thanks to the unified color scheme, typography, and layout. Each page has a clean and simple aesthetic, made up of softly colored rectangles that arrange the content into digestible sections.
On a final note
All the examples above are exceptional and unique. At the same time, we can spot some common web design tendencies that all the websites share:
- background photo or a panoramic video showcasing the resort, location, and its guests on the homepage
- storytelling techniques
- parallax scrolling
- fixed CTA buttons and menus
- dominating visual performance
These features are not a guarantee to success which depends on numerous factors – at least take the issue of the price and location of your hotel resort. However, when you know what elements to include and what points to spot, you can master that painful process.
The main thing is that you showcase the best experiences your hotel has to offer in a comprehensive way so that users can truly feel the beauty and pleasure of your place. When they are impressed enough to make the reservation, your task is to simplify the booking process as much as possible. The easier it is for the users to get over the booking form, the more likely they will become your loyal guests. It’s paramount to remember that your hotel website is the first impression you produce on your potential customers. And you don’t want it to be mediocre. And these practices are sure to help you to avoid that.
Whether you’re still unsure about your hotel website design or want some more valuable insight into the subject, feel free to contact us. We will provide you with all the necessary information and will aid you in the website building process if needed.