Frog Feet and Freshly-Squeezed Orange Juice

We were struggling with the color palette for El Castillo’s website. As unusual as it sounds, the color of Costa Rican frog feet and fresh-squeezed orange juice were solutions to the problem!

We purchased El Castillo (“The Castle” in English), a luxury boutique hotel in South Pacific Costa Rica, on July 17, 2015. Soon after, the race was on to build the best hotel website on the planet in just two months. Oh – and we were going to do this on our own without any assistance from an outside web design firm. On October 6, we breathed a sigh of relief as we launched our new photo-centric website – it had been a crazy couple months. The color palette was decent for a rushed website, but we knew it would require a revisit later when we regained our creative energy.

Recently we decided to take another run at it. The existing colors were actually quite fun, but not reflective of the warm luxury feel of El Castillo. So we applied some classy colors traditionally associated with luxury. The results were disappointing. It made the hotel feel stuffy – and, El Castillo is anything but stuffy.

We longed for a color palette that accentuated the magical attributes of El Castillo – elegant, “jungly”, warm, friendly, and adventurous. My son-in-law Josh suggested that we search for rich tropical colors on the hotel grounds. He picked the green color in our logo from a native Costa Rican plant. The luxurious brown color on our website was the exact shade of a Costa Rican’s frog foot and the orange was taken from the orange juice that we serve every morning for breakfast The remainder of the palette came from the resort too (see the graphic below.)

To be honest, we did not create the best hotel website on the planet; that was wishful thinking. However, we did develop a fascinating one-of-a-kind color palette that you will not find anywhere in the word. And best of all, we truly captured the magic of El Castillo.

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