Ultimate Guide to Music for Hotels

A hotel experience starts the moment you step over the threshold.

And music for hotels can be crucial when it comes to providing your guests and visitors with a warm welcome.

Whether you offer a classic hotel experience or operate a small hostel for backpackers, the music you choose to play can be an important part of the impression you give of your brand.

From hotel lobby music to the music played in 5-star hotels, the soundtrack can help attract guests, make them feel comfortable in their environment and ensure they return for another visit in the future.

According to research, music can have a positive impact on influencing people’s mood, by enhancing happiness and reducing stress and can be used to enhance the different spaces within a hotel.

Your Guide to the Music for Hotels

As part of our ultimate guide to providing the best music for hotels, we’ll answer the essential questions below.

  • Are hotels allowed to play music?
  • How much is a music licence for a hotel?
  • What is the best music for a hotel?
  • What music do hotels play?
  • What’s the best music to play in a hotel?

We’ll also provide you with an overview of how Open Ear’s expert team can help you discover the best recipe for success when designing hotels with music entertainment.

Get in touch with our expert team to find out more and start your free trial.


Are Hotels Allowed to Play Music?

Yes, of course, music for hotels can be an essential part of a hotel’s ambience. For example, getting the hotel lobby music right can help enhance the atmosphere and underline a brand’s unique characteristics from the moment a guest arrives.

However, while hotels can reap the rewards of a well-chosen soundtrack, any business that plays music will need to arrange a music licence with PRS and PPL. This is the only way you can legally play music in your business.

How Much is a Music Licence for a Hotel?

If you play music in a public space, then you will need to arrange a music licence with PRS and PPL. The cost of a music licence for a hotel will depend on an array of different factors, from how you play your music to how many spaces you manage and more. For example, if you have multiple spaces or settings where you play music for hotels, then you will need to pay more to cover the costs of licensing this music legally.

You can find out more here.

What is the Best Music for a Hotel?

The music that is most appropriate for your hotel will be influenced by a number of different factors. They include:

  • The market segment you serve
  • The kind of stay or experience you offer
  • Your hotel’s décor
  • The space in the hotel where you need to play music
  • The type of customers you want to attract

As with other establishments such as restaurants or gyms, it is important for hotel businesses to remember that different types of music will work more effectively at certain times of the day. The best hotels with music entertainment will keep changing their playlists over the course of a day. In fact, the more frequently updated and tailored the music, the better the playlist will be.

What Music do Hotels Play?

The best music for hotels will depend on the kind of business you run, the time of day and the style of experience your hotel is looking to provide.

For example, music played in 5-star hotels will need to be different to the soundtrack of a B&B or pub guest house. Perhaps your space is super modern and full of contemporary design. Or your hotel could have a more classic, timeless aesthetic so something more laid back or ambient might work as a suitable soundtrack. Alternatively, your hotel has an array of different areas that need music to be played. Whatever your brand or space, you need to ensure that your music helps to emphasise the type of experience you offer your guests.

If you’re looking for a playlist that can enhance your brand and positively influence the time customers spend in your hotel, then you can work with a curation service such as Open Ear.

Our in-house team is full of music experts capable of curating great music for hotels that not only engage customers but also expose them to new and exciting sounds to ensure your business stands out from your competitors.


What’s the Best Music to Play in a Hotel?

You need to ensure that your music helps elevate the experience your hotel offers. Consider who your customers are and the variety of different spaces that require music to be played when considering which music provider is best and the type of soundtrack you curate.

Here are some reasons why you should invest in sourcing the best music to provide the perfect hotel soundtrack for your business venture:

- Create different spaces

A great soundtrack can enhance the atmosphere of any space. And in hotels there are many. From the pool and spa to the lobby, bars, and restaurants, each part of a hotel business needs to have its own soundtrack to define it, emphasise the brand and maximise the customer experience. Some spaces only come alive at particular times of the day - for example, bars and restaurants will have busy periods in the evenings or at lunch times. Hotels with music entertainment need to ensure their soundtrack reflects the space and time to give guests the best possible experience.

- Welcoming guests

Many hotels welcome an array of different types of guests. From couples on romantic city breaks to business travellers jetting in for meetings, a hotel needs to provide a warm welcome to anyone who visits. The playlist needs to work in tandem with the hotel’s aesthetic to ensure all customers feel at home and want to return for another stay.

Mama Shelter 3

- Boost staff morale

While the moods of guests can be elevated by music for hotels, the soundtrack can also positively influence staff behaviour too. Working in a hotel can be enhanced by a well-chosen and diverse playlist that regularly changes and reacts to what is happening within a space.

Can I Play Spotify in My Hotel?

No, the terms and conditions that you agreed to when registering for an account with the streaming services outlines how these services are for personal, non-commercial use only. This means you are not legally allowed to play music from this service in your space.

Visit the Spotify website to find out more.

Case Studies of Music in Hotels

Our team has worked with several hotel brands to curate the best hotel music playlists.

mama shelter card

Mama Shelter

Opening its doors in September 2019, East London's Mama Shelter is a fresh, fun space with cutting edge design elements by Dion and Arles. Our expert music curation team helped put together 24/7 playlists for the business to enhance its brand and previously hosted DJ nights.

Blythswood 2

Blythswood Hotel

Our longstanding client Blythswood Hotel in Glasgow approached the Open Ear team about bringing sound wellness into a variety of spaces within their five star Georgian property.

As part of our response to the brief, we installed a 24 hour radio station playing nature-based recordings with a secondary channel of curated ambient music which adapts to the different time of the day. Guests were welcomed into their surroundings with the calming sounds of a spring dawn chorus and invited to take time to listen deeply during their stay for screen free relaxation.

Meet our Expert Team of Hotel Music Curators

Our leading professionals and music industry playlist curators can help you harness the power of music in your hotel. This means that your soundtrack is always on-brand and your customers maximise enjoyment from their experience.

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