Boutique hotel specialists at Mr & Mrs Smith along with Lightmaker Manchester have created an innovative, interactive online Route Planner, to make sure that getting there is half the fun.
Based on the idea of tailor-made, experiential UK road trips, the Smith Route Planner allows you to plot some of the most inspiring motoring routes on the way to your stylish Smith-hotel stay.
It’s a nifty tool that lets you map your own trip from A to B, and select added extras on your route. It draws on Mr & Mrs Smith’s tried-and-tested selection of the best gastro-pubs and restaurants to stop off at, the best sights to see, and the best boutique hotels to bed down in for the night.
Using Microsoft Virtual Earth’s mapping technology, including road data and aerial imagery, Lightmaker Manchester built a number of features into the Route Planner, including the option to avoid motorways and take a more scenic route.
The Virtual Earth map is also overlaid with specially selected information for Smith customers, pinpointing practical pit stops from petrol stations to picnic spots.
Plot your route and the results (including detailed driving directions) can be printed out to use on the road for the trip ahead, or sent as an email so you can invite a companion to enjoy the ride.
The route planner is easy to use, and Smith customers can drag, scroll and zoom in and out of the interactive maps effortlessly. The Virtual Earth map is seamlessly integrated with the Mr & Mrs Smith website, using animation to bring the route planner to life.
“Our challenge was to build a route planner that was easy to use, and as stylish as the rest of our brand. Virtual Earth mapping not only looks great, but is also extremely user-friendly. We thought it offered better coverage than some of its competitors, and the street-level information is incredibly practical,” said Tamara Heber-Percy Director, director at Mr & Mrs Smith.
Vikas Arora, solutions specialist at Microsoft Virtual Earth, said: “Online maps are becoming an increasingly popular and dynamic feature for leisure and travel websites as companies seek new ways to interact with their customers.
“We’re delighted that Mr & Mrs Smith has chosen to integrate Virtual Earth mapping technology to create this original route planner. It’s a great example of how online mapping can be used creatively to enhance the customer relationship, providing a fantastic leisure experience, from the moment they start their car, to their boutique hotel and back.”