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Marriott Resort's Wentworth by the Sea web site released.

2006.06.26 Wentworth by the Sea is a AAA, Four Diamond, Marriott Hotel & Spa overlooking Little Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean in New Castle, New Hampshire. Since 1874, the Wentworth by the Sea has stood as a landmark hotel commanding postcard-perfect views of the waterfront. Reopened in 2003 after a spectacular renovation and expansion, the hotel is named "Grandest of the Grand" hotels by USA Today and is once again one of the Grand Destinations on the East Coast.

Challenge:
Stickstone Design was approached for a luxury hotel design that would rise to the reputation of this historic Marriott Hotel & Spa. A luxurious sense of tradition and history needed to be communicated through the look & feel of the Resort's web site, while maintaining a clean, newly renovated, and classy look. As with most Luxury Hotel web sites, the end goal was to not only show off the property, but to drive online reservations. The site should be maintained and easily updated by non-technical staff with limited knowledge of HTML and Web Standards. Finally, the client had a desire for the site to Search Engine friendly and "Web Accessible", meaning that the site should be viewable to those with physical disabilities and/or technical disadvantages.

Solution:
Fantastic professional photographs showcase the property throughout the site. A large flash-animated slideshow showcases the best property images on the home page. The feel of the hotel is carried through the interior pages with flash animated image pans. This also helps to draw attention to the reservation forms (found just underneath) which are accessible on almost every page of the site in effort to drive conversion with online bookings.

The light colors of the property (white and beige) are pulled into the design and accented with a touch of Marriott Red" in the footer and buttons. A traditional and subtle, beige background pattern helps bring a sense of history to the layout. This low-contrast color palette is a commonly used approach to bring an upscale, luxury feel to many designs. Shiny navigation bars and buttons communicate that the property is new - in the sense of a renovation. Finally, gold is used in the logo and carried throughout the site in web links to help reinforce the "richness" of the property. (The Mercedes parked outside the hotel in the home page image doesn't hurt either).

To make the site easy to update by Hotel and Property Management staff, Adobe® Contribute® CS3 was implemented to enable these content authors to quickly and easily update the site while maintaining site integrity - with no technical expertise required.

To make the site Web Accessible, the site was developed using common Web Accessibility development techniques, W3C standards in XHTML and CSS, and naturally Search Engine Optimized.

Technology Used:
W3C valid XHTML & CSS, PHP, Flash, Natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Adobe® Contribute® CS3

Please note: The client has since maintained the site themselves and may no longer be in the same state it was originally provided. As a result, the site may not look the same as intended and the code (XHTML & CSS) may no longer validate as it had at the time of launch.

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