For any hotel website (or any kind of website, actually), visual design and user experience go hand in hand. That stunning hero video doesn’t do your property any favors if it makes your site too slow. If your site looks great on desktop, but is squished and buggy on mobile, that’s not going to work either.
Your website not only needs to be easy to use, it also needs to attract guests to your property. The visual design of your website plays a crucial role in making an emotional connection with visitors and compelling them to book.
So, sit back and indulge in some hotel website eye candy. Here are eight simple yet effective visual web design trends we love for hotel websites.
Negative space (or white space) simply means empty space around and between visual elements of a webpage and is an effective way to achieve an attractive and intuitive design. Good use of negative space results in a site that is both easy to understand and navigate, and is easy on the eyes too. It draws attention to visual and written content like headings, images, and CTAs.
Negative space achieves a more streamlined and mobile-friendly user experience, and a simple, uncluttered design. But simple doesn’t have to mean boring. We’ve seen a variety of muted color schemes used for negative space—and some bold ones too! Just stay true to your branding and choose colors that work in harmony with the other visual elements of your website.
The Breezy Palms Resort’s website feels fresh—like a soft ocean breeze—with lots of white space that makes the images pop.
Bold, oversized text overlays on images (especially hero images) are not only visually compelling, but allow you to convey key information from the get-go to give context.
This eye-catching trend makes the text stand out—so the words you choose matter. A compelling tagline and CTA work well for a hero text overlay.
It’s also important to ensure the text is easy to read in a high-contrast color. White usually fits the bill, and a shadow layer between the image and text helps text stand out even more for improved readability.
Calaway Park promotes discount tickets front and center on their homepage hero slider, immediately letting visitors know they can get a great stay-and-play deal!
We also love the elegant look of text over text. Take a look at the Banff Inn’s website…
Big, beautiful hero images (those full-screen images at the top of the homepage) make sense when it comes to hotel websites, immediately conveying a sense of place and experience as soon as a visitor lands on your site. But even more exciting is a hero video. Immersive and dynamic, hero videos are a great way to grab attention and make an emotional connection with prospective guests.
It’s important to optimize your video for the web to ensure it doesn’t slow down your site too much.
The Mark’s Reef website immediately transports visitors to their cliff-top property overlooking the ocean with their hero video that gives viewers a feel for the property right down to the sumptuous details.
Cool booking widgets
There’s no better way to make your booking engine stand out and look credible than with a booking widget that matches the look and feel of your website.
WebRezPro property management system automatically generates HTML code to embed a booking widget into any page of your property’s website. With a little HTML knowledge yourself, you can completely customize the way it looks (or ask your web designer!).
The Cusheon Lake Resort’s booking widget seamlessly fits into their website design. The widget’s modern, simple feel promises guests an easy booking experience—much like the easy, relaxing experience they can expect at the lake!
Illustrations add artistic appeal to a hotel website, and can help convey emotion. Illustrations can be fun, cool, classical, or romantic and should be used carefully to complement your brand personality. Even subtle illustrated elements can elevate a website design.
Check out Denali Tri-Valley Cabins’ homepage to see how a simple mountain watercolor used in the background emphasizes the impressive natural setting guests will experience at their property.
Scroll animation refers to elements (text, images, buttons, etc.) that move or fade in as the user scrolls. Scroll animation makes a website more dynamic and exciting. The element’s movement is triggered by the user’s scrolling action and creates a more interactive, engaging experience.
Like illustrations, scroll animations don’t have to be elaborate to work well. Even simple scroll animations breathe life into a website and compel users to explore your website further.
Copper Canyon Mexico Specialists use simple animated elements—an image of Polaroid photos, and headings that either fade or fly in as the user scrolls—that effectively catch your eye.
Designs with an editorial feel make sense for businesses in the travel industry. Just think about those gorgeous travel magazines we all drool over on the plane. Website designs with an editorial feel typically feature high-quality imagery front and center, oversized headings, broken grid layouts, and plenty of white space.
The Forest Home Cabins website is one of our favorite editorial-feel redesigns so far. Simple and modern, it depicts a perfect stay. We can imagine this layout in a drool-worthy travel magazine!
Grid galleries are a contemporary, visually pleasing way to showcase your property. Especially advanced grid layouts that present images of varying sizes and orientations arranged harmoniously—much like a photo wall at home.
Apple Valley Orchard & RV Park features a grid gallery at the bottom of their homepage. It’s a simple yet striking way to conclude their main page (after all, each picture speaks a thousand words) and to entice visitors to explore their website (and beautiful property!) further.
The Vegreville Suites’ entire home page is presented in a grid gallery format! We love this unique, modern approach that lets their alluring suites speak for themselves.
Your property’s website needs to function smoothly and look the part. But that doesn’t necessarily mean fancier is better. The simple yet effective visual design trends included above can help your website stand out from the competition and boost bookings. Just remember to always stay true to your brand and ensure a fast-loading, user-friendly experience to delight guests on every page. Want to chat about your vision for your property’s website? Get in touch for a free, no-obligation redesign quote.