How Does Music Affect Your Hotel Decisions?

music
Library of Congress

Music is becoming common on hotel websites, but does it really make us want to book a room?

A scientific study has come up with the answer: yeah, kinda. The journal Psychology of Music has published an article titled, “Congruency between instrumental background music and behavior on a website.”

As the author states in the abstract:

“Instrumental music (jazz and djembe) was played or not [played] while participants browsed the website of a well-known seaside resort and participants were instructed to select a type of accommodation. It was found that djembe music was associated more with a choice of outdoor accommodation while jazz music was associated with greater interest for hotel accommodation. Both music conditions showed a significant difference from the no music control condition. The ability of instrumental music to prime different memories and feelings is used to explain these results.”

So basically when we hear jazz we think of sipping bourbon in smoky interiors, while djembe makes us want to dance the night away in the moonlight. Um, OK.

Reading the article further, it turns out there’s a whole field of study devoted to figuring out what background music will do to our buying habits. Classical music makes us buy more expensive wines, for example, and playing French music will make us more likely to buy French wines. And here I thought the major determining factor was the physical attributes of my date.

The results of this study are pretty impressive. Eighty percent of the participants in this experiment picked a hotel room when they heard jazz, while 62.5% of the djembe listeners picked camping. For those who didn’t hear any music, 27.5% picked the hotel and 30% picked camping. It appears that mood music is aptly named.

Of course, hotel websites looking to get our money have to pick the right music. More often than not it’s some cheesy tune that makes us turn off the volume, or even worse for the hotel, click on another website. The annoyance factor is even higher if the music is clogging your slow connection or starts ringing out across your office, announcing to everyone that you’re slacking off.

So instead of spending money on music for their websites, perhaps hotels should spend more on music in their rooms. While Blind Willie McTell isn’t around anymore to play his 12-string guitar while you scarf down all the pillow mints, there are plenty of out-of-work musicians who would be happy to serenade you for a small fee.

Honeymoon In Bali, Care Of Your Wedding Guests

asmara honeymoonSome couples request practical items like crock pots and cutlery sets on their wedding registries. But if you’re anything like the Gadling crew, you’d probably prefer experiences to expensive china … like, say, a honeymoon in Bali.

With that in mind, the Ayana Resort & Spa in Jimbaran, Bali, recently announced its new Ultimate Honeymoon Package and Wedding Registry Service – a way for wedding guests to pitch in toward luxury hotel experiences for the newlyweds. And luxury, Ayana’s got. The resort is comprised of 290 artfully appointed guest rooms and 78 private villas, each with its own swimming pool and butler service. Travel + Leisure named Ayana among the World’s 20 Top Hotels in 2010, and Conde Nast readers voted it Asia’s best resort in 2011. From appearances, it looks like the perfect spot for a little post-nuptial relaxation.

Honeymoon registry gifts can go toward the cost of the stay, or they can be allotted to specific experiences: a honeymoon yoga class ($45/person), a perfume spa package ($240/person), a cooking class and tour of the Jimbaran fish market ($90/person) or an extravagant five-course lobster dinner on a secluded pier, accompanied by bamboo xylophones ($580/couple).

Any of those options certainly beats a new set of craft beer glasses in my book.

The Springs in Costa Rica

The Springs in Costa Rica is a luxury resort. With a backyard view of the Arenal Volcano, this resort boasts both hot and cold springs one thousand feet above the Arenal Valley. Although the enchanting destination deserves some attention on its own, having some media-bewitching stars present on the grounds doesn’t hurt The Springs’ reputation.

If you watched the most recent episode of The Bachelor 2011, make no mistake: Bachelor Brad and his ladies were living it up at The Springs. With eighteen pools (eighteen, not eight), many of them fed by hot springs, these single ladies are certainly wishing he’d put a ring on it thanks to this luxurious resort vacation.

Find out more about The Springs by visiting their website. And if you’re into the idea of vacationing elsewhere in Costa Rica, just peruse the Costa Rica listings here at Gadling.

Controversy over development near Victoria Falls


Environmentalists are complaining that the tour company Shearwater Adventures has violated national and international law by expanding their luxury resort into the rainforest near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Shearwater has constructed a new restaurant, bar, kitchen, and information center next to the public entrance to the World Heritage Site. A lawyer for Shearwater insists the development is a legal replacement of earlier structures that had fallen into disrepair and that none of the new buildings go outside the area already reserved for facilities. Opponents to the construction contend that the buildings are on a much larger scale than the previous ones and are forbidden by a 2007 moratorium. This was put in place after UNESCO threaten to rescind Victoria Falls’ World Heritage status after a local businessman tried to build a hotel and golf course in the World Heritage zone.

Without being on the ground it’s hard to say if who’s telling the truth here. Last week The National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe ordered that no new construction take place. It is now running the site along with the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, which used to have sole authority. The government is currently trying to decide which body will run the Falls.

As this shakeup is going on, conservationists say Shearwater is planning a giant $6 million development next to the VIP entrance to the Falls. This will include a complex of buildings close enough to the Falls to threaten its World Heritage status. There’s also worry about the development’s location only a few yards from the Zambezi River.

[Photo courtesy user colmdc via Gadling's flickr pool]

Daily Pampering: Spend Valentine’s Day at Turtle Island in Fiji

There’s only one way to go to Fiji: Turtle Island. The Valentine’s Day deal from this luxury resort is nothing short of incredible. Book five nights in paradise, and you’ll get two more nights free … in beachfront accommodations in a two-room “bure.” And, all meals are covered, including any romantic lunches you want to enjoy on the beach — they’ll be packed to order! The other activities are covered, as well, including sport fishing and SCUBA diving, and once you’re finished exerting yourself, you can relax with two one-hour lomi-lomi (that’s four-handed) massages.

The Turtle Island resort has 14 private beaches, five-star gourmet dining … and those lomi-lomi massages, along with other spa treatments. Personal “bure mamas” will attend to all your needs as you sip top-shelf liquors and champagnes. Only 14 couples are allowed in Turtle Island at a time … one for each private beach!

Here’s where it gets really interesting: if you book by March 31, 2010, you can travel any time by Valentine’s Day in 2011.

Get your daily dose of pampering right here.