How to Make Music Work For Your Hotel

Record Player

As a hotelier, your biggest concern is ensuring a great guest experience. Of course, that means providing excellent customer service and five-star amenities, but it also means creating the right atmosphere. People experience things with all of their senses, so ambiance matters. An overwhelming scent or off-putting lighting can tarnish a guest’s impression of your property. And the same goes for music. The right soundtrack has the power to change a person’s mood and influence their behavior, so you should be putting much thought into the music choices at your hotel.

While you should aim for music that reflects who you are, that doesn’t mean you should be playing the same playlist throughout your property. Context is important. What’s appropriate in the lobby is likely not the best choice for the onsite bar or hotel gym. Here are a few tips for choosing the right music for each space in your hotel.

In the lobby

The atmosphere in the lobby, more than any other space, should be a reflection of your brand identity. It’s the first experience a guest will have at your property, so it should set the tone for the rest of their stay. Look for music that expresses who you are. Is your property classic and elegant? An instrumental might be the way to go. Cool and trendy? A contemporary playlist of indie songs is likely more appropriate. If possible, incorporate a few local artists to celebrate your community.

You should also consider the tempo of your musical choices. Weary travelers will appreciate something calm and soothing when they arrive. Slower music will also make any wait times feel shorter and less stressful. 

At your onsite restaurant and bar

Restaurants are dynamic spaces that can change a lot depending on the time of day, and day of the week. You’ll need a few different playlists to meet the varying needs of your restaurant. During the day, fun light tracks will create an upbeat atmosphere without interfering with lunchtime conversation. Happy hour, on the other hand, can be livened up with an energetic playlist of upbeat songs.

Music can also be used to influence behavior. If you’re hoping for patrons to linger (and spend more on drinks) a slower tempo will encourage customers to settle in and take their time. For high turnover, however, stick with fast and loud tracks that will motivate guests to act quickly.

In the gym

When it comes to a gym playlist, your guests need music that will get them in the zone. Typically, that means something energetic, with a good beat. Electronic and pop music are excellent choices for this space. Just remember to use the radio version of the songs you choose and keep the volume at an appropriate level. You’ll likely have guests that will want to listen to their own tunes (with headphones), and blaring background music will make that difficult to do.

In your guest rooms

The music in guest rooms should be entirely under the control of your guests. It’s their space, and you want them to feel comfortable. A bluetooth speaker they can connect to using their smartphone, makes a great addition to any room. Your guests will appreciate being able to bring their personal playlists with them.

Music is a powerful medium, with the ability to affect our experience and behavior. As such, it’s something that shouldn’t go overlooked by hoteliers. Putting together an effective playlist may sound intimidating, but you don’t have to do it yourself. There are several music-curating companies out there, like Soundsuit and Ambie, that have been used by hotels to strengthen their brand identity and improve guest experience.