Mardan Palace is amongst the world’s most opulent hotels and is located in Antalya, southern Turkey. It opened on 23 May 2009, following an estimated build cost of U$1.4 billion. A mandatory condition for me leading the website project was that I had to fly to Turkey to experience the hotel first hand, meet the hospitality team for a thorough briefing, hold a content workshop, and do some sightseeing. That wasn’t hard to resist.
The hotel attracted global media interest, not only due to its price tag, but also because Mariah Carey sang for the firework-filled opening ceremony, attended by fellow celebrities Paris Hilton, Richard Gere, Sharon Stone, Tom Jones, Seal, Kendall Jenner and Monica Bellucci. The website statistics for its first month was over 5 million page views from 177 countries.
From a website and branding perspective, the requirement was very clear – it had to reflect the height of luxury and sophistication, with exceptional attention to detail, and for the website to feel like an experience in itself. I was heading up interactive development work for Brash Brands, who received an International Design Award for the project.
The creative process and my role
I was responsible for every aspect of the website’s strategy, design and build. This included:
1. Specification of the website’s requirements and costs, after liaising with the client. My project planning then defined the nature of the work, and expectations from all client and agency team members.
2. Facilitation of the website strategy and content strategy with the hotel’s marketing team, whilst in Antalya, Turkey.
3. Collaboration amongst the Creative Director, Copywriter and Photographer within Brash Brands, to complete the website design and storyboards of its refined animations, and to produce all assets for the project.
4. Sourcing a website developer capable of delivering the level of finesse required, and liaising with the client and their technology team throughout Quality Assurance to deliver the final website to the required standard.
Development team and technologies
A core team of five collaborated to create this web project. It included a Creative Director, Copywriter, Photographer, Web Developer and myself. The website was built using Adobe Flash in 2009, in order to achieve the finesse and interaction flow.
Due to the demise of Adobe Flash in 2010, the Mardan Palace website has since been updated, and had booking system capability added.