Luxury hotels may be consumed with website elements that add bells and whistles, but they should simplify their websites and add e-commerce capabilities into appealing designs. "Your customers want the experience on your website to feel as much as possible like their experience in the hotel: clarity, discretion, with real opportunities to spend their money," writes Thibault Lécuyer at FastBooking.
Staying in a national park isn't all about roughing it -- many include high-end lodges. The Ahwahnee in California, which serves Yosemite, has an outdoorsy feel with rich, wood decor inside. The Argonaut Hotel at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, also in California, features a swanky AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel.
Hotel designers start with an inspiration room that houses items they like, fabrics and other textures -- all those go into creating a well-designed hotel. "Once we start designing and have gotten the pragmatic things out of the way, and the space planning and relationship of spaces are correct, we start to layer in the texture. It is programmatically driven ... it is much more about the end user and the space itself than it is about us," said Toby Schermerhorn of Cauhaus Design.
U.K. hotels that are part of the InterContinental Hotels Group and Kempinski are two more hotel companies that are migrating their data to cloud services. IHG also used RapidNFC to launch a mobile enrollment platform for new Priority Club Rewards members, which IHG says is the first of its kind in the hotel industry.
Google is testing a new tool called Google Hotel Finder, which shows hotel reviews from Google Places and advertisements from online travel agencies. The service, which is available only in the U.S. for now, compares hotel prices on travelers' desired dates with the "typical price" paid over the past year.