Nothing Lost in Translation | Astelia Lodge

It’s a place to relax for a weekend in luxury digs, enjoying fine dining against an idyllic rural backdrop. Andrew and Mandy Griffith needed a way to accurately translate this boutique bed-and-breakfast experience into a website.

The Challenge

“Being in hospitality is great. We get a kick, a real buzz out of it,” says Andrew Griffith, one half of the husband-and-wife team who run Astelia Lodge near tourist hotspot Rotorua, a luxury B&B that has hosted globe-trotting meteorologists, filmmakers, and even industrial robot designers. Originally from the UK, the Griffiths moved to New Zealand after their own extensive travels with a vision for offering visitors high quality accommodation. By capping the number of visitors at any given time to just four, Astelia Lodge is able to ensure that all guests have an unforgettable stay tailor-made to their interests.

Since most people research and book their holidays online, having a website is a no-brainer. But how do you do justice to such a rich experience on a website? That’s a tall order, one that hasn’t always been easy. To accurately convey the B&B requires the ability to update content, as menus and seasonal activities are an important part of the Astelia Lodge experience. But the original website was difficult to keep current. Updates could only be performed by the site provider, which entailed additional cost each time. The result? “It quickly became aged. It became static over time. There’s nothing worse than coming back to a static website.” The search was on for a new website, one that could be kept up-to-date with a minimum of fuss.
Andrew initially tried out a few other well-known options, but it wasn’t until he came across Rocketspark that he found the right fit for Astelia Lodge. Being a New Zealand-based company was a major asset. He had experimented with offshore website options before, but being able to communicate easily and directly with a local firm has proven to be a big plus for Andrew.

The Outcome

“That cliche word: intuitive,” is how Andrew describes using Rocketspark. The process of developing and maintaining a Rocketspark website has proven straightforward, and Andrew also appreciates that, on the odd occasion where he has needed assistance, Rocketspark is just a phone call away. “It’s great to have somebody at the end of a telephone call or email with a pretty quick response.” Not only has he found it it easy to use, but Andrew has also been really pleased with the site’s format and overall look.
But it’s not how the website looks that matters most; it’s how it makes Astelia Lodge look that really counts. Andrew recalls an American couple that stayed at Astelia Lodge who made special mention of the site, because “their expectations about the B&B itself matched what we’d said on the website, which was great for us.” That’s important, because everyone knows the disappointment that comes when your pre-booked accommodation doesn’t line up with the website. Having a site that captures the essence of Astelia Lodge is crucial, and Rocketspark has allowed them to do that. “It is the exactly the way it looks on the site. There’s no disappointment factor.”
Astelia Lodge’s website is about adequately translating the real-life experience into pixels on a screen so that visitors know what to expect. With Rocketspark, Andrew has found that nothing is lost in the translation. “We’ve been able to build the website so it accurately reflects what we do.”