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Hotels struggle with the art of making hip music


How does upscale hip brand W create the right sounds?
Music has always been an essential part of the upscale yet hip brand W, operated by the hotel giant Starwood. It even produces its own original albums and holds DJ contests.
More hotels are picking up on this idea. W’s success shows that music can set the mood not just in the hotel, but also for the brand. But it’s a tricky thing to get right. It may require the assistance of a professional.
The five-star Rocco Forte group sometimes lets staff play their own playlists and has hired a music director and former DJ to curate a special sound for its hotels.
Location and time of day need different types of music (classical for tea in London, techno for Berlin, brand-new playlists every three weeks to stop employees getting bored). Lobbies need higher tempos for busy check-in and check-out times. But the wrong choice can alienate repeat and potential customers. One music consultant recommends no smooth jazz, hip hop or Kenny G, ever.
USA Today


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