Date: November 2018

The Carbis Bay Estate provides its guests with a retreat of pure relaxation. This multi-award-winning hotel offers everything: immaculate accommodation and gourmet restaurants; even a luxury spa where guests can sip champagne while looking out to sea.

The Carbis Bay Estate is tucked behind a famous 25-acre Blue Flag beach, with elegance, comfort and luxury at the core of the business. We were asked to design a bespoke website that showcased these aspects of the business through stunning visuals and a smooth, functional website.

A coastal boutique brand

With a constant flow of guests and countless awards, the Carbis Bay Estate is (naturally) expanding. With the recently introduced beach lodges and beach club, a new website was required where the estate could be positioned as one coastal boutique brand.

Subtle luxury

We carried out a brand mapping exercise with the Carbis Bay team to gain more insights into the ways the brand’s tone of voice and identity could evolve. The hotel’s old-world heritage as well as its warmth, grandeur and elegance needed to shine through in an understated way.

Photography brief

A key part of the project was photographing the hotel and new lodges to be sure that the website visuals were strong and engaging. We drew up a separate photography brief for each, to more clearly understand the criteria we needed to fit, which was to capture images that could present the hotel's history and natural beauty. We commissioned and art-directed images of the lodges by photographer Anya Rice, working to showcase the unique details of the estate, such as its proximity to the beach. The results were striking pictures that gave a sense of openness and tranquility.

A new look and feel

Alongside an updated visual identity we identified the image gaps in the existing hotel photography library and created a photography strategy moving forward. We commissioned Kirstin Prisk to fulfill a photography brief with a new vision in mind for the Estate.

User experience

As around 70% of users would be accessing the site from either a tablet or mobile, we had to make sure it was optimised for smaller devices to create a high-quality user experience. With this in mind, we opted for app-style navigation, with the back buttons at the top of pages and a burger navigation button to keep the menu space-efficient and neat. We kept the most important features (opening times and restaurant menus) at the top of the pages, making sure that the booking widget would always be easily useable across desktop, tablet and mobile.

Simple design

A theme of simplicity runs throughout the website, from the design to the copy, with short headings like ‘get married’ and ‘stay’ evoking a contemporary feel. The fewer words, the better, in this case; providing space for photography to tell the story of the place. Rather than having various different websites for the new additions to the hotel, each strand of the business forms part of the overarching Carbis Bay Estate, giving the user a sense of flow between the quality of the spa and the look and feel of the newly integrated lodges and beach club.

The website

The result was a sleek and sophisticated website that exudes the warmth and comfort of the Carbis Bay Estate, showing potential guests that they can expect a luxurious stay in naturally beautiful surroundings.