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Luxury hotel Websites: Critique & Vent

Luxury hotel Websites: Critique & Vent

Old Jan 29, 19, 11:17 pm
  #1  
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Sometimes classy, exquisite venues have poor, or even terrible, websites that not only annoy but frustrate users and impede traffic and bookings.

Critique and vent here. You'll have sympathetic company and some venues may be motivated to make changes for the better.

Award the rare kudos when merited.



The website that currently is giving me fits is Cap Juluca:
https://www.belmond.com/hotels/caribbean/anguilla/belmond-cap-juluca

This website features TINY-FONT, PALE-GREY text against a white background. It's as if they set out to make the site as difficult to read as possible. Also, no sample menus -- a basic requirement.

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Last edited by KatW; Jan 30, 19 at 11:57 am Reason: consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jan 30, 19, 1:53 am
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Laucala has gotta be a contender here lol
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Old Jan 30, 19, 2:26 am
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Bingo!
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Old Jan 30, 19, 2:37 am
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The Details button doesn't give me the kind of details I want. Like, a floor plan, room layout or measurements. It's just a short blurb that doesn't do much for someone who doesn't know the property.

I think no one checks the FS Seoul mobile page because the rooms aren't all present and they really seem to want you to book a basic room or a suite!

I also dislike FS heavily promoting guests Instagram photos every second scroll down. This being the mobile page, you would think they would like to use less data consumptive graphics and pictures.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 10:51 am
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Hotel websites generally tend to be quite behind in terms of optimising a booking process - from aesthetics to the actual process and ease of it - which is actually quite shocking.

I think there's a lot to be said for room photography. Four Seasons photos can be really annoying and I've found that a running theme throughout many Four Seasons.









How are these photos in any way, shape or form helpful to the booking process?
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Old Jan 30, 19, 12:18 pm
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Absolutely agree. Useless descriptions, Pictures or missing Information. Worst are now from my experience the new Marriott sites for St. Regis, LC and Ritz-Carlton. Four Seasons at least offers floorplans. I prefer virtual tours and detailed informations. What I also hate is if (remotely located) resorts donīt publish their costs for food. Same with restaurants when I need pre-reservation. It may not be a dealbreaker but paying 200 € more per night or so for dinner is something which I care about.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
Hotel websites generally tend to be quite behind in terms of optimising a booking process - from aesthetics to the actual process and ease of it - which is actually quite shocking.

I think there's a lot to be said for room photography. Four Seasons photos can be really annoying and I've found that a running theme throughout many Four Seasons.

How are these photos in any way, shape or form helpful to the booking process?
What would you expect to see?

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Old Jan 30, 19, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post


What would you expect to see?

Pictures of the actual room, not generic pictures used for all the room categories. FS is really bad about this at times, itís like the same pictures for all the rooms, which provide zero detail.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 1:09 pm
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Agree there is a strong inverse correlation between the quality of the hotel and usefulness of the website. It's almost as if luxury properties think giving practical information cheapens their marketing image
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Old Jan 30, 19, 1:09 pm
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I still chafe over our stay three years ago at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe. The website showed the top room category with a hammock on the terrace. Right. No hammock. Despite my overtly expressed annoyance, no hammock ever appeared. No apology either, much less recovery.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Cityflyer10 View Post
Pictures of the actual room, not generic pictures used for all the room categories. FS is really bad about this at times, itís like the same pictures for all the rooms, which provide zero detail.
I definitely agree with that. However, I can think of many reasons why they use very general photography. At hotels and resorts that have a wide range of layouts and locations within the same categories, they do their best to use pictures that represent the decor and concept, without running into problems with people assuming pictures are contractual and representative of exactly what they will get. An hotel website is really about marketing, and in most cases websites do not offer fact sheet like information. Some do, but those are the exception and not the norm.

A solution is to contact the hotel and have them provided fact sheets, actual room floor plans and photographs etc...
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Old Jan 30, 19, 1:24 pm
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related thread >
Airline Like Pricing Games at FS

many luxury hotel chains used to have ratecards. aman was last to remove. although marriott also removed it from some luxury starwood.

seems like quite a few here would be happy to pay somewhat higher rate if that meant fixed ratecard instead of dynamic. (separate issue from occupancy, which some would prefer to pay higher rate and have lower occupancy if there is a direct connection between the two.)

has anyone ever gotten things like floorplans from hotel via email when they are not online? agents could archive such things for their clients.

a recent issue, at upcoming FS PHL >
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30690409-post549.html

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jan 31, 19 at 5:15 pm
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Old Jan 30, 19, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
Airline Like Pricing Games at FS


has anyone ever gotten things like floorplans from hotel via email when they are not online? agents could archive such things for their clients.

a recent issue, at upcoming FS PHL >
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30690409-post549.html
I asked for photos from Amanoi for the villa bathroom and general room arrangement. Have also had agent ask for photos from other properties in the past. Most were cellphone shots but better than dressed up glamour room pictures.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
Airline Like Pricing Games at FS

many luxury hotel chains used to have ratecards. aman was last to remove. although marriott also removed it from some luxury starwood.
...
I do not like dynamic pricing at all. I understand it at upscale business hotels and four star resorts, but at truely high end hotels I feel rates should at least fluctuate less, if they do at all. At a certain point when one is paying a substantial room rate, having that substantially increase due to occupancy is off putting to guests. Similarly, at least in theory, it would be better to let fewer guests paying the same rate enjoy lower occupancy, than to have rates dynamically drop to fill those last empty rooms.

Fortunately, I have never has a situation in which an hotel has enforced dynamic pricing if I check out early, i.e. try to assess nights already stayed at the current, higher rate instead of what I reserved. It does trouble me that many hotel groups now reserve the right to do so under new policies. In order to protect against this, I actually do regularly truncate stays into separate, consecutive reservations. If I feel my arrival or departure date may change, sometimes I book such that I can cancel a night or two without touching the bulk of the hotel reservation. But, again this is something that a guest of a good hotel should never have to do.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 3:24 pm
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Interesting. Seems to be a pattern with higher end hotels/resorts.

One potential theory: is it because people who have the means to afford such level of hotels/resorts...are also more likely to use travel agents/assistants/other personnel to make these bookings and they are not as likely to do it DIY?

Seems like alot of those websites are really "artsy" and are trying to sell an experience/emotion rather than hit you with tons of facts...
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