The Palace is a relatively simple yet attractive WordPress hotel theme, available from the ThemeForest site. It’s particularly notable for its price, which is significantly lower than that of most equivalent themes.
There have been some compromises made in return for this low price: the theme is not marketed as being fully responsive, and it’s not “retina ready” for high-resolution mobile devices. As a result, it does have a bit of a “last generation” feel. However, it’s elegant and attractive, and nothing a small business should feel ashamed to have as a web presence.
Please note that (at the time of writing), ThemeForest also refer to this theme as “The Place” which appears to be a typo.
Resident Designer’s Opinion
“The Palace theme’s design falls somewhere between the current trend for full-page slider-style travel sites and more traditional hotel sites. Although the theme demo shows the layout being used for beach resorts, I feel it’s more appropriate as a theme for country-house style hotels, or perhaps country wedding venues.
Attractive though the theme is, it’s perhaps not the best choice for mobile use. Designers who think that plenty of people will browse to their site using mobile devices may prefer to opt for a responsive and retina-ready theme.”
The Palace theme’s home page layouts feature a prominent primary image. You can choose between a static homepage, and one that incorporates a slider to rotate multiple images.
The pages intended to showcase hotel rooms are very attractive, and reduce the size of the main header image to allow for more detail “above the fold.”
The theme incorporates a reservation form, which includes calendars and “live validation.”
The Palace theme also includes a gallery layout. It’s attractive enough, but ultimately rather simple.
There is also basic news and blog functionality available:
There’s also a page layout for full width text with a range of column options.
The demo of The Palace theme has little else to show. There are seven colour variations for the main theme content, and it’s possible to change the background colour exactly as needed, but what you see here is pretty much what you get!
Here is ThemeForest’s list of features for The Palace theme:
- Unique and creative design
- 2 homepage versions (hotel & business)
- 12 XHTML pages
- Full width slider
- Working Ajax/PHP reservation form with live validation
- Working Ajax/PHP contact form with live validation
- Unlimited background color
- 7 color variations
- Super-fish drop-down menu
- Clean and well-commented code
- PSD files included
- Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict & CSS
12 XHTML pages:
1. Homepage (with a full-width slider, a package slider, a testimonial slider, a side reservation form…)
2. Classic homepage (homepage without hotel-related stuff)
3. Static homepage (homepage with a big image – no slider)
4. Elements (page with a lot of elements: buttons, lists, headings, form elements, table)
5. Rooms (a page with a list of rooms)
6. Room (a page to showcase a room)
7. Reservation (reservation page with calendars, live validation, ajax…)
8. News (right sidebar – there is a slider on this page – it’s just an example you can remove it or put a slider on other pages)
9. Gallery (a page with prettyPhoto integrated)
10. Location (with a big google map)
11. Contact (live validation and ajax)
12. Full width page (with columns… a lot of columns…)
The Palace is undoubtedly a bit of a bargain: ThemeForest charge just $17 for a standard licence and $850 for an extended license.
Whether this low price truly represents “value” is rather subjective. Most hotel themes cost between $40 and $55 for a standard licence. Yes, this is more that double the cost of The Palace, but in many cases you get a retina-ready theme with a higher potential level of customisation. Ultimately, it all depends on what you personally need!
If The Palace theme cost the same as most modern hotel themes, we would struggle to recommend it, as it many ways it seems at least half a generation behind the pack in terms of design.
However, at just $17 for a standard licence, you get a very attractive theme that will prove easy to populate and will form a perfectly respectable Web presence. So, if it grabs your eye you should go for it – but it may be a good idea to have a good look at the large choice of rather more modern hotel themes.