The Importance of Sound in Hotels

Sound in hotels

Sound triggers a chain reaction within the human body, leading to physical and emotional effects that have a major impact on feelings and behavior. It, therefore, should come as no surprise that sound has a big influence on the commercial performance of a hotel.

Given that sound can influence humans in profound ways, hoteliers should be aware of how they can benefit from using it at their properties.

Body and Mind

Most people are aware of some of the ways sound affects their emotions. For that reason, they typically play different music for working out, compared to setting the mood for a romantic dinner. The influence of sound—and music as a form of sound—goes much deeper though.


Music can evoke any complex blend of emotions, but it can also trigger strong memories. The first chord of a favorite song from high school can transport a person to an earlier time, just as a familiar, previously used ringtone can send people scurrying for their phone. And it is not just music—the sound of a lawnmower can similarly bring back memories from long ago.

But the psychological effects of sound go even beyond that. Sound strongly influences cognition. Some sounds in an office can reduce productivity by as much as 66 percent and sounds can even have a negative impact on health. Fortunately, more soothing sounds can be used to mask noisy and aggravating background noises.

The Halo Effect

The infinitely complex world calls for mental shortcuts to keep it manageable. This is one reason why music in hotels is such an important element. Since guests cannot close their ears upon entering a hotel, music can be a way of projecting a positive image. A hotel can use music to communicate the feeling it seeks to evoke—whether it’s a soothing retreat from busy daily life or a hip and happening urban venue. The right music leaves no doubt about it. It will help cement the desired image from the very moment of entry, until checkout.


About the Author
Alex Bestall is the founder of Rightsify, a global music licensing agency based in Pasadena, California that provides custom music to hotels, restaurants, retailers, and fitness centers in more than 30 countries.

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