Resplendent Ceylon is Sri Lanka’s premier boutique, small luxury resort chain. A unique collection of Relais & Châteaux properties, each property uniquely captures the essence of its locale, together creating a luxury trail across different experiences the country has to offer. Ceylon Tea Trails is among the world’s top 1% on TripAdvisor, Cape Weligama is proudly featured among many ‘world’s best’ lists and Wild Coast Tented Lodge, the chain’s newest property is a media darling.
With average room night pricing at USD 500+ and the smaller room inventory available at each property, Resplendent Ceylon needed to optimize their digital distribution and engage potential guests across the decision-making process. The average lead-time for bookings exceeded 100 days and guests typically took 3-4 months of research and consideration in making a booking.
When Antyra first engaged Resplendent Ceylon, each property had an individual website and the parent brand was not deeply connected at the property level from a user discovery perspective.
Our first recommendation was to create Resplendent Ceylon as the parent website and bring each property as a sub-site within the fold. This approach immediately saw a jump in brand discovery as fans of one resort where not immediately aware of the other resorts within the chain. This approach bore immediate fruit with 26% cross-traffic noted between the different hotel brands in the first 3 months.
To portray luxury and the uniqueness of each property, Antyra introduced hand drawn elements, created property specific aesthetic markers and customized the individual home pages of each property. With the ‘home’ of Resplendent’s digital presence firmly established, Antyra launched an omni-channel digital marketing strategy focusing on SEO, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Programmatic Advertising and Content Marketing.
Starting from scratch, each page of the website was considered as an entry point for a specific user journey and a comprehensive SEO strategy was created targeting both generic and brand keywords. This strategy helped Resplendent continuously achieve 1st page rankings (as at October 2018) for competitive keywords such as ‘Luxury Bungalows in Sri Lanka’, ‘Weligama Hotels’, and ‘Sri Lanka Infinity Pool’.
Google Ads are used effectively to protect the brand from other online distribution channels, while growing the brand footprint in key markets. Different ad campaigns and strategies are executed for short-haul and long-haul destinations, taking specific market conditions such as public holidays, summer vacations and similar into account. This targeted approach enabled Antyra to maximize budget utilization and maintain a continuous positive ROI to make Google Ads a viable channel. Social Media advertising and promotions were used in tangent with other marketing channels as a visual medium for pushing specific offers, re-marketing, sharing galleries, videos and page behavior-based engagement.
Antyra worked together with Resplendent Ceylon’s ecommerce team to introduce specific offers and drive room night budgets at the property level while maintaining desired ARR. Antyra’s Guestination booking engine was also specifically customized for Resplendent Ceylon to drive direct conversions, facilitate multi-bungalow trail bookings and create manual invoices. Throughout the years, the booking engine was enhanced based on the observation of customer journey behavior to drive conversions.