Menai Holidays

Menai Holidays is a family-run holiday cottage agency with a portfolio of 440 cottages located across North Wales, from quaint retreats to modern beachside pads. Possessing an extensive knowledge of North Wales acquired over 18 years, the team at Menai Holidays are passionate about delivering a unique and high-quality experience for all guests.

The Challenge

The requirement was to re-design and build the website for Menai Cottages, ensuring it was full of character and the same family values the Menai brand is known for. Menai also required two brand-new additions, Menai Explore and My Menai. The project was essentially three websites in one.

Menai Holidays placed great importance on retaining the core elements of their recognisable brand identity whilst also looking to refresh their colour palette, typography and iconography. It was imperative for the new website to present the quirky and outdoorsy nature of the company. Moreover, it was essential for their core values and traits – trust, passion, friendliness, and a dedication to providing a high-quality experience – to be portrayed via the refreshed design.

Menai Holidays Beach Scenic Shot
Menai Holidays Surfer Scenic Shot
Menai Holidays, Menai Explore & My Menai Website Designs

Research Phase

The project commenced with an extensive research phase enabling us to understand Menai Holidays’ aims, objectives and the competitive landscape. We participated in a workshop exercise, whereby key members of the design and technical teams at CSI Media collaborated with Menai to map out everything that the website needed to achieve on multiple fronts; functionality, content management and user experience. We audited the current website, evaluating its positives and potential improvements, and also reviewed competitor websites, analysing what they did well and where we could diversify.

Research indicated that 50% of users were return users and, therefore, it was important to retain key elements of the current design for brand familiarity, onboarding and ease-of-use for Menai’s more 'mature' demographic.

Menai Holidays Mobile Responsive Web Design
Menai Cottages Responsive Web Design on Phone, Tablet & Desktop

Design Phase

From print design and brand identity to user interface – there were many considerations during the design process to ensure that the online and offline communications deliver a cohesive message. Initially, we developed wireframe prototypes and presented these to the team at Menai Holidays. From then on, we worked very closely with the team ensuring that each touch point would deliver an optimal user experience for the target audience.

Menai Holidays Responsive Web Design

By working closely with the team at Menai, we were able to design and develop a solution that effectively meets each of Menai’s requirements, and integrates the three features…

Menai Cottages

Menai Holidays required a new, engaging digital experience that would encourage users to book cottage breaks via the ‘Menai Cottages’ section. The system build includes the following functional and content management capabilities:

  • A nightly import of new cottages from the client’s booking management system
  • An hourly import of cottage availabilities into a cache table within our platform from the client’s booking management system for querying on the website’s front-end search facilities
  • API connections to the client’s booking management system for retrieving live pricing and availability to support the booking process
  • Creation of membership accounts during the booking flow for access to manage the booking system
  • Simple three-stage booking process with the ability to add property extras
  • API connection to the client’s booking management system to pass booking data into their internal system
  • Mailchimp newsletter signup integration
  • Radius search based on the geolocation of the cottage to identify nearby attractions
  • Bespoke open street map implementation to plot the cottages and explore products
Menai Holidays Website Design

Explore North Wales

The first new addition was to create an online guide of everything North Wales known as ‘Explore North Wales’. The Menai team have a wealth of local knowledge to share with their customers and how they can make the most of their time in North Wales - from beautiful beaches and scenic hikes to alpine rollercoasters and surfing - it was our job to get that knowledge to them. The build included:

  • Bespoke availability creator for adding event schedules
  • Bespoke database tables for storing the product data for ease of export and creating efficient search results
  • Search results with customisable filters
Menai Explore Responsive Web Design
Menai Explore Responsive Web Design Mobile


The second new addition was to develop a customer login area known as ‘MyMenai’. The idea is to enable users to enhance their experience further with several features such as; managing bookings, finding nearby attractions and saving their favourite activities/cottages. The build included:

  • Syncing membership records between our CMS platform and the client’s booking management system
  • API to retrieve bookings made by customer from the client’s booking management system
  • Display of events occurring nearby during the booking
  • Ability to make additional payments on the booking
  • API to retrieve welcome packs regarding the booking from the client’s booking management system such as directions, address of property, Wi-Fi codes, etc.
  • Ability to buy upsells/extras related to the booking
MyMenai Responsive Web Design on Mobile and Desktop

Brand Guidelines

As part of the project, we also created brand guidelines ensuring that all marketing communications deliver a consistent look and feel. This helps to build a strong 'Menai' brand image.

Menai Holidays Brand Guidelines