In-room record players, a dedicated music concierge, and expertly curated playlists are among the hotel amenities sure to hit a note with music-loving travelers. Let one of these 10 hotels provide a memorable soundtrack for your next vacation.
Reykjavik, Iceland: Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik
Iceland is booming as a tourist destination, thanks in part to its otherworldly amenities: larger-than-life waterfalls, the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, elf mythology, and bubbling hot springs with temps so high Icelanders can bake bread in the ground. After delighting in the Golden Circle sightseeing route, cozy up at the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik and borrow one of the record players from the hotel’s lobby. Guests can choose from more than 1,500 records that were sourced from a local market and hunted down from private collectors. The records of course include beats from Iceland’s most famous musician Bjork. But the collection also features Icelandic opera and lesser-known Reykjavik artists. The hotel’s ethos is to bring the local neighborhood in, explains Ólöf Guðmundsdóttir, the hotel’s chief enthusiast (the brand’s spin on general manager). “So it was extremely important when curating records to ensure we had a large selection of bands from Iceland,” Guðmundsdóttir says.
Los Cabos, Mexico: Marquis Los Cabos
For the hotel’s opening act, guests are welcomed on to the property with a live-performance saxophonist or violinist in the open-air lobby, with the musician standing atop a three-story cascading water feature. The Marquis Los Cabos, which is an adults-only and all-suite hotel located on the Sea of Cortez, also has complimentary, music-centric experiences including wine tastings synced up with live saxophone music, mariachi performances, a live guitarist strumming by the pool, and salsa dance lessons.
Denver, Colorado: Halcyon Hotel in Cherry Creek
All 164 rooms at this hotel in Denver’s tony Cherry Creek neighborhood come with floating record players that spin the vinyl vertically, plus a trio of records that could range from Johnny Cash to Kendrick Lamar. The record collection was curated by Casper Lundemann, who manages the hotel’s Gear Garage, where there’s an additional stash of records that can be borrowed. Officially, Lundemann’s credentials include working as a music scout in Denmark. Unofficially, though, the tattoos on his arm prove his love for music and include a David Bowie lightning bolt and the notes to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He kept a broad audience in mind when curating the hotel’s record collection, gravitating toward timeless classics, he says.
Monaco, France: Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
This hotel takes its music so seriously that it appointed an in-house “Sound Designer.” Enter French composer Béatrice Ardisson, who expertly curates the music that plays throughout the hotel. The hotel gets a new mix each quarter and it’s a balance of original soundtracks with popular artists ranging from The Beatles to Adele. Adding to the musical appeal, Hotel Metropole and its restaurants have drawn some music industry giants, including Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna.
Honolulu, Hawaii: Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club
Already, we’d nominate this hotel’s pool as most Instagram-worthy: Giant, white cursive letters at the bottom of the pool say “Wish you were here.” But adding to the ambiance of this Hawaiian hotel is the fact that indie artists are recording performances at the Surfjack for a limited-edition vinyl record. Many of the musicians are recording their songs on the balconies of the hotel’s penthouses, so the acute audiophile might be able to hear Hawaiian trade winds in the background. “In one track with Son Little, it started to rain halfway through the song, and the listener can tap into the emotion of that,” says Casea Collins-Wright, Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club’s Director of Experience.
Fort Collins, Colorado: The Elizabeth Hotel
An amenity sure to strike a chord with music lovers at this Northern Colorado hotel? A music-lending library, where guests can borrow from a collection of string instruments, keyboards, amps, and other musical accessories. The library launched with replicas of guitars played by Eric Clapton and George Harrison. On top of that, each of the 164 rooms in the hotel come with a guitar hook and a record player, and guests can borrow vinyl from the hotel’s collection of 1,000 records.
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Hotel Ivy
Instead of a turn-down service, this hip hotel offers a “turn it up” amenity that comes with an in-room cocktail-making kit, a downloadable party playlist, and recommendations for the city’s best hotspots (now, this is how you “pre-party”). But what really sets this hotel apart is a luxury “Party Like it’s 1999” experience that pays homage to Prince, who left his musical mark on Minneapolis. The experience includes use of a Tesla for the weekend and a private Prince guide who can show guests “Prince’s Minneapolis,” with several stops, including one at the musician’s recording studio, Paisley Park, and a grand finale at Dakota Jazz Club, where there’s a private table and bottle of champagne awaiting. Rounding out the Prince-centric experience are in-room record players with a catalogue of Prince vinyl, “Purple Rain” spa treatments, and more.
Los Cabos, Mexico: Hotel El Ganzo
Creativity and the arts are at the heart of this Los Cabos hotel. As such, this free-spirited hotel (it’s OK to call it a “hipster hacienda”) boasts some amazing arty amenities, including a fully equipped recording studio and a “musicians-in-residence” program. The musicians perform at rooftop concerts. Accessed by a trap door, “The Underground” recording studio can accommodate musicians from solo artists to entire bands. Can’t get enough? El Gazo jam sessions can be played in guest rooms or on the hotel’s YouTube channel.
Budapest, Hungary: Aria Hotel Budapest
Music lovers will know they’ve arrived somewhere special as soon as they step foot in this hotel and traipse across the tiled floors that are made to look like a piano. The hotel has four wings that are dedicated to different genres: jazz, contemporary, opera, and classical music, and hotel rooms pay tribute to musical legends spanning from Tchaikovsky to The Rolling Stones. A “Music Concierge” at the hotel does everything from selecting the music that plays throughout the hotel to recommending neighborhood music venues and coordinating live music experiences in the hotel.
Austin, Texas: The Westin Austin Downtown
Once you’ve graduated from karaoke and are ready to take on your next challenge, check in to the The Westin Austin Downtown. The hotel has an experience that allows guest to learn how to play the guitar (or tune up their skills) and then play in front of an audience. The hotel’s “Guitar Rockstar” experience includes an in-room guitar upon arrival, private guitar lessons from a local musician on the hotel’s rooftop, and a chance to play with a local band on-stage at an Austin music venue. Rock on!
Brittany Anas is a freelance writer who specializes in health, fitness, and travel writing. She also contributes to Men’s Journal, Women’s Health, Trip Savvy, Simplemost, Orbitz, and Eat This, Not That! She spent a decade working at daily newspapers, including The Denver Post and the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colorado, and she is a former federal background investigator. In her free time, Brittany enjoys hiking with her gremlin-pot belly pig mix that the rescue described as a “Boston Terrier” and coaching youth basketball. She also works with domestic abuse survivors, helping them regain financial stability through career coaching. Follower her on Twitter and Instagram.