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Warner Leisure Hotels

A booking site for all devices

Year founded

Warner Leisure Hotels (WLH) specialise in UK short activity breaks just for grown-ups. The regional chain operates fourteen hotels across the UK, ranging from manor houses to coastal resorts and quaint villages.

WLH had identified areas for improvement with its booking engine; the site was not optimised for all devices, and the booking process was slow. Concerned that the site wasn’t providing an optimal customer experience, and that it was missing out on potential revenue, the WLH team turned to Dept to help them. Dept has worked with Warner Leisure Hotels for a number of years and, as part of its digital roadmap, took on the task to reinvent its old booking site to create a scalable and agile platform for its users.

New build for a better reach

With customer experience being at the heart of Warner Leisure’s strategy, it identified the need to make the booking of short breaks much easier for its customers. It wanted to simplify the process to create an easy-to-use, seamless guest journey.  Part of this involved improving the appropriate entry points from the main WLH site to the booking site. Increasing conversion on mobile devices was a key objective, so a slick, mobile optimised design was imperative.

As part of the Bourne Leisure Group, WLH needed to ensure its site was maintaining consistency with the rest of the group (Butlin’s and Haven). Dept was tasked to apply the same Application Programming Interface (API) that was built by Bourne to the new WLH booking site. The new API communicates with the Seaware reservation system that underpins the booking engines for each Bourne Leisure brand.


introducing wlh customers to a seamless and agile booking experience

A step-by-step guide for your perfect break

Both the discovery and design phases had been completed independently by Warner with the findings shared with Dept during the technical discovery phase. Dept was responsible for building a series of mobile-optimised components and pages to enable flexibility and choice for guests throughout the booking process. With the new booking site, guests can now search and compare rooms and break options, make dinner reservations or even book ferry. A new ‘My Account’ section enables them to revisit their bookings and make amends before their break.

Technology solution: SDL Tridion Sites

Dept has previously worked with WLH on technical architecture and development and migration from SDL Tridion SP13 to SDL Tridion Sites 8.

For this project, Dept utilised React client side (JavaScript library for building user interfaces), SDL Tridion to manage labels, setting and content, and .NET site to serve the content from Tridion.

The development of the booking site was fully carried out by Dept, front/back end development, quality assurance, project and technical management.

Dept also made some changes to the main Warner Leisure Hotels website, to ensure it was compatible with the new booking site. The technical team amended widgets on the homepage and the search, to ensure the existing entry points were redirected from the old booking engine.


Responsive, adaptable and easy-to-use booking process

Warner Leisure Hotels was able to successfully implement a new booking experience with the help of Dept. We implemented a technical solution that has resulted in a responsive booking site and improved user journey. The site has been designed to guide guests through a seamless booking process, regardless of device, and opened up numerous opportunities for them to explore options and additions to their breaks.

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