The Custom Channels Blog

“Music is Essential to the Atmosphere at Our Hotels”

Posted by John on October 3rd, 2016

mack-sims-sotherlyWe like to profile retail stores, restaurants and businesses that use Custom Channels for music so others considering our music service can read real-life examples of how music is used in public business environments. Hotels/hospitality is a business category where music plays an important role.

Sotherly Hotels works with Custom Channels using our Ethos service to get the exact music mix for their mission: “delivering true Southern Hospitality”.

Sotherly believes “guests want their hotel to feel like a natural extension of the city they’re visiting.” That means no ordinary music service will do. Sotherly and Custom Channels designed two music channels that play “All Southern Artists All The Time.” That means when a guest visits a Sotherly hotel, the hotel not only looks and feels like, but sounds like the Southern USA city they’re in. Listen here.

Q&A with Mack Sims, Brand Manager at Sotherly Hotels Inc.

CC: Tell us about your business.
MS: Sotherly Hotels is a collection of independent boutique hotels that prides itself on delivering true Southern Hospitality, while connecting guests with the local culture of the city they are visiting. Our properties are located in downtown locations in select Southern U.S. markets, each with a unique identity and history of its own.

One of our properties, The Georgian Terrace in Atlanta actually played an important role in the history of American music as it was the site of the famed Electric Ballroom during the 1970s, hosting concerts by Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Patti Smith and many more.

the_georgian_terrace_hotel_midtown_atlanta_sotherly_hotelsCC: Why is music important to a hotel environment?
MS: Music is essential to the Southern lifestyle, therefore we believe it is essential to the atmosphere at our hotels and the experience it creates for our guests.

CC: How can music make a customer’s visit to a hotel or a restaurant/bar in the hotel better/more memorable?
MS: We believe that when guests stay at our hotels, they want to be immersed in the local culture. By connecting our guests to the extraordinary music of the South, including soul, blues, jazz, country and rock, we hope to create a more authentic and memorable experience.

CC: Do you play your music mostly for your customers, your employees, or both?
MS: While creating an exceptional guest experience is important, we feel providing a fun and lively workplace for our staff is perhaps even more important because our hotel staff acts as an extension of our brand and plays the principal role in providing positive experiences for our guests.

CC: How is it working with Custom Channels?
MS: Working with Custom Channels has been a great experience! Issues rarely arise, and if they do, their representatives respond and resolve the problems swiftly.

CC: What would you tell other business owners or hotels about music?
MS: Music provides an opportunity to create better guest experience while also allowing you to build your identity as a brand. We have received great feedback on the uniqueness of our station from guests and employees alike. They seem to appreciate the diversity and size of the playlist.

the_whitehall_downtown_houston_hotel_sotherly_hotelsCC: Tell us about the music playing at your business – what’s the sound, the vibe, any artists?
MS: Sotherly Radio has two stations: Southern Smooth and Southern Groove. Both stations play only artists born in or based in the South.

Southern Smooth, which is played in our hotel public areas, offers a relaxing, enjoyable atmosphere for our guests. On the other hand, Southern Groove, which is played in our restaurants and bars, aims to create a fun, upbeat environment for guests. While each station highlights a large number of classic Southern artists, they both also pay tribute to lesser known artists from the South waiting to be discovered by our guests.

CC: If you had to narrow it down, what songs or artists best define Southern Smooth and Southern Groove?
MS: Because of the variety of music on our stations, this is an extremely difficult question. I would say anything by James Brown or The Allman Brothers band would be a good reflection of our music stations and Sotherly brand.

The music that plays in Sotherly Hotels is also available online on their web site. Listen to Sotherly Radio here.


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