The Chester Hotel, a major redevelopment of a landmark hotel on Aberdeen's prestigious Queens Road, opened in March 2014. The luxurious hotel offers stylish guest rooms, conference and wedding venues, a fine dining restaurant, lounge bar and spa treatment rooms.
Web Foundry were approached by the client following our successful work on the website of the property's sister hotel, The Chester Residence in Edinburgh. The main objectives on this occasion were to position the hotel as Aberdeen's premier, luxury boutique hotel and capture a significant share of the local event market, in particular weddings and leisure breaks. The message of the site was key - to promote the luxurious and high quality facilities on offer. To do this, we focussed on a visually impactful design, built around lots of high quality images. The look also had to be clean and contemporary and reflect the existing branding.
Web Foundry designed a bespoke theme and built the custom template using the latest Joomla 3.2 CMS. The template is fully responsive, both front and backend. This means that end users can view the site in high quality on multiple devices and, in addition, the content can be updated easily by the site administrators using a mobile phone or tablet. We also installed several Joomla extensions to add interactivity to the site including YooTheme's Widgetkit for imagery, a custom styled Google Map, and an integrated booking engine. The main public areas and bedrooms feature immersive 360 degree panoramas, a service provided by Web Foundry.
The high volume of content is well organised in the CMS, with the implementation of a "mega menu" to make navigation easy and intuitive for the end user.
The website and the hotel were developed simultaneously. Web Foundry were involved from the outset of the project and witnessed the interior style of the hotel emerge, providing great inspiration for our designers. Colours and patterns in the hotel are evident in the final design and the website has truly become an extension of the physical hotel in terms of its mood and characteristics. Meetings were held in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and throughout the project all stakeholders were engaged including directors, managers and head chef. As Web Foundry is some 130 miles away from client operations we also used an array of collaborative online tools such as Basecamp (project management), Box (image sharing), Skype and join.me (a screen sharing application) for short meetings and training sessions. We also provided customised Joomla training manuals.
The website launched in July 2014. Watch this space...