Raffles Dubai is the latest five-star luxury hotel to employ the services of Equal Strategy, a Singapore-based sensory brand consultant. Simon Faure-Field, CEO of Equal Strategy, has developed a music programming, management and updating plan for the hotel’s lobby and two restaurants, drawing upon the company’s extensive repertoire of over 5 million musical pieces.

“The music that fills the ears of a hotel guest puts them into a certain state of mind, so it’s critical for this to gel with other aspects of the hotel experience such as design, decor, service and even the scent you smell,” he said. “The brand hangs together as a result of all these cues and stimuli, not just a single one.”

The new 248-room hotel, part of the Raffles International group, is located in the exclusive Wafi City complex. It’s the latest international hotel to employ the services of Equal Strategy, which also supplies to the M Hotel and Naumi boutique hotel (former Metropole) in Singapore, and the Pacific Regency in Kuala Lumpur.

As well as music, Equal Strategy’s services include the selection and supply of fragrances, telephone on-hold messaging, and broadcast announcements within retail businesses and hotels.

However, Faure-Field believes that residential properties will be the next major market for his company’s ‘sensory’ services, especially with the lines between homes and hotels blurring, as already seen in the increasing popularity of serviced apartments.

“We see our business moving into the property industry as a natural progression to its role in hospitality retail. Music styling and fragrancing bring the marketing of such properties to whole new levels of sophistication, and can be applied to show flats, common lobby areas, condo gymnasiums and even apartment units themselves in the case of very high-end properties,” Faure-Field said.

“By introducing multi-dimensional sensory appeal, developers, agents and management companies can raise the bar on how their projects are promoted to and perceived by buyers. The trend is already being set within the hospitality industry in luxury hotels that recognise the value of engaging their guests on the sensory and emotional level.”

The importance of creating a well rounded and welcoming home environment is set to become more important in luxury residences, especially with the likes of international hospitality brands like St Regis and Ritz-Carlton moving into the residential sector.

Already, the newest luxury residences are incorporating hotel-style facilities, like concierge services, while has already proved successful in the resort property sector, where villa owners enjoy the same services and facilities as resort guests.

“We particularly see multi-sensory branding being adopted by the developers of high-end properties, which blur the lines between condominiums and hotels,” Faure-Field said.

“Projects that aspire to create an atmosphere of luxury and exclusivity will embrace sensory input other than merely visual. Developers that take into account the totality of the buyers’ experience and shape the ambience of the projects show they care about life beyond the sale.”