How Hotels Can Create a Great Lobby Ambiance with Awesome Tunes

FSD Staff

The experience your guests enjoy at the hotel lobby can make a huge difference. From how guests are welcomed to the lobby ambiance, every aspect of the experience will determine if they will be loyal or one-time customers.

The best way to improve your guests’ experience at the hotel lobby is to appeal to their senses by leveraging awesome scents, stylish décor, enchanting lighting, and beautiful designs.

Background music is another nifty tool hoteliers can use to create rave-worthy lobby ambiance and keep guests entertained before they disappear into their rooms.

Right tunes can build a strong brand identity for the hotel.  It can persuade customers to stay longer as well as boost bookings, revenue, and guest loyalty.

Besides offering superb customer experience, here are 5 tips and tricks hotels should leverage to create an amazing lobby ambiance with background music.

(1) Use Tunes that Accentuate your Hotel’s Brand Image and Identity

Music is an incredibly powerful tool. If used correctly and creatively, it can help hotels create an emotional connection with their guests. In that way, background music becomes yet another important touch-point with the guests.

It also provides hotels with an opportunity to effectively communicate their core values and beliefs. After all, 46 percent of managers agree that entertaining customers with music tell a lot about their brand, according to DJS Research.

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As such, hotels should use tunes that best represent their brand identity and boost brand image.

For instance, if your hotel brand appeals mostly to older guests, there’s no point in blasting them at the lobby with new-generation or upbeat dance music. Instead, you should play smooth tunes with old-timey lyrics, rhythm, and melody.

Likewise, if you cater to predominantly couples or honeymooners, playing the music that creates a romantic lobby atmosphere will help bolster your brand image.

The bottom line is that you need to understand the ins and outs of your typical guests, and what makes them tick. With this in mind, you can pick tunes that mirror the exact ambiance or atmosphere you want to create for your guests at the lobby, and across the entire hotel.

Like in culinary preferences, your guests have a specific taste in music. And there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to this.

It’s a no-brainer. If you get your lobby playlist wrong, this can terribly disrupt the experience you offer your guests. Just check out the volume of bad reviews guests leave on TripAdvisor, complaining about the poor choice of music some hotels make.

(2) Allow Guest to Personalize the Music Playlist

It might seem like an odd thing at first, but enhancing the guest experience is all about personal touches. In today’s world of instant everything, guests like all consumers prefer a personalized experience.

Music is an effective way to offer your guests a personal touch. But what could be more personal than allowing them to choose what they want to listen to?

This approach may work best for their in-room music, but it can also work like a charm for the hotel lobby if you do it right. Don’t pick just any guest; go for repeat customers.

You don’t have to play their specific songs. You can just focus on their favorite DJs, genres, and other aspects of the tunes.

If you want to take it up a notch, set up the playlist that each guest’s favorite music or playlists play when they are checking in.

Note, however, that this tactic may not work for all types of hotels, especially highly trafficked locations that cater to all guest personas.

(3) Songs with Slow, Repetitive Lyrics are your BFF

Catchy tunes are everyone’s favorite because they are instantly familiar, easy to follow, and remarkably entertaining. They will resonate effortlessly from mind to mind, transforming the entire lobby ambiance. But what makes a tune catchy?

It’s been known that a catchy song integrates at least one of the following three elements: alliteration, hooks, and repetition. Familiar and simple lyrics may also help, as reflected by this comprehensive book.

Well, because you’re not a musician, the next best thing is to go for tunes with slow, repetitive lyrics. These songs are not only entertaining but can build lots of buzz for your hotel brand.

How so? As explained in this article appearing in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, an average person digests repetitive lyrics faster and more eloquently than complicated ones.

Once you know what genres resonate well with your typical guests, take your time to build a great playlist containing mostly tunes with these catchy song lyrics. Don’t forget to blend music from different artists to create a variety and appeal to as many guests as possible.

(4) Consider the Local Music Scene, Artists, and Culture

Your hotel is an integral part of the community in which you are located. And the type of tunes you play at the hotel lobby says a great deal about your connection to that community.

Generally, people love socially-responsible hotels, the ones that uplift and add character to their communities. Lucky for you, music is an excellent way to shed some spotlight on the unique local culture.

In light of that, you should include some local tunes and showcase local artists in your lobby playlist. This will not only highlight local talents but also create a sense of belonging for the guests, right from the lobby.

(5) Be Flexible and Adaptive

As a hotel that accepts walk-ins, you have no idea who might walk through the entrance. Like everything in the hospitality space, things at your hotel can change out of the blue.

You may be serving mostly business travelers, the next thing you know loud sports teams and their fans become your mainstay customers.

In these unpredictable situations, you need to be adaptive and anticipative when it comes to your lobby ambiance. Changing your tunes accordingly is the most effective way to create an ambiance that best fits the expectation of your new guests.

More importantly, have a playlist ready for every unexpected moment, and for every guest profile.


If the music you play at the hotel lobby doesn’t add to the guest experience, you need to rethink your approach.

Create your lobby playlist based on how you want it to reflect on your hotel’s brand identity. If possible, let guests personalize the playlist, but more importantly, tailor the music to match different atmospheres.

Depending on the location of your hotel, it’s important to highlight some local talents and their music in order to instill a sense of community in your guests.

Author bio: Marina Turea works as content manager at Digital Authority Partners

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