In this 5-minute read:
- Features to include in your lodging business’s website
- How to get started creating a website
- Examples of great lodging sites
When building a website for any business, it can be difficult to know where to start, and lodging businesses require a little more information and functionality on their websites than most other businesses.
The best place to start is planning out what you will need on your website. What features, content, and functionality are going to create the best experience for your customers?
Follow this guide to learn what features you should have and to see some inspiring examples to help you get started.
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Features to include when designing your lodging website
What features should you have on your lodging website? The fundamentals for any hotel or lodging website are:
- Helpful, informative content
- High-quality images and video
- Strong call-to-action
- Ability to book a room
- Easy way to contact the business
- Accurately represents and supports your brand
Well-written and relevant content
Every website needs good content to help visitors navigate the site and find the information they need or information to help draw them into your business.
The types of content that hotels and lodging businesses should definitely have:
- Types of rooms and pricing
- Services (weddings, meetings, B&B, spa)
- Amenities (gym, room service, restaurant, jacuzzi tub, etc.)
- Local recreation
Professional quality photos and video
Modern web design is driven by high-quality imagery. People are visual by nature, so beautiful images help to draw us in.
And most people expect to see what their room looks like before they ever book it. You should also include beautiful—but accurate—photos of your amenities and nearby attractions.
You don’t have to hire a professional photographer to get the job done (though it might be worth the investment if you have several types/levels of rooms and amenities). If you have a good eye for composition and lighting, you can take attractive, perfectly useful photos on your own camera or phone.
The ultimate goal of a website is to drive more conversions, which for a hotel or lodging business means getting more rooms booked. So, it’s important to have a call-to-action on the website that guides visitors down that path.
From every page on your website, you should have a “book now” or “get a room” option available for the point when a customer decides they are ready.
Along with your call-to-action, you need to have a way for customers to actually book a room online. This doesn’t necessarily need to be functionality that is hosted on your website. If you use a third-party booking system, your CTA can link out to your third-party site.
But people expect to be able to book rooms online without having to make a call, so make sure you give them the ability to do that.
Easy way to contact your business
Even though most people want to book online without talking to anyone, you should still have an easy way to get in touch with your business. Your phone number and address should be present and available on the website.
If customers have questions about your rooms or need special accommodations, they may need to call—and if they can’t get in touch you may lose out on valuable opportunities. Plus, having your contact information on your website helps give your business more credibility as a legitimate place.
Branding present throughout the site
Your website should feel like an extension of your physical space, and, as such, should represent your brand well. You can do this through photos of your facilities and by incorporating brand assets like your logo, colors, and fonts throughout the site.
Go deeper: How to create and build an effective brand
How to start designing your lodging site
There are a number of ways to go about building a website, but the two most common are using a DIY website builder or a professional web developer.
If you want your booking system to be hosted through your website, you should find a web developer that can help with this. Most DIY website builders will not give you that functionality.
However, if you are using a third-party booking system that you can just link to from your website and you have a desire to create your own website, give a website builder a try.
You may also like: How to build your own small business website (step by step walkthrough)
Examples of top hotel and lodging websites
These are a few of our favorite examples of lodging websites that we feel are doing it right.
La Fonda On the Plaza
La Fonda’s home page starts with a professional video showing what their hotel experience is like, from the rooms to the local attractions. It’s a great way to draw customers in.
They also have a prominent call-to-action in the top right corner of their website to “Check Availability.”
Another thing that we really like about this one is that they have their social accounts available. Visiting their social accounts helps establish the experience even more and provides alternative methods for contact as well.
Visit their site: https://www.lafondasantafe.com/
Mahekal Beach Resort
Mahekal Beach Resort has a beautiful design that incorporates professional images of their resort throughout the site. We like that they have the ability to filter and check availability for rooms right from their home page (see the bottom of the image above).
They also do a good job of including a lot of helpful content, especially when it comes to their amenities.
Visit their site: https://www.mahekalbeachresort.com/#
The Maritime Hotel
The Maritime Hotel has a simple, almost minimalist vibe to their website, which we love. It’s not overwhelming to find the information you are looking for, and the call-to-action to “Get a Room” is always present in the top right corner.
Their simplified menu makes it very easy to navigate the website and learn more about this hotel and the surrounding area.
Visit their site: http://www.themaritimehotel.com/
Get more traffic to your website by managing your online reputation
When your lodging website is published and out there for the world to see, there are a few additional steps you need to take to help the world find it more easily.
Womply Reputation Management can help with that. Womply also offers business intelligence, customer relationship management, email marketing, payments, and a dynamic customer directory that updates automatically with each transaction.
Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!