My first encounter with the Albion House was to Google the it. I searched on Albion House Ramsgate since I knew where it was from the show. The results gave me links to their site, Google My Business, TripAdvisor, twitter, facebook, and reviews by the Guardian and Telegraph. There are some other Albion Houses in other locations so a few of those were mixed in but overall, awesome job with the results.
I went to their website next. Looks great, consistent with what was presented on the show. They are using Squarespace so it has that Squarespace look and feel. I ran the site through a few tools and surprisingly the performance could use some improvement. Some of it has to do with the beautiful photos of the facilities and local surroundings. For the content, it has everything that I’d be looking for in a hotel site. They’ve obviously taken a lot of time in developing the content. The photography and the copy are consistent on the site, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
On mobile, the Check Availability and telephone number are within thumbs reach. It would be good to add a directions link under the phone number instead of having to scroll down to the map. Check out my post on the Book Now button.
For the most part, they’ve done a fantastic job with their digital presence. Just based on the show, brand-wise it is right on point.
There are a few things I’d like to see addressed:
- The navigation menus on the site are too much. There are too many choices for someone to easily journey through the site. This is going to take some work to create a new information architecture, however, it is well worth it.
- Tweak some of the colors used for better contrast.
- With lists, add some sort of character like a bullet.
- Check the spacing on the tablet and mobile breakpoints.
- There is an Access Statement on the site that explains the physical environment. Add a digital version of this while working on improving any site accessibility issues.
- The most important thing I’d like to see added is the story about the owners and managers. The television show showed how warm and wonderful these people are yet it is missing from the site.
- Oh, and fix the broken links. Instagram, The Greedy Cow, there could be more.
- Also, add the Twitter link.
- Add any other press that is recent.
- Check the script its trying to load that Chrome is blocking.
Summary: I really enjoyed the show, the hotel looks amazing, the digital experience goes well with what was shown on the show. Missing is the personality of the owners and managers on the site. Improve the guest's journey through the site.
The Hotel Inspector
If you haven’t seen The Hotel Inspector you’re in for a treat. It’s not an overly dramatic American reality show, it is a UK observational documentary. They certainly come across some quirky hotel owners however it builds a nice story, has a little drama, but then gets the job done. Hotelier Alex Polizzi is called in to fix failing or floundering businesses. Her no-nonsense approach to getting it done can be taken to heart in any business.
Everything is about the guest experience. The show deals with the physical aspects of the experience, only referring to the digital experience very briefly. Granted I’ve only seen episodes that are available on Youtube but I’m going to run with it anyway. If Alex has discussed the digital experience more in-depth I’d love to be able to see it.
My focus is on the digital and how the physical ties into it to make a cohesive experience. In that vein, I’m going to do some quick audits and observations of the digital experiences of some of the hotels tied to the show.
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