A new hotel brand with an old soul

Graduate Hotels is a growing collection of eclectic hotels set in historic American college towns and inspired by a mid-century, academic aesthetic. They celebrate the youthful optimism of university life and cultivate a spirit that thoughtfully aligns each hotel within its respective cultural narrative.

The Wallop team has been working with the parent company, AJCP for over 5 years. This was our biggest collaboration, and one that we continue to manage and expand services on.

Graduate hotel branded notebook and pencil on gold table in room with bold decor
Two double beds in a Graduate hotel room either side of a vintage cabinet and dial phone

The Challenge

Wallop rolled out the digital facing part of the brand that told the story of their properties against the backdrop of the web. We developed a website framework that simplified the growth of their collection, allowing the personality of each property to be represented within the constructs of the brand. Graduate would go on to use our framework to great effect as the company continued to develop.

As the years passed and the properties came of age, its website gracefully approached the twilight of its life. Like a long-loved pair of university loafers, Graduate had finally outgrown the look and capability of its website.

In 2016, Wallop was tasked with the revamp of its web presence. The assignment was clear: bring the look and feel of Graduate into today’s mobile friendly, modern web.

More recently, our job has been to build a scalable solution to accommodate the explosive growth of the business as it expanded from a handful of hotels to over 20. We needed to make Graduate look like a freshman again.

Photo of a Graduate hotel lobby from above

The Results

We went back to the drawing board and pivoted from our initial strategy of individual, standalone websites to a single parent website with child properties. It was a large undertaking, not without its challenges.

Skeuomorphic design was a prominent feature in the brand’s visual language. To keep with the times we stripped away the old textural, textbook feel in favour of a breathable, dynamic aesthetic. Content areas were paired down to only essential information and coupled with unique, interactive structures.

A focus on the new breadth of the collection now allows users to effortlessly move between each unique property. On top of it all, a muscular mobile experience allows it all to happen on the go.

While this was a very heavy website, speed was at the top of our agenda. Consequently, we implemented a series of technical enhancements to improve loading speeds. As a result, the website earned high marks for speed and optimization and provided a boost to the digital marketing strategy.

Our relationship with Graduate Hotels continues to grow, and we work alongside the team to support its extraordinary growth and expansion into new markets.

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