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Morgans Hotel Group Relaunches New (Gasp!) User-Friendly Website

March 5, 2009 at 2:11 PM | by | Comment (1)

As the economy gets worse, could it be that Hotel Websites are getting better? Yesterday, we heard music we actually liked on Vikram Chatwal Hotels website and today we peeked in at the newly relaunched Morgans Hotel Group website which has gone from minimalist cool layout with barely discernible text to a colorful, splashy and dare we say, informative and interactive design?

Indeed, the front page is happy and welcoming and actually says a lot more about the hotel's commitment to art and design (including its own interior designers like Marcel Wanders) rather than just putting forth snoozy listing of its hotels and their amenities.

And because this is the company that also brought us the "Recess Is On" promotion, current deals and offers are also promoted on the front page like the Stay Big packages, available in different cities.

Going deeper into the site is equally rewarding as well. Clicking on an individual hotel property takes you to a new page full of oversized photography and room descriptions in large fonts but thankfully, minimal flash. (We love video tours and everything but at our own clicking discretion please.)

And with gloomy days in the near and far forecast for the hospitality industry, MHG is not taking any chances with their new online reservations system. Booking is easier to navigate as, again, the text and calendar dates are listed in large font. Plus, prices pop up readily for all different room categories. It's quite a refreshing experience actually--partly because we can pull up dates and rates easily and partly because the big and bright design feels like Morgans Hotels--the pioneers of "cooler than thou" hospitality--actually want us to stay with them.

Lastly, a large part of the redesign is spotlighting the hotel collection's partnership with UrbanDaddy to create The List, a comprehensive guide to the city you will be visiting. For instance, The List's Los Angeles page lists Must-See events, restaurants and bars to try and places to shop. And of course, the Mondrian LA's SkyBar and Asia de Cuba restaurant get top billing.

Still, this is a major improvement for Morgans Hotel Group. Looks like the recession might be tearing down the style before service mentality that was pervasive in boutique hotels. What do you think?

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while on the topic

Will the Wynn website please shut up?! If I want Steve Wynn to tell me about his hotel, then I'll freaking ask him.

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