Best Practices
Posted By leonardo

Background videos for hotel websites: what you need to know and recommended sites

Visual content is essential to your hotel website. A picture sells a thousand room nights, and a video can do even more. Use videos on your hotel’s homepage to truly capture the essence of your property.

Videos make a big impact. They go a long way to making your hotel’s site memorable during the early “discovery” phase, when guests are just shopping around and visiting many websites.

“Background videos” are a type of video you’ve probably seen around the web. They play automatically without sound. They’re designed to draw a visitor in without distracting them from the shopping experience.

Good video marketing can increase your conversion rate by up to 80%. But there are some key things to remember when planning your hotel video. Consider what you want to show and how you show it. Some best practices for background videos for your hotels:

  • Use drone shots of your property and its surroundings
  • Sweeping shots of rooms
  • Footage of key amenities (pool, lobby, restaurants)
  • Stay under 40 seconds
  • Loop back around to the beginning

Background videos should not:

  • Be explainers with text or voice overs
  • Be too splash-y with lots of footage that changes quickly.
  • Use stock footage

Plan for a video that can be understood and enjoyed without sound as part of the overall website experience. You’ll also want to keep the focal point of the video in the center of the shot, to ensure the video looks good in all sizes when viewed on different devices.

To maximize video display on your website, you’ll need a video hosting specialist outside of the website itself that has created the player and handles playing and optimizing the content.

Based on our experience, here are the best hosting options for background videos:


The most common video platform now does background videos. The advantage (depending on how you look at it) of using YouTube is that they are a social platform themselves. This means your video may be found in regular search. Or you can make the video “unlisted” to avoid this.

The major downside: Youtube is free, and to make money they may display ads before or after your video. Their video player is not customizable and will display Youtube around it.


Vimeo is a premium video-hosting platform. Their free accounts allow basic video hosting for files under 500MB. The free account does not have ads, but is limited to 2 uploads per month, and 25 total. Similar to Youtube, Vimeo is not a white-label product, so there are only limited modifications that can be made to the look and design of the video player itself.


While YouTube and Vimeo are primarily video hosting platforms that allow you to search and view videos on their sites, Wistia is a platform specifically for marketers looking to embed videos on their sites.

Wistia allows you to customize the player to match your brand, and has more back-end analytics. The free tier lets you upload up to 10 videos.


Streamable allows users to upload videos and do some basic editing in their app, including resizing. They also claim to have the fastest upload time while still retaining HD display.

Their free tier only keeps the videos up for 90 days and includes ads. Their video player is very streamlined and simple. has a lightweight video player with extensive in-app editing abilities. They do not have a free tier, but their basic $5/mo plan includes 100gb of storage (rather than limiting by video count) and unlimited embeds.


SproutVideo also lets hotels change the branding of their video and has their own video analytics dashboard. They also do not have a free tier, but their $10/mo plan also includes 100 GB of storage and unlimited embeds.

Putting a background video on your website can be tricky for non-technical hoteliers. Leonardo’s hotel website solutions makes it easy to integrate video into your homepage and hero image because we handle the tricky parts for you.

Leonardo is the leading expert on the importance of visual media in the hotel industry. We distribute media for 50,000+ hotels to every leading travel channel. We also help them improve the visual content on their direct channels, via beautiful bespoke and templated websites.

To learn more about how we help hotels look better and acquire more guests, contact us for a demo.