The Ritz-Carlton hotel group is officially launching its new website today with a somewhat surprising decision to forego experiential travel content.
Other luxury hospitality brands targeting the same luxury travel consumer — including Four Seasons, Peninsula and St. Regis — have all produced a large editorial canvas of online travel-related stories, designed to position their properties as destination-specific travel experiences.
One new and somewhat innovative element of Ritz-Carlton’s reworked site includes half a dozen user-generated Instagram photos on each property’s landing page, as well as the homepage.
The imagery adds a bit of authentic destination content to provide color around the hotel and immediate region. Although, hotel companies like The Standard did the same thing years ago.
The Ritz-Carlton UX
The website user interface is seamless and intuitive, both on desktop and mobile, and it’s very easy to move to all of the individual hotels and resorts. Users can also navigate through the website via eight different vacation themes, ranging from golf to wellness.
However, when you do access the property pages, the edit is strikingly conservative and tepid, even by Ritz-Carlton standards, making the user experience short and underwhelming.
“With the Indian Ocean providing a mesmerizing backdrop, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali welcomes guests to this luxury resort’s cliff-top setting in distinctive Balinese fashion – warmly, spiritually and full of new discoveries. For it is here that relaxation, rejuvenation and finding a harmonious balance is easily attained. Experience it on the white sandy beach lapped by calm, gentle waves. Give in to it under the expert hands of our spa therapists. Taste it in the authentic flavors of our resort’s unique restaurants. Then relive each day’s new surprises in luxurious hotel villas and suites as you drift off to sleep soothed by the ocean’s enduring rhythm.”
There is a chance Ritz-Carlton will add more and/or better travel content eventually. But as of now, this is merely a very efficient, attractive, and utilitarian booking engine, which isn’t a bad thing.
It’s just not a very exciting brand experience.