Hersha Hospitality Management
Capturing the history, culture and spirit of an iconic New York property against the clock

The Challenge

The Tillary Hotel is an effortlessly chic New York property Imbued with the personality of its colorful Brooklyn surroundings. New ownership led to a requirement for a new direct website after a lengthy COVID-related closure. The owner’s ambition was fueled by a blend of operational urgency to start trading and a desire to effectively celebrate the local ‘vibe’ that made The Tillary such an attractive place to stay.  Our challenge was therefore twofold; to communicate the deep-rooted connection The Tillary has with the local fashionable Brooklyn community and deliver the project against a significantly accelerated schedule.  

To achieve the first of our tasks, we created a concept design that balanced the modern sophistication of one of New York’s most artistic communities with the classic elegance of its famous late 19th Century Brownstone architecture. As we developed this, we carefully weaved a narrative of Brooklyn into every page. Images, copy, graphics and typography were created to echo the neighborhood itself. To develop this idea further, we included a series of wholly bespoke interactive walking maps in our plans.  Beyond aesthetics, an effective user experience was critical to success.  A website that was not easy to navigate or did not effectively answer guest questions would be considered a failure. Having been closed for an extended period, our goal, from the outset, was to have an immediate positive effect on The Tillary’s occupancy and revenue performance. 


Bringing Brooklyn Alive 

Nestled in a hugely hip neighborhood, The Tillary brims with modern 21st Century sophistication. It also has a legacy dating back to the elegance of the 1850s. Our design challenge became to seamlessly combine these potentially conflicting elements; old and new, past and present.   Our solution was to reject existing tropes and familiar design elements.  There is only one Tillary Hotel. The experience of visiting it is unique. Our website had to deliver a direct digital equivalent. Our design activity therefore focused on creating a mirror of the real experience of visiting both The Tillary and the corner of Brooklyn it calls home. 

This was an ambitious objective given the project schedule was shortened to just seven weeks.  We started by adopting the hotel’s revamped “T” logo as a core design element. We used it as a background across the site. We developed bespoke art-deco motifs and used an old-world color palette that captured the hotel’s historical charm. However, the Tillary also demanded modernity. We employed the latest web design techniques such as a full page menu, clear homepage segmentation and intelligent interactivity. In this way, we married the hotel’s past with an eye on the future. 

The shortened schedule necessitated a particularly proactive and confident approach to project management and client communication. At each step, we made sure the client was aware of all our gated decision requirements and had all the information they needed in good time to give us the instruction we required.

Our numbers

$555,000 Of New Direct Revenue 

The Tillary’s new site tripled initial revenue estimates within 3.5 months

The new site increased conversion by 77% compared to The Tillary’s previous website. It also ranked in the Top 10 search engine result positions for over 105 keywords. 40 of these were in Top 3 positions.

The Outcome

The new website immediately became a key source of revenue for The Tillary and its new owners. This justified the investment and decision to expedite its design and build. The site tripled initial revenue estimates. 59.8% of the total revenue came from organic and direct channels which, again, is far greater than originally anticipated. The significant financial success of the website project meant The Tillary management was able to scale back planned paid digital advertising, providing additional savings.  The design, functionality and strategic positioning of The Tillary’s website significantly exceeded both the client requirements and our expectations. 

The outcome of The Tillary project stands as a testament to the power of blending carefully considered design and visuals with the latest developments in user experience functionality. The combination created a virtual doorway to The Tillary and the community around it. By embodying a space steeped in history and full of modern opportunity, we provided web visitors with more than just information. We created an immersive experience that reached out and beckoned them to Brooklyn. The results  prove this not only worked, but translated directly into bookings and revenue.  

Opening a hotel after a long period of closure is never easy. In the case of The Tillary, it forced us to work at an accelerated pace. The extra effort, however, definitely proved worthwhile. We are incredibly proud to have played a role in The Tillary’s successful resurgence.